“We examined that very carefully ~ but we ruled that this was not a justifiable argument,” Travers, currently with the Institute for International Criminal Investigations, told Al Jazeera, referring to Israel's insistence that they had to defend themselves against Palestinian aggression..
"This report has taken the world community at large one lurch forward into the whole question of impunity,”
“We cannot lurch back, and I think the world at large doesn’t wish to do that.”
My $.02 plenitude of Snippits and Slappits are in green.
By Iqbal Jassat
October 18, 2009
MEDIA MONITORS NETWORK
"Clearly, what both Goldstone and Erdogan symbolize is that Operation Cast Lead in Gaza has come to haunt Israel. The arrogance and conceit of its leaders has propelled Israel to a record level of vulnerability."
Israel’s calculated method of dismissing criticism of its policies is continuously displayed in the actions and conduct of its leaders. Arrogance and contempt are unmistakably some of the defining characteristics of a leadership foolishly believing that the protection it enjoys from the United States of America to perpetuate violations of human rights and war crimes will last forever.
If it harboured any notion that the American life-line will not only protect it from international censure but also prevent any actualization of policies it regards as detrimental to its survival as a Zionist state, Judge Richard Goldstone ~ himself Jewish and a lover of Israel ~ has served notice that the era of protectionism is not on.
Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan ~ working for peace. Withdraws from NATO exercises.
This rude shock from Goldstone has been followed-up by another: Turkey abruptly withdrew Israel’s participation in a NATO aerial exercise. That it was planned months ago and notwithstanding the threat from the United States not to take part without Israel, the Turkish military remained adamant and canceled the drill.
Between Goldstone and Turkey ~ all in a matter of weeks ~ Israel must be pinching itself to test whether the nightmare is real. And even if its loyal band of soothsayers ascribe this misfortune to a petty “glitch”, political analysts are warning that the evidence of a new shift in global opinion cannot be ignored, either by Israel or its die-hard supporters around the world.
The sound of Goldstone’s bombshell has reverberated across all Jewish communities. By and large the reaction has been one of shock, horror and disbelief. How could one of their own turn on his beloved Israel and render it vulnerable to prosecution for war crimes? It is unthinkable that such an eminent jurist with an impeccable record of devotion to Israel would behave like Cain, is amongst the charges of betrayal being leveled against Goldstone.
Oy vey! One of "the chosen" who has seen through the treachery ~ and happens to have the ears of the world ~ turning against US? How can this be?!
As regards Turkey, the severity of its blow in the way Israel has been snubbed is best understood in the comment by Nachum Barnea in Yediot Ahronoth:
“Israel expects the American administration to intervene and restrain the Erdogan government. Israel is paying a heavy price for processes it has no connection to: The European Union, acting on French pressure, rejected Turkey’s requests to integrate into the EU; meanwhile, the US Administration showed weakness; under such circumstances, Turkey chose to move closer to Syria and Iran.”
Sarkozy takes his orders from Israel. Turkey has attempted to unite with the European nations several times and been soundly rejected. In these days of heightened Middle Eastern tensions, they have decided to go where their strength is wanted.
The Israel-Turkey rift marks their lowest point in relations ever and according to Time magazine, Israeli tourism to Turkey is down 47 percent since January 2009 when compared to the same period the previous year.
Who says Israelis don't know how to boycott?
Clearly, what both Goldstone and Erdogan symbolize is that Operation Cast Lead in Gaza has come to haunt Israel. The arrogance and conceit of its leaders has propelled Israel to a record level of vulnerability. Five days before Israel unleashed its weapons of mass destruction, the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan hosted Ehud Olmert to discuss efforts to launch direct Israel-Syria peace talks.
“On that night, we were very close to reaching an agreement between the two parties [to begin direct talks]. It was agreed that they were going to talk until the end of the week to come to a [positive] outcome,” Erdogan later told the Washington Post in a January 31 interview. “Olmert’s last sentence [as he left] was, ‘As soon as I get back I will consult with my colleagues and get back to you.’ As I waited for his response…on December 27, bombs started falling on Gaza.”It is more than likely that, from the beginning, was bargaining without honour or intent of changing policy regarding Palestine since that onslaught had been planned and organized a year prior to its execution.
Ehud Barak, Israel’s defence minister who oversaw the three week massacre in Gaza, condemned Goldstone’s findings. Oink Oink.
“The Goldstone report is a lie, distorted, biased and supports terror. Adopting the report might grant support for terror organizations around the world.I regret to say that the Goldstone report is one-sided, biased and therefore wrong ~ just as the forum and mandate that established its mission. Democratic states need to understand that endorsing it will severely harm their abilities to cope with terror organizations and terror in general.” ~ Ehud BarakSorry Mr. Barak, Israel is a Communist state, not a democracy as the world is told. So you already speak from a major international misconception.
