Thursday, October 29, 2009

Israel Damned No Matter What

The Goldstone Report recognizes, in an infuriating and perfunctory way, that Hamas was shooting at Israeli citizens. The entire theme of the report, however, is that whatever Israel did in response was wrong.

This fundamental position verges into plain farce when, near the end (i.e after page 400 or so), the report turns its focus to events on the West Bank in recent years: as you'd expect, everything Israel does is wrong, no matter what. Take, for example, para. 1510 (p. 415):
According to B’Tselem, Israeli officials have made public statements relating the arrests of the PLC members to political goals: “in an interview with AP a few hours after the first wave of arrests, on 29 June 2006, Major-General Yair Naveh, OC Central Command, said that the decision to arrest senior Palestinian officials was made by the political echelon and that they would be released upon the release of Gilad Shalit. In an interview with the army radio station on 24 May 2007, the day that the second wave of arrests took place, the then-Defense Minister, Amir Peretz, stated that “the arrest of those heads of Hamas is to show the military organizations that we demand that the firing stop.””
In the preceding and following pages the report condemns such Israeli actions, even though the Defense Minister himself has been quoted describing how Israel is seeking a non-lethal method to put a stop to the firing of rockets at its citizens.

Israel may not defend itself. Period.

1 comment:

Gavin said...

You've done well to get to p415. I can't read more than 20-30pages at a time. I don't recall reading anything new yet, it's all just regurgitated from the reports of various NGOs.

I think Israel was very wise in refusing to co-operate with the mission. Where the mission has had the opportunity to examine Israeli statements reported in the media they've tried to pull them apart every which way and turn it against Israel. I'm reaching the conclusion that the entire raison d'etre of the mission was to get Israel testifying so they could destroy the credibility of Israel in the report. There was no draft copy handed out to participants, no avenue of appeal once the report was released. It's bad, but it could have been a whole lot worse. One might imagine a report littered with rejections of the (official) Israeli position.

Since Israel didn't fall into the trap they look to have expanded their mission to the whole I/P conflict out of sheer spite. Plan A failed so they went to Plan B. This is a very nasty business IMO.

Regards, Gavin.