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View Diary: The Death of the Goldstone Report (69 comments)

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  •  Well, that would be fair except you ignore the (7+ / 0-)

    fact that Israel has been assassinating Hamas officials for how many years?  It really is interesting that you ignore any antagonism on Israel's part.

    Savez-vous quelque bien qui console du regret d'un monde?

    by DawnoftheRedSun on Mon Oct 05, 2009 at 06:12:47 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not ignoring anything. Why did UN? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Doodad, rdluu

      My point was not that there were no violations by Israel; there may well have been. My point is that the UN seems to have (a) concluded before beginning that there were violations by Israel and (b) concluded before beginning that there were none by Hamas. That's not how a legitimate independent investigation is commenced. That's more like Fox News investigative "journalism" than anything worthy of international approval. {ProfJonathan}

      "The perfect is the enemy of the good." -- Voltaire

      by ProfJonathan on Mon Oct 05, 2009 at 06:24:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  1,300-1,400 does not equal thirteen..... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, appletree

        any which way you wanna slice it professor.  I don't need an independent investigation to tell me that.

        Savez-vous quelque bien qui console du regret d'un monde?

        by DawnoftheRedSun on Mon Oct 05, 2009 at 06:43:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And of those 13... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DawnoftheRedSun

          Four to six were friendly-fire deaths.

          Sorry I couldn't take your call. I'm using my cell phone to make pancakes. Please leave a message.

          by Celtic Merlin on Mon Oct 05, 2009 at 09:12:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  And 5-6 weeks of targeted military action... (0+ / 0-)

          ...does not equal the 8 years of consistent bombardment of Israeli civilians, with literally thousands of missiles and mortars being fired at them, which made that military action necessary. The fact that few have been killed is a blessing and a tribute to Israeli preparedness, but it does not negate the evil nature of those years of terrorist attacks, nor the need to stop them before Hamas got better, more powerful weapons and began having greater success in its efforts to kill and wound Israeli civilians en masse. {ProfJonathan}

          "The perfect is the enemy of the good." -- Voltaire

          by ProfJonathan on Tue Oct 06, 2009 at 12:44:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Do you believe (8+ / 0-)

        that the facts presented by the report are in error? If so, which facts?

        •  crickets (0+ / 0-)

          so far, i have not heard any of the critiques of the report actually dispute any of the particulars. i do not imagine this so called 'professor' will be dealing with the facts of the actual report. instead he seems to be fixated on the original mandate goldstone refused to be part of. (i think, the link won't open for me but the date of it seems to imply it was 7683 hrc resolution gaza 1 12 09, not the one the report was actually based on)

          •  The facts of the Goldstone Report. (0+ / 0-)

            Setting aside your Fox-like namecalling about my professional title (which can be verified in about 3 seconds, and was irrelevant to my actual points), my objections to the Goldstone Report are largely due to its demonstrable and substantial one-sidedness against Israel.

            The actions of Hamas in endangering Israeli civilians for 8 years through the firing of "8000 rockets and mortars" don't even show up until paragraph 103 of the executive summary, and only merit 8 paragraphs within that summary, even though the executive summary does state (in paragraph 108) that "[t]hese acts would constitute war crimes and may amount to crimes against humanity." The report fails to point out that nothing has been done by the UN over those 8 years to investigate these "war crimes and...crimes against humanity," while Israel's military response to the war crimes has generated instant condemnation. By contrast, while there is some discussion of the PA's actions against Hamas supporters in the West Bank, there is zero mention of Hamas' own history of brutal suppression of any opposition within Gaza, which well predated and has continued since Operation Cast Lead, including this incident last month.

            The topic of human shields is also completely unbalanced. The Report discusses allegations (disgusting and criminal, if proven) of "four incidents in which Israeli forces coerced Palestinian civilian men at gun point to take part in house searches during the military operations," but describes the decision of Hamas to conduct the vast majority of its operations among civilians, as clear a definition of "human shield" as one might find, with the following mild language:  "Palestinian armed groups, where they launched attacks close to civilian or protected buildings, unnecessarily exposed the civilian population of Gaza to danger." These are not comparable situations (4 incidents versus an entire strategy of attacking Israeli civilians from among Palestinian civilians), yet the language used by the Goldstone Report is much more critical of a few limited Israeli military actions than Hamas' choice to endanger the entire civilian population of Gaza. This pattern continues over and over again.

            The concluding sections of the Goldstone Report show this imbalance in stark terms. Here are the only recommendations made by the Goldstone Report to "Palestinian armed groups":

            • The Mission recommends that Palestinian armed groups undertake forthwith to respect international  humanitarian law, in particular by renouncing  attacks on Israeli civilians and civilian objects, and take all feasible precautionary measures to avoid harm to Palestinian civilians during hostilities

            • The Mission recommends that Palestinian armed groups who hold Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in detention release him on humanitarian grounds. Pending such release they should recognize his status as prisoner of war, treat him as such, and allow him ICRC visits.

            By contrast, the recommendations to and about Israel run on for pages.

