Metroblog

A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

16 September 2009

An Israeli Perspective on the Goldstone Report

And not the one you've been hearing about.For those of you tuning in late, the Goldstone Report, realeased today, offers stern criticisms of Israel's actions in the late wars:
" Although the U.N. investigation found that Palestinian militants also committed war crimes, the overwhelming majority of the criticism in a summary of the 574-page report targets Israel.

Israel "committed actions amounting to war crimes, possibly crimes against humanity," the report says."
~CNN

I happen to rather like the Jerusalem Post. They'll happily print genuine debate on real issues in their pages. Amongst the pro- and con- Goldstone opinions we have Larry Derfner calling the report "A wake-up call from Judge Goldstone". One of the most interesting points of his analysis of the report--which was criticized by Israel's deputy foreign minister as "a dangerous attempt to harm the principle of self-defense by democratic states [which] provides legitimacy to terrorism"--is this one:
And we don't see that we did anything wrong. Somebody's got to tell us. Lots of people have tried, including Amnesty International, the Red Cross, Human Rights Watch and, last but definitely not least, dozens of our own soldiers.

We've tried to smear them all, to silence them, to drown out the message that keeps repeating itself from one source to another. Now we have the message, the same message again, from one of the world's most respected, accomplished men of justice. South Africa's Judge Richard Goldstone has a record that no one in this country would dare try to tarnish. What's more, he's not only a Jew (and a former president of World ORT), he's also a friend of Israel. He was on the board of directors at the Hebrew University, got an honorary doctorate there, he's visited this country any number of times, his daughter's lived here for awhile.
So there we have it. From an authoritative and sympathetic voice, a stern warning to Israel that it has to stop acting like the people it purports to be defending itself against.

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2 Comments:

At 1:53 AM, Anonymous G Eagle Esq said...

Bonjour, Monsieur Metro

Thank you for another thoughtful Post

History may provide insights into intractable problems

eg here in South Derbyshire, there are 2 nearby Villages :

* Ingleby - the Village of the Ingles (the Angles - ie Anglo-Saxons)

* Denby - the Village of the Danes

This dates from the 900's -then antagonisms between Danes & Saxons/Anglians were so intense that both Groups fought many Wars against each other .... until both sides realized that they had so much to gain by "doing the right thing" ... living together harmoniously

Palestine seems intractable & incomprehensible for those who wish both the Israelis & the Palestinians well

This Eagle is nervous about making any comments, being much afeared of being shouted at from both sides

BUT perhaps Israelis might profitably consider the impact of their actions on their Neighbours (or should that be NeighbOrs, in British North America)

Amidst all the lies & hatreds from all directions, Israel's determined expansion of its West-Bank Settlements seems to shew the persistence of the Tragic Old Attitudes from the Foundation of Israel in 1945/1948

Israel was founded to the accompaniment of Murder & Violence inflicted by Jewish Groups

eg hanging 3 British Sergeants in a Cellar

eg murdering 91 people in the Irgun's attack on the King David Hotel

- 41 Arabs, 28 British, 17 Jews, 2 Armenians, 1 Russian, 1 Greek & 1 Egyptian - one of the dead was poor Yulius Jacobs, an Irgun sympathizer

- Irgun's radio said it would mourn for the Jewish victims, but not the British ones. No mention was made of the largest group of victims, the Arab dead

Yes, let us not forget the many Arabs who were at that time murdered, while trying to live their lawful, God-Given Daily Lives and who were entitled NOT to be murdered by Israeli "Patriots"

Not surprisingly, this Mentality is reflected by similar attitudes on the Palestinian "Side", when everyone has so much to gain from Neighbours living together harmoniously and looking after each other

The Good Lord is the Father of the Israelis and cares about their well-being

.... but the Good Lord is also the Father of the Palestinians .... and he expects and requires both Israelis and Palestinians to shew proper regard for each other

It is interesting that in that Glorious Transpondian Republic to the South of Canuckistan, "antagonistic" groups seem able to lay their hatreds aside and to live together peacefully

eg Irish Catholics & Protestants

eg Bosnian Serbs/Moslems/Croats

eg Palestinians & Israelis

If only a similar harmony could be brought to Palestine ..... Afghanistan ... Burma ... the gun-ridden poor areas of Nottingham/Bristol ... etc

Yr obedient servant etc

G E

WV rishyroo

Are AerChie & His Australian Associates infiltrating your Word Verification

 
At 6:42 PM, Blogger Joshua said...

The Goldstone situation is complicated and I'm very conflicted about the report. Some of the things mentioned in the report are clear war crimes if they are confirmed (most obviously reports of using human shields which at this point look disturbingly authenticated).

However, at the same time I see the report itself as terribly biased. The fact is that for every single act that the Israelis are accused of, Hamas did something much worse: indiscriminate attacks on civilian populations. Now, this is not an argument that this excuses Israel (I'm really, really sick of people discussing the I-P conflict using arguments of the form that the other side did something morally more repugnant as if it makes the other side into a bunch of angels) but it does raise questions about the nature of the report.

Moreover, there's a general issue here: No one believes that Hamas is going to stop doing anything they've been accused of in the report. No one is even bothering to put pressure on them. That may very well be because Hamas simply won't budge and we know they won't but when you've got a group that really doesn't care about international norms one iota it does have general implications about whether or not one can expect the other side to reasonably negotiate with it.

And there is the issue that the focus on Israel after this report does seem to be coming in part from anti-Semitism. This is especially true if one looks at the Arab and European press. Again, however, this doesn't make Israel's actions ok. That the focus is occurring due to racism doesn't alter Israel's moral culpability at all.

 

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