Wednesday, September 16, 2009

UN Report on Gaza

I'm not going to read the almost 600 pages of the report released yesterday bythe Goldstone Commission. The demonstrable record of the United Nations in matters Israel is so reprehensible it's not worth the effort.

Amir Oren at Haaretz, however, has an interesting column.

The New York Times, which vociferously opposes the murder of noncombatants,
was indirectly involved in the deaths of women, children and other civilians
just a week ago. It happened near Kunduz, Afghanistan, when British and Afghani
commandos liberated kidnapped Times journalist Stephen Farrell: Civilians were
caught in the cross-fire and killed, as was Farrell's Afghani interpreter.

Had the Times, a bastion of opposition to harming civilians in war zones, known
that civilians would be killed in the rescue, would it have preferred that the
operation be called off, and that Farrell remain in the hands of his captors?
What will it write if a similar operation is undertaken to release Gilad Shalit?

Unlike journalists, governments and field commanders deal with this dilemma
every day. It is easy to decide when the target is a battalion of tanks in the
desert. But it is more complex when the threat to a military unit comes from
within a civilian environment - the very civilians the unit has been sent to
protect. Ignoring the nature of military action is the height of hypocrisy. The
leader of the United Nations fact-finding mission, Richard Goldstone, ought to
be smart enough to know that in reality, the gold and the stone are not
separated, they are entwined.

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