At Yale, Judge Goldstone faces down his accusers

on 95 Comments
200-foot wide Star of David Israeli soldiers carved a into Palestinian farmland in Gaza with their tanks. (Photo: UNOSAT)

Judge Richard Goldstone gave a speech at Yale last night and though he said he would not be talking about Gaza, his report came up again and again, and in fact the anti-Goldstoners tried to turn the event into a circus. They waved Israeli flags, and two of them held up a banner comparing the judge’s report to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the accusers of Dreyfus. A group followed the judge afterward into the wine-and-cheese on the second floor, and surrounded him and some barked at him, and though now and then the judge held up his hand and turned away at a loud voice, he seemed ready for anything, and more than held his own, and left the crowd with an education in what it means to try and advance the regime of international law.

Goldstone’s references to the report in the actual speech were pointed. It is fine if Israel wishes to evade international investigation and prosecution by doing an investigation of its own. That is a core principle of international law– complementarity– the idea that it is preferable that localities apply international standards law themselves. But that investigation must not be behind closed doors, by the military, it must be open and credible. I will get the actual quotes in a day or two. 

He said that equality meant dignity; and when we deny the dignity of other human beings, we dehumanize them, and pave the way to human rights violations. The persecution of Gaza was all through that statement.

If militants are attacking you from the roof of a hospital, it does not mean that you can bomb the hospital; it means that you must take care; and yes maybe some civilians will die when you are going after the militants there, but it violates the principle of proportionality to fire missiles at the hospital. The judge spoke of a hypothetical; but it was a clear reference to the missile attacks on Al Quds Hospital in Gaza City that the Goldstone Report details–though the report never states that there were militants on the roof.

The Q-and-A was all Gaza. A white-haired professor with an accent said, why should any country, Israel, Serbia, yield power to an international court, when we all know how political such courts can be. Goldstone said it was a great question, then pointed out that such courts can only establish confidence through the steady application of legal processes and the cooperation of the powerful nations. Why, he said, in ’96 Bill Clinton had specifically asked Nelson Mandela to allow Goldstone to extend his tenure as prosecutor in the international tribunal of the former Yugoslavia, even as American troops were going in there, because Clinton regarded him as a fair judge. (So much for the US congressional resolutions condemning Goldstone, and Obama’s dismissal of the judge; no, it’s Palestine, Jake).

A frenetic man at the back got applause when he said that Goldstone’s standards were unequal. What Israel did in Gaza doesn’t come anywhere near what happened in Rwanda, or in other countries that routinely violate the rule of law. Look at Sri Lanka. 20,000 Tamils were killed last year during the sectarian violence. Where is the investigation of that?

A good question, and the judge was brilliant. "I recognize the distinction you seem to be making. Similar crimes should be treated similarly" without exception. But that’s in a perfect world. "It’s not going to happen." If ten murders are committed in New Haven, and only one is prosecuted, the murderer who’s prosecuted can say, I’m treated unequally, nine peole are getting away with it. And "morally and philosophically no one can disagree." But it’s an "unfair" world. Just because you can’t go after them all doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go after any. The thrust of his remarks was, We will never have a regime of international law until we begin to apply that law, to develop it, and if that means singling out the accessible, well we must do so. And the reference to New Haven reminded us that all law is applied unequally.

The question was framed again, sharper this time. A woman with an accent said– and I think there were a ton of Israelis in the hall– Why the double standard? A few million people are killed in Africa, and nothing happens.

The judge was wise and frank. "You know it’s a complex issue… It’s a matter of politics, not of morality. The United Nations has a dominant group of the non-aligned movement, and the issue of the Palestinians has assumed a tremendous importance to them, and they’re using it."

It used to be the South Africans, he said with equanimity. There were many more UN resolutions passed against South Africa than against Israel.

"Humbly may I ask you, why you allow yourself to be used?" the woman said.

"I don’t see it that way at all. I accepted what I regarded to be an evenhanded mandate. I didn’t see myself as being used. I heard exactly the same from the Serb leaders. Why was I allowing myself to be used by an organization set up against Serbia by the United States. You know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder." Applause from the silent majority.

Upstairs the circle of accusers formed around him near the door. They angrily quoted his own words to him from clippings, or said he was afraid to debate Dershowitz, or said he was publicizing "untruths." Goldstone’s a man of medium height with a round face and narrow owlish eyes and a calm slightly dour expression. My friend said it’s a face out of a 19th century oil portrait; and the judge did not ever crack– a smile, a wince. The Orthodox man who had held the banner about Protocols said he would convey the judge’s words to the people of Auschwitz, and the judge turned away. A woman said he was holding Israel to a higher standard, and the judge said that he was, you do that to countries that say they are democracies. When someone said he should call it apartheid, he said that was an emotionally-laden term, so he avoided it–but in fact they did not have separate roadways in South Africa, as Israel does in the West Bank.

