Monday, January 25, 2010

Goldstone and 1701

Soccer Dad
24 January '10

Today's NYT reports Israel Poised to Challenge a U.N. Report on Gaza :
Israel, which had refused to cooperate with the investigation, at first dismissed the report as unworthy of attention. But the government quickly found that the world took it quite seriously and found itself accused of premeditated war crimes. It now considers fighting that charge a priority.

"We face three major strategic challenges," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said recently. "The Iranian nuclear program, rockets aimed at our civilians and Goldstone."

The rebuttal will be given to United Nations officials in the coming weeks and its contents will remain under wraps until then.

Overall the report isn't bad. A couple of paragraphs, I think are especially good.
Maj. Gen. Avichai Mandelblit, the Israeli military advocate general, said in an interview that those assertions went beyond anything of which others had accused Israel.

"I have read every report, from Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the Arab League," he said at his desk in the military's Tel Aviv headquarters. "We ourselves set up investigations into 140 complaints. It is when you read these other reports and complaints that you realize how truly vicious the Goldstone report is. He made it look like we set out to go after the economic infrastructure and civilians, that it was intentional. It's a vicious lie."

Another senior military official who spoke on the condition of anonymity following regular military practice, said that neither the military command structure nor the government wanted to invade Gaza in December 2008, but felt that the continual rocket attacks by Hamas on Israeli civilians forced their hand. The war, he said, followed the least aggressive of three contemplated routes -- conquer Gaza and occupy it again as was done in the West Bank in 2002, retake Hamas's weapons supply routes and hold them to dry out the organization's arsenal, or attack the Hamas military and state infrastructure and leave. It was the third that occurred.

However, there are a few omissions that are worth mentioning. Bronner reports:

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