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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

RETHINKING GOLDSTONE

"Only if all parties to armed conflicts are held to these standards will we be able to protect civilians who, through no choice of their own, are caught up in war."

One of the things you'll inevitably hear about if you talk to a leftist about the middle east is how horrible the Israelis have been to palestinians; that they were guilty of many human rights atrocities during the 2008-2009 Gaza war. Many of these ideas were based on a report by a Jew named Richard Goldstone in a special report to the UN.

In essence, the report made it seem as if the Israeli army deliberately targeted the economic infratructure of civilians and deliberately targeted civilians. This report has been widely quoted and cited by groups such as Amnesty International and the UN Human Rights Commission. For many who claim to be opposed to "zionists" instead of just Jews in general, it was proof of the evil Israeli government and its hateful ways.

However, some who analyzed the report came to the conclusion that the data was greatly misleading, poorly interpreted, and often deliberately misleading. Alan Dershowitz, for example, wrote in his analysis (pdf file) that:
...much of the evidence cited in the report proves precisely the opposite—that Israel’s policy was to minimize civilian deaths, while attacking those responsible for targeting Israeli civilians with rocket attacks. Moreover, it ignores massive amounts of evidence—some specifically offered to it, other publicly available in open sources—that prove beyond any doubt that the central conclusions of the report are demonstrably false.

Goldstone has himself acknowledged that there is no actual “evidence” that the report’s conclusions are correct. Indeed, he has gone even further and admitted that “If this was a court of law, there would have been nothing proven.” He has also said he would not be embarrassed “if many of the allegations turn out to be disproved”
As it turns out, he just followed through on this prediction. At the Washington Post, Richard Goldstone recently wrote an editorial which expresses embarrassment:
We know a lot more today about what happened in the Gaza war of 2008-09 than we did when I chaired the fact-finding mission appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Council that produced what has come to be known as the Goldstone Report. If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.

I regret that our fact-finding mission did not have such evidence explaining the circumstances in which we said civilians in Gaza were targeted, because it probably would have influenced our findings about intentionality and war crimes.
Goldstone notes that while Israel has spent considerable effort, time, and money investigating the report and their behavior, Hamas has done nothing of the sort. Much of the new information that this retraction is based on came from data revealed by these Israeli investigations.

The fact that Hamas isn't even interested in finding out if it committed war crimes sort of indicates their position on the topic: there are no crimes in fighting against the hated Jew. The fact that Israel has could mean they're more clever at covering things up, but it most likely indicates that under the heavy burden of world opinion, nearly-continual UN opposition, and journalistic pressure they wanted to find out the truth and prove they were not the monsters this report alleged them to be, if possible.

The nail in the coffin to this report's veracity comes late in the retraction, where Mr Goldstone says "In the end, asking Hamas to investigate may have been a mistaken enterprise." You think?

John Podhoretz puts it this way:
...the simple fact is this: That Richard Goldstone did not know in 2009 that Hamas is a terrorist monstrosity which functions parasitically off civilian populaces while Israel is a beacon of war-fighting restraint in a manner practically unknown in the course of human history suggests even more plainly than the report itself that he is a dupe, a fool, a clown, and a worldwide embarrassment. Not to mention a special kind of reprehensible and appalling figure of inglorious, hideous shame to his own people through the delivery and promulgation of a false document that helped anti-Semites everywhere feel themselves justified.
Goldstone has retracted his report. Will the leftists who rely on it? Don't count on it. The narrative of Israel as the oppressor and palestinians as the valiant oppressed is too precious to their worldview to give up just because facts get in the way.

1 Comments:

Blogger Our Founding Truth said...

Leftists appear to be less concerned about history than about getting their agenda passed.

In 135 Emperor Hadrian renamed Jerusalem, Provincia Syria-Palestina, after Israel's ancient enemy; the Philistines. Palestina is from Peleshette, meaning "land of Philistia" (the area where they lived), from which we get "Philistines."

The Arabs understood Jews were Palestinians and only applied the label to bedouins living there in order to exterminate Israel. In WWII Britain had a volunteer brigade known as "The Palestinian Brigade" made up of entirely Jews.

Did the world forget the Arabs fought on Hitler's side with one entire SS division made up of Bosnian Muslims.

3:50 PM, April 05, 2011  

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