And when someone said that Israelis would not do such things, would not inflict wanton destruction–this was another Israeli, a woman, who had been in the army for Lebanon ’06–the judge said that she should look at the satellite imagery accompanying his report (the report is a pdf). Israeli soldiers in their tanks had carved a 200-foot wide Star of David into Palestinian farmland in Gaza, to be seen from the sky.

It seemed to upset the judge, and you can see why.

95 Responses

  1. UNIX
    January 28, 2010, 12:38 am

    Goldstone may be making things more difficult for himself and the report when he mentions that the basis for the report is politics and not morality.

    • MRW
      January 28, 2010, 1:58 am

      Reread, BSD:

      The question was framed again, sharper this time. A woman with an accent said– and I think there were a ton of Israelis in the hall– Why the double standard? A few million people are killed in Africa, and nothing happens.

      The judge was wise and frank. “You know it’s a complex issue… It’s a matter of politics, not of morality. The United Nations has a dominant group of the non-aligned movement, and the issue of the Palestinians has assumed a tremendous importance to them, and they’re using it.”

      • DICKERSON3870
        January 28, 2010, 2:25 am

        Thank’s MRW. I just about to make the same comment. Of course, the Hasbarists are certainly not shy about pulling words out of the context in which they were originally used, so in that limited sense BSDNOW might well be prescient.

      • DICKERSON3870
        January 28, 2010, 2:28 am

        RE: “I just about to”
        SHOULD HAVE READ: I was just about to…

    • Mooser
      January 28, 2010, 10:14 am

      BSDNOW, let me let you in on a shocking secret. Better sit down, it won’t be easy to take. Ready? Here it is: The relations between countries and peoples is political Israel is a country, and therefore Israel is at the mercy of politics.
      That’s the stage the Zionists wanted to play on, the stage where they thought Judaism would be an effective weapon.
      So what the hell are you complaining about. This is what you wanted for Judaism, and I hope you enjoy every minute of it. Happy politics, BSDNOW.

      Please don’t think about that too hard, it’s a real bringdown.

      • marc b.
        January 28, 2010, 1:01 pm

        Mooser, I think BDS, or BSD, really should be posting under BDSM. It really just wants a good spanking is all. There, there, BSD [patting its head], yes, you have been a baaad boy, haven’t you?

  2. Yaniv Reich
    January 28, 2010, 1:16 am

    Hi Phil, I asked the question about apartheid, having recently re-read its legal definition and having been stunned (yet again) at how similar it was to the current state of affairs in Israel/Palestine.

    As you note, his response was telling. He highlighted the segregated road system as a feature even worse than apartheid South Africa. And though he did argue slightly against the use of the term because of its emotionality, he seemed to do so only on the basis of practicality. When I pressed him a bit about whether or not its currently so controversial simply because we are still early in the debate, he agreed. I got the distinct impression he had chosen his legal battle and war crimes were it.

    Thanks for the excellent, and extraordinarily quick, post on the event.

    Oh, and it would have been nice to meet you.

    Yaniv Reich from Hybrid States blog.

    • aparisian
      January 28, 2010, 9:19 am

      Yaniv, I went through your blog profile and i would like to congratulate you for being human and just. I will add it to my favorites.

    • David Samel
      January 28, 2010, 12:31 pm

      Yaniv – I must echo aparisian’s enthusiasm for your blog, of which I was ignorant. I already spend far too much time surfing the web, but your blog appears to be most valuable, and I will certainly visit it regularly. Your own analysis is quite worthwhile (as is the exchange with your aunt), but I was first struck by the amazing article you reference that originally appeared in the HuffPost about Israeli responsibility for breaking periods of calm. I did not find it the least bit surprising, but I’m very gratified that some scholars took the time to methodically analyze the events and confirm what I had strongly suspected.

      As for apartheid, I am in complete agreement with your position and the appropriateness of your question to Goldstone, but I do not mind him brushing it off. There certainly are things to criticize about his report, and his views, but the overall impact he has made is so overwhelmingly positive that I am willing to cut him slack for those things I disagree with.

    • marc b.
      January 28, 2010, 1:32 pm

      Yaniv, I noticed that while preparing a rebuttal to the Dersh you came upon a quote of his supporting BDS as a political tool. I have been looking into this whole issue a bit myself, and I have found many seeming contradictions in the wholesale argument against BDS used by many Zionist apologists. Here’s one:

      The Jackson-Vanik amendment is contained in Title IV of the 1974 Trade Act and is named after its major co-sponsors, Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson (D-WA) and Rep. Charles Vanik (D-OH). The amendment was intended to allow people, refuseniks and religious minorities, mainly Jews, to emigrate from the Soviet Union. After both houses of the United States Congress unanimously voted for its adoption, President Gerald Ford signed the amendment into law on January 3, 1975. It is still in force.

