Old city of Hebron (photo by GZ) Anti-wall demonstration in Bi'lin. (Photo by LS) Gilo settlement - Beit Jala (photo by GZ) Wall grafitti made by Berlin residents. (Photo by CdV) Drone flying over KhanYounis, Gaza. (Photo by CdV) Mahmoud Darwish in the presence of absence (photo by GZ) Corridor from Erez crossing into Gaza (Photo by CdV) Bypass road north-south - Jerusalem (photo by GZ) Cremisan Road, Beit Jala (photo by GZ) Hisham's Palace, Jericho (photo by GZ) Mahmoud Darwish on Yasser Arafat- Ramallah (photo by GZ)

Letter to the airlines cancelling tickets of Flytilla passengers



Subject: Reporting severe violations of international law and human rights 


Dear Madam, Sir, 


Today I learned through the media about your involvement in cancelling tickets of passengers bound for Israel. 


I want to let you know that you are violating international law in doing so, which is considered a serious offense by the international community. Your claim that you can hide behind airline regulations is irrelevant: human rights go first – being it the civil rights of your passengers or the basic humanitarian rights of the people who invited them. If you are in doubt about this sequence, just consult any international lawyer or an NGO like Amnesty. 


For breaching European civil rights you need very serious argumentation. However, Israel has not been able to produce any valid accusation – simply because there is none. I remind you of the Israeli court ruling following the first Flytilla, stating that Israel's Interior Ministry 'cannot refuse entry to anyone who declares on arrival on Ben Gurion Airport that he/she intends to travel to the West Bank'. Israel's demands have no legal capacity, and there is no way you can pass these on to your passengers. No European will accept that, even more so as his passing through Israel is involuntarily, forced upon him by Israel itself. 


By moral standards you have been cooperating in preventing a brutal military occupation to be addressed, valuing a possible fine by Israel of greater importance than stepping in for human rights. The latter choice would have been extremely easy, especially if coordinated with other European carriers. You failed to act. This brands you as de facto siding with the occupying state. 


I remind you that the United Nations have passed a number of resolutions condemning Israel for its occupation policy. European citizens want their corporations to stick to international law and produce clean hands any time of day. If third governments have a problem with that: ignore them, expose them, and do not cooperate with them. That's what international law asks from you, and from all of us. 


Surely the victims of your actions will take legal action against your company. Outside the court your name will be added to the list of pariah companies that collaborate with Israel in keeping up its human rights abuses and military occupation. The EU and European governments will be asked to look into your actions, and will be urged not to make use of your services anymore. The latter goes for all passengers and the international travel industry. And of course the so called 'activists' will be back, at any chosen time and place, and in high numbers. 


Until justice is done, 

I remain, 

Allard de Rooi