Posts Tagged ‘Richard Goldstone’

Goldstone in Gaza. Listening to one side, rather than the other? Here is an excerpt, published by the Jerusalem Post, of a speech by Avrom Krengel, Chairman of the South African Zionist Federation, in which he addressed UN-appointed Richard Goldstone:

The UN Human Rights Council is notorious for its bias against Israel. Since its creation in 2006, the UNHRC has devoted 27 of its 33 censures to resolutions criticizing Israel but not one against Sri Lanka after it killed an estimated 20,000 civilians, or against Sudan for the Darfur atrocities.

The enabling resolution of the UNHRC, upon which your mission was established, stated that the designated purpose of your mission was “to investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by the occupying power, Israel, against the Palestinian people throughout the occupied Palestinian territory, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, due to the current aggression.”

Later on in your report, however, a different picture emerges. You state that the Gaza authorities said they had nothing to do with the Al-Kassam brigades or other armed groups, and also had “no information on the activities of the Palestinian armed groups, or about the storage of weapons in mosques and buildings.”

The report also noted that those interviewed in Gaza appeared reluctant to speak about the presence or conduct of hostilities by the Palestinian armed groups.

In respect of Israel, however, no such contextualization of its actions is provided. Nowhere do you feel it is of value “for contextual purposes” to mention that Hamas’s founding charter calls for the destruction of the State of Israel, or that the reason for Israel’s and Egypt’s blockade of Gaza, and the US and EU sanctions imposed on Hamas is a direct result of Hamas’s refusal to abandon its primary aim of destroying Israel. You fail to mention that Hamas is an implacable enemy of any two-state solution, that at the height of the Oslo Peace Accords, Hamas waged a merciless terror campaign against Israel, resulting in 150 Israeli civilian deaths, and killed over 500 Israeli civilians in suicide bombings between 2000 and 2009.

(The Jerusalem Post)

Go on, read the whole thing. It is worth it.

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They want peace. Hamas' Qassam squad Following a meeting with South African Zionist Federation, formerly UN-appointed Judge Richard Goldstone – who headed UN’s investigative mission into IDF’s operation Cast Lead – defended his positions and views in a piece in Britain’s Guardian:

Without more, allow me to turn to the Gaza report that has caused so much anger in this and other Jewish communities. It is well known that initially I refused to become involved with what I considered to be a mandate that was unfair to Israel by concentrating only on war crimes alleged to have been committed by the Israel Defence Forces. When I was offered an even-handed mandate that included war crimes alleged to have been committed against Israel by Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza, my position changed.

I have spent much of my professional life in the cause of international criminal justice. It would have been hypocritical for me to continue to speak out against violations of international law and impunity for war crimes around the world but remain silent when it came to Israel simply because I am Jewish.

(The Guardian)

THE QUESTION IS, of course, not if Goldstone should have ignored Israel’s actions because he is Jewish, but rather if he was much harder on Israel because he is Jewish. Goldstone’s report indeed angered many Jews around the world, yet the Honorable Justice seem unable to comprehend the reason; I am willing to help.

Dear Sir, the reason for harsh criticism of you and your report is not your revelations regarding Israel’s actions, but rather your backpedalling in the face of Hamas propaganda, and your ignorance of the situation, its roots, its background and its consequences. Yes, your report noted that Hamas might also have violated human rights, yet, your mission investigated dozens of IDF operations, versus exactly zero (as in “0”) Hamas operations. How is it possible? Was your fact-finding mission so impotent as to have absolutely zero ability to investigate even a single armed push by Hamas gunmen? How about the video provided by the IDF, showing clear violations of human rights by Hamas terrorists? If your investigation was indeed as deep and objective as you claim it to be, how could Israelis come up with a 349-page-long report either pointing out gross inaccuracies in your findings or proving outright inability of your mission to unearth the truth?

Richard Goldstone’s disappointment is understandable. Yet, he should have seen it coming. One cannot investigate a conflict, basing conclusions solely on the local confrontation, with no background – as he did. One cannot uncover the truth without a full investigation and skeptical view of both sides, rather than just one.

The Israelis knew that, and thus refused cooperation with the team.

Goldstone did a poor job. Not because he is dishonest – he is not. Not because he is biased – he is, likely, not. Just because his work is unprofessional, lacking and outright poor. He should take notice.