      The amendment denies most favored nation status to certain countries with non-market economies that restrict emigration, which is considered a human right. Permanent normal trade relations can be extended to a country subject to the law only if the President determines that it complies with the freedom of emigration requirements of the amendment. However, the President has the authority to grant a yearly waiver to the provisions of Jackson-Vanik, and these waivers were granted to the People’s Republic of China starting in the late 1970s and later to Vietnam.

      Jackson-Vanik is still in force and applies to Russia, among other countries. Critics of the amendment argue that with the end of the Cold War, Jackson-Vanik is a now merely counterproductive trade discrimination, but some still see it as instrumental in helping democracy take hold in Eastern Europe.

      On December 6, 2005 the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) urged the United States House of Representatives to delay approval of Ukraine’s graduation from the amendment. ADL National Director Abraham Foxman wrote: “We expect more from democratic states than we do from totalitarian ones. This year alone has seen a steep increase in acts of violence and vandalism against Jews across Ukraine. There have been attempts to ban everything from Jewish organizations to Jewish holy texts. The university MAUP… actively promotes anti-Semitism of the most vicious kind.”

      link to

      The Foxman quote is useful as well, when responding to many Israelis’ sense of persecution.

      • Yaniv Reich
        January 28, 2010, 5:07 pm

        Great example, Marc B.

        It would be useful, I think, to generate a large list of such comments about the efficacy or desirability of boycotts.

        One of my personal favorites, which I wrote about in a blog post called “Israelis seek the destruction of Great Britain”, was when ministers and Knesset members responded to the UK’s possible initiative to simply label West Bank produce with calls for a UK boycott.

        Chutzpah knows no bounds. But it does provide us BDS supporters with excellent material.

  3. tree
    January 28, 2010, 1:44 am

    OMG, how is Israel going to whitewash a 200 foot Star of David of destruction created during the first week of the invasion? How can anyone claim that wasn’t planned, wanton destruction?

    • Eva Smagacz
      January 28, 2010, 2:40 am

      This agricultural land was probably within 2 kilometers of the perimiter fence with Israel – and anybody spotted working the land is killed on sight. So the third of the agricultural land available to Gazans is technically and practically “abandoned” by it’s owners.

      No big deal bombing wasteland, that even owners don’t use for agriculture.
      It was a innocent prank by stressed troops.

      There you are, whiter already

    • Shmuel
      January 28, 2010, 4:13 am

      It was anti-Semitic aliens, trying to make Israel look bad. Everyone knows that “the whole galaxy is against us”. Of course the Palestinians could have done it to themselves …

      • aparisian
        January 28, 2010, 5:45 am

        Shumel “you are a self hating Jew you support the terrorists” …

        but why the UN doesnt ask Israel to pay compensation for the damages they caused as they say “by mistake” and the factories they destroyed?

      • Eva Smagacz
        January 28, 2010, 6:01 am


        Israel is paying UN $10 million for damages.
        This in itself is unprecedented.
        Until now, they occupy the Palestine, but leave it to international community to care and feed (and re-build to rehouse) the Palestinians.
        Great savings for the country over 60 years, re-invested to “make the desert bloom”. I am trying to get some data at the cost to UN, which is, of course, another indirect grant (not loan) received yearly by Israel.

      • redjade
        January 28, 2010, 6:04 am

        ‘Israel is paying UN $10 million for damages’

        Really?! Eva, do you have a source for this, I am very curious. Has Israel just been ordered to pay $10 million or did the Israeli Gov’t actually state that they would pay $10 million?

        Thx for the info

      • Citizen
        January 28, 2010, 8:52 am

        Yes, Eva; and readers, here’s a further, broader and plainly-spoken explanation of why Israel continues the occupation:
        link to

      • Citizen
        January 28, 2010, 8:56 am

        Israel paid the UN a one-time $10.5 million for damages to UN facilities during the Gaza Turkey Shoot:
        link to

      • aparisian
        January 28, 2010, 9:02 am

        yes but thats not enough. What about people like the owners of the four mill factory? if they claim that it was an accident why they don’t repair it?

      • Richard Parker
        January 28, 2010, 9:11 am

        “The money will not itself repair the buildings and facilities damaged,” he further explained.
        Some 53 installations used by the United Nations Relief and Works agency were damaged during Israel’s Gaza campaign, including 37 schools, six health centers, and two warehouses.
        Which was criminal; $10.5million can do nothing under the Israeli/Egyptian blockade.

      • potsherd
        January 28, 2010, 10:25 am

        They are paying the $10.5 million not to the Palestinians but to the UN, for the destruction of UN facilities.

      • Mooser
        January 28, 2010, 10:16 am

        Aliens? Funny, they didn’t look bluish.

      • Shmuel
        January 28, 2010, 10:22 am

        Mooser: Aliens? Funny, they didn’t look bluish.

        That’s because they were greeners.

      • Mooser
        January 28, 2010, 10:40 am

        Of course! Oh well, the guy who’s been there, he knows! Mine was just a guess. Thanks, Shmuel!

