#GoldStoneReport flashback! Bayefsky – Meet the UN’s anti-Israel ‘anti-discrimination’ czar, Navi PillayAugust 11, 2011
Syria placed long-range missiles equipped with chemical warheads on high alert after an attack on a Syrian nuclear plant in 2007, WikiLeaks documents obtained by Yedioth Ahronoth indicate.
In March 2008, then Prime Minister Ehud Olmet met with then Minority Leader of the US House of Representatives John Boehner and several US congressmen. Olmert addressed Operation Cast Lead which was in the final planning states and said that Israel had plans to cause considerable damage to Hamas in Gaza. He then added that the government was considering when and how to act.
…When confronted with a question on the attack on the Syrian nuclear plant in Deir ez Zor, the former prime minister said he never publically addressed the matter but noted the fact that gas tanks belonging to Israeli planes were found near the Syrian-Turkish border.
“Bashar is no dummy,” he added, since he decided not to respond to the September 2007 event. Olmert said that Syria’s mobile missile system were on full alert, but that Assad decided not to order them to fire. “That took discipline,” he noted.
|Richard Goldstone…Oooopsies….If only Israel had cooperated with the Report?
Bend over Richard….Make sure you cooperate with the camera I’m going to shove up your ass.
Richard Goldstone writes that Israeli investigations refute allegations against it; slams Hamas war crimes, calls UNHRC “skewed against Israel”; “Israel has right, obligation to defend itself, its citizens.
Judge Richard Goldstone said that if Israel had cooperated with his UN-sanctioned fact-finding mission into Operation Cast Lead and if he had known then what he knows today, “the Goldstone Report would have been a different document,” especially its allegations of “possible war crimes” directed at Israel.
In a Washington Post op-ed on Friday, Goldstone wrote that while Hamas clearly indiscriminately targeted civilians, subsequent Israeli investigations indicated that civilians “were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy” by Israel. He lamented that Israel did not cooperate with his mission, as it would likely have influenced the Goldstone Report’s findings.
The former judge wrote that due to a lack of Israeli cooperation, his investigation was unable to corroborate how many of those killed during Cast Lead were civilians and how many were in fact combatants, numbers which he says are now clearer. Goldstone also slammed the United Nations Human Rights Council, which commissioned the report, saying that the original mandate given to him was “skewed against Israel.” “I have always been clear that Israel, like any other sovereign nation, has the right and obligation to defend itself and its citizens against attacks from abroad and within,” he wrote. Saying that he changed the original mandate handed to him in order to investigate Hamas as well as Israel, he noted, “something that has not been recognized often enough is the fact that our report marked the first time illegal acts of terrorism from Hamas were being investigated and condemned by the United Nations.” He added that he had hoped his inquiry would usher in an era of even-handedness in the UNHRC, whose bias against Israel “cannot be doubted.” In a new condemnation of Hamas and its continued “heinous acts,” Goldstone regrets that Hamas did not investigate or curtail attacks by its members, who his inquiry found “were committing serious war crimes.” Noting that Hamas continues to target southern Israel’s civilian population, he wrote, “that comparatively few Israelis have been killed by the unlawful rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza in no way minimizes the criminality.” He added, “the UN Human Rights Council should condemn these heinous acts in the strongest terms.” He also called on the UN body to condemn the “cold-blooded” Itamar attack, in which five members of one family, including three children, were slaughtered “in their beds.” While praising the IDF for following up on his report with “‘lessons learned’ and policy changes,” he laments that “there has been no effort by Hamas in Gaza to investigate the allegations of its war crimes and possible crimes against humanity.” Clearly stating that the laws of armed conflict apply to non-state actors such as Hamas just as they do to state armies, he says that only if all parties are held to these standards, “will we be able to protect civilians.”
In an exceptional act of contrition couched in words of considered reflection, Richard Goldstone, author of the much-cited report bearing his name on the 2008-09 Gaza war between Hamas and Israel, “reconsiders” his own findings:
We know a lot more today about what happened in the Gaza war of 2008-09 than we did when I chaired the fact-finding mission appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Council that produced what has come to be known as the Goldstone Report. If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document. The final report by the U.N. committee of independent experts — chaired by former New York judge Mary McGowan Davis — that followed up on the recommendations of the Goldstone Report has found that “Israel has dedicated significant resources to investigate over 400 allegations of operational misconduct in Gaza” while “the de facto authorities (i.e., Hamas) have not conducted any investigations into the launching of rocket and mortar attacks against Israel.” Our report found evidence of potential war crimes and “possibly crimes against humanity” by both Israel and Hamas. That the crimes allegedly committed by Hamas were intentional goes without saying — its rockets were purposefully and indiscriminately aimed at civilian targets. The allegations of intentionality by Israel were based on the deaths of and injuries to civilians in situations where our fact-finding mission had no evidence on which to draw any other reasonable conclusion. While the investigations published by the Israeli military and recognized in the U.N. committee’s report have established the validity of some incidents that we investigated in cases involving individual soldiers, they also indicate that civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy […]
Some have suggested that it was absurd to expect Hamas, an organization that has a policy to destroy the state of Israel, to investigate what we said were serious war crimes. It was my hope, even if unrealistic, that Hamas would do so, especially if Israel conducted its own investigations. At minimum I hoped that in the face of a clear finding that its members were committing serious war crimes, Hamas would curtail its attacks. Sadly, that has not been the case. Hundreds more rockets and mortar rounds have been directed at civilian targets in southern Israel. That comparatively few Israelis have been killed by the unlawful rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza in no way minimizes the criminality. The U.N. Human Rights Council should condemn these heinous acts in the strongest terms.
