While AIPAC maneuvers Congress into the trained seal position to condemn the Goldstone Report, it’s really important to disseminate some of what the report actually found. Ken Silverstein’s interview in Harpers with retired Irish colonel Desmond Travers, a member of the commission, offers a short, great take on the report. It speaks for itself, especially the last paragraph. If Congress votes to denounce Goldstone with the Pyongyang-type margins AIPAC can typically muster, it will be an historically dark day in that institution.
Travers’s last answer:
We were disturbed by the lethality and toxicity of weapons used in Gaza, some of which have been in Western arsenals since the Cold War, such as white phosphorous, which incinerated 14 people, including several children in one attack; flechettes, small darts that are designed to tumble upon entering human flesh in order to cause maximum damage, strictly in breach of the Geneva Convention; and highly carcinogenic tungsten shrapnel and dime [Dense Inert Metal Explosive] munitions, which contain tungsten in powder form. There is also a whole cocktail of other problematic munitions suspected to have been used.
There are a number of other post-conflict issues in Gaza that need to be addressed. The land is dying. There are toxic deposits from all the munitions that have been dropped. There are serious issues with water—its depletion and its contamination. There is a high instance of nitrates in the soil that is especially dangerous to children. If these issues are not addressed, Gaza may not even be habitable by World Health Organization norms.