So now we can see how Richard Goldstone thinks he has preserved his judicial reputation while perpetrating a blood libel against Israel. He has produced a report which, as anticipated, finds that Israel committed all the ‘war crimes’ during Operation Cast Lead of which his Mission members had decided it was guilty before even starting their deliberations, along with the NGOs whose unremitting hostility and malice towards Israel and history of peddling Palestinian propaganda as fact did not deter the Mission from uncritically accepting their evidence as the truth, thus finding Hamas guilty of no crimes at all -- except one. That was, by an amazing coincidence, the one set of crimes it committed which the world was forced to acknowledge actually happened – the firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel with the sole intention of killing Israeli civilians. By referring to this en passant, devoting minimal attention to it in the course of his 570- page report the vast majority of which is devoted to allegations against Israel, he engineered the ‘even-handed’ headline he needed to maintain his credibility:
It is, however, only Israel which is required to conduct investigations into such claims -- and thus only Israel which Goldstone recommends should be prosecuted at the International Criminal Court if those investigations aren’t carried out to the satisfaction of the UN. So much for even-handedness.There is evidence that both Israeli and Palestinian forces committed war crimes in the recent Gaza conflict, the official UN report says.
With this cynical veneer, Goldstone does worse even than establish a moral equivalence between the instigators of genocidal violence and those who were attempting to defend themselves against it. He presents Israel, the victims of such aggression, as war criminals and the Palestinians, the actual instigators of terror, as its victims. This is not moral equivalence but moral inversion.
He acknowledges no such crimes by Hamas within Gaza itself -- not least against other Palestinians -- such as turning the entire population of Gaza into hostages by siting its rockets and terrorist infrastructure amongst that population and additionally using them as human shields. Even worse, he presents the Palestinian aggressors as victims of Israel, requiring Israel to make reparation to those from whose houses and streets it was being attacked. No reparations to Israel are required from any Palestinians, even though Goldstone accepts that Hamas committed war crimes and crimes against humanity by firing thousands of missiles at its civilians.
To cover himself completely against the fact that the degraded aim of the mission he headed was to delegitimise Israel, his report claims at the start that his mandate from the President of the UN Council on Human Rights was:
Now this is curious, since UN Resolution S-9/1 which established the mandate for the Goldstone commission said the Human Rights Council... to investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law that might have been committed at any time in the context of the military operations that were conducted in Gaza during the period from 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009, whether before, during or after.
So the UNHRC mandate explicitly limited Goldstone to investigating solely Israel, which it deemed guilty of human rights violations during Cast Lead -- a mandate whose terms as set out in the UNHRC resolution cannot be changed; while Goldstone’s report cites a mandate which is quite different from that resolution, which is ascribed not to the Council but to the President, and which encompasses all such violations during Cast Lead. Goldstone himself said he had changed the terms of the mandate in ‘informal discussions’. It looks therefore as if he and the UNHRC President unilaterally tore up both the Council’s mandate and UN regulations to provide Goldstone with the fig-leaf to disguise the moral bankruptcy of the entire process.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.
Of the countless distortions, errors and absurdities in this travesty of a report, the following jumped out at me from an initial reading.
1) The first error is in the title itself: HUMAN RIGHTS IN PALESTINE AND OTHEROCCUPIED ARAB TERRITORIES: Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict
But Gaza is not occupied by Israel, as is quite clear from even a cursory look at the Hague Convention which lays down the criteria for occupation. For Goldstone to say that Gaza is still occupied demonstrates either an ignorance of international law quite remarkable for a professor of international law, or that he is signed up to the ideology which deliberately uses such mis-statements to delegitimise Israel.