Elder of Ziyon
27 July '10
The Goldstone Report was released last September.
The Goldstone Commission members were appointed on April 3. They first convened on May 4. They spent about 10 days in Gaza listening to testimony from people whose testimony was guaranteed not to offend Hamas, and another two days in Geneva listening to other people.
By the beginning of August, they were done with their investigation and started writing the report.
In those mere three months, they say they investigated some 36 incidents from thousands that occurred during a complex military action. These incidents were specifically chosen to make Israel look as bad as possible - in other words, they chose incidents for which they felt that there was overwhelming evidence that Israel was wholly in the wrong, based on the already biased evidence and testimonies.
As Goldstone said,
The Report contains an analysis of 36 specific incidents in Gaza as well as a number on the West Bank and in Israel.
In Chapter XI of the Report, for example we detail a number of specific incidents in which Israeli forces launched direct attacks against civilians with lethal consequences. These were, with only one exception, where the facts establish that there was no military objective or advantage that could justify the attacks
...These attacks amounted to reprisals and collective punishment and constitute war crimes.
The bolded statement is the linchpin of the Goldstone Report. Based on the Goldstone Commission's supposed military expertise, faced with incomplete evidence and biased testimonies, they determined that Israel engaged in numerous operations in Gaza that had no military advantage and therefore, in the view of the commission, must have been purely for reasons of punishing ordinary Gazan civilians.
Generalizing from these cherry-picked incidents, Goldstone then implies that the entire war was at least in part for that same purpose - a war to target Gaza civilians.
Generalizing from these cherry-picked incidents, Goldstone then implies that the entire war was at least in part for that same purpose - a war to target Gaza civilians. As the report said:
While the Israeli Government has sought to portray its operations as essentially a response to rocket attacks in the exercise of its right to self defence, the Mission considers the plan to have been directed, at least in part, at a different target: the people of Gaza as a whole.
Since then, the Israeli government has released three reports about the Gaza war. These reports reflected painstaking investigations of the Goldstone 36 incidents as well as those alleged by various NGOs and others. Even a cursory look at the Israeli reports on the specific incidents shows that the number of man-hours spent in interviews and reviewing evidence far outweigh what Goldstone did, and that the seriousness with which they took these investigations likewise far outstripped Goldstone's.
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