Saturday, September 25, 2010

  • Saturday, September 25, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
Even a quick glance at the UNHRC's report on the flotilla shows extraordinary duplicity in describing international law.

We had already posted at length a number of scholarly articles about the legality of Israel's naval blockade of Gaza. The UN Human Rights Council finds that it must completely make up new laws in order to accuse Israel of breaking them.

First, it accurately quotes San Remo to define what a legal blockade is:

51. Under the laws of armed conflict, a blockade is the prohibition of all commerce with a defined enemy coastline. A belligerent who has established a lawful blockade is entitled to enforce that blockade on the high seas.41 A blockade must satisfy a number of legal requirements, including: notification, effective and impartial enforcement and proportionality.42 In particular a blockade is illegal if:
(a) it has the sole purpose of starving the civilian population or denying it other objects essential for its survival; or
(b) the damage to the civilian population is, or may be expected to be, excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated from the blockade.43

So far, so good. But look what comes next:
52. A blockade may not continue to be enforced where it inflicts disproportionate damage on the civilian population. The usual meaning of “damage to the civilian population” in LOAC refers to deaths, injuries and property damage. Here the damage may be thought of as the destruction of the civilian economy and prevention of reconstruction of past damage. One might also note, insofar as many in Gaza face a shortage of food or the means to buy it, that the ordinary meaning of “starvation” under LOAC is simply to cause hunger.44
The bolded text is simply made up by the UNHRC and has zero to do with international law. There is nothing in international law that says that "destruction of the civilian economy and prevention of reconstruction of past damage" is illegal under the laws of blockade.

Even worse, the footnote that it cites says this:
C. Pilloud and J. Pictet, Commentary on the additional protocols of 8 June 1977 to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 (International Committee of the Red Cross, 1987), p.53 para 2089. See also Oxford English Dictionary definitions: “to deprive of or keep scantily supplied with food” or to “subdue by famine or low diet”.
They quote Pilloud and Pictet as if they say that "starvation" means to "cause hunger." Yet Pilloud and Pictet actually say:

The UNHRC is deliberately misinterpreting its own footnoted material to accuse Israel of starving Gaza with the blockade.

Of course it doesn't mention the tons of food that arrive daily into Gaza via Israel itself, nor the fact that not a single Gazan has yet been documented to have starved to death in the past four years.

Since the UNHRC made up a specialized definition of the legality of a blockade, tailor made for Israel alone, it is no surprise that they conclude:
53. In evaluating the evidence submitted to the Mission, including by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory, confirming the severe humanitarian situation in Gaza, the destruction of the economy and the prevention of reconstruction (as detailed above), the Mission is satisfied that the blockade was inflicting disproportionate damage upon the civilian population in the Gaza strip and as such the interception could not be justified and therefore has to be considered illegal.
The report goes on to the usual lies - claiming Gaza is occupied, saying that the IDF fired live ammunition from the helicopters before the first soldiers descended on the ship, and so forth. But here is a specific example where international law is being deliberately misinterpreted for the singular purpose of finding Israel guilty.

(h/t sshender)

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz




follow me

Follow by Email


Elder: elder -at- elderofziyon dot com
Mrs. Elder: mrs.elder -at-



For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts Ever


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!



The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

Interesting Blogs


Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism apartheid arab refugees Arafat archaeology art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz book review breaking the silence Cardozo Chanukah Christians conspiracy theories Cyprus Daphne Anson Davis report DCI-P double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada EoZNews eoztv Erekat EU Euro-Mid Observer Fake Civilians 2014 Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian gunness Haaretz hamas Hamas war crimes hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC Ilan Pappe impossible peace incitement Indonesia international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Kairos Karl Vick ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Lebanon leftists Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Miftah Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco music Muslim Brotherhood Nakba Natural gas Nazi News nftp NGO NIF norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peter Beinart Petra MB poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist purimshpiel Qaradawi Qassam calendar Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shujaiyeh Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Yemen zahran zionist attack zoo Zvi

Blog Archive