* Revealed: Star witness who is cited in Goldstone report as “proving” that armed Palestinians were really civilians, is the same Hamas propagandist who concocted “Israel designs sex gum to kill Palestinians” story
* Ma’ariv: “Richard Goldstone perpetrated a moral crime. Not against the State of Israel but against human rights. He turned them into a weapon for dark regimes. Goldstone was not negligent. He did this with malice.”
* Since Goldstone report released, Hamas has once again increased the number of rockets fired at Israeli civilians from Gaza. The latest ones fell yesterday, during the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur, causing renewed panic among the Israeli population that had cautiously thought the worst was behind them
* Gaddafi compares the Taliban to the Vatican and tells world leaders that Israel might have been behind JFK’s assassination
* Netanyahu: “Are the successive German governments that have kept these documents for posterity all liars?”
* Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s mega-yacht biggest ever to dock in Israel
* Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich buys one of Jerusalem’s most luxury apartments
1. UN meets in Geneva to begin its deliberations on the Goldstone report
2. “Goldstone’s crime against human rights”
3. “The Goldstone Commission aids Ahmadinejad”
4. Goldstone report cites same Hamas witness who concocted Israel sex gum story
5. A host of anti-Israel NGOs fly to Geneva
6. A doctor writes
7. Senate letter asks Obama administration to block any Goldstone-related actions against Israel
8. Netanyahu brandishes Auschwitz evidence at UN podium where Ahmadinejad denied it
9. Comments on a Palestinian state
10. Jews and Iranians hold hands in New York
11. Kiev mayor scraps Babi Yar soccer hotel plan
12. William Safire
13. Microsoft founder Paul Allen’s mega-yacht docks in Israel
14. Roman Abramovich buys luxury Jerusalem apartment
15. Israelis have a joke at Goldstone’s expense (video)
16. Mental patient breaks into UN, gives ninety-minute speech (video)
17. Email to Richard Goldstone from an old friend
18. “Goldstone is the criminal” (By Ben-Dror Yemini, Ma’ariv, Sept. 25, 2009)
[All notes below by Tom Gross]
UN MEETS IN GENEVA TO BEGIN ITS DELIBERATIONS ON THE GOLDSTONE REPORT
Because a number of people have asked for more on the aftermath of the Goldstone report, this dispatch has a number of further items on the subject, as well as reports on other matters.
The UN Human Rights Council meets tomorrow morning in Geneva to begin its deliberations on the report.
“This council has already declared Israel guilty,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch. “Today will be a lynch mob.”
European countries say they are considering abstaining. On Friday, the New York-based anti-Israel group Human Rights Watch (which fundraises from prominent Saudis) sent a letter to all European Union member states, calling on them to endorse the report and “promote an international order where no state is above the law.”
“The Goldstone report offers a unique opportunity to break the cycle of impunity [under which Israel operates],” Lotte Leicht, HRW’s EU director, said in a statement. “The EU should not let this opportunity go to waste.”
Goldstone was, until recently, a director of Human Rights Watch. (Several people, including myself, last week signed a statement regarding HRW here.)
As Professor Gerald M. Steinberg, the director of NGO Monitor, put it after reviewing the report:
“The evidence, as Goldstone stated, was based almost entirely on unverifiable Palestinian claims and publications from politicized pro-Palestinian NGOs – the report cites B’tselem and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights each more than 70 times, Al-Haq allegations get more 30 mentions, and there are many more NGO co-authors.
“Human Rights Watch is referenced 33 times, including the ‘Rain of Fire’ report co-authored by Marc Garlasco. He was HRW’s ‘senior military expert’ (now suspended after exposure of his Nazi memorabilia fetish), but his analyses are tainted by false claims and speculation masquerading as expertise.”
For background on the Goldstone report, please see last week’s dispatches:
“GOLDSTONE’S CRIME AGAINST HUMAN RIGHTS”
Many Israelis continue to express outrage towards the unfairness of the UN in general and Goldstone’s report in particular, and there have been a number of press commentaries.
One of the more scathing appeared in this weekend’s edition of Ma’ariv under the headline “Goldstone is the criminal”. Ben-Dror Yemini, who is a senior columnist for Ma’ariv (and a longtime subscriber to this email list) writes:
“Let’s start at the end. Richard Goldstone perpetrated a moral crime. Not against the State of Israel but against human rights. He turned them into a weapon for dark regimes. Goldstone was not negligent. He did this with malice.