    • marc b.
      January 28, 2010, 9:48 am

      I had never seen the star of david image before, but its symbolism works on so many levels. Sociopathic frat boys in a moment of drunken rage deface the neighbors property. Alien crop circles. A knowing wink skyward. A great big public f*ck you to the international community which isn’t going to do a goddamn thing about us!

      • Shmuel
        January 28, 2010, 9:52 am

        Burning a cross on Gaza’s lawn?

      • marc b.
        January 28, 2010, 10:03 am

        Bingo. That’s probably the best interpretation.

      • potsherd
        January 28, 2010, 11:45 am

        The other day I saw a report on increasing “anti-semitism” in Europe, in which a photo of Jewish graves desecrated with swastikas was used as an illustration.

        The parallel between the spray-painted swastikas and the spray-painted stars has been made here before. What is the word for “anti-semitism” applied to Arabs instead of Jews? Why is it not grounds for instant demonization?

      • Citizen
        January 29, 2010, 10:00 am

        Mister Frum has yet to invent that word–and he never will.

      • Sarah
        February 7, 2010, 1:04 am

        What is the word for “anti-semitism” applied to Arabs instead of Jews?


  4. Richard Parker
    January 28, 2010, 2:36 am

    he was holding Israel to a higher standard, and the judge said that he was, you do that to countries that say they are democracies

    Whatever else may be said of him, this man seems to have been scrupulously fair, and is being hammered for it. I am surprised that he still has the courage to take on such gatherings.

  5. Richard Parker
    January 28, 2010, 2:56 am

    Apartheid in Israel – Apartheid is a particular term applied to South Africa, and does not apply directly to Israel or the Occupied Territories, where the system is much harsher.

    The State of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians has been likened to a system of apartheid, analogous to South Africa’s treatment of non-whites during its apartheid era. United Nations Special Rapporteur John Dugard has reported to the responsible treaty monitoring bodies that a system of control including separate roads, inequities in infrastructure, legal rights, and access to land and resources between Palestinians and Israeli residents in the Israeli-occupied territories, is different from the apartheid regime, but resembles some of its aspects. Some Israeli commentators and Palestinian rights advocates extend this analogy to include Arab citizens of Israel, describing their citizenship status as second-class. Others use the analogy in relation to the special status that Israel accords to Jews, or to Orthodox Jews, without reference to Palestinians. Israel has also been accused of committing the crime of apartheid. An International Court of Justice judgment declared that Israel is violating the basic human rights of Palestinians in the occupied territory [by building a wall] and that it cannot use its own security to excuse violations of the non-derogatory provisions of international laws and conventions.
    link to

    • VR
      January 28, 2010, 4:03 am
    • Yaniv Reich
      January 28, 2010, 11:57 am

      I agree that apartheid as practiced in Israel/Palestine is harsher than anything seen in South Africa. To clarify, however, apartheid is more than a term applied to South Africa. It is a particular crime against humanity enshrined in the 1973 Convention on Apartheid, whose definition (updated in 2002) can be summarized as follows:

      “Inhumane acts of a character similar to other crimes against humanity (including murder, extermination, deportation or forcible transfer of a population, imprisonment, torture, etc), which are “committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.” (Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court).

      It is very difficult to see any possible interpretation of this definition that would exculpate Israel of the crime of apartheid.

      • kapok
        January 28, 2010, 6:21 pm

        apartheid was meant to endure. Blacks were supposed to be good Christians and do the White’s chore’s forever. This “thing” that Israel has instituted seems to converge at a point in the near future where the Palestinians will no longer be a problem.

    • Julian
      January 28, 2010, 6:49 pm

      Other than thousands of terror attacks and barrages of missiles shot at Israel by the elected government of Gaza, why would Israel need a wall?
      Here is the part of the wiki entry Parker left out.
      “Opponents of the analogy describe Arab citizens of Israel as having the same rights as all other Israeli citizens. They point out that “full social and political equality of all [Israel’s] citizens, without distinction of race, creed or sex” is specifically guaranteed by Israeli law.[10][11] They also argue that the State of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in the occupied territories is driven by security considerations, not anti-Arab racism and the fact that Palestinians have never been Israeli citizens and thus would not have Israeli rights.[12] They state that the comparison reflects a double standard applied to Israel but not to neighbouring Arab countries.[13][14][15][16] They also point out that Israel does not consider the West Bank and Gaza Strip to be part of Israel, but rather territories whose future has yet to be determined. The situation has been likened to post-WWII occupied Germany and Japan. (In East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, which were unilaterally annexed by Israel, all residents were offered full citizenship.”
      link to

      • potsherd
        January 28, 2010, 7:17 pm

        Oh, yes, millions of Americans moved into Japan and Germany after WWII, evicted the Germans and Japanese from their cities and built new, Americans-only cities where no natives were allowed to live. In addition, the Germans and Japanese were stripped of their citizenship and turned into stateless persons.

        What a perfect analogy!