Reuters has yet to report on Goldstone’s remarkable reversal. We eagerly await the agency’s spin.
That the crimes allegedly committed by Hamas were intentional goes without saying — its rockets were purposefully and indiscriminately aimed at civilian targets.
What an odd thing to say–because in fact the Goldstone Report did in fact let the actions of Hamas go without saying.
At the time, Elder of Ziyon analyzed the conclusions of the Goldstone Report and found that Hamas was barely mentioned at all–and made a wordle to illustrate his point:
As you can see, words like Israel and Israeli are easy to spot, but can you spot the word Hamas?
If you look at the right, I’ve placed an arrow where the word Hamas is.
You’ll have to click on the image in order to actually see the word Hamas–and even then, in comparison with the words Israel and Israeli, it is clear that Hamas was barely mentioned.
Indeed, Goldstone was not exaggerating when he wrote that the rockets fired by Hamas at Israeli civilians went without saying. …As Elder of Ziyon points out
From an email from DG:
1) War with Hamas
Barry Rubin writes about why there will be a war between Israel and Hamas.
And so, Hamas knows that it now has an ally, rather than an enemy, at its back. Moreover, there is no incentive in Egypt–or among its nationalist and Islamist-sympathetic officers–to block arms smuggling into the Gaza Strip. As a result, Hamas is stronger and more confident, and hence arrogant and reckless. It is better able to launch rockets, mortars, and cross-border attacks, and far more eager to do so. Hamas is also able to get longer-range missiles and other new types of weapons.
As for U.S. policy, while supporting some sanctions on Hamas and refusing to deal directly with the group, the U.S. government has not supported overthrowing the Gaza regime, though any serious assessment of U.S. interests show this should be a priority. A policy to destroy Hamas should be part of the war against Iranian hegemony in the region, revolutionary Islamism, terrorism, and instability. Even more, doing so would aid the moribund Israel-Palestinian peace process and keep the Palestinian Authority in power.
But there is no appreciation for these points in Washington. When it comes to fighting revolutionary Islamism, U.S. policy sees the Middle East as a no-try zone.
I would add that the Bush administration deserves some blame for this state of affairs.
Back in 2005 Dore Gold wrote about America’s Hamas Dilemma: Spreading Democracy or Combating Terrorism?
Originally, the realpolitik thinking underpinning the Bush administration’s support for democratization of the Middle East was based on the assumption that democracies are inherently peaceful and will not encourage extremist political systems that might host terrorist groups. Non-democratic regimes need to produce an external enemy as a control mechanism over their populations. What happens if democracy empowers a political movement like Hamas, whose core ideology is based on belligerency, regardless of whether it needs a control mechanism or not?
Westerners engaging in a dialogue with Hamas have also been speaking with the Muslim Brotherhood, the original Egyptian fundamentalist organization, founded in 1928, from which Hamas grew as its Palestinian branch. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has the status of being “illegal but officially tolerated.” Some have observed that voter participation increased in the 2005 Egyptian presidential elections because the Muslim Brotherhood called on voters to go to the polls. Organizations like the International Crisis Group have already recommended that the Muslim Brotherhood be decriminalized and permitted to take a more active role in Egyptian politics. In the Middle East, however, both intellectuals and officials, like Egyptian President Husni Mubarak, have warned against legitimizing the Muslim Brotherhood. A former Kuwaiti education minister reminded his readers in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat in July 2005 that all of al-Qaeda’s terrorism started from the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood.
This was at a time when the administration was openly arguing against the Sharon government to allow Hamas to participate in the upcoming Palestinian elections. Just prior to the election, a Washington Post editorial lauded the openness that Hamas’s electoral participation heralded.
Already, too, democracy is showing its benefits. Faced with the possibility of defeat by Hamas, Fatah has been forced to overhaul the aging and corrupt cadre left behind by Yasser Arafat and install young reformers at the top of its legislative list. Their leader, the Israeli-imprisoned Marwan Barghouti, published a remarkable letter in Palestinian newspapers Friday apologizing for Fatah’s mistakes and asking voters for another chance. Hamas itself is showing some pragmatism: Its newly elected council members supported the election last week of a Christian woman as mayor of Ramallah, the most important West Bank town. A senior Israeli army official recently predicted that if Hamas did win the elections it would continue to curtail attacks on Israel.