“The criticism that was made in the first days following the report was on the basis of preliminary study. But time passes. And the more that the details of this report are revealed, the more it becomes clear that it is a libel. A libel with legal cover. A libel that was prepared in advance to incriminate the State of Israel, in the service of Libya and Iran [who are leading members of the UN Human Rights Council]. Goldstone willingly took up this loathsome role. He supplied these countries with the goods. The claim that “the discourse of rights” has become the dark forces’ most effective tool is a familiar one. The Goldstone report is the supreme expression of this. Its legal terminology is exemplary. It gushes about international human rights treaties. But it cannot hide the result: It is a libelous indictment of the State of Israel, in the service of the axis of terrorism and evil.
“Goldstone sold his soul for an endless series of lies. Even Mary Robinson, who is not known as an admirer of Israel, understood that [and] refused to take the post [so] Goldstone took it and carried it out with excessive enthusiasm. If international law worked as it should… Goldstone would have to stand trial. But this is impossible. And therefore, not only Israel but every moral person, every person for whom human rights are important, must declare Goldstone a criminal.
“… This Council is the UN’s most important body dealing with human rights. And indeed, it seems that 33 countries participated in the vote on establishing the mission. And the results: Not one western democracy supported the decision; most abstained. One country voted against – Canada. The third-world countries voted in favor, as did all of the Islamic countries.
“… Can such an automatic majority – of non-democratic countries – be taken seriously? Certainly not, and the Council members know it. The Council cannot send a Libyan representative to discuss human rights. The representative from Pakistan, a country which caused millions of people to become refugees only two months ago, in the framework of a just struggle against several hundred Taliban fighters – will find it hard to talk about “collective punishment” on CNN. For the charade of accusing Israel, one needs an internationally renowned jurist. [Step forward Richard Goldstone]…”
I have placed Ben-Dror Yemini’s full article at the end of this dispatch because of its length. I suggest you read it in full, however, if you have time. It has been translated by him from the original Hebrew.
Before that in the full articles section, I attach a heartfelt email sent to Judge Goldstone from his longtime friend from South Africa, Barbara Press. I republish this with her permission but have removed Richard Goldstone’s private email address to protect him from receiving unwanted emails.
“THE GOLDSTONE COMMISSION AIDS AHMADINEJAD”
The daily Yisrael Hayom says in a lead editorial that, “The UN report on Operation Cast Lead is classic, liberal-style anti-Semitism,” and derides Richard Goldstone as “a kind of Jewish Uncle Tom, who met all expectations. What is better for the anti-Semites than a judge whose daughter lives in Israel? ... All sane people – as opposed to members of the biased commission – know that Israel did its utmost to avoid embarking on Operation Cast Lead... The Goldstone Commission’s actions are an additional step in Ahmadinejad’s plan to undermine the legitimacy of Israel’s existence.”
In an editorial, Israel’s bestselling newspaper Yediot Ahronot asserts that, “The immediate, natural, almost instinctive reaction to the Goldstone report on IDF war crimes is for Israel to tell Goldstone and the UN to ‘Go to hell’. However, the State of Israel would do well to instead go on the diplomatic and information attack around the world.”
In a series of media interviews, including at least one on al-Jazeera TV, Goldstone has compared Israeli acts to those carried out in Darfur.
Tom Gross adds: To remind readers, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the least bloody of the dozens of conflicts ongoing around the world. More Palestinian civilians have been killed by Fatah, Hamas, and the Lebanese army in recent years than by Israel. Not that the UN Human Rights Council cares about casualties unless they can blame them on Israel. The Council has adopted more resolutions and decisions condemning Israel than all the other 191 UN member states combined. Since it was established three years ago, it has issued 25 resolutions against individual states: 20 of them targeted Israel.
They not only libel Israel but in their obsession in beating up the world’s only Jewish state, they ignore the very real suffering of hundreds of millions of people around the world who need their help.
GOLDSTONE REPORT CITES SAME HAMAS WITNESS WHO CONCOCTED ISRAEL SEX GUM STORY
There are far too many inconsistencies, mistakes and unreliable witnesses cited in the Goldstone report to list here. But to take one example, the man Goldstone relies on in his report (paragraph 414) as his star witness to tell him the paramilitary Hamas police were not combatants and therefore should be listed as civilians, police spokesperson Islam Shahwan, is the same “police spokesperson Islam Shahwan” who accused Israel of distributing libido-increasing chewing gum in Gaza in an attempt to “destroy” the young generation of Palestinians.