Never before has the Zionist regime had to contend with such serious external challenges in the aftermath of a failed military adventure which aroused global sympathy for its besieged victims in Gaza. Numerous independent investigations and probes of Israel’s gruesome conduct led to unanimous findings of war crimes.
Perhaps, the debacle by the American-backed Palestinian Authority and its leader Mahmoud Abbas over its unprincipled yielding to Israeli blackmail and US pressure over the Goldstone report at the UN and the reluctant about-turn due to mounting criticism from Palestinians who felt betrayed, best illustrates that protectionism has evaporated.
Abbas, too, is a puppet of Israel. This act proved his allegiance does not lie with the Palestinians and has resulted in a call in Palestine for his removal from office. Certainly he has lost credibility among those he was elected to represent.
Mr. Iqbal Jassat is chairperson of MRN and gets featured on Media Monitors Network (MMN) with the courtesy of the Media Review Network (MRN), which is an advocacy group based in Pretoria, South Africa.
October 20, 2009
MEDIA MONITORS NETWORK
"I dare say that while its authors believed that the Goldstone Report would create a debate, they did not anticipate this firestorm. That it is back center stage is a good thing. But the problem remains. With all the political posturing and the heated debate, sadly, in all probability, the report will not be acted upon, nor will it be read. It should be, for there is much in it from which all sides can learn."
The Goldstone Report is back, taking center stage in a raging international debate. What is most troubling, is not the circuitous route the Report took on its way to the United Nations Security Council. Rather, it is the fact that those making the most noise about the Report have, I fear, either not read it or are deliberately distorting its contents for political advantage. In fact, it may well be that, by now, the Goldstone Report has eclipsed the Iraq Study Group Report as the most discussed, least read, document of the decade.
When it was first released by the UN Human Rights Council, reactions were predictable. Some U.S. officials dismissed it as “flawed” and “unbalanced”, while Members of Congress went further using shameful language to attack both the Report and its principle author.
When backed into a corner, always do what you can to discredit your opponent by whatever means possible. In this sense, Mr. Goldstone must have led an impeccable life that no slander has been brought forward to tarnish his reputation. He is indeed the exact weapon that was needed for this work.
Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu also reacted, as expected, alternating between bullying ultimatums to end the “peace process”, and dire warnings that the Report posed an existential threat to the State of Israel.
Since they, too, stood accused by the findings of the Report, Hamas also initially denounced it, issuing a vile anti-Semitic diatribe directed at Goldstone himself.
For its part, the Obama Administration, not wanting the Report’s findings to become an obstacle to restarting Middle East peace negotiations, pressed the Palestinians and other parties on the Human Rights Council to postpone consideration.
At that, Netanyahu declared victory, and the Palestinian side was thrown into convulsions, with serious charges of betrayal directed at the leadership.
It is distressing that the U.S. did not anticipate the impact that their pressure on the Palestinians would have. But miscalculations of this type are frequent since, although the U.S. keeps a watchful eye on internal Israeli politics, they rarely consider the internal Arab political dynamic ~ often with tragic consequences.
The question begs to be asked: Tragic for whom? Because the US is run along Israeli policies, they still tend to dismiss internal Arabic politics. Pretty arguments to the contrary, "the enemy" is still looked at as primitive and easily dealt with. Such hubris leads to, as mentioned above, tragic consequences.
In any case, to calm troubled seas, the Palestinian President reconsidered, and, in concert with allies, brought the Goldstone Report back to the Human Rights Council and then on to the Security Council.
Bibi Netanyahu compliments Goldstone on the accuracy of his UN report.
Now that it is back, not much has changed. Netanyahu, speaking in the Knesset last week, referred to the Goldstone Report as a “distorted report written by a distorted committee [that] undermines Israel’s right to defend itself.
"This report defends terrorism and threatens peace.” His Defense Minister, Ehud Barack, chimed in describing the report as “false, distorted, tenacious, and encouraging terrorism.”
Enlarging on all this, AIPAC sent out talking points to their Congressional supporters calling Goldstone “biased and one-sided”, criticizing the report’s “findings and methodologies.” And a U.S. spokesperson dismissively said that the Palestinians had a choice to make between statehood and vindication, implying that they had made the wrong choice.
Still discussed, but not read.
I had the distinct honor to have lunch a few weeks back with Justice Richard Goldstone. I say honor because, not only was he the first Justice appointed by President Nelson Mandela to South Africa’s Constitutional Court, he is a legend in the human rights community for his work investigating and prosecuting war crimes in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.
Despite being in the center of a storm, he is a remarkably composed man. As a jurist, his words are weighed, his observations are precise, and his judgments informed.
As he has made clear in interviews, he expanded on the Human Rights Council’s limited mandate to include, in his investigations, not only the Gaza War, but the events leading up to that war, holding all parties involved accountable for their behavior.
