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Monday, September 21, 2009

A Leftist cries over the Goldstone Report

You may recall David Landau (pictured), the former editor of Haaretz who once asked US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to rape Israel. Landau has an op-ed in Sunday's New York Times in which he complains that the overkill in the Goldstone Commission Report means that most Israelis will ignore it.
When does negligence become recklessness, and when does recklessness slip into wanton callousness, and then into deliberate disregard for innocent human life?

But that is the point — and it should have been the focus of the investigation. Judge Goldstone’s real mandate was, or should have been, to bring Israel to confront this fundamental question, a question inherent in the waging of war by all civilized societies against irregular armed groups. Are widespread civilian casualties inevitable when a modern army pounds terrorist targets in a heavily populated area with purportedly smart ordnance? Are they acceptable? Does the enemy’s deployment in the heart of the civilian area shift the line between right and wrong, in morality and in law?

These were precisely the questions that Israeli politicians and generals wrestled with in Gaza, as others do today in Afghanistan.

It is possible, and certainly arguable, that the Israeli policymakers, or individual Israeli field commanders in isolated instances, pushed the line out too far.

But Judge Goldstone has thwarted any such honest debate — within Israel or concerning Israel. His fundamental premise, that the Israelis went after civilians, shut down the argument before it began.

This is regrettable, for the report could have stirred the conscience of the nation. Many Israelis were dismayed at the war’s casualty figures, at the disparity between the dozen deaths on the Israeli side and the thousand-plus deaths, many of them of noncombatants, in Gaza.
Richard Landes has already thoroughly fisked Landau's article. I just want to elaborate on one point.

Landau is fooling himself if he actually believes that Israelis were ever going to take the Goldstone Report seriously. Most Israelis knew from the get-go that Goldstone's report was not going to be fair:
During his investigations into possible war crimes committed by Israel and Hamas during Operation Cast Lead, Judge Richard Goldstone asked a group of prominent South African expatriates living in Israel to persuade government officials here to cooperate with his commission.

Goldstone told them the commission’s findings and recommendations would be more balanced if Israel made its case.

The expats traveled to Jerusalem with the message, but after a relatively short briefing with Israeli experts, the delegation did a complete about-face and supported Israel’s position of having nothing to do with the UN fact-finding mission.

The trick: Israeli officials briefed the visitors on what Goldstone’s commission was already doing in Gaza, on the makeup of the UN Human Rights Council and on the rancid history of the HRC’s deliberate targeting of Israel.
Nearly all Israelis had it figured out from the beginning. All except Landau and his friends at Meretz and Chadash. They're also the only ones who would ever dream that the IDF would commit 'war crimes.' To most Israelis, the very suggestion that the IDF would do things like target hospitals and civilians (as Goldstone has accused the IDF of doing) - and then refuse to bring the individuals who did so to justice - is absurd. Only Landau and his traitorous ilk would believe that sort of thing.


At 8:37 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Even leftists like Landau have to admit they can't accept Goldstone because the country will not hear any defense of him from them. And the outrageous "genocide" blood libel implied as the report's conclusion indeed shut down all debate in Israel. Its one thing for reasonable people to argue what the IDF could have done better in Gaza - its another thing altogether to accuse Israel of Nazi-like behavior that has no basis in reality. The revulsion at Goldstone is not just a right-wing feeling in Israel.

No Jew in Israel will accept its verdict as legitimate - ever. And having David Landau to acknowledge it only underscores the fact the sentiment is for all practical extents and purposes a national consensus.

Goldstone hoped to divide Israeli public opinion. Instead, he achieved the exact opposite.


At 9:37 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

"please rape Israel"?
I think you may have just had oyur wish granted


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