As the Jew goes, so goes the free world. This is so. The Jew is history's canary in the coal mine. They are first, that is all. First. The Goldstone report issued by the UN human rights council of barbarians is a tragedy for lovers of freedom and democracy and individual rights.
It is, in fact, a blueprint for a second holocaust and the destruction of the West.
Even the notoriously ant-Semitic Guardian said that England and all Western nations face the same problem: “…these are
the same battle dilemmas facing UK and US armies in foreign fields.”
Kosky states that the Goldstone Report “pays lip service to the
complexities of asymmetric warfare, preferring the easy route of
criticism. Rather than advise how to better stop groups such as Hamas
and Islamic Jihad who deliberately target civilians, Goldstone opts for
straightforward denunciation of Israel.”
The Organization of the Islamic Conference is driving the UN bus (right off the cliff).
Bush and Bolton refused to sit on a council of such violators of human rights. Obama is begging to join and has.
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has condemned in the strongest possible terms the outrageous Goldstone/UN report on the 2008-9 Israel-Hamas Gaza hostilities, which ignores all Hamas assaults upon Israel that led to Israel’s operations in Gaza and which bases its condemnation of Israel on unsubstantiated Palestinian testimony. The Report claimed to find no conclusive evidence that Hamas used Palestinian civilians as human shields in the fighting; copied major, politicized distortions of international legal norms habitually made by anti-Israel NGOs; falsely reclassified Hamas personnel as civilian police in order to indict Israel for legitimate assaults upon these forces; and invented non-existent legal obligations of which it then proceeded to find Israel in breach./span>
The Goldstone Commission was created by the UN Human Rights Council, a body created in 2005, which is dominated by dictatorial regimes, including Arab regimes. In just three years, the HRC’s controlling membership eliminated probes into the most serious human-rights abuses in Belarus, Congo, Cuba, Liberia and Sudan. In that time, some 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million displaced in Darfur alone. During the same period, however, the HRC passed 33 resolutions, of which 26 related to Israel, which has been the only country specifically condemned by the Council.
UN Resolution S-9/1which established the mandate for the Goldstone commission said the Human Rights Council “Decides to dispatch an urgent, independent international fact-finding mission, to be appointed by the President of the Council, 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.”
In other words, the UN resolution itself was fatally flawed, as it decided in advance that 1. Israel was an aggressor, not a defender after sustaining thousands of rocket attacks without replying; 2. Gaza is occupied by Israel; and 3. The conduct of Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups were not important or relevant to the investigation.
The Goldstone Report has been condemned by Israeli President Shimon Peres in these terms: “The report gives de facto legitimacy to terrorist initiatives and ignores the obligation and right of every country to defend itself, as the UN itself had clearly stated … [It] failed to supply any other way for Hamas fire to stop … “The Israeli government withdrew (from Gaza) and Hamas began a murderous rampage, firing thousands of shells on women and children – innocent civilians, instead of rebuilding Gaza and caring for the population’s welfare. [Hamas] builds tunnels and used civilians and children to shield terrorists and hide weapons.”
Former Israeli Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann also criticized the report, saying “it is a political report disguised in a legal cloak, but it is legally unfounded. What this report really means is that Israel is the only country in the world which is not allowed to defend itself against acts of terror. Israel is the most threatened nation in the world and yet it makes the most effort to avoid harming innocent lives. “Any comparison of Israel’s fight on terror with recent conflicts in Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan etc. immediately shows that Israel holds itself to the highest ethical standard(Roni SoferPeres: Goldstone Report makes mockery of history’ Yediot Ahronot, September 16, 2009).
Some examples of bias and inaccuracy in the Goldstone Report:<
The very title of the Report - ‘Human Rights in Palestine and Other Occupied Arab Territories: Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict’ – contains a falsehood – namely, that Gaza is “occupied” by Israel when, under Article 6 of the Fourth Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, a foreign power is only considered an occupier “to the extent that such Power exercises the functions of government in such territory” – something Israel has not done since 2005. (At the time of the Gaza operation, the ZOA’s Michael Goldblatt and Daniel Mandel published this op-ed, describing in detail the falsity and absurdity of the claim that Israel is the occupying power in Gaza).