A HOST OF ANTI-ISRAEL NGOS FLY TO GENEVA
According to a press release I have seen, a whole host of anti-Israel NGOs – all of whom receive substantial funding from the EU and other European countries like Norway – have flown to Geneva to lobby the Human Rights Council meeting this week and call for Israel to be hauled before the International Criminal Court.
For example, the following NGOs are holding a joint press conference and public discussion at Le Palais des Nations, at 4.30 pm tomorrow: Adalah, Al-Haq, Al-Mezan, Badil, Human Rights Watch, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, and Physicians for Human Rights Israel.
A DOCTOR WRITES
The following statement was delivered to the UN Human Rights Council this morning.
My name is Dr. Mirela Siderer. I am a gynecologist living in Ashkelon, Israel.
Judge Richard Goldstone, in July you invited me to testify. I told you my story. I am known by my patients – including many women from Gaza. For me, every human being is equal.
On May 14, 2008, my life was changed forever. I was working in my clinic. Suddenly, the building was hit by a missile, fired from Gaza. I was terribly wounded. Blood was everywhere. My patient was also wounded, and more than 100 others. Next month will be my eighth operation.
Judge Goldstone, I told you all of this, in detail. I testified in good faith. You sent me this letter, saying, “Your testimony is an essential part of the Mission’s fact-finding activities.”
But now I see your report. I have to tell you: I am shocked.
Judge Goldstone, in a 500-page report, why did you completely ignore my story? My name appears only in passing, in brackets, in a technical context. I feel humiliated.
Tom Gross adds: For background on how Israeli hospitals and medical centers regularly treat Palestinian patients from Gaza, while themselves being targeted by Hamas rockets – all of which was ignored by Goldstone and the UN – please see previous dispatches on this list including:
SENATE LETTER ASKS OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO BLOCK ANY GOLDSTONE-RELATED ACTIONS AGAINST ISRAEL
U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), both on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, are presently circulating a letter asking Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the State Department to block any punitive actions against Israel relating to the Goldstone report.
“As the State Department has stated, Israel is a democratic country, like the United States, with an independent judiciary and democratic institutions to investigate and prosecute abuses,” says the letter. “The Israel Defense Forces have a reputation for investigating alleged violations of international law and its internal military code of conduct. As a law-abiding state, Israel is in the process of conducting numerous investigations for which it should be commended not condemned.”
(A slightly different version of the item below was sent to some subscribers on this list last week.)
NETANYAHU BRANDISHES AUSCHWITZ EVIDENCE AT UN PODIUM WHERE AHMADINEJAD DENIED IT
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dramatically held up Nazi documents, given to him by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, during his speech to the UN General Assembly on Thursday.
Netanyahu said the hearing granted the night before at the same podium to Iranian president and Holocaust denier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad amounted to a “disgrace of the UN charter.”
Netanyahu produced construction plans of Nazi concentration camps as well as copies of minutes of the meeting of Nazi officials in 1942 where plans were made for the “Final Solution of Europe’s Jewish Problem”.
“Are these protocols lies? Are the successive German governments that have kept these documents for posterity all liars?” he asked. “Nearly every Jewish family was affected, including my own,” he added.
COMMENTS ON A PALESTINIAN STATE
Netanyahu also said in his UN speech: “If the Palestinians want a state, they must recognize the Jewish state. If the Palestinians want peace, we will make peace. Every time an Arab leader has sought to make peace with us, he has done it… We know the Palestinians want their own home. We want to live next to the Palestinians as two free peoples. But we don’t want a Palestinian state back by Iranian terrorist bases.”
Since BBC World Service TV cut out in the middle of Netanyahu’s speech (and The New York Times reduced it to a small item buried deep inside the paper), for those who want to watch the full speech, which some commentators have hailed as “historic,” it is attached below in four parts, from Fox News. (CNN also broadcast it in full.)
For those who don’t like watching videos, an official transcript of Netanyahu’s speech to the UN can be read here.
JEWS AND IRANIANS HOLD HANDS IN NEW YORK
At a rally outside the United Nations in New York on Thursday to protest against the regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Jewish and Iranian activists held hands in solidarity with one another.
Labor unions and some church groups also attended, as did former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
The rally was addressed by Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, among others.
KIEV MAYOR SCRAPS BABI YAR SOCCER HOTEL PLAN
(This is a follow-up to an item I sent to some people last week.)
Kiev mayor Leonid Chernovetsky has announced the city is to abandon plans to build a hotel in the middle of the main killing site of the Babi Yar massacre. This follows protests by Jewish groups and others. The hotel was to have been built for fans attending the 2012 European soccer championships, but the Ukrainian authorities now acknowledge they should not have chosen such a sensitive site.