      • Citizen
        January 29, 2010, 10:06 am

        Ah, potsherd, you beat me to it! This Julian is really mentally challenged. One would think Julian would thus be more cautious before posting here–not doing much for the myth of a superior people.

  6. redjade
    January 28, 2010, 4:35 am

    I hope someone recorded all this?

  7. Richard Parker
    January 28, 2010, 6:02 am

    The slow massacre is still going on; this is the story of a young boy standing in the sea shallows on 4 October 2009, shot by an Israeli naval sniper.
    link to
    On 4 October, Ashraf Abu Suleiman, a 16-year-old from Gaza’s Jabaliya refugee camp, went to the northwest coast town of Sudaniya to visit an ill school friend. The teen then went to the sea, where he rolled up the legs of his pants, waded into the water and enjoyed the late summer morning. He took some photos of the sea and of the area around him, intending to play with the photos later on Photoshop, a hobby he and his father share.

    Minutes later, Ashraf was running in blind terror as Israeli soldiers in a gunboat off the coast began shooting at Palestinian fishermen. He was hit by an Israeli soldier’s bullet which bore through his neck and grazed his vertebrae, fracturing C-4 and C-5, leaving him bleeding on the ground and unable to stand up.

    There is no question that this is plain, simple, attempted murder.

  8. Richard Parker
    January 28, 2010, 7:58 am

    Israel has so many ‘smart missiles’ donated by America (through various financial channels and phony rules) that it can and does ‘test’ them on real people.

    You can be absolutely sure that the IDF had the exact coordinates for this attack:
    link to
    and this one:
    link to

    The evil intent of the perpetrators of these crimes becomes obvious when you realise that they were doing this from afar, on a computer screen, and were simply zapping someone, no matter who.

  9. Chu
    January 28, 2010, 9:54 am

    Another messenger shot down.
    Goldstone. Man, what a great guy.
    This is the closet thing the Zionists
    can get to a public stoning.

    • Mooser
      January 28, 2010, 10:17 am

      It’s not over yet.

      • Chu
        January 28, 2010, 12:38 pm

        Would it make any difference if his name was Albert Einstein?
        Or would they kneecap him also?

    • marc b.
      January 28, 2010, 10:28 am

      Turkish proverb: They will expel him who speaks the truth from nine villages.

      • Chu
        January 28, 2010, 12:50 pm

        I guess it serves as a reminder to anyone else who wants to defect.

  10. potsherd
    January 28, 2010, 10:27 am

    I wish that Barack Obama had not discredited the Nobel Peace Prize so it could be awarded with honor to Richard Goldstone. He deserves all credit, not so much for the report, but for standing up to the demonization that has followed it.

    • Mooser
      January 28, 2010, 4:19 pm

      He deserves a heck of a lot more than Obama.

      • Citizen
        January 29, 2010, 10:09 am

        Obama hit a new low in Tampa–attempting to deflect a question from a Palestinian American college student that got past his filter police–his response mirrored Shrub to a T.
        Quite an accomplishment.

    • jimby
      January 28, 2010, 9:07 pm

      The Nobel Peace prize doesn’t mean much anymore:Kissinger, Begin, Arafat, next thing they will give Pol Pot a posthumous award, maybe Sharon too. Our own Obama got one for making war.

  11. Mooser
    January 28, 2010, 10:48 am

    So, there’s been, what, this is the third in the series on the Goldstone report? I think it’s not to early to note the pattern: Witty and the gang try to weigh in early in the thread, but they seem to fade right away.
    But they can’t help trying, can they? Like an automatic reflex. And, natch, always drawn from the Hasbara Quartet, 1, 2, 3 or 4.

    And it always adds up to the same thing: Israel should be immune from criticism because Israel is Jewish.
    Gosh, my religion and culture has become an excuse for theft and murder! Thanks a lot Zionists! Right up in the big leagues! I didn’t know if we were going to make it, but here we are!

    • Citizen
      January 28, 2010, 11:06 am

      LOL. I don’t remember any white Americans defending apartheid S Africa back in the day by
      pointing out that the UN resolutions against that regime were massively more than
      against any other regime at that time–There was no “Why’s everybody pickin’ on
      S Africa?” groundswell, not even a peep. So, Charlie Brown’s Israel, and never was
      old S Africa? See Mooser’s Hasbara Quartet and pick the appropriate number.

      • Mooser
        January 28, 2010, 4:23 pm

        Not mine, more’s the pity. The original article was posted on JSF by Gabriel Ash here:

        link to

        I’ve linked it incessantly, I think it’s very useful, and in plain language. But it’s not mine.

      • Citizen
        January 28, 2010, 5:06 pm

        Your honesty is encouraging, Mooser. I think most regular readers of this blog realize
        this; you’ve given the source before. You do get kudos from us for constantly
        bringing it to our attention as applicable. But, you are right, new or occasional
        readers of this blog could easily take what I said literally. Mooser gives you the
        source for the boil-down of hasbara narrative. We regulars here have found
        it endlessly helpful in parsing objections to truth-telling regarding the I-P situation.