In order to prepare the Report, Goldstone’s team spent considerable time in Gaza conducting a few hundred interviews, reading thousands of pages of reports, and conducting public hearings in the Middle East and in Geneva. In all, they investigated 36 specific events, providing an exhaustive narrative report on their findings, and then a review of applicable human rights law and conventions.
Many of the incidents covered in the report will be familiar to those who followed the December/January Gaza War. It examines, for example, the attacks on hospitals and mosques, and the widely reported killings of Gaza civilians.
Terrorist chickens meet their well-deserved demise, according to the IDF.
The Report also looks at incidents that are not so well known, several of which are covered in a section titled “Attacks on the Foundation of Civilian Life in Gaza: Destruction of Industrial Infrastructure, Food Production, Water Installations, Sewage Treatment, and Housing.”
These include: the total destruction of the Al-Bader Flour Mill, the bulldozing and “systematic flattening” of the Sawafaery Chicken Farm (killing all 31,000 chickens), and the bombing of the raw sewage lagoons of the Gaza Water Sewage Treatment Plant causing 200,000 cubic meters of raw sewage to contaminate neighboring farmlands. These, the Report concludes, were not military targets, and were instead evidence of, “unlawful and wanton destruction, not justified by military necessity” and, hence, a war crimes.
Consider the bombing of the el-Bader flour mill, operated by the Hamada brothers, both of whom carry "Businessman Cards," which allow them to travel into Israel to do business. Fewer than 100 Gaza residents possess these cards; Israel only grants them after a detailed background check. In other words, it's unlikely that people who possess these cards are tied to Hamas.
Al Quds hospital, was state of the art when the destruction began.
In truth, the above attacks were part of an organized action to render the people of Gaza more helpless and dependent upon Israel for everything but the air which they breathe. The mill and the chicken farm and the pollution of farm land not only raises the costs of foods, it eliminates essential foods for the people, to further starve them into submission or death, whichever comes first.
Death by thirst is already on the agenda and by further destroying water facilities the process is hastened. Denial of allowing items needed to repair the water works, or the hospitals, is then brought into play so that these things cannot be repaired, constituting another crime in itself.
Not only Israeli behavior was investigated, Hamas was also called to account for its violations of law, specifically with regard to the detention and treatment of Gilad Shalit, their indiscriminate bombing of Israeli citizens, and their repressive and deadly targeting of political rivals in Gaza. The Palestinian Authority was also found responsible for a range of human rights abuses, most especially, repression and violence against their political rivals in the West Bank.
This is the Zionist policy of divide and conquer by encouraging rivalry between Hamas and Fatah. Although there are bitter age-old rivalries between both groups, chances are they would have healed the breaches in the face of the situation in Palestine today.
Not to by any means support the bombing of Israeli citizens, eventually even the gentlest dog, tethered, will begin to snap and bite, should it be injured often enough. It is proven that Israel caused damage to Palestinians on a daily basis for decades. In the eyes of Israel, the biggest flaw of all that Hamas has is that it refuses to bow down to their might, hence the immediate branding as terrorists and the imposition of restriction when Hamas came into power.
Now that the report has been voted out of the Human Rights Council and forwarded to the Security Council, the gamesmanship continues. The Israelis will throw a another temper tantrum, the U.S. will attempt to dismiss the entire discussion as a false choice between human rights and peace, and the U.S. Congress will no doubt get into the mix in some unhelpful way. And the competing Palestinian parties will continue to see the Report as a club to use against one another.
I dare say that while its authors believed that the Goldstone Report would create a debate, they did not anticipate this firestorm. That it is back center stage is a good thing. But the problem remains. With all the political posturing and the heated debate, sadly, in all probability, the report will not be acted upon, nor will it be read. It should be, for there is much in it from which all sides can learn.
It seems that with all this fuss and denial by Israel and its allies, curiosity will have others reading it. Surely all know the louder one denounces and denies, the greater the truth that they are attempting to deny. Let Netenyahu and Lieberman throw more tantrums and behave like unhinged toddlers! The more they do this, the more respect Israel will receive from the rest of the world. .
This piece is being linked to so that you can see how this situation is presented to the people of Israel. Warning, have either a bucket or a box of tissue nearby depending on how you react to such blather.
The article begins with: "Just when Israelis thought we had a respite from the harmful repercussions of the profoundly unfair Goldstone Mission Report,... "
How about: " a toxic environment dominated by Goldstone"
OH! This one is good. "GOLDSTONE ~ as by now everyone knows ~ would apply fanciful notions of international legality to stymie Israel from protecting its people."
Go on! Read it! You know you need a laugh about now. Pity it is not a happy laugh, just one of, "OMG they really think that way?!"