Sunday, January 31

The Goldstone Report and Decisions

Time is running out for both Israel and Hamas. Both sides have to account for possible war crimes that were committed during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza last year.

I am not an International Law expert nor am I a lawyer. As a layman observing the positions of both sides towards the Goldstone report, there are facts that are difficult to deny or overlook.

Judge Richard Goldstone said in an interview that he could not refuse to head the commission when he wrote the protocol himself for the report on war crimes after having been invited to do so. He knew that the UNHRC was very biased against Israel. He admitted that himself. Despite that how could he refuse to head a commission of enquiry if he wrote the protocol himself? This is when he was manipulated.

Because it was stacked against Israel, and would have been a one-sided investigation, and I wasn't prepared, let alone as a Jew, but as a human being, to get involved in investigating under a one-sided mandate. And I refused. And I was then invited by the president of the Human Rights Council to visit with him. And he asked me what I thought would be an even-handed mandate, and I told him, and he said, "Write it out for me." And I wrote it out. And he said, "Well, that's the mandate that I'm giving you, if you're prepared to take it." Well, it was very difficult to refuse, in that situation, to get a mandate that I'd written for myself”.

The UNHRC knew that by using Goldstone, who has an impressive legal record, the report would carry far greater weight. Goldstone fell into the trap, the faulty and biased methadology was the result, and this was based solely on false Hamas witness reports in Gaza which was well organized and a great compromise on credibility and fairness.

Israel shot herself in the foot by not allowing Goldstone and his team to go to areas hit by Hamas rockets in order to investigate the damage, injuries and fatalities caused to Israel's citizens over the past 8 years which sparked off Israel's retaliation against the Hamas terrorists. Israel is now paying a very heavy price for this mistake which resulted in the report being based solely on false reports from Hamas witnesses in Gaza with a total absence of witnesses from the Israeli side.

Now the die is cast and Israel is evasive by producing a shallow document of 46 pages as a response. It is obvious that this is Israel's attempt at whitewashing and is a refusal to cooperate with the Goldstone commission. Israel refuses to establish a commission of enquiry concerning its conduct during the Gaza War. The result of this superficial document will bring Israel to the International Criminal Court.

This document will not satisfy the world and will not contribute to finding the truth. The part that the IDF played in Operation Cast Lead is not even mentioned.

Hamas has had their own kangaroo enquiry and admits that its intentions were to target military targets but their methods were primitive and inaccurate. We all know this to be a blatant lie. Hamas does not recognize Israel's right to exist and every method to maim and kill Israelis is legitimate in their armed struggle against Israel. They have stated this ad nauseam.

Despite all its faults and inaccurate findings, the Goldstone report has received accolades internationally. It is an important UN document accusing Israel of committing serious war crimes in Gaza. This must be taken seriously and we, as citizens of Israel, have a right to know the truth.

Israel owes it to its citizens and the IDF to establish an independent commission of enquiry for the sake of truth and its international standing. The knee jerk reaction of producing a document of whitewash and hogwash will only add fat to the fire and will bring Israel closer to giving accountability in the International Criminal Court.

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