Tag Archives: goldstone report

Is Anyone In Israel Listening To Reality?

First, to make clear my own views– I believe both Israel, Arabs, and Palestinians all have played roles in creating the current mess in the Middle East. No group gain stand aside and claim others are at fault over failure to achieve peace in the Middle East. Australia, historically, has been a staunch supporter of Israel, but decided to abstain at last week’s resolution which called upon Israel and Hamas to investigate claims in the Goldstone Report about war crimes on both sides during the Gaza invasion. Australia made clear it supports the Goldstone Report and abstained because of lack of mention of Goldstone in the resolution.

The United Kingdom also has been a firm supporter of Israel, but is now furious at the Dubai murder in which Israel agents used passports from several nations to carry out the assassination. The Israel government increasingly comes across as arrogant and unable to see problems through any other lens than that of its current government. Israelis have dug a deep bunker and retreated inside in order to block out the world. Sorry, the world is growing tired of a government that will not NOW make efforts at peace.

An Israeli Speaks To His Nation

Carlo Strenger writing in Haaretz raised several issues concerning Israel society which most probably begin to explain its self destructive behavior and desire to become isolated from the world. The presence of Avigdor Lieberman, an ignorant, bullying man who lacks any training or experience in world affairs is the foreign minister of a nation seeking to establish ties with the world. How does one explain the presence of such an individual in leadership? It would be akin to appointing Sarah Palin as Secretary of State. According to Strenger, Lieberman is a symptom of a malaise which grips the Israeli people. “Israel’s intoxication with Jewish power, the belief that chutzpah is better than ingratiating ourselves to the gentiles was part of Jewish culture before Mr. Lieberman was ever born.”

He blames the Israel political system which allows incompetents like Lieberman to be given important government roles because his party is need to gain a majority in the Knesset. Members of Israel’s foreign ministry are appalled to work under the leadership of someone who is “completely unsuited for the job of foreign minister.” It is a country in which a majority believes in secular ideas but civil marriage has yet to arrive in Israel. It is a nation which has dozens of ministers who are appointed to pay off political debts, not due to their abilities.

As Strenger notes: “my sympathies for Lieberman are zero. Like many others, I think that this skillful politician is a danger for Israel democracy. But, we can’t blame him for a political system that sucks. Lieberman didn’t invent the system, he must makes skillful use of it.”

Israel was charged with various crimes by the Goldstone Report, but its author also urged the Israel government to conduct its own investigation. As of this date, nothing has been done by Israel to investigate in order to disprove Goldstone, the only response is to deny and deny. This is a nation which contains an Arab minority which has endured humiliation and second class citizenship, but has remarkably demonstrated its loyalty.

What has happened to the Jewish people of Israel is the real question? In which ways do they demonstrate historic Jewish values of social justice?

Once Again, Israel Condemns Goldstone Report

As the UN General Assembly debates the Goldstone Report, Gabriela Shalev, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, charged the report was “irreparably tainted” and “bends both fact and law.” According to the Israeli, issuing a report which places blame on both Israel and Hamas for actions that violate international law will “damage any effort to revitalize negotiations in our region.” According to Shalev Goldstone ignored the reality of terror from thousands of rockets fired into Israel from Gaza. Of course, the Goldstone Report discusses this issue and condemns Hamas for its behavior in sending bombs directed at civilians. The Israel ambassador “launches yet another campaign against the victims of terrorism the people of Israel,” and she wants to know why he didn’t examine how to halt terrorism.

The ongoing problem with Israel foreign policy is an inability to assume an objective stance on any issue and reduce comments meant to address issues to the problem of anti-semitism. Robert Goldstone is Jewish, has been involved in numerous Jewish activities throughout his life, and insisted prior to undertaking this study that he be allowed to examine behavior and actions of Hamas!

When will the people of Israel be able to address issues of human rights without assuming the mantle of victim. Over a thousand innocent Palestinians also died in Gaza, an operation that resulted in the death of fewer than 10 Israelis. Is the death of an Arab child any less hurtful than the death of a Jewish child? Stop with the anti-semitism and act like Jews!

Are Aggressive Words A Problem For Israel?

An Israel cabinet minister has raised the issue as to whether a constant defensive tone and threatening stance toward critics has damaged his nation’s standing in the world. Welfare Minister Isaac Herzog criticized fellow Cabinet members who used expressions such as “harsh response” and threatened to inflict punishment on Hamas as only presenting a view that Israel intended to punish the people of Gaza. Herzog also charged the Netanyahu government knowingly decided to destroy Gaza, and the Goldstone Report had more to do with actions by the government as much as the performance of Israel soldiers in the field. The key point made by Herzog is critical for the people of Israel. “These remarks are part of a culture of spin, which has no meaning. People have to understand that words that are said have the power to ultimately harm Israel’s interests.”