The evidentiary basis for much of the Report came from organizations like B’Tselem, the Palestinian Center for Human RightsAl-Haq and Human Rights Watch, all of which have a record of recycling unsubstantiated Palestinian testimony as fact. Para. 30 of the Report claims that “The data provided by non-governmental sources with regard to the percentage of civilians among those killed are generally consistent and raise very serious concerns with regard to the way Israel conducted the military operations in Gaza.’ Yet, as British journalist Melanie Philips points out, Israel provided a detailed breakdown of the Palestinians killed in Gaza and stated that the vast majority of these were Hamas or other terror operatives. Even the UN eventually acknowledged that some 75% of the dead in Gaza were Hamas terrorists.
Paras. 33-34 of the Report rejects the fact that Gaza police targeted by Israeli military strikes were “part of the terrorist infrastructure” and that therefore the attacks on police buildings were unlawful. This has been substantively rebutted by Jonathan Halevi forted for the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, who notes that among the 343 members of the Palestinian security forces who were killed, 286 have been identified as terror organization members (83 percent), while another 27 belonged to units undergoing infantry training raises this total to 313 (91 percent). Goldstone even admits that “there may be individual members of the Gaza police that were at the same time members of Palestinian armed groups and thus combatants” but he continues to treat them as civilians and thus protected persons.
In Para. 688, the Report questions the accuracy of Israel’s response to the mortar shelling of al-Fakhura junction in Jabalya next to an UNRWA school, an incident in which Israel was at the time blamed for shelling the school itself, killing more than 40 civilians sheltering there. In fact, Israel had not shelled the school at all, but had returned mortar fire at the street next to the school from where firing was still continuing, killing some terrorists and a smaller number of civilians standing near a Hamas mortar position. As Melanie Philips writes, “So the fact that Israel was the victim of an incendiary libel by the UN, which said falsely that its school had been hit and inflated the number of casualties -- a lie that went round the world inciting hysteria and violence against Israel and Jews -- is totally ignored; instead Israel is pilloried for its (undoubtedly) chaotic response as it gradually pieced together what had actually happened.”
From the Consul General of Israel:
We write you today with a heavy heart to respond to the appalling and disappointing Goldstone Report by the Gaza Fact-Finding Mission of the United Nation’s Human Rights Council.
This Report, which completely ignores Israel’s right-of-self-defense, makes unsubstantiated claims about its intent and challenges Israeli’s democratic values and rule of law.
The report all but ignores the deliberate strategy of the Hamas to use “human shields” to operate within and behind civilian population and turning densely populated areas into an arena of battle. By turning a blind eye to such tactics this report is effectively rewarding Hamas.
The Goldstone Report barely disguises its goal of instigating a political campaign against Israel, and in its recommendations, seeks to involve the Security Council, the General Assembly, the International Criminal Court, the Human Rights Council, and the entire international community in such a campaign.
In the UK’s Guardian newspaper, with reporting normally critical of Israel, Dan Kosky writes that England and all Western nations face the same problem, “…these are the same battle dilemmas facing UK and US armies in foreign fields.” Kosky states that the Goldstone Report “pays lip service to the complexities of asymmetric warfare, preferring the easy route of criticism. Rather than advise how to better stop groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad who deliberately target civilians, Goldstone opts for straightforward denunciation of Israel.”
We ask you, our friends and colleagues to please take a few minutes to read the below reasons for which we see the Goldstone Report as biased and lacking in moral authority.
For more details about the legal and political context of the conflict in Gaza, the issue of human rights and the investigations into the Israeli military conduct during combat, please go to: http://mfa.gov.il/gazafacts.
Please share these facts with your friends and colleagues, so that they too are aware of Israel’s views on this very serious matter.
The Mandate of the Mission:
- The one-sided mandate of the Gaza Fact-Finding Mission, and the resolution that established it, gave serious reasons for concern both to Israel and to the many states on the Council which refused to support it - including the member states of the European Union, Switzerland, Canada, Korea and Japan.
- It also troubled many distinguished individuals, including former High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, who refused invitations to head the Mission and admitted that it was "guided not by human rights but by politics".
