ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Unrealistic Goldstone

with 6 comments

Getting away is lovely but it means you have to do a lot of reading on your return and one piece that I saw was Engage’s Richard Goldstone now says Israel was not guilty of targetting civilians in Gaza.

I thought Operation Cast Lead was a BIG mistake, and the Netanyahu government culpable by neglect and mismanagement, but the article shows a certain degree of naivete, if not stupidity, that Richard Goldstone still holds onto:

“Some have charged that the process we followed did not live up to judicial standards. To be clear: Our mission was in no way a judicial or even quasi-judicial proceeding. We did not investigate criminal conduct on the part of any individual in Israel, Gaza or the West Bank. We made our recommendations based on the record before us, which unfortunately did not include any evidence provided by the Israeli government. Indeed, our main recommendation was for each party to investigate, transparently and in good faith, the incidents referred to in our report. McGowan Davis has found that Israel has done this to a significant degree; Hamas has done nothing.

Some have suggested that it was absurd to expect Hamas, an organization that has a policy to destroy the state of Israel, to investigate what we said were serious war crimes. It was my hope, even if unrealistic, that Hamas would do so, especially if Israel conducted its own investigations. At minimum I hoped that in the face of a clear finding that its members were committing serious war crimes, Hamas would curtail its attacks. Sadly, that has not been the case. Hundreds more rockets and mortar rounds have been directed at civilian targets in southern Israel. That comparatively few Israelis have been killed by the unlawful rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza in no way minimizes the criminality. The U.N. Human Rights Council should condemn these heinous acts in the strongest terms.

In the end, asking Hamas to investigate may have been a mistaken enterprise. So, too, the Human Rights Council should condemn the inexcusable and cold-blooded recent slaughter of a young Israeli couple and three of their small children in their beds.”

Written by modernityblog

05/04/2011 at 18:25

6 Responses

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  1. Hi Mod,
    Just out of interest, why do you think OCL was a mistake? What do you think Israel should have done differently?

    James Mendelsohn

    05/04/2011 at 23:05

  2. James,

    I think it was a mistake because of the death toll, I think it was a mistake because it didn’t achieve its aims, its premise, that military means will solve these problems is, in my view, erroneous.

    Politically, it is easy to see why the Netanyahu government did it, but that doesn’t make it right in my view.

    And no, I don’t have any solution, but then I’m hardly alone in this particular dilemma😦

    I think the idea of conducting military operations in comparatively a narrow area, littered with civilians, is asking for trouble, time and again there have been incursions into Gaza and they seem to cure very little.

    Hamas, when their stuck politically, can almost count on the Netanyahu government to play the game, they prod Israelis with a stick and the Netanyahu government response.

    As a result Hamas get out of a fix, and in terms of a longer lasting peace nothing is achieved, quite the opposite.

    I prefer actions that lead to some positive outcome, and I’m sure a lot of Israelis do, but there is a terrible tendency, a political lethargy that inflicts the Israeli political classes, to see military action in Gaza as achieving something, whereas it doesn’t.

    modernityblog

    05/04/2011 at 23:39

  3. Mod,
    Hamas started the war, calling it “Operation Oil Stain”. Look it up. Israel was to do what, nothing but take it?

    Shira

    06/04/2011 at 00:00

  4. Shira,

    Starting it? Where did I suggest otherwise? But what has it achieved? That surely is the point?

    modernityblog

    06/04/2011 at 00:07

  5. One minor point; Benjamin Netanyahu was elected in March 2009. Operation Cast Lead began in December 2008.

    Julian

    06/04/2011 at 11:12

  6. Julian,

    Thanks.

    ops, you’re right, after I wrote it, realised was wrong, which I suppose means you shouldn’t blog when you’re knackered.

    modernityblog

    06/04/2011 at 12:12


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