This blog has been making this point for over a year. It is time for Israel to return to the moral views of its founders.

UN Human Rights Council Backs Goldstone Report

The Israel government is furious at the action of the UN Human Rights Council voting to refer the Goldstone Report to the Security Council. The UK and France did their best to halt the vote on ground there should be further discussion between Israel and the Palestinian Authority over ways to have issues raised by the report handled at the local level. Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu was upset that France and the UK abstained from the vote. The bottom line is there is need for the Goldstone Report to be examined and its recommendations implemented. Robert Goldstone is an eminent legal authority who insisted he be allowed to investigate the actions of both sides during the Gaza invasion. His report identifies war crimes on the part of both Israel and Hamas.

If the Israel government had quickly moved to investigate crimes committed by members of the Israel Defense Force, this entire issue would never have gone to the Security Council. Goldstone urged both Israel and Hamas to conduct their own investigations and now Israel yells it is being persecuted. The major problem with modern Israel is a refusal to engage in self reflective examination of behavior. The IDF made some terrible mistakes during the invasion–as did Hamas– in terms of human rights. Israel lives in self delusion that no action on their part is ever wrong– it is always the fault of anti-Semites.

The men and women who founded modern Israel were individuals who were committed to social justice, not merely for Jews, but for all inhabitants of their nation. Isn’t it time Israelis returned to the ideals of their founders?

Palestinian Authority Backs Down On Goldstone Report

There is scant doubt the decision by the Palestinian Authority to back away from endorsing the Goldstone Report or asking the UN to take action on it stemmed from fear it would antagonize Israel authorities and hinder peace efforts. In refusing to endorse the report and support open discussion of its content in the United Nations, President Abbas unleashed a furor within Palestine. Thousands demonstrated in the streets, resolutions were issued denouncing his decision, and in the end, the Palestinian Authority admitted, “we have the courage to admit a mistake.”

The Goldstone Report was not anti-Israel, it was anti-war crimes. It made clear both Hamas and Israel forces had committed acts against the rights of civilians. The aim of the report was making both sides agree to halt actions which threatened the lives of innocent civilians. The UN must discuss this report and work both with Hamas and Israel to ensure the end of acts that endanger civilians.

Goldstone Report Continues Bothering Israel

The report by Robert Goldstone on what happened in Gaza during the Israel invasion continues to infuriate officials in the government of Benjamin Netanyahu. The UK ambassador to the UN, told Israel Army Radio of his nation’s support for the study written by an eminent jurist from South Africa who happened to be Jewish. “It’s not as if he was in any way biased.” Goldstone investigated actions on the part of both Israel Defense Forces and Hamas reaching the conclusion that both armies were guilty of war crimes.

Instead of using the information to institute changes within the IDF, the Netanyahu government has adopted a negative and threatening stance. Israel officials warn that UK government officials could be charged with war crimes in Iraq, so back off. Both sides were charged with crimes, not just Israel. It is time for contemporary Israelis to conduct themselves in the spirit of their ancestors in Palestine.

Israel-Palestinians Need Goldstone Report

After being threatened by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, asked the UN Human Rights Council to delay their vote on findings of the Goldstone study of the recent war in Gaza. Netanyahu warned Palestinians that if they supported the Goldstone report it would be considered an act of violence by Israel. Abbas made the decision without discussing it with members of the PLO leadership and it has sent a shock of disbelief throughout Palestine. There are also indications that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama supported the Abbas request.

Both Israel and Palestinians must act on what is described in the Goldstone report. Israel violated international human rights by its excessive use of force, and Hamas violated international law by firing rockets for years into Israel. It is up to the UN and both Israel and the PA to conduct further investigations and identify those who were to blame for these crimes. It is only through such action that such events will never again occur.

Goldstone Report Helps Israel Image!

The report by Justice Robert Goldstone on the tragic events that occurred during Israel’s invasion of Gaza has become a blessing in disguise to the people of Israel. After subjecting Goldstone to blistering criticism many people are finally realizing the best way for Israel to confront charges of violating human rights is to conduct its own investigation into such allegations and punish anyone who disregarded rights during the invasion. Gideon Levy notes in Haaretz, “Goldstone held up a mirror to us, we tried to smash it as is our won’t, but this time as opposed to earlier reports, it did not work.” Instead various agencies in Israel government are moving into action to conduct an investigation into what was raised in the Goldstone report.

Levy hopes an Israel study of its own mistakes is the best way to meet charges of brutality. “Thanks to Goldstone, people in Israel will think twice and perhaps even three times before they bring down another barrage of cast lead on a helpless civilian population…. Thanks to him, Israel may change its belligerent ways and look at them in the future through the prism of international law and the personal cost involved in breaking it.” Amen!