  12. Scott McConnell
    January 28, 2010, 11:13 am

    A powerful post. I don’t think a gentile jurist or activist could withstand this, or at best only a small percentage of those able to be in such a position of analysis and judgement.

    • bigbill
      January 28, 2010, 12:43 pm

      We American Gentiles have to pick our battles. We do not have a race hegemonic homeland to claim as our ultimate hidey-hole that we must defend. Our efforts are better spent maintaining our current homeland (America) rather than giving it away to the rest of the world as atonement for our race guilt.

      • America First
        January 28, 2010, 3:31 pm

        Unfortunately, McConnell’s own mag is turning neocon:

        Jews & The American Conservative

        As The American Conservative goes the way of National Review, a few chastened paleos might learn something from this experience. Even if you disagree with White Nationalism, you can’t build viable conservative institutions with Jews in leading positions of influence. It never pans out. The idea that Jews could be relied upon to restore a healthy White Christian America was always absurd.

        link to

      • Mooser
        January 28, 2010, 4:34 pm

        “This is why Amren’s inclusion of Jews has stirred so much controversy within the racialist community.”

        Ah yes, the good ol’ “racialist community”

        Gosh, there, America Fust Cless your point is eluding me. Could you make it in plainer language than a few cryptic quotes?

      • Mooser
        January 28, 2010, 4:29 pm

        Bigbill, try not to let that race guilt get you down. It’s not that bad. After all, I’m sure that being white is the least serious of your disabilities.
        Bill, the best cure for that ol’ white guilt is a thorough geneology. When you find out you’re just an ordinary mongrel like the rest of us, all the alabaster liability seems so much more ineffable.
        Here, I’ll show you what I mean: I’m Jewish, and I don’t feel it one bit. I’ve accepted the fact that white people are crazy, and if they want to feel guilty, that’s their affair, I mean it’s not like they don’t have stuff to feel guilty about!

        Hope this helps.

      • Citizen
        January 28, 2010, 5:16 pm

        Yeah, Mooser, it helps as much as Jewish “shoot and cry” does. If Jews want to feel guilty, or at least feign it for public consumption, that’s their affair, I mean it’s not like they don’t have stuff to feel guilty about! Anybody can be cut when they are a baby. Buck up, skinned one. Style and aesthetics have nothing to do with
        nerve endings, severed or not.

  13. David Samel
    January 28, 2010, 12:40 pm

    Phil, great account of the speech. I do greatly admire Goldstone, but do wonder how this brilliant man got to be 70 years old, considers himself an avowed Zionist, but never seemed to have a problem with Israeli policy until asked to head this Mission, at which time he showed himself to be fully capable of reaching extremely harsh conclusions. What was he thinking before now? He talks about equality and dignity. Didn’t it ever occur to him that inequality, based on ethno-religious heritage, is the very basis of the State he professes allegiance to. Surely his career in fighting SA apartheid and presiding over international tribunals has been impressive and noble, but I have a hard tim imagining what his impressions were of Israeli’s atrocious conduct over the decades. In fact, I’ve never seen any evidence that he was ciritical of the Gaza madness while it was occurring, or until he agreed to look into it.

    • Scott McConnell
      January 28, 2010, 1:33 pm

      I think many people less brilliant than Goldstone were willing to overlook Israel’s conduct until fairly recently: both the Cold War (where Israel was seen as an American ally) and then a seemingly ongoing and viable peace process inhibited people from being too critical. The collapse of the peace process and the Iraq war were dual reasons to encourage a lot of people to examine Israeli and Palestinian history much more actively, and carefully. I doubt this explains Goldstone, but it does many others.

      • MHughes976
        January 28, 2010, 3:23 pm

        I fully agree. You describe me, for one, quite well. In the 90s, I thought to my shame that ME peace was inevitable, so why get too involved in talking about it? When I began to get involved through internet discussion it was only when I was exposed to the full blast of Zionism, its bad arguments and its terrifying, menacing style of argument (as now advertised by the Yale mob) that I saw what a mistake I had made.

      • Citizen
        January 28, 2010, 5:26 pm

        I agree, Scott. I also doubt it explains Goldstone. The irony is he knew all along–how could he not, investigating apartheid S Africa as a Jew, not at least dimly imagine
        the analogies to Israeli activity? Never said a word to my knowledge, until given the
        key ego role regarding the Gaza Turkey Shoot. ASAP, he made his participation
        conditional on also looking into Palestinian crimes. Fair enough, and certainly suggesting he was going to be objective–did he demand anything similar when given the role of looking into the apartheid S Africa situation? No.

        For his efforts, he is now accused of being anti-semitic. He was certainly never accused of being pro-white when given the keys to S Africa.

  14. Chespirito
    January 28, 2010, 1:52 pm

    A fine post. Goldstone is a great man, far more deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize than Obama.

