Goldstone op-ed praises Israeli investigation of Gaza war crimes, but UN committee paints a different picture

Israel/Palestine
on 267 Comments

Judge Richard Goldstone has a confusing and potentially damaging op-ed in today’s Washington Post titled “Reconsidering the Goldstone Report on Israel and war crimes.” Confusing, in that it directly contradicts Goldstone’s own work and that of the UN Human Rights Council, and damaging in that it undercuts some of the most important claims of the UN mission that he led to investigate the Israeli attack on Gaza in the winter of 2008-09.

Goldstone’s main point seems to be that the UN report that commonly bears his name would have looked different if Israel had given him access to information during the fact-finding mission, and now that Israel has conducted some of its own investigations it appears vindicated to a certain degree. In his article he refers to the U.N. committee of independent experts (led by former New York judge Mary McGowan Davis) which was charged with following the Israeli and Palestinian investigations following the Goldstone report. The committee of independent experts recently issued a report on its findings and Goldstone says “McGowan Davis has found that Israel has [investigated itself] to a significant degree; Hamas has done nothing.” While it is clear that Hamas has not followed the recommendations of the Goldstone Report in establishing a credible investigation, a closer reading of the March 18, 2011 committee of independent experts’ report (PDF) shows that Israel has also neglected to do the same.

Goldstone uses the Israeli investigation into the attack on the al-Samouni family (which killed 24 people) as an example of Israel’s thourough investigatory and legal process in examining his report’s claims. He writes:

For example, the most serious attack the Goldstone Report focused on was the killing of some 29 members of the al-Simouni family in their home. The shelling of the home was apparently the consequence of an Israeli commander’s erroneous interpretation of a drone image, and an Israeli officer is under investigation for having ordered the attack. While the length of this investigation is frustrating, it appears that an appropriate process is underway, and I am confident that if the officer is found to have been negligent, Israel will respond accordingly. The purpose of these investigations, as I have always said, is to ensure accountability for improper actions, not to second-guess, with the benefit of hindsight, commanders making difficult battlefield decisions.

This endorsement of the Israeli investigation is directly contradicted by the expert’s report he appears to be referencing. Here is the relevant passage from the experts’ report:

The Committee does not have sufficient information to establish the current status of the on-going criminal investigations into the killings of Ateya and Ahmad Samouni, the attack on the Wa’el al-Samouni house and the shooting of Iyad Samouni. This is of considerable concern: reportedly 24 civilians were killed and 19 were injured in the related incidents on 4 and 5 January 2009. Furthermore, the events may relate both to the actions and decisions of soldiers on the ground and of senior officers located in a war room, as well as to broader issues implicating the rules of engagement and the use of drones. There are also reports indicating that the MAG’s decision to investigate was opposed by the then Head of the IDF Southern Command. Media reports further inform that a senior officer, who was questioned “under caution” and had his promotion put on hold, told investigators that he was not warned that civilians were at the location. However, some of those civilians had been ordered there by IDF soldiers from that same officer’s’ unit and air force officers reportedly informed him of the possible presence of civilians. Despite allegedly being made aware of this information, the officer apparently approved air strikes that killed 21 people and injured 19 gathered in the al-Samouni house. Media sources also report that the incident has been described as a legitimate interpretation of drone photographs portrayed on a screen and that the special command investigation, initiated ten months after the incidents, did not conclude that there had been anything out of the ordinary in the strike. As of 24 October 2010, according to media reports, no decision had been made as to whether or not the officer would stand trial. The same officer who assertedly called in the strike reportedly insisted that ambulances not enter the sector under his control, fearing attempts to kidnap soldiers.

Despite Goldstone’s insinuation, it appears that the officer responsible for bombing the Samouni house is not being legally investigated for the incident. 

That being said, there have been Israeli investigations into cases of possible war crimes in the fighting in Gaza. But, this is a separate issue from whether these investigations are credible. One such investigation was the case of Majid Rabah, a 11 year old, boy who was used as a human shield by the Israeli military (a case that was not specifically mentioned in the Goldstone Report). IDF soldiers were accused of using Rabah and a younger child as human shields and where found guilty. For their crime the soldiers were simply demoted and given a suspended sentence. Here is the experts’ report take on the Israeli investigation:

According to media reports, two soldiers forced a boy to search bags suspected of being booby trapped and were convicted of offenses including inappropriate behavior and overstepping authority. Both soldiers were demoted and received suspended sentences of three months each.

