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Monday, September 21, 2009

Goldstone's sins of omission

Writing in the Guardian (of all places) Dan Kosky nails the deficiencies of the Goldstone Commission:
Yet it is perhaps what is missing which is most telling. Reading the report, one would be unaware of Hamas's human-shield strategy, a significant contributory factor to the civilian deaths in Gaza. Goldstone prefers to ignore the obvious. Although he states: "Palestinian armed groups were present in urban areas during the military operations and launched rockets from urban areas", he avoids the logical conclusion of the massive use of human shields. Of course, admitting that Hamas endangered Gazan citizens would provide an alternative to Israeli guilt. Yet, rather than state the inconvenient truth, the report reinforces preconceived Israeli culpability.

Goldstone is similarly evasive over the unreliability of key "eyewitnesses". Like the flood of NGO publications in the immediate aftermath of the conflict (particularly those by Human Rights Watch, of which Goldstone was a board member) Goldstone's so-called investigation is largely reliant upon "eyewitness" Gaza testimony. The report applies entirely illogical reasoning, failing to elaborate on "a certain reluctance by the persons … interviewed in Gaza to discuss the activities of armed groups". This observation provides a glimpse of the dangers faced by those speaking out against the regime in Gaza, yet Goldstone omits to mention how Hamas intimidation undermines witnesses and with it the very foundation for his conclusions.

On the basis of such flimsy testimony, Goldstone's recommendations are particularly sinister. Although "the findings do not … pretend to reach the standard of proof applicable in criminal trials", they will undoubtedly fuel a judicial campaign against Israel. Both Israel and the euphemistic "Gaza authorities" have been given six months to prove their mettle in investigating potential war crimes or face the prospect of becoming international pariahs at the international criminal court (ICC).

Realistically, no one can expect to hold to account a non-state actor such as Hamas, supported by Iran. Fewer still can imagine that any Israeli investigation will be judged by the UN framework as satisfactory. The Israeli authorities have already investigated more than 100 allegations of wrongdoing, with 23 cases still pending. These efforts were deemed insufficient before they began and one wonders how many convictions would have to be secured in Israeli courts to ward off the wrath of Goldstone.
Read the whole thing.

JPost columnist Amir Mizroch refers to Goldstone as a Zionist and as a practicing Jew. What the hell was Goldstone thinking?


At 4:58 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

This is simply a case where people are using words for weapons.

A Zionist does not manipulate information in order to support ongoing attacks against the survival of Israel, and the security of Jews worldwide.

At 8:23 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The Goldstone Commission exceeded its mandate and sat in judgment of Israel even though it did not operate as a normal court of law. No court of law in a Western country would have taken Israel's silence as proof of guilt. A country has the right not to incriminate itself in the face of adversarial proceedings. And that is apparently lost on Goldstone and his colleagues who subverted all the accepted rules of impartiality, high standards of factual evaluation, truthfulness and presumption of innocence. All these rules were tossed overboard in order to find Israel guilty and to disregard all evidence that might acquit her.

That is its real sin of omission.


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