Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

AIJAC UPDATE - How the 2011 flotilla flopped/The controversial "anti-boycott" law

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AIJAC's latest email Update looks at why and how the 2011 Gaza flotilla gambit fizzled out. In contrast to 2010's headline-grabbing political stunt that acted as a Trojan Horse for the Turkish Islamist IHH charity resulting in needless deaths and injuries, this was no replay.

First up, political analyst Emanuele Ottolenghi from the Foundation for Defence of Democracies, looks at the changed regional circumstances that saw the Turkish Government prevent the IHH from participating, revealing even more sharply how the first flotilla was a political contrivance to a large extent of Ankara's making. Ottolenghi also looks at the role played by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and Greece in stymieing the flotilla's fortunes. To read this article, CLICK HERE.

Next, Michael Ross looks at the rumoured contents of the much delayed report from the UN inquiry led by former New Zealand PM Sir Geoffrey Palmer, into the 2010 Gaza flotilla. Details of the report have been leaking out since May and all the signs indicate that the report backs the legality of Israel's Gaza blockade, commends Israel's own investigation but faults Turkey's, and does not demand that Israel apologise to Turkey or pay any kind of reparation. Even where the report does criticise Israel, Ross writes, that, for a "UN Report it constitutes a very mild slap on the wrist". To read this important analysis of a report that might embarrass the Turkish Government if it is released, CLICK HERE.

Finally, this week's "anti-boycott" law passed by Israel's Knesset, which would allow citizens to bring civil suits against persons or organisations that call for economic, cultural or academic boycotts of Israel, Israeli institutions or regions under Israeli control, has caused some controversy. The Britain Israel Communications & Research Centre (BICOM) explains the effect of the law, the background and context, including the sense of injustice felt within Israel at unfair international campaigns seeking to isolate it, the reaction within Israel to the law, and the distinct possibility that it will not survive a Supreme Court challenge. To sort the wheat from the chaff on this controversial law, CLICK HERE.

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