Friday, September 18, 2009

The Hypocrisy of the Goldstone Report: Asymmetric Warfare, Democracies & the Inalienable Right to Self-Defense

Just how would Richard Goldstone have liked Israel to respond to 8 years of unrelenting missile attacks on its civilian population? At what point does a democracy reserve the right to defend its citizenry from the sort of daily terror that gives children 15 seconds to find refugee in bomb shelters whenever a siren goes off?
In early June of 2006 (just weeks before Hamas' ambush of Israeli soldiers and kidnapping of Gilad Shalit) Ambassador Dennis Ross spoke to Media Fellows for The Israel Project in D.C.
He emphasized that there must be consequences for the side that rejects peace and the only way to move forward was for all parties to accept responsibility for their actions and inactions. That there must be accountability. He noted that it was completely unconscionable that Qassam rockets continued to rain down on southern Israel after a 100% withdrawal from that territory by the Israelis the previous summer. Yet the international community remained silent, when there needed to be unequivocal condemnation for those brazen attacks against a sovereign state and member of the United Nations. The 'international community' bears responsibility, along with Hamas, for allowing rocket terror attacks to continue unabated, increasing in frequency and intensity after Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in the summer of 2005.
Below, Ari Shavit points to the double-standard used against Israel. Other insightful articles follow.
Shana Tovah to all
david brumer

UN Must Hold U.S. to Same Standard as Israel - Ari Shavit (Ha'aretz)
Two weeks ago American airplanes fired on two oil tankers in northern Afghanistan at the request of a German military officer, killing some 70 people. The U.S. and Germany are responsible for the attack, together with NATO members Britain, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium and Norway. If the international community is committed to international law and universal ethics, it should investigate the assault.
If the U.S., Germany and NATO refuse to cooperate with investigators, the UN should consider transferring the case to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. It may be necessary to put the U.S. president and the German chancellor on trial for committing a severe war crime that did not distinguish between civilians and combatants. Absurd? Yes.
The U.S. has killed thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan and in the last few months encouraged Pakistan to make an extremely brutal military move in its Swat Valley. The U.S. was not required to account for it because everyone understands that this is the price of the terrible war on terror.
Only Israel is required to uphold a moral standard no superpower or Middle Eastern state is required to uphold.

The Goldstone Report
President Peres: Goldstone Report Makes a Mockery of History - Roni Sofer

Israeli President Shimon Peres responded to the UN Goldstone Report saying that it "makes a mockery of history" and that "it does not distinguish between the aggressor and the defender." "War is crime and the attacker is the criminal. The defender has no choice. The Hamas terror organization is the one who started the war and also carried out other awful crimes. Hamas has used terrorism for years against Israeli children....The report gives de facto legitimacy to terrorist initiatives and ignores the obligation and right of every country to defend itself." (Ynet News) See also Justice in Gaza - Richard Goldstone (New York Times)

UN Investigation of Israel Discredits Itself and Undercuts Human Rights - Alan M. Dershowitz

The report commissioned by the notorious UN Human Rights Council is so filled with lies, distortions and blood libels that it could have been drafted by Hamas extremists. In effect, it actually was. Members were accompanied on their investigations in Gaza by Hamas activists who showed them only what they wanted them to see. The group was eager to find or manufacture "evidence" to support what the Human Rights Council itself had directed them to find, namely that Israel committed "grave violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly due to the recent Israeli military attacks against the occupied Gaza Strip." This conclusion was reached before any investigation. The lowest blow and the worst canard is the claim that the Israeli judicial system "has major structural flaws that make the system inconsistent with international standards." This is a direct attack on the Israeli Supreme Court by a lawyer who knows full well that there is no country in the world that has a judicial system that demands more accountability than the Israeli system does. There is no judicial system in the world that takes more seriously its responsibility to bring its military into compliance with international law. The report is not intended to establish general principles of international law, applicable to all nations. It is directed at one nation and one nation only: the Jew among nations - Israel. (Hudson Institute New York)
IDF Judge-Advocate General: Israel Right Not to Cooperate with Goldstone - Yaakov Katz
The distorted and one-sided UN report proves that Israel had been right not to cooperate with the Goldstone mission, IDF Judge-Advocate General Brig.-Gen. Avichai Mandelblit said Wednesday. "From an initial review of the report it is clear that it is biased, astonishingly extreme, lacks any basis in reality and is a sharp deviation from the mandate given to the mission." Mandelblit spoke of a new "legal front" that the IDF was facing and warned of attempts by numerous NGOs - and possibly European countries which support them - to deter Israel from launching future military operations by threatening its officers with legal action. Prof. Asa Kasher, author of the IDF's code of ethics, noted that "this report was commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that unfairly deals mostly with Israel. These are anti-Israel politics that contain a level of anti-Semitism in them." Kasher noted how the report opened with a detailed description of the Israeli blockade on Gaza. "It is as if this is how it all started," he said. "They did not bother to ask why there was a siege, which was done out of self-defense." (Jerusalem Post)

UN Smears Israeli Self-Defense as "War Crimes" - Gerald M. Steinberg
The tendentious and extremely biased report succeeded in angering Israelis from across the political spectrum. The report condemned every Israeli response to the 8,000 rockets fired by Hamas, but its recommendations did not include any steps to end this aggression. And while Israel is accused of committing acts of terror, the report never acknowledges that Hamas committed acts of terror, even though it is legally banned as a terrorist organization by the U.S and EU. The Goldstone report will increase Israeli cynicism regarding the viability of international institutions and guarantees of Israeli security and fair treatment. (Wall Street Journal Europe)

The Moral Inversion of the Goldstone Report - Melanie Phillips
The Goldstone report does worse than establish a moral equivalence between the instigators of genocidal violence and those who were attempting to defend themselves against it. It presents Israel, the victims of such aggression, as war criminals and the Palestinians, the actual instigators of terror, as its victims. This is not moral equivalence but moral inversion. Even worse, Goldstone presents the Palestinian aggressors as victims of Israel, requiring Israel to make reparation to those from whose houses and streets it was attacked. No reparations to Israel are required from any Palestinians, even though Goldstone accepts that Hamas committed war crimes and crimes against humanity by firing thousands of missiles at its civilians. This disreputable piece of work will embolden and empower Hamas and Palestinian terrorism, provide the jihadis of the UN and their accomplices with the means further to persecute Israel and endorse its genocidal attackers, and incite the Arab and Muslim world still further to aggression and to war. (Spectator-UK)

The Goldstone Report: 575 Pages of NGO "Cut and Paste"The 575-page Goldstone report is primarily based on NGO statements, publications, and submissions, in numerous cases simply copying false and unsubstantiated allegations. (NGO Monitor)

Will U.S. Now Let Goldstone into Afghanistan? - Amir Oren (Ha'aretz)


George Jochnowitz said...

When Hamas fires rockets into civilian areas in Israel, the rockets have no military purpose. They have no political purpose. They are fired because the perpetrators believe that killing Jews is beautiful and moral. And, as Richard Goldstone tells us, "Hamas leaders repeatedly praise such acts."
Goldstone informs us that "Hamas fighters at times mixed and mingled with civilians." Then it is Hamas fighters--and no one else--who are guilty of the deaths of these civilians.

Anonymous said...

Well, I disagree. Hamas fires rockets at Israel for a clear political purpose. As for Goldstone's report, there are many rebuttals such as this one

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