It should be noted that while some media reports described the conviction as a credit to the IDF, a former IDF deputy chief of staff reportedly said that the soldiers’ criminal records should be cleared and that such events should be probed inside the units and not in interrogation rooms.The boy’s mother apparently indicated her disappointment over the decision to suspend the prison terms and expressed concern at the message that such a lenient sentence would send to IDF soldiers. Reportedly, in the ruling, the actions of the soldiers were condemned by the judges, but they also gave weight to issues such as the contribution of the soldiers to Israel’s security and their personal circumstances, as well as to their fatigue at the time, the unprecedented nature of the case, and that the soldiers did not seek to degrade or humiliate the boy. Evidently the court also indicated that any future such incidents would be dealt with more severely.

The Committee does not have sufficient information to comment definitively on this judgment, although it is hard to square the apparent finding that the soldiers “did not seek to degrade or humiliate the boy” with evidence that they intended to put him directly in harm’s way at grave risk to his life. The Committee is likewise mindful of other judicial decisions, such as the case of the soldier who was sentenced to a prison term of seven and a half months for stealing a credit card during the operation in Gaza, where a harsher penalty was imposed for acts that did not entail danger to the life or physical integrity of a civilian, much less to a nine year old child.

Is this the kind of Israeli investigation that Goldstone wants to hold up?

Finally, Goldstone makes perhaps his most damning point, “While the investigations published by the Israeli military and recognized in the U.N. committee’s report have established the validity of some incidents that we investigated in cases involving individual soldiers, they also indicate that civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy.”

This claim is directly contradicted by the experts’ report. In fact, they point to Israel’s unwillingness, and inability, to investigate the policies of the Israeli military as the greatest fault of the Israeli investigation to this point. The report specifically says, “The Committee reiterates the conclusion of its previous report that there is no indication that Israel has opened investigations into the actions of those who designed, planned, ordered and oversaw Operation Cast Lead.” This implies the entire question of policy has been left unaddressed. This is really disappointing from Judge Goldstone, and will most likely be used to attack the one of the Goldstone Report’s most important charges that Israel executed an intentional strategy to attack Gaza’s civilian infrastructure.

The experts’ report also addresses the structural reason the Israeli investigation has failed to look into military policy. Evidently the Israeli office responsible for investigating the question of crimes committed in Gaza is the same office that would be responsible for providing legal counsel to the Israeli military’s Chief of Staff and other military authorities. So basically, office that would accusing the military of committing crimes is the same one that would be defending them from the same charges. The experts’ report explains:

The Committee further noted that notwithstanding the built-in structural guarantees to ensure the MAG’s independence, his dual responsibilities as legal advisor to the Chief of Staff and other military authorities, and his role as supervisor of criminal investigations within the military, raise concerns in the present context given allegations in the FFM report that those who designed, planned, ordered, and oversaw the operation in Gaza were complicit in international humanitarian law and international human rights law violations. It is notable that the MAG himself, in his testimony to the Turkel Commission, pointed out that the military investigations system he heads is not a viable mechanism to investigate and assess high-level policy decisions. When questioned by commission members about his “dual hat” and whether his position at the apex of legal advisory and prosecutorial power can present a conflict of interest under certain circumstances, he stated that “the mechanism is calibrated for the inspection of individual incidents, complaints of war crimes in individual incidents (…). This is not a mechanism for policy. True, it is not suitable for this.” Therefore, the Committee remains of the view that an independent public commission – and not the MAG’s office – is the appropriate mechanism for carrying out an independent and impartial analysis, as called for in the FFM report, into allegations that high-level decision-making related to the Gaza conflict violated international law.

The original Goldstone Report itself pointed to these structural contradictions as reasons for why Israel will not be able to conduct a thorough investigation into the issues raised in the report. Why Judge Goldstone is now ignoring this issue is unclear.

In the Post article Goldstone defends his initial report in a manner he has for some time claiming that it wasn’t meant as a thorough legal investigation, it was an initial fact-finding mission. He says:

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.

Goldstone is absolutely correct, and the inconsistencies and contradictions of his op-ed only demonstrate the need for a thorough legal proceeding has never been greater. Over two years since the fighting in Gaza has ended it is clear that neither Israel nor Hamas is going to conduