The Goldstone Report has come out on Operation Cast Lead - the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) military operation against Hamas terrorists in
The severity of this report against IDF human rights abuses and the horrific destruction of infrastructure and the killing of innocent civilians are indisputable in
Despite irrefutable proof of the use of white phosphorous against innocent people, IDF remains in denial.
A large proportion of the blame for the Goldstone Report findings must be laid on
The Israeli government made up its mind that the UN sponsored commission was biased. One of the world's most eminent judges, Richard Goldstone, a South African Jew, whose positive connections to Israel is well-known, cannot be called unfair or biased in his own right. He even stated that he regrets that
What went wrong?
In an investigation of any kind a law court accepts evidence from all sides - the defense’s witnesses as well as the prosecution's witnesses before the judge weighs out the evidence and decrees a ruling. The judge arrives at a ruling based on the evidence presented to him. However, if there is insufficient evidence presented from the one side, the ruling is based on the evidence made available from the other side and conclusions are drawn as well as judgment. Judgment is passed if there is overwhelming evidence to justify it.
Judge Goldstone even expressed his great disappointment with Israel for denying the investigators entry into Israel to investigate what happened in Sderot and other areas affected by Hamas terrorist Qassam rocket fire.
On the Israeli side there was an uncomfortable silence and lack of information as well as cooperation. A grave mistake was made and this was evident in the result of the Goldstone Report. This report was the result of the evidence made available and that
Now the "fun" begins as the Netanyahu-Lieberman Government sends its diplomats scurrying all over the world in a desperate bid to justify
This could have been avoided and it is doubtful if this intensive diplomatic activity will change attitudes.
The reason for Operation Cast Lead is well known. The motive was to end the Hamas firing of Qassam rockets into Israeli towns. Hamas was warned to cease their terrorist acts against
It must be noted that the unilateral Israeli disengagement from
The purpose of the Goldstone Report was to investigate human rights violations and not to seek justification for it as
Another question that arises is whether Hamas will also be held accountable for the deaths of Israeli civilians and damage caused by their Qassams any less than
According to an article by Justice Richard Goldstone published in International Herald Tribune (18th Sept 2009), the Goldstone Report findings was concerned with the suffering of civilians because of hostilities of the war. Surely this is applicable to both sides - the IDF and Hamas terrorists who both stand accused of human rights abuses of both Israeli and Palestinians.
Both sides ought to be brought to the International Court of Justice at
Hamas has broken every rule on human rights. The holding of Gilad Shalit in captivity without a chance of release or communication with his family is a severe violation of the Geneva Convention rules. It should also be part of the Goldstone Report as well which is so concerned with human rights abuses in war time. Operation Cast Lead was also launched as a response for the release of Gilad Shalit. The campaign failed and with it any hope of an early release.
This highly emotionally charged issue of the Goldstone Report resulted in severe criticism from
However, if one examines the report in its entirety without sentiment and in straight legalistic terms, it is a reasonable finding despite the immense difficulties involved in its compilation and lack of Israeli cooperation.