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Thursday, September 17, 2009

The damage Goldstone hath wrought

This is from an op-ed by Gerald Steinberg in the Wall Street Journal:
Similarly, the attempt to shove the role of Iran under the carpet follows the lead of these NGOs, as does the decision to ignore video evidence showing the use of civilians as cover for Hamas fighters attacking Israel (human shields), including the launch of rockets from schools. Instead, copying the unreliable NGO claims almost word for word, the issue is dismissed on the grounds that the committee "received no reports of such incidents from other sources." No independent research was conducted.

The issue of military necessity is central in grappling with the moral issues of an asymmetric-warfare environment in which terrorists use schools, hospitals, houses and other civilian facilities. Neither the NGOs nor Mr. Goldstone show any understanding of the dilemmas involved they can only repeat the claims of Palestinians who, in almost every case, say that Hamas members and assets were never near the target of any Israeli attack.

One of Israel's primary and most important objectives in the war was to search for clues to the whereabouts of Gilad Shalit, a soldier kidnapped from Israel and taken to Gaza in a 2006 cross-border raid. Mr. Goldstone does not consider this to be related to military necessity, and even labels the interrogation of Palestinians on this issue as criminal. And in rejecting Israeli statements regarding the storage of weapons in a mosque (ignoring video evidence), the report admits: "the Mission cannot exclude that this might have occurred in other cases." In other words, they did not have a clue.

As is often the case, the implications of this report, including the threats of a Security Council monitoring mechanism and possible action by the International Criminal Court, go far beyond Israel. If Israel is condemned for attacking "civilians" like Nizar Rayan, the head of Hamas' military wing, American officials could find themselves in the dock for the raid in Somalia that killed al Qaeda leader Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan.

Using the warped interpretations of international law on display in this report, the same terms could be applied to NATO officials responsible for the deaths of civilians in strikes against Taliban assets, such as oil trucks in Afghanistan. American troops who used white phosphorous to protect against detection in the battle of Fallujah in Iraq could be accused, like the Israelis targeted by Mr. Goldstone, of war crimes. And when they do become targets of such pseudo-legal actions, the Goldstone precedent will include the absence of transparency (much of the "testimony" remains secret, allowing the committee to pick and choose) or due process, including the cross-examination of witnesses.
Read it all.


At 7:19 PM, Blogger chanan dov said...

goldstone is a traitor. what was he paid?

At 10:07 PM, Blogger Captain.H said...

Carl and friends, this is totally unrelated to this thread but very worthwhile, I think.

I think you might enjoy the hilarious, rude, but metaphorically spot on, image of Jimmy Carter at the Rush Limbaugh website. (Link below.) Carl, you might want to save a copy of that image to use on future threads about the wretched Mr. Carter.

I imagine you'll also agree with the very articulate and very brutal remarks that Limbaugh made about Carter yesterday, 9/16. There's the text of the remarks at this URL.

Or you can download the MP3 of the 9/16 program here. The MP3s of his radio programs are only about a couple of megs, not a lengthy download.

At 10:39 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The point the interpretation of international law adopted by Goldstone provides no path whereby Israel can legally defend itself from enemy aggression. It only sanctions Israel whilst making no demands of Hamas.

Israelis have to ask themselves why their army has to be super-moral if its going to be condemned by the world (and it has been) for showing restraint, it might as well behave worse than the Americans and the British in Afghanistan. The political and legal fallout will be the same.

Thanks to Judge Goldstone and his colleagues, there will be more rather than fewer dead Palestinians in a future conflict. Israel has no further need to be scrupled in a front of a world that gives no credence to the Jewish State's good deeds.


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