Simply put, every person criticizing Israel will be quarantained as an anti-Semite. Put your blindfolds on and keep colonizing an independent people of Palestine. The ghetto of the walled West-bank and Gaza concentration camp. Didn’t Nobel Prize winner former president Carter use the term apartheid. Bantustan and concentration camp are terms originating in an apartheid state of South Africa: a white man’s minority dictating authority and might over a majority of Africans driven from their land. Obama’s administration isn’t making a difference when the calls are tough and action sought. Words, words, words.
[Most links added to story are mine – Oui]
(Forward) Sept. 25, 2009 – The 574-page report, commissioned by the U.N.’s Human Rights Council, was overseen by Judge Richard Goldstone, a widely respected South African jurist who served on his country’s highest court and went on to prosecute war crimes in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. The report scrutinized the events of last winter’s Operation Cast Lead, in which Israel bombarded Gaza from the air and ground in response to the continued firing of rockets by Hamas militants at Israeli towns.
Estimates of Palestinian dead from the campaign range from 1,166 to 1,417. The number of non-combatants among them remains in sharp dispute, running from 300 (Israel’s) to 1,000 (Hamas). An estimated 4,000 Palestinian homes were destroyed. Thirteen Israelis were killed during the conflict.
Israel refused to cooperate in the investigation, citing the council’s one-sided condemnation of it in the resolution commissioning the report. It blocked Goldstone from entering Israel to pursue his probe, though Goldstone had secured the backing of the council’s president to expand his mandate to scrutinize Hamas, as well. The Goldstone Commission was thus unable to examine Israeli homes hit by the rockets. And it could not interview Israelis injured by them, but for a few who traveled to Geneva at the Human Rights Council’s expense to testify.
Although the report raised serious accusations against Hamas, the Palestinian faction ruling Gaza, Israel and its supporters condemned it as anti-Israel, citing its lengthier and more detailed accounts of alleged Israeli human rights violations and its use of the terms “war crimes” and “possible crimes against humanity” to describe Israeli actions. Jerusalem was especially worried about the report’s recommendation to refer the issue to the International Criminal Court if Israel refused to launch an independent investigation of its own.
On the diplomatic front, Israeli officials in Washington, New York and Jerusalem pressed Israel’s key goal with their American counterparts: to quarantine the report within the confines of the council and ensure that it is not picked up by other international forums. Danny Ayalon, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, was on an official Washington visit and met with Susan Rice, American ambassador to the U.N., and raised the issue with her, as well.
The argument that Israel presented to American officials and to diplomats from Russia and key European countries was designed to appeal to their own self-interest. The Goldstone report, Israeli officials asserted, carries a hidden danger for all countries participating in international military campaigns against terrorism. Supporters of Israel pointed out that the United States military, for one, has killed many civilians during its military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“This is a report that should worry every country fighting terror,” said Jonathan Peled, spokesman of the Israeli Embassy in Washington. “We need to make sure this report does not endanger the U.S. and other countries.”
Ayalon urged American Jewish leaders to take on the report. Most major Jewish groups issued statements condemning Goldstone’s findings and calling on the international community to look at the Israeli military’s inquiry into its Gaza operation. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee called the report “deeply flawed” and said that Goldstone’s investigation was rigged.
Key supporters of Israel in Congress also lashed out at the council. New York Democrat Gary Ackerman, chair of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, fumed that the report’s authors lived in a “self-righteous fantasyland.”
Some Israeli officials went after Goldstone. Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz denounced him as an “anti-Semite.”
“Just as a non-Jew can be anti-Semitic, a Jew can also be anti-Semitic and discriminate against our people and despise and hate our people,” he told the New York paper The Jewish Week.
Goldstone has a history of support for Israel that includes his current service on the Hebrew University of Jerusalem‘s board of governors.
Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said two days after the release of the findings that he was “shocked and distressed” that the United States had yet to come out unequivocally against the report.
But by September 18, three days after the report’s release, the State Department declared Goldstone’s findings unfair toward Israel— citing the lack of equal scrutiny stressed by others. Notably, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly did not challenge any of the report’s specific findings of human rights violations by Israel or Hamas.