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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Michael Oren on the Goldstone Report

Israeli ambassador to the United States Michael Oren was interviewed by PBS about the Goldstone report. Here is part of that interview.
GWEN IFILL: Why didn't Israel participate, cooperate, tell its side of the story to this U.N. commission?

MICHAEL OREN: Well, first of all, the Human Rights Commission has condemned Israel more frequently than all other nations in the world combined, more than Libya, more than North Korea, more than Saudi Arabia. It's hardly an impartial body. This is the same Human Rights Commission that completely ignored Hamas rocket fire into Israel over the course of four years.

The mandate of the commission said that Israel was guilty of war crimes, said nothing about Hamas in the actual mandate. Even one of the judges involved in the commission had published a letter accusing Israel of unwarranted aggression.

And then, finally, the commission itself, the report, the investigation took place under the auspices of the Hamas-run government in Gaza. Hamas actually picked the witnesses for this commission. So Israel basically was the equivalent of being summoned to a court in which its guilt was already presumed, in which one of the jurors had already declared Israel guilty, and which the witnesses for the prosecution were, in fact, the murderers.

I can't think of any country in the world which would participate in such a farce of justice.


GWEN IFILL: Pardon my earlier interruption. Justice Goldstone said that those internal investigations were not independent and therefore not reliable.

MICHAEL OREN: This is an independent judiciary of a democratic country. I think that, once you start establishing the precedent that democratic countries can't investigate themselves, I think you've got a problem.

I think this report creates a problem not just for Israel, but for all free democracies in the world. It's a victory for terror. It is a major setback for any country, democratic country that is having to face war against an un-uniformed terrorist organization in a densely populated civilian area. I don't think the United States would like to see a similar report mounted against its conduct of its operations in Afghanistan.
Of course, in the age of Obama, the United States would accept the idea that not all democratic countries can investigate themselves. After all, in the age of Obama there is nothing special about the United States or any other democracy - they are all equal to dictatorships like Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Syria, Bolivia and others.

What could go wrong?


At 9:34 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Michael Oren is a qualified witness. He commented on the war every day this year. The Goldstone Commission never bothered to interview him - they didn't want to be confused with the facts. And he's right - no other country on earth would participate in a process designed from the outset to subvert justice. There is a major moral difference between Hamas and Israel... which is lost by the way on Goldstone himself.


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