Babi Yar is site of the single biggest mass shooting of civilians in the Second World War. 33,771 Jews were marched there and shot dead in a 48 hour period on Sept. 29 and 30, 1941 (exactly 68 years ago tomorrow). In the ensuing months, the ravine at Babi Yar was filled with over 100,000 bodies.
Jewish leaders have expressed concern over what they say are persistent instances of disrespect for Jewish heritage and of anti-Semitism in Ukraine, which lost 1.4 million of its 2.4 million Jews during the Holocaust.
The opening line from Yevgeny Yevtushenko’s famous poem, “Babi Yar” – “No monument stands over Babi Yar” – was a criticism that Soviet officials had never commemorated the massacre. After the Soviet Union’s collapse, Ukraine set up a monument on the site, which would have been removed had the hotel plan proceeded.
I wanted to note the passing yesterday of William Safire, who for many years was a subscriber to this email list.
Safire, who died of pancreatic cancer at age 79, was for a long time the token non-leftwing political columnist employed by The New York Times, writing twice weekly-pieces, including some on the Middle East.
In addition to his political writings, he wrote the entertaining “On Language” column for The New York Times. (Don’t overuse exclamation marks!! he once wrote.) He examined the origins of words and phrases such as “under the bus” and “the proof is in the pudding.”
He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006. Born in the Bronx, he was a college dropout and proud of it.
MICROSOFT FOUNDER PAUL ALLEN’S MEGA-YACHT DOCKS IN ISRAEL
Microsoft co-founder and multi-billionaire Paul Allen landed at Israel’s Ben-Gurion airport last week, a day after his 92-meter mega-yacht, Tatoosh, anchored at Israel’s Ashdod commercial port. (No regular Israeli marina is large enough to hold the ship, the world’s 26th largest yacht.) He took a helicopter from the airport to the vessel.
Exactly what he was doing in Israel is a mystery. No journalists were allowed to cover his trip. He is ranked by Forbes as number 32 on the world’s richest list, with an estimated wealth of $10.5 billion. He founded Microsoft in 1975 along with his friend Bill Gates. Neither finished university.
Allen also owns the fourth largest private yacht in the world, the Octopus, which boasts its own submarine.
ROMAN ABRAMOVICH BUYS LUXURY JERUSALEM APARTMENT
Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea Football Club, now owns the top floor of the King David Residence in Jerusalem, one of Israel’s most luxurious real estate projects, due to be completed next year. Abramovitch reportedly paid $19 million for the 630 square meter apartment, which includes use of the building’s pool, synagogue, spa and wine cellar.
ISRAELIS HAVE A JOKE AT GOLDSTONE’S EXPENSE
In addition to the widespread outrage in Israel at Richard Goldstone’s report, some have turned to humor.
While Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and a host of Third World dictators are pressing for Israel to be hauled before the International Criminal Court in The Hague for the supposed “crimes against humanity” that Goldstone and his horribly misnamed UN “human rights” team have accused the Jewish state of, Israelis themselves are having a laugh at Goldstone’s expense.
MENTAL PATIENT BREAKS INTO UN, GIVES NINETY-MINUTE SPEECH
Some of you may also be amused by this satirical skit from the American comedy show, Saturday Night Live, in reference to last week’s length rambling speech to the UN by Colonel Gaddafi.
In fact the real Gaddafi is much wilder and more crazy and irrational than portrayed here. In his actual speech, Gaddafi droned on for so long his translator collapsed from exhaustion. Gaddafi compared the Taliban to the Vatican and told world leaders that Israel might have been behind the John F. Kennedy assassination.
However, my favorite comment by Colonel Gaddafi in his speech to the UN, was his assertion that only China deserved to retain its permanent seat on the UN Security Council because it was the only one of the five permanent member countries whose leadership was elected democratically.
This is almost as bizarre as the statement by John Simpson, the doyen of BBC foreign correspondents, who in an interview on the BBC last week singled out Jimmy Carter as “one of the most intelligent U.S. presidents in history”.
Gaddafi’s rambling speech was the longest to the UN General Assembly since that delivered by Cuba’s Fidel Castro in 1960. Castro spoke for four hours.
[All notes above by Tom Gross]
FULL ARTICLES AND ITEMS
EMAIL FROM AN OLD FRIEND
To: Judge Richard Goldstone
From: Barbara Press
Subject: Hello Richard... It’s been a while…
Our paths have crossed many times compelling me to correspond directly with you. I pray your indulgence that you hear me out by reading to the end of my missive. In fact I ask you to share my letter with Noleen from beginning to end and to respond with your thoughts.