    But the Goldstone Report does have a major flaw. Yes the report thoroughly documents the violations of international law in how each side fought–the jus in bello. But there is no analysis of the jus ad bellum–the legality of launching the attack in the first place. Israel’s defenders of course say that the assault on Gaza was in self defense, and therefore warranted, but this is not at all consistent with the facts–though it is of course consistent with the usual, bogus narrative of the IDF reluctantly engaging in “reprisals” only. Both Jennifer Loewenstein in the latest print edition of CounterPunch (Vol 17, no1!) and Muhammad Idriis Ahmad in Pulse Media (link to have eloquently addressed this.

    Alas, NGOs typically typically run away from the issue of jus ad bellum when it comes up. For one thing, groups like Human Rights Watch need to be perceived as neutral arbiters when they enter a war zone to document violations in whether the rules of war are being followed. This is a good reason! But human rights NGOs are also desperate to cultivate an air of apolitical neutrality, difficult to do when you weigh in on whether a country was right or wrong in going to war. Also, restrictions to jus ad bellum, though established in the UN Convention, the Nuremberg Principles, and partially in the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court, are rarely followed, certainly not by great powers and their client states. Consequently it is embarrassing to the whole enterprise of international law to be pointing out how this very important bit of international jurisprudence is wantonly disregarded, especially by great powers and their client states.

    By the way I would not put any stock in international law to bring about a just solution for Palestinians or for anyone else. Some international law is nice, yes, but so many structures of international law are just awful when you look at it–the World Bank, the IMF, not to mention the that the whole UN system is built on an oligarchical structure with the five permanent security council members holding all the good cards. Do we really want more of this? A modicum of international justice will only be possible as a result of politics, not as a product of lawyers and special tribunals. It is time we wised up about the very limited potential of international law to achieve justice and peace here or elsewhere. Just because rotten people like Dick Cheney and Avigdor Liebermann are against something doesn’t mean it’s the answer.

    • Citizen
      January 28, 2010, 5:37 pm

      Yeah, you’re right. The macro-context is key too when outsiders document violations under Nuremberg and progeny principles. After all, during those Nuremberg trials, nobody mentioned the aftermath of the Versailles Treaty and its impact on Germany.
      In this way, the most fundamental aspect of the Goldstone Report, it’s focus on
      only the actual war days of the Gaza Turkey Shoot, is consistent.

  15. Brewer
    January 28, 2010, 2:52 pm

    The jus bellum was rocket fire.
    For a perspective on this consider that the number of Israeli deaths caused by rockets during the past eight years is roughly equivalent to the number of U.S. deaths from recreational fireworks in one year.
    Consider also that the Israeli Terrorism Information Center reported that
    “Hamas was careful to maintain the ceasefire.” in the six months prior to “Cast Lead”.
    link to

    It is a cruel irony that the gulf between the truth and the Hasbara is so vast that not even Goldstone can draw attention to it because it would not be believed.

  16. MHughes976
    January 28, 2010, 3:07 pm

    As is mentioned by David Bromwich on this site today, it is not uncommon for humane people to have a blind spot. Perhaps Goldstone still has a blind spot about Israel before the latest outrages in Gaza.
    The picture of mob rule at Yale is startling. I wonder what it would have been like in Oxford or Paris?
    Are people saying that no one should agree to investigate the report of a crime unless sure that it is the worst crime on the books? Or that one does not do wrong if someone else is doing worse?
    I rather agree with B/NOW that ‘it’s political’ is an unduly weak reply to the question of why the matter of Gaza was investigated. I don’t deny that there is and must be a kind of political process which determines how the world’s resources of investigation and censure are applied, just as with the world’s resources of disaster aid, just as with local police resources in different parts of the world.
    However, the implicit argument that the sheer number of casualties is and should be the only determinant of concern is false. Concern may be roused quite rationally by the political power of the alleged criminal, by any dark ideological motivation, by any closeness to vital economic things. All these conditions apply: Israel is the United States’ closest ally, is influenced by a religious/nationalist ethos which troubles many, is in a region that supplies lots of oil. Suffering is not only about casualties – if the problem arises from a long-term plan to humiliate and oppress there is suffering A
    that goes beyond bloodshed but is still very important.
    A political judgement expressing these kinds of concern is morally sound, not just (as Goldstone seems to have made it sound) a matter of deals and horsetradings.

    • Citizen
      January 28, 2010, 5:51 pm

      I don’t understand what you are saying. What, precisely, is does the USA gain in its own self-interest, or what in terms of the World’s self-interest, does it gain, by rubber-stamping and funding Israel, and using its UN veto to support Israel?

  17. America First
    January 28, 2010, 3:17 pm

    Why, he said, in ‘96 Bill Clinton had specifically asked Nelson Mandela to allow Goldstone to extend his tenure as prosecutor in the international tribunal of the former Yugoslavia, even as American troops were going in there, because Clinton regarded him as a fair judge.

