Hanan Chehata of Middle East Monitor goes to Dublin to interview Desmond Travers, the retired Irish colonel who was one of the authors of the Goldstone Report. The money:
The best statement I can make about that is the one that Richard Goldstone made when an American spokesperson for the State Department said it was a very biased, flawed report and he said to them by way of response, “Show us where the bias is and where the flaw is and we’ll do our best to correct it.” That invitation stands. I have subsequently issued the same invitation in a Dutch newspaper and elsewhere; so far, no substantive critique of the report has been received.
Funnily enough, I did get a reply back from a most virulently, anti-Goldstone, pro-Israeli, right-wing, blogspot saying more or less, “Travers doesn’t realise that various academics, politicians and military officers have written magnificent tracts disproving the Goldstone Report…”, but they haven’t. They’ve just written magnificent whinges.
The attacks on two of my colleagues have been really horrific and they have included death threats. They have also targeted family members.
…the critiques, if you go through them, would fill several times the volume of material compared to the report and none of them are valid. The tsunami of criticisms that have been slapped against the report funnily enough already started long before the report was published. Such early criticisms suggest, perhaps, an awareness of the guilt of the perpetrators; a question of getting one’s retaliation in first, in a manner of speaking. They are signalling their guilt….
The very first public statement made by the American government, the State Department, while it criticised in its opening paragraph the Report for being flawed, on the third or fourth paragraph down they said nevertheless Israel should investigate. Now that is the strongest statement America has ever made in its history about the state of Israel. It’s the strongest criticism, and in that, both myself and my colleague Professor Richard Norton of Boston University, who was a peacekeeper with me, we’ve both said, the abuse they heaped on the report in the opening paragraph allowed them to make this statement three paragraphs down. So, in reality, it was an amazingly important letter.
…The court of world opinion has decided this Report’s merits. Politicians and diplomats should take heed of that fact, no matter what they believe their governments want them to do. Israel has been frightened severely by this. It wandered around Europe begging Europe not to impose sanctions on it. It’s jet-setting around the place. They are now on notice as far as I am concerned, that they want to think twice before they try on another similar act again. Did you hear *Israeli Prime Minister+ Netanyahu make this statement, “Israel has three problems, three enemies, Iran, Palestine and Goldstone”?/
…Efforts to muddle the report and to block it have failed. The court of world opinion seems determined to see the report prevail and therefore we must be hopeful that this process continues to achieve one or other of the recommendations in the report’s findings with respect to the ending of impunity…
Gaza has now come into the history books in the same way as Guernica, Dresden, Stalingrad. Gaza is a gulag, the only gulag in the Western hemisphere; maintained by democracies; closed-off from food, water, air.