It has been a while since (inspired by you as head of ORT South Africa) I, together with Rabbi Bernard at Oxford Shule, established a school to teach the Killarney-Houghton Black domestic workers how to write, read, sew, cook and drive. It has been a while since you praised my father Hubert Press as one of the finest business brains you had ever encountered. It was been a while since I dined with you, Noleen, David and Marilyn Rivkin, discussing opera.
Jewish life has been crying out for a man of the stature of Adolph Cremieux, of Justice Louis Brandeis, of Sir Moses Montefiore, people of the highest integrity and purpose. For those who champion their own people are remembered forever in the annals of history. But those who are self-serving are lost in a trail of ignominy.
South African Jewry stand tall and your efforts in championing Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa were applauded and earned you a reputation as a man of stature.
I am bewildered by the direction you have taken as part of the United Nations Human Rights Council. This rogue Council has been tainted by a membership that does not condemn Iranian tyranny, Chinese oppression, African despotism but spends their time condemning one country unjustly, Israel.
The Goldstone Commission bears your name. One would expect the mandate of any report to be objective so that your name could be respected and a legacy ensured. Instead your committee ignored the facts, embraced bias and rendered the report bearing your name, illegitimate.
You tried to defend yourself in the New York Times but it was transparent and not effective. You could have resigned from the commission and retained your integrity. You knew that Israel faced 12000 Grads and Kassams from its Iran backed terror base of Gaza, 8000 irreversibly traumatizing the families and children of Sderot. You knew that the U.N. never passed one resolution condemning these deadly missiles. You knew that before and during Operation Cast Lead Israel made thousands of cell phone calls to warn civilians. You knew that Israel sent thousands of texts to warn civilians. You knew that Israel dropped hundreds of thousands of leaflets in Arabic (I managed to obtain one of these as evidence) to warn civilians. You knew that Israel aborted operations to avoid civilian deaths. You knew that Israel set up medical facilities on the edge of Gaza to treat civilians. You knew that Israel dropped supplies of food into Gaza to feed civilians.
You also knew that Hamas operatives are not “civilians”. You knew that not only were they not civilians but that they hid behind their own civilians to fire on Israeli civilians. You knew that they misused ambulances for military purposes. You knew that mosques and schools were used for Hamas depots and launching pads. You knew that Hamas operatives kill or shoot at the legs of any Gazans refusing to target Israel.
The video footage and U-tube sequences are still available for any and all of us to witness.
You clearly knew that one of your team members had condemned Israel in a published letter even before the conclusion of the incursion or the beginning of your investigation. But you did not resign or distance yourself from the hypocrisy of this illegitimate report. Instead a tedious 500-page report of the 3 week battle was padded with pages from the tainted U.N. mockery of Israel’s security barrier (misnamed the “wall”). What a sad indictment of the charter of the United Nations.
Richard, you were indeed a respected legal giant in Johannesburg. This report did not arise from ignorance or naivete. I am trying so hard to resist the conclusion that your role and report might represent a self-serving desire to ingratiate yourself for a more senior position in the kangaroo court called the United Nations. But if true-and one hopes that this is not the case-at what price? Association with the infamous U.N. garners no respect in the USA so why would anyone seek to be head inmate at the U.N. Asylum?
I have been very direct as South Africans are want to be. But many of us South Africans have been tainted by the perfidy of the Goldstone report. This is the Jewish time of Judgment when the scales of fate are entered in the book of life and we all need to look into our souls. I am not sure how you could comfortably extricate yourself. Perhaps we could discuss this face to face.
Good Yomtov to you, Noleen and your family.
Barbara Press Fix
“GOLDSTONE IS THE CRIMINAL”
Goldstone is the criminal
By Ben-Dror Yemini
September 25, 2009
Let’s start at the end. Richard Goldstone perpetrated a moral crime. Not against the State of Israel but against human rights. He turned them into a weapon for dark regimes. Goldstone was not negligent. He did this with malice.
The criticism that was made in the first days following the report was on the basis of preliminary study. But time passes. And the more that the details of this report are revealed, the more it becomes clear that it is a libel. A libel with legal cover. A libel that was prepared in advance to incriminate the State of Israel, in the service of Libya and Iran. Goldstone willingly took up the loathsome role. He supplied these countries with the goods. The claim that “the discourse of rights” has become the dark forces’ most effective tool is a familiar one. The Goldstone report is the supreme expression of this. Its legal terminology is exemplary. It gushes about international human rights treaties. But it cannot hide the result: It is a libelous indictment of the State of Israel, in the service of the axis of terrorism and evil. Yes, there is marginal – very marginal – lip service regarding criticism of Hamas. Goldstone’s ilk is a sophisticated lot. They now reiterate from every stage, and Goldstone does it well, that they were actually objective. Here, they also leveled criticism at Hamas. How enlightened of them!