The Conduct of the Mission:
- These concerns were exacerbated by the conduct of the Mission itself, including reports in the Palestinian media that, throughout its visits to Gaza, it was continuously accompanied by Hamas officials, and its refusal to recuse members of the mission with clear political views on the issues under investigation. One mission member signed a letter to the Sunday Times saying that Israel's actions against Hamas attacks were acts of "aggression not self-defense", prejudging the investigation before it had even begun.
- The unprecedented holding of telecast hearings also gave cause for concern. The fact that all the witnesses were prescreened and selected, and none were asked questions relating to any Palestinian terrorist activity or the location of weaponry and terrorists in civilian areas only supports concerns that they were part of an orchestrated political campaign.
A "non-judicial" document
- Justice Goldstone as Head of the Mission repeatedly insisted that the Mission was not a judicial inquiry and so "could not reach judicial conclusions". On this basis he justified the inclusion of partisan mission members, admitting that their involvement "would not be appropriate for a judicial inquiry". The Report, however, is highly judicial in nature, reaching conclusive judicial determinations of guilt, and including 'detailed legal findings' even in the absence of the sensitive intelligence information which Israel did not feel able to provide. These determinations are made notwithstanding the Report's admission that it does not "pretend to reach the standard of proof applicable in criminal trials".
Elements Ignored by the Report:
- The Report all but ignores the deliberate terrorist strategy of operating in the heart of densely populated civilian areas which dictated the arena of battle. Even when the Hamas terrorists mixed among civilians, the Report rejects the notion that there was an intention to put the civilian population at risk.
- Astonishingly, despite the many widely reported instances in the international press of the abuse of civilian facilities by terrorist groups, and the statements of Hamas own leaders praising women and children who acted as human shields, the Report repeatedly stated that it could find no evidence of such activities. This, despite its admission that those interviewed were "reluctant to speak about the presence or conduct of hostilities by the Palestinian armed groups".
- The Report also ignores Israel's extensive efforts, even in the midst of fighting, to maintain humanitarian standards. While it does, reluctantly, acknowledge Israel's "significant efforts" to issue warnings before attacks, it does not find any of these efforts to be effective While the Report passes judgment against Israel in respect of almost any allegation, it seeks to absolve the Hamas of almost any wrongdoing. The word "terrorist" is almost entirely absent. Soldier Gilad Shalit, now held incommunicado in captivity for over three years, was "captured during an enemy incursion" and the Hamas members that the Mission met with in Gaza are thanked as the "Gaza authorities" for extending their full cooperation and support to the Mission.
- Even the thousands of rocket attacks against Israelis which necessitated the Gaza Operation are given the most cursory treatment and, indeed, the Report indirectly blames Israel even for these by terming them "reprisals".
Rejection of democratic values:
- In a Report which relies so heavily on Israeli human rights organizations and which also petitions on sensitive security issues to Israel's Supreme Court, the Report devotes considerable attention to "repression of dissent in Israel". It bases this assertion in large part on the widespread support for the military operation in the Israeli public, assuming that Israel has "created a political climate in which dissent is not tolerated." The notion that the majority of Israelis genuinely supported action to bring years of continuous rocket and missile attacks against Israeli civilians to an end does not appear to have occurred to the members of the Mission.
- The Report is also critical of Israeli internal investigations, even though these compare favorably to investigations of allegations in military matters in most western countries, and have regularly resulted in criminal investigations and convictions.
- The Report's recommendations are as one-sided as its findings. It seeks to harness the Human Rights Council, the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, the International Criminal Court and the international community as part of its hostile political campaign.
- Despite token recommendations in respect of the Palestinian side, international pressure is directed solely against Israel.
- The true test of such a Report can only be whether in future conflicts it will have the effect of increasing or decreasing respect for the rule of law. Regrettably a one-sided report of this nature, claiming to represent international law, can only weaken the standing of law in future conflicts. At the same time, it will broadcast a deeply troubling message to terrorist groups wherever they are that the cynical tactics of seeking to exploit civilian suffering for political ends actually pays dividends. I thank you for taking the time to understand what we perceive as a grievous act against the state of Israel.
The Goldstone Report – A Study in Bias
Israel is appalled and disappointed by the report published on 15 September 2009 by the United Nations Human Rights Council's Gaza Fact Finding Mission. The Report unfairly describes Israel's defense of its citizens as war crimes, while ignoring the deliberate strategy of Hamas to operate from within or behind the civilian population.