The Bush administration prepared a “quartet” statement with the European Union, United Nations and Russia last week that strongly supported the elections and urged Israel to allow voting in Jerusalem. At the same time, the statement reiterated a previous statement calling on Hamas to disarm and recognize Israel’s existence, and it added that the future Palestinian cabinet “should include no member who has not committed”to accept those principles. That was the right place to draw the line. Hamas should be given the chance to become a democratic movement, but Palestinians should understand that any retreat from recognition of Israel will mean the loss of vital international support.
At the time, Soccer Dad took issue with the Washington Post editorial: Post pre-election stress syndrome
It didn’t take long for the Bush administration to acknowledge that it misjudged the Hamas situation, as the New York Times reported:
“I’ve asked why nobody saw it coming,” Ms. Rice said, speaking of her own staff. “It does say something about us not having a good enough pulse.”
Immediately after the election, Bush administration officials said the results reflected a Palestinian desire for change and not necessarily an embrace of Hamas, which the United States, Israel and the European Union consider a terrorist organization sworn to Israel’s destruction. But Ms. Rice’s comments seemed to reflect a certain second-guessing over how the administration had failed to foresee, or factor into its thinking, the possibility of a Hamas victory.
Indeed, Hamas’s victory has set off a debate whether the administration was so wedded to its belief in democracy that it could not see the dangers of holding elections in regions where Islamist groups were strong and democratic institutions weak.
Interesting that a Times reporter would write that last paragraph, given how the Times has largely ignored that very same danger in Egypt.
Subsequently we’ve seen Hamas strengthened and emboldened. It is odd to read articles about a potential rapprochement between Hamas and Fatah portrayed as a necessary step for peace. If winning the election didn’t result in Hamas’s moderating, why would it moderate when it gains even more power as a partner of Fatah? In fact such a rapprochement would indicate that Fatah is moving closer to Hamas rather than the opposite.
2) UNHRC Oh, I see
The UN’s Human Rights Council will be voting on 6 anti-Israel resolutions.
The UNHRC has agreed to send a special rapporteur to Iran. Iran has declined to allow him to inspect the country.
No word if the UNHRC will be taking any action against current council member Bahrain for having its troops fire on demonstrators.
Elder of Ziyon points out that Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) made some changes in how the UNHRC operates.
Solomonia writes that it is no surprise, of course, that the OIC was behind getting Goldstone to investigate Cast Lead.
Given how many OIC members treat their own people, this is just one more example of what a bad joke the UNHRC is.
3) Now you see them …
A New York Times editorial praises the changes going on in Egypt.
The editorial also offers words of caution.
We share the unease of young protesters who made the revolution happen and worry their demand for democracy could be hijacked by the highly organized groups who campaigned hardest for the amendments: allies of the old regime and the Muslim Brotherhood.
This is the only mention of the Muslim Brotherhood in the editorial. Mostly it is the “old regime” mentioned as a possible spoiler.
However a news story finally acknowledges Islamist Group Is Rising Force in a New Egypt
It is also clear that the young, educated secular activists who initially propelled the nonideological revolution are no longer the driving political force — at least not at the moment.
As the best organized and most extensive opposition movement in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood was expected to have an edge in the contest for influence. But what surprises many is its link to a military that vilified it.
“There is evidence the Brotherhood struck some kind of a deal with the military early on,” said Elijah Zarwan, a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group. “It makes sense if you are the military — you want stability and people off the street. The Brotherhood is one address where you can go to get 100,000 people off the street.”
Guy Bechor welcomes us to the New Middle East
A terrible thing happened to the Middle East: The only glue that brought together all the sects, religions, tribes, nationalities and minorities – who all hate each other – was Israel, yet this glue no longer works.
Ever since Israel was established, we got accustomed to hearing global experts and the Arabs themselves claiming that Israel is at fault for the Mideast’s sorry state, that the Arabs are preoccupied with the struggle against Israel to the point of having no time for themselves, and that should Israel’s conflict vis-à-vis the Arab world be resolved, cosmic tranquility will sweep through the region, ushering in progress, prosperity and happiness.
This doctrine allowed Arab world leaders to make a living and also allowed Western states to blame us for all the region’s ills. This is the outdated doctrine that still guides Obama’s close associates. For example: The need to press for the establishment of a Palestinian state, as though that would bring stability to the Middle East.
There are those who still will insist that this is the most opportune time for Israel to make peace. Or most critical time.
5) Little terror attacks
An editorial in YnetNews Killing Jews in small doses and ‘limited terror’ is unacceptable
The recent string of terror attacks against Israel may indicate that the Palestinians learned the lesson, and may be engaging in a more sophisticated – yet no less dangerous – terror campaign against the Jewish state.
The murder in Itamar, as shocking as it was, as well as Wednesday’s bombing in Jerusalem were not perceived by the world (and for the time being by Israel too) as “equivalent” to the suicide bombings of the 1990s and 2000s that left dozens of fatalities. As such, the response to them, both in the global media and by the IDF, was limited as well.
This quickly became apparent following the Itamar massacre, with global media largely downplaying the attack. Despite some coverage and international condemnations, the tone and ferocity were far weaker than the response to previous “major” attacks. A similar pattern followed the Jerusalem bombing, with many media outlets burying the story while focusing on other issues, such the Libya campaign or Elizabeth Taylor’s death.