Goldstone sold his soul for an endless series of lies. Even Mary Robinson, who is not known as an admirer of Israel, understood that, “This is unfortunately a practice by the [UN Human Rights] Council: adopting resolutions guided not by human rights but by politics. This is very regrettable.” She refused to take the post. Goldstone took it and carried it out with excessive enthusiasm. If international law worked as it should, if the representatives of dark regimes did not have an automatic majority in it, Goldstone would have to stand trial. But this is impossible. And therefore, not only Israel but every moral person, every person for whom human rights are important, must declare Goldstone a criminal. Here is the proof.
Let’s start with what is not in the report. In its almost 600 pages there is not one word – there simply isn’t! – about Hamas’s ideology. Hamas has a covenant. This covenant is the basis for the conflict between Israel and the demonic entity that has arisen in Gaza. This covenant is pure anti-Semitism. This covenant makes it clear that Hamas is no different from the Taliban. On the contrary, it is worse. The leaders of Hamas also declare – in their own voices – their solidarity with the Taliban, their desire to take over the entire free world, their hatred of Jews and their abrogation of the ceasefire with Israel. But there is not one word in the Goldstone report about this. Contrary to the general impression, Israel is not Hamas’s main victim. As in other cases where radical Islam grows, most of Hamas’s victims since Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza – have been Muslims. Hamas’s Kassam rockets, suicide terrorists, abductions and military operations do not stem from the occupation or the blockade, as the Goldstone Mission either claims or hints. All of these actions stem from an Islamo-fascist ideology that massacres mainly Muslims. Even during Operation Cast Lead, Hamas killed more Palestinians than Israelis. Goldstone and his cohorts did not hear about this.
It was one thing if Goldstone had just ignored the link between ideology and actual practice. But in addition, when he jumps to Israel, he takes the trouble to disparage the Zionist enterprise. Thus, for example, in Article 207 of the report, in a footnote, he tells about confiscated Palestinian property. Not that it has any relevance. But the sophisticated Goldstone had to provide Hamas with justifications. Historic accuracy? Certainly not. This is another product of the industry of lies. Because the property robbed and confiscated from Jewish refugees who were forced out of Arab countries was greater than Arab property left behind in Israel. But let us not confuse Goldstone by investigating the truth.
There is no need to go far in order to expose the lies. It is possible to start with the first paragraph. There, Goldstone says that he was granted the authority, “to investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law that might have been committed at any time in the context of the military operations that were conducted in Gaza.” Really?
At this stage, let us go to the UN Human Rights Council decision to appoint the mission. Article 14, regarding the mission’s authority, says: “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, and calls upon Israel not to obstruct the process of investigation and to fully cooperate with the mission.”
The difference is Heaven and Earth. Goldstone, I repeat, is not stupid. He is a sophisticated jurist. He understands that the Human Rights Council decision puts him in a bind. There is no demand for an investigation. There are instructions to investigate only Israel, while fixing blame in advance. Thus Article 14 and thus others in the same document. How does Goldstone square the circle? First, he does not mention Article 14 – which is the source of his authority – throughout the entire report. And second, in cooperation with the Council President, who was authorized to appoint the mission (but not to change its responsibilities), the authorization is improved in order to present a false objectivity. You see, Goldstone will claim in fawning interviews – we were authorized to investigate both sides. He is lying and he knows that he is lying.
It is not only the lie in the first paragraph. It goes on. In order to supply the goods, Professor Christine Chinkin, an expert on international law, was recruited to the mission, for example. There is only one problem. Before being appointed to the mission, Chinkin signed a petition that determined in advance that Israel had perpetrated war crimes. Can someone who took a position in advance sit on the mission? And indeed, the mission was presented with a legal suit for her dismissal. The suit was denied. There is absolutely no difference between the “judge’s” pre-determination and the Council’s. And when dozens of jurists petitioned the mission to dismiss Chinkin, Goldstone rejected them. It is clear why. The identity between the judge and the Council was absolute.
We must tarry another moment on the Council’s decision. Any enlightened person should give deference to human rights and the international bodies dealing with them. This Council is the UN’s most important body. And indeed, it seems that 33 countries participated in the vote on establishing the mission. And the results: Not one western democracy supported the decision; most abstained. One country voted against – Canada. The third-world countries voted in favor, as did all of the Islamic countries.