By casting doubts over Israel's basic motivation for launching its operation against the Hamas, the report dismisses the eight-year-long barrage of 12,000 rockets endured by Israel's civilians, and questions Israel's basic right to protect its citizens. Indeed, the Report blames Israel for even being rocketed, by terming the attacks as 'reprisals'.
As sobering as the thought may be, if I were a terrorist, I would welcome this Report. It has made a terrorist's work a lot easier, and has made the work of his potential victims a lot more difficult.
Consequently, the message broadcast by this Report to the new world order is - "terrorism pays".
Israel was not, however, surprised. The Goldstone Report is - more than anything else - a political statement, rather than a legal analysis.
This outrageous report was produced by the UN's new Human Rights Council, a body whose obsession with Israel has led it to produce more resolutions condemning Israel than those referring to all other countries combined!
When a UN organ that is mandated to deal with human rights issues throughout the globe, dedicates more time to Israel than all other trouble-spots put together, this is can be nothing other than an agenda set by political and non-professional motives.
In its blind zeal to demonize Israel, the HRC has gone as far as to produce a document that undermines every other democracy that is struggling to defend itself against terrorist attack.
But what else can be expected from a body whose membership includes such renown guardians of human rights as Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Nicaragua and Pakistan, Qatar, to name but a few.
And it should come as no surprise that the mandate designed by the HRC for the Goldstone mission was also one-sided and prejudicial. In it, the HRC "strongly condemned the ongoing Israeli military operation … which has resulted in massive violations of the human rights", and dispatched "a fact finding mission to investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by the occupying Power, Israel, against the Palestinian people". Besides making no mention whatsoever of possible Palestinian violations, it first established Israel's guilt, and then sent Goldstone to gather up some evidence. As the Queen said to Alice: "Verdict first, evidence later".
Israel can at least take comfort in the fact that the democratic minority of HRC members - states such as Switzerland, Canada, Korea, Japan, France, the UK, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and other EU members - refused to support the politically motivated resolution establishing the Mission.
Also telling is the fact that many distinguished human rights leaders, including Mary Robinson, refused to lead the Mission, because it was, in her words "guided not by human rights but by politics".
The four members appointed by the HRC to take part in the Mission are on record declaring their opinion that Israel is guilty, even before they were chosen. This is most glaringly seen in the two letters published by Mission member Christine Chinkin, even as the fighting in Gaza was raging. In them, she accused Israel of “repeated breaches of international human rights" and declared that "Israel's bombardment of Gaza is not self-defence - it's a war crime."
The methodology of the Mission was no less biased. The unprecedented holding of live telecast hearings demonstrated that political considerations overruled legal prudence. The Mission ignored the fact that any Palestinian living in Gaza would never dare mention a word against the Hamas in such testimony, for fear of his life. The fact that all the witnesses were prescreened and selected, and none were asked obvious questions relating to any Palestinian terrorist activity or the location of weaponry and terrorists in civilian areas only supports concerns that they were part of an orchestrated political campaign.
The course of the questioning was similarly stilted. For example, when hearing Palestinian witnesses, the Mission forgot to ask the most basic questions, such as "Why do you say the victims of the Israeli strikes you witnessed were "innocent non-combatants" while official Gaza announcements praised them as members of Hamas combat units killed in action?!"
In light of the above, the Report's attempt to present Israel's internationally respected justice system as unable to examine the actions of its own military is not only ignorant of the facts, but also highly insulting to the citizens of the only truly democratic state in the Middle East.
To date, Israel has opened investigations into over 100 allegations regarding the conduct of its forces during the Gaza Operation. While most of these investigations were closed because the allegations were found to be baseless, 23 criminal investigations were indeed initiated and are still under way.
Tragically, as a result of this report, terrorists throughout the world are now strengthened in their belief that a law abiding democratic state can be 'handcuffed' by the Human Rights Council, and be prevented from carrying out appropriate and necessary actions to protect its own citizens.
This then would be the appropriate time to clarify the issue, and provide support for democratic states legally engaging in self-defense against terrorist entities. Israel has the right and the obligation to protect its citizens, and will continue to do so, while fully respecting international law.