In my latest piece in Zeek, I try to untangle the hysteria around the Goldstone Report, and hopefully help move us all away from debating the report and focus again on what is really important–relieving the intense suffering in Gaza that existed before and was exacerbated by Operation Cast Lead and finally attaining security for southern Israel.
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I would be fascinated to find out how much of the report was written by Goldstone and how much input he actually had. I suspect most of the report was made up – in both senses of the word – by the others involved with Goldstone giving the Kashrut stamp.
You may think the report does cover Hamas actions but I don’t believe it does. The “bad” actions are done by shadowy “Palestinian armed groups” never by Hamas which in Gaza is like blaming the IDF and not the Israeli government.
I also think Israel was 100% correct not to contribute. It is clear from the report that there was never the slightest intention to treat Israel even remotely fairly and even the evidence they were given from the Israeli side was either ignored or selectively quoted or dismissed. This is also the reason why Israel shouldn’t bother with an investigation. One can see by how Israel’s response to most of the allegations have been dismissed. If Israel had turned up or Israel did an investigation there would simply end up being combed for quotes that in some way with maybe some ellipsis or context removed could be used in evidence against her. Why bother playing that game? The Sabra and Shatilla investigation is a perfect example – most people remember from that was that it found Ariel Sharon was a “war criminal” and “directly responsible”, which of course it most certainly did not.
The other issue is how this is being represented. Goldstone seems to think it is simply a collection of testimony, therefore doesn’t matter about the biases of the collectors and doesn’t matter about whether the testimony turns out to be true or not. I guess it is meant to be like a grand jury indictment, just to see if there is something to take to trial or not. The issue is this is not how is portrayed and not how it reads. It reads exactly like the sort of propaganda you’d expect from the UNHRC. I bet if you asked Goldstone privately and off the record if he is happy he took the job that he would not respond with an enthusiastic “YES!!”.
The other matter that Goldstone should know better about is what real war crimes look like and when a country does target civilians and civilian infrastructure what it looks like.
The sooner the report hits the dustbin of history the better.
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