Can such an automatic majority – of non-democratic countries – be taken seriously? Certainly not. The Council will not send a Libyan representative to discuss human rights The representative from Pakistan, a country which caused millions of refugees only two months ago, in the framework of a just struggle against several hundred Taliban fighters – will find it hard to talk about “collective punishment” on CNN. For the charade of accusing Israel, one needs an internationally renowned jurist. He’ll do the work. The automatic dark majority does not need to convince itself. It needs someone to publish articles in The New York Times and Ha’aretz, and appear on the BBC.
This is how to turn Israel into a pariah. This is propaganda that even Goebbels the genius didn’t dream of. He is also a Jew; he even has a “Zionist” past. There could be no casting more perfect.
A precise study of the report reveals how the libel was perpetrated. This is no cheap, old-fashioned libel. This is a much more sophisticated libel. Now it is called a “narrative.” The Goldstone mission builds the narrative one stage after another. Does libel start with the Kassams that began to fall in 2001? No way. Does the Executive Summary say anything about the thousands of Kassams that have been fired since and have turned the lives of the residents of southern Israel into hell? Not with Goldstone. After the clauses regarding the appointment of the mission members, relevant international law, methodology and Israel’s non-cooperation, the mission gets down to business. The findings. The factual determinations and the verdict.
And indeed, the narrative begins with Article 27 (of the Executive Summary), entitled “The Blockade.” According to the article, Israel imposed a blockade. Why? What happened? How did it start? Were there thousands of rockets? Did Hamas take military control of the Strip, while massacring dozens – maybe hundreds – of Palestinians? There is not a word in the opening account. Neither is there any mention of Hamas’s internal terrorism against innocent Palestinians.
And this isn’t all. If there is a blockade, it is not only Israel’s responsibility. The Hamas regime has a long border with Egypt. It seems that this border is completely open. Hundreds of tunnels operate there on a regular basis and deliver everything the Hamas regime wants. The mission’s Executive Summary makes no mention of the tunnels, the open border with Egypt or the smuggling. And what does the report say about the blockade? “Gaza’s economy is further severely affected by the reduction of the fishing zone open to Palestinian fishermen.” This is an amazing example of the mission’s being recruited for the industry of lies. And the Palestinians established industries before the “blockade”? See, there is free movement of materials, through the tunnels. The problem is that Hamas has chosen only one raw material. Explosives. And there is also a flourishing industry. The production of rockets. “For the Palestinian people,” claimed Fathi Hamad, a Hamas member of Parliament, “death became an industry.” This even appears in Article 475. But Goldstone, the Devil’s advocate, insists on blaming Israel. The same Fathi, in the same speech, admits with his own voice that Hamas, “created a human shield of women, children, [and] the elderly.” This is also cited in the report. But Goldstone, “does not consider it to constitute evidence.” (Article 476) Certainly. When the result has been pre-determined, even the explicit, filmed and recorded admission of a senior Hamas official, like the video footage of the use of children, will not change the conviction. Is it possible to call such work by Goldstone “negligence”, or is it a crime, in the service of a terrorist regime?
Article 28 simplistically determines that Israel is the occupying power. Why? Because. Only in Article 88 does the mission see fit to mention the disengagement. As if it had no bearing on the story. As if Israel had not proven that it had no interest in the Strip. As if Israel had not fulfilled all of its obligations. As if Israel had not left the Palestinians to their fate, so that they could govern themselves, without a single soldier or settler.
Article 29 says that Israel embarked on Operation Cast Lead. Were there barrages of rockets beforehand? They appear later on but not in the Executive Summary. Apparently, they are not relevant. This is how one constructs a lie. Start with a blockade. Then a criminal assault. That’s the Executive Summary.
The mission’s lie repeats itself when it presents a false picture of permanent Israeli aggression. In exactly the same way, the mission says, in Article 193, that Israel began Operation Defensive Shield and caused the killing of hundreds of Palestinians. There is not even one word about the series of terrorist attacks on cafes, restaurants and buses. There is not one word about the Passover massacre at the Park Hotel in Netanya, in which 30 Israelis were murdered – a massacre which broke Israel’s long restraint.
