11 September 09
In the wake of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza at the turn of this year, the UN’s satirically named ‘Human Rights Council’ set up what purported to be an objective, fact-finding commission of inquiry under Richard Goldstone, former chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda and a judge of the South African Constitutional Court.
The degree of objectivity on this Commission can be gauged from the mandate it was given by the , UNHRC, which announced it was dispatching
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.
So this 'objective' inquiry had been told before it was even established that the guilty party in Gaza was Israel, designated by the UN as the ‘occupying power’; that it was guilty of ‘aggression’ and ‘violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law’; and that the Palestinians of Gaza were the victims of this Israeli aggression.
Israel, of course, no longer occupies Gaza. Nor was it guilty of aggression: it was instead defending itself against the aggression of Hamas who had fired some 6000 rockets at Israeli citizens. Nor did it commit any violations of international law and human rights: it was Hamas who did so repeatedly -- not just against Israel but also the Arab inhabitants of Gaza who were used as human shields and mass hostages – and then made false accusations against Israel of committing such violations, falsehoods promulgated as true by the UN.
But the aggression and human rights violations committed by Hamas – the cause of the conflict – weren’t even to be considered by this objective, fact-finding Commission. Having been set up on the premise that Israel was guilty, it was directed to gather evidence to support the conclusion that had already been reached. As the Queen in Alice might have said, ‘verdict first, evidence afterwards’. Unless Goldstone has torn up the terms of his mandate, his Commission will possess all the objectivity of the show-trials of Stalin.
Publication of this kangaroo court’s report is imminent. There are even suggestions swirling today that it is to be published tomorrow – on the Jewish sabbath, when neither Israel nor the Jewish world can properly respond. That would be entirely in keeping with the malevolent racism and cynicism of this entire operation.