    Recall that Clinton’s Balkan nation-wrecking policies had the support of Jewish neocons and liberals alike. Any vestige of ethnic nationalism in Europe had to be stamped out. Not so in Palestine. One standard for the Jews, another standard for everyone else…

    • Mooser
      January 28, 2010, 4:39 pm

      “One standard for the Jews, another standard for everyone else…”

      Good Gosh, America Fust Cless, you’re scaring me! Am I to be consigned to the ethical and moral wasteland of Judaism? Is there no hope for me? How can I escape becoming one those horrible creatures?
      Any helpful suggestions would be appreciated.

      • Citizen
        January 28, 2010, 5:59 pm

        Whatever, Mooser. The helpful suggestion you ask for should be to do more than simply
        diss America First. You don’t address his message, you simply color him bad. You are part of the problem you seek to address.

  18. syvanen
    January 28, 2010, 3:36 pm

    Why Americans should criticize Israel is very simple. Israel keeps on involving the US in its wars as active combatants, as weapons providers to Israel and as financier. As an American citizen involved in protest against against US wars in Vietnam, Central America, Serbia and the ME it is only natural to protest Israel’s perpetual war against the Palestinians and Lebanese. In fact Israel’s supporters have already made the case for us — it is called the ‘special relationship’. Those other conflicts Israeli apologists keep bringing up are not being fought and/or paid for by the US.

    • Mooser
      January 28, 2010, 4:42 pm

      Israel’s very existence is predicated on world good-will as actualised by the UN at Israel’s creation. And in return Israel owes the world nothing but tsuris?

    • Citizen
      January 28, 2010, 6:02 pm

      What the fuck are you saying, Syvanen?

      • Donald
        January 28, 2010, 6:34 pm

        I don’t understand your reaction–what did you find unclear or objectionable in what Syvanen said? I know some of the political disagreements people have around here on the critical-of-Israel side, but I’m completely missing what’s going on here.

        Unless it was a joke–in which case nevermind.

      • syvanen
        January 28, 2010, 6:54 pm

        The post reminded Citizen that I am of the leftish persuasion and that just pisses him off.

      • Donald
        January 29, 2010, 12:14 am

        My impression was that he is an anti-US imperialist right winger, sort of like Andrew Bacevich or maybe Ron Paul (though I don’t know much about Paul). On criticisms of US foreign policy there’s a lot of common ground between that sort of righty and the left.

      • syvanen
        January 29, 2010, 1:35 am

        Donald, I agree. I welcome the alliance with anti-imperialist right wingers. In fact, as time goes on, I see myself more as a classical isolationist when it comes to US foreign policy even though my roots lie on the left.

      • Citizen
        January 29, 2010, 7:37 am

        I totally misread your comment, Syvanen. I apologize. I also apologize to everyone
        on this blog. In fact I totally agree with all you said as to why Americans should criticize Israel. BTW, I was a Ron Paul supporter; I still am; I also like Dennis Kucinich, and Ralph Nader. I am not a Republican. I am not a Democrat.

  19. Kathleen
    January 28, 2010, 9:35 pm

    And this is the treatment that an internationally recognized and respected Judge gets for telling the truth about what took place. Harassment, bullied, screamed at. A taste of what Palestinians go through daily.


  20. Kathleen
    January 28, 2010, 10:05 pm

    “Goldstone’s references to the report in the actual speech were pointed. It is fine if Israel wishes to evade international investigation and prosecution by doing an investigation of its own. That is a core principle of international law– complementarity– the idea that it is preferable that localities apply international standards law themselves. But that investigation must not be behind closed doors, by the military, it must be open and credible. I will get the actual quotes in a day or two. ”

    I really do not get this. How can it be that any country accused of committing war crimes would be able to investigate their own actions? Just does not make any sense.

    Just seems like a way to make the findings more confusing , more questionable

  21. Kathleen
    January 28, 2010, 11:04 pm

    Sounds like each question asked of the Judge were all efforts to distract and divert…distract and divert. Never acknowledging the wrongs, always distract, divert, blame someone else. Pathetic. But it often works.

    Goldstone sounds like a remarkable man

    • Citizen
      January 29, 2010, 10:23 am

      Well, yes, Kathleen; in the end he rose to the occasion. For this gigantic individual effort, the USA and Israel regimes dissed him and his report. Really makes me for one proud to be an American (NOT).

  22. Citizen
    January 29, 2010, 10:27 am

    Jewish sage on Israel’s future:
    “In a realistic analysis of the geopolitical situation our weakness stands out in the
    light of the inferiority of our moral ground”
    link to

  23. yonira
    January 31, 2010, 11:35 pm

    Congrats Phil, the Jerusalem Post called you a journalist!

    link to

    • aparisian
      February 1, 2010, 4:56 am

      whats the purpose of your post yonira? whats wrong with Phil being called a journalist for god sake?
      yonira you make me sick go f***ck yourself with your Zio friends.

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