Article 30 deals with the number of casualties but ignores – of course – any study which proves that most of the Palestinian casualties were Hamas personnel. In order to strengthen the impression, the report presents the number of Palestinian dead as opposed to the number of Israelis. The proportionality creates the result. So many Palestinians were killed. So few Israelis. According to this logic, NATO perpetrated war crimes in bombing Yugoslavia in 1999, because the results were similar to those in Gaza: Over 1,000 Yugoslav dead (mostly civilians) and zero casualties among the NATO forces. Thus in Afghanistan as well. Far more Afghans, civilians and fighters, have been killed than NATO soldiers. Does this turn the NATO countries and soldiers into war criminals? And there will yet be proportionality issues. Pakistan sought to get rid of the vexing problem caused by several hundred Taliban fighters. It caused thousands of dead and millions of refugees. Thus also in Lebanon, when it was obliged to fight a few hundred Fatah al-Islam fighters. Their refugee camp, Nahr al-Bared, was destroyed. Hundreds were killed and tens of thousands became refugees.
The world understands that these are the proportions of dealing with terrorists, who hide among civilians. But when Goldstone comes to Israel – he refuses to understand even though Hamas’s threat to Israel is greater than the Taliban’s threat to Europe or Fatah al-Islam’s to Lebanon. Goldstone knows the new battlefields. But he ignores because the goal was to demonize Israel. And therefore, he must lie and mislead.
Article 32 deals with Israel’s bombing of Palestinian Authority buildings, rejects the Israeli claim that these were part of the, “Hamas terrorist infrastructure,” and determines that these were, “deliberate attacks on civilian objects in violation of the rule of customary international humanitarian law.” Certainly. If they ignore the fact that Hamas is a terrorist entity that uses terrorism mainly against innocent Palestinians as well – the result is that this is a legitimate political body. Maybe even a charitable organization. Now it is possible to understand why the mission ignores the Hamas Covenant. It is no coincidence. It is easier to square the circle that way.
How is Hamas absolved of responsibility for serious crimes? The Goldstone report cites hundreds of inquiries that were carried out by various groups. One of the groups cited is, of course, Amnesty International, which has provided countless hostile reports against Israel. These are cited extensively. But there was another Amnesty report, issued on 21.2.09. This surprising report reviews a series of incidents in which Hamas eliminated dozens of Fatah members, during the time of Operation Cast Lead, in Gaza. And here’s the surprise: Of all the reports, it is this one which is not mentioned in the Goldstone report. There is mention of attacks on Fatah personnel (in Article 80, for example), but with exaggerated effort to minimize the significance of the matter.
The general impression is that Goldstone is much more critical towards Fatah than towards Hamas. For example, Goldstone blames Fatah for the “refusal to cede control of the security institutions” in favor of the Hamas (Article 190), causing the confrontation between the factions. Hamas, according to the whole report, is a completely legitimate body that should control the security institutions. Goldstone stubbornly refuses to see the very anti-Semitic and terrorist nature of Hamas, an entity whose very existence is a crime against humanity.
It is possible to continue, article after article, in order to expose the construction of the deceptions and the lies. The mission details 36 factual events that prove, as it were, that Israel perpetrated war crimes. In their reduced framework below, let us examine the attack on the Abd Rabbo family. This event became one of the most prominent symbols of Operation Cast Lead, received widespread coverage and was mentioned in many reports. The Goldstone report devotes ten articles (768-777) to this incident. The mission repeated the claim that family members waived a white flag and that its daughters were murdered in cold blood by Israel. This claim is not only negligent, it is also a malicious lie. Thorough checks have shown that family members agave different and contradictory versions. One of the claims was that this was cold-blooded murder because there were no Hamas personnel in the area. It seems that this claim has also been refuted, by contradictory testimony, even by Time magazine, to the effect that there were indeed Hamas personnel in the area. Moreover, it seems that Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reports that, “The Abd Rabbo family kept quiet while Hamas fighters turned their farm in the Gaza strip into a fortress.” The testimony is contradictory and the Time and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reports were supposed to be before the mission. But there is not even a hint of them in the Goldstone report, which publishes a libel, even though it has already been contradicted. The objective has been marked. The facts will not confuse the mission.
The foregoing is only the tip of the iceberg. Space is too short to detail the parade of lies known as “the Goldstone Report.” We have presented here only isolated examples about the method. Goldstone, who chose to collaborate with the dark majority, supplied the goods. The report deserves a much closer study. The State of Israel must establish a commission of inquiry, led by top-notch jurists, in cooperation with their colleagues from around the world, in order to examine article after article, claim after claim, and refute the libel. The deeper one digs into the report, the more it becomes clear that Goldstone is a criminal hiding under the umbrella of human rights. On behalf of human rights, he and his lies must be exposed. The truth must come to light.