Posts Tagged ‘gaza’
Former New Zealand Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer was at the University of Iowa College of Law today. He is the lead investigator for the UN Secretary General ‘s inquiry into the Gaza flotilla incident and the Mavi Marmara boarding that left several militant activists dead. His investigation should not be confused with the recently concluded one conducted by the UN Human Rights Commission that summarily claimed Israel had committed war crimes. Unlike the UNHRC investigation, Israel is cooperating with Palmer’s investigation and it is done under the more credible auspices of the Secretary General.
When I had Palmer as a professor in Comparative Constitutional Law, he was always very fair. His views were somewhat more paternalistic than mine, but he was practical and reasonable. The only major dispute I remember having with him was over the wisdom of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.
Today, he maintained his professionalism. His report will not be released until March. He made very clear that he would not be commenting on the flotilla and he stuck to his word. Radical leftist Professor Adrien Wing tried to bait him with a question that assumed his work would cause him to become the target of a campaign to discredit him personally and professionally and might even make him the target of violence (presumably by Jewish perpetrators?).
Palmer refused to take the bait and said simply that a person in the public eye learns to become immune to criticism. His comments were the kind of steady, calm, and fair comments I would expect of an impartial judge. I am optimistic that his report will be fairer to Israel than is typical of the UN. With former Columbian President Alvaro Uribe by his side, I am doubly optimistic.
Yemini Ben-Dror brings us some impressive observations over at Maariv (Hebrew). The Gaza Strip has a higher life expectancy and a lower infant mortality than Iran, Turkey, and many Arab countries. Moreover, in part because of high fertility and a young population, it has one of the lowest death rates in the world. Indeed, the Gaza Strip has a booming population growth that outpaces almost every other country.
These facts would not be possible if Israel were cutting off needed food and medicine. The simple reality is that Gazans are better off than most of their Arab and Muslim neighbors. There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Israel’s blockade is in place for security reasons and these facts conclusively prove that allegations to the contrary are completely unsupported by data.
Nonie Darwish was raised in Gaza and her father was a Fedayeen Jihadi militant who was assassinated by Israel. She places blame for Gaza’s prison-like conditions squarely on Arab states. She writes in the Huffington Post, ” Arabs claim they love the Palestinian people, but they seem more interested in sacrificing them.”
It is worth reading her words. They are illuminating. Read ‘The Gaza Prison Camp’ by Nonie Darwish in the Huffington Post.