            When the institutional conclusions come before the investigation, when years of terrorist attacks by Hamas on Israelis are described in much less critical terms than the military effort to stop those attacks, when denials of protest permits are highlighted but violent suppression of dissent ignored, and the response to years of indiscriminate terrorism against civilians is a request to "forthwith respect international humanitarian law, in particular by renouncing  attacks on Israeli civilians and civilian objects," the objectivity, usefulness and integrity of the United Nations Human Rights Council and the report it has produced should absolutely be called into serious question. {ProfJonathan}

            "The perfect is the enemy of the good." -- Voltaire

            by ProfJonathan on Tue Oct 06, 2009 at 12:40:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  crickets (0+ / 0-)

              Do you believe (8+ / 0-)

              Recommended by:
                 mickT, zannie, corvo, Celtic Merlin, JesseCW, Alec82, ArtSchmart, DawnoftheRedSun

              that the facts presented by the report are in error? If so, which facts?

              we are all well aware of what your objections are by now. just wondering if those objections included errors wrt any of the facts laid out in the report. guess not.

              wrt to your professional title/status, in this forumn i see no reason to reinforce the idea your thoughts are professional any more than anyone else's. i didn't mean to give the impression of namecalling by not using your title. i will simply address you as jonathan from here on out if that would make you more comfortable.

              •  You can call me Ray, you can call me Jay... (0+ / 0-)

                ...whatever makes you happy. Just don't call me late to dinner, as the phrase goes.

                As far as the accuracy of the Goldstone Report, I see sufficient evidence of its apparent prejudice against Israel that I look skeptically at its methodology and conclusions. Ambassador Oren offered a thoughtful criticism of it, as have a number of others including Gerald Steinberg in the Jerusalem Post.

                Consider that this afternoon, I heard Randi Rhodes point out that yesterday's co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Biology, Elizabeth Blackburn, was removed by George W. Bush from his council on bioethics because of her objection to the non-scientific stance on stem cell research, together with other scholars, in favor of non-scientists who shared Bush's political and religious views. Those of us who respect science and evidence therefore look skeptically upon the reports issued by that council. Given that members of the Goldstone Report's panel were on record in public prior to any investigation with their opinions about the Gaza action (for example, Christine Ginkin, one of the panel's four members, signed a letter to the Times UK in January 2009 stating that Israel's actions in Gaza were "prima facie war crimes", hardly an impartial view, and Justice Goldstone and the other two members signed an Amnesty International letter in March 2009 saying that "[t]he events in Gaza have shocked us to the core"), why should this report be given any more credence? {ProfJonathan}

                "The perfect is the enemy of the good." -- Voltaire

                by ProfJonathan on Tue Oct 06, 2009 at 02:16:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Shocked to the core (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  zannie

                  First of all, wasn't "shock" one of the IDF objectives? Well they seem to have achieved this.

                  More importantly, it's hard to see how anyone who had eyes and ears was not "shocked to the core" by the events in Gaza.

                  Here's CNN in January 2009:

                  The International Committee of the Red Cross called on Israel to allow it immediate access to Gaza, saying a trip into Gaza City revealed weak children laying with their dead mothers and other "shocking" scenes.

                  link

                  If the litmus test for eligibility to participate in the panel is not being shocked by starving babies cuddling dead mothers while ambulances are prevented entry by soldiers, then who would be eligible? Even cyborgs would be shocked.

                •  more crickets (0+ / 0-)

                  you keep telling us about the its methodology and conclusions.

                     Do you believe that the facts presented by the report are in error? If so, which facts?

                  why aren't you answering? i'm really not interested in reading other people who keep dishing the methodology.

                  what fact in the report do you think are in error.

                  pick one. quote from the text. or not. please don't keep repeating yourself and all the other israel apologists.

                •  btw, don't feel alone (0+ / 0-)

                  The report has a lengthy consideration of the Israeli forces' firing, on January 6, of four mortars against Al-Fakhoura Street, near to an UNRWA school being used as a shelter for civilians who had fled other zones of fire. The mortars apparently killed more than 31 people. In the course of many, heavily-footnoted pages the report considers all the evidence available to it concerning what actually happened. It noted that the Israelis' official version of what had happened changed over time.

                  It finds, para. 690, that:

                       the attack may have been in response to a mortar attack from an armed Palestinian group but considers the credibility of Israel’s [argument to this effect] damaged by the series
                       of inconsistencies and factual inaccuracies.

                  It then does some very thoughtful legal analysis of the Israelis' decision to use mortars in this quite evidently heavily populated area, and concludes thus:

                       696. [T]he Mission finds the following:
                             (a) The military advantage to be gained was to stop the alleged firing of mortars that posed a risk to the lives of Israeli armed forces;
                             (b) Even if there were people firing mortars near al-Fakhura Street, the calculation of the military advantage had to be assessed bearing in mind the chances of success in killing the targets as against the risk of firing into a street full of civilians and very near a shelter with 1,368 civilians and of which the Israeli authorities had been informed. 697. The Mission recognizes that for all armies proportionality decisions will present very genuine dilemmas in certain cases. The Mission does not consider this to be such a case.

                  I note that one of the other three members of Goldstone's fact-finding team was Colonel Desmond Travers, a former officer in the Irish Armed Forces and member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for International Criminal Investigations (IICI).

                  One of the real strengths of the report is that it provides, for the world public, real details about the terrible way in which named people were hurt during the fighting. It also provides a record of evident and systematic disinformation about the nature of the Israeli actions.

                  In discussions here and elsewhere in the week since the report came out, supporters of the government of Israel have ranted and raved against the report, against Judge Goldstone himself, and against the UN. They have not, however, presented any factual evidence that refutes any of the report's findings.

                  any factual evidence that refutes any of the report's findings?

                  crickets

      •  'the UN' (0+ / 0-)

        is not goldstone.

        did goldstone 'concluded before beginning that there were violations by Israel'?

        did goldstone 'concluded before beginning that there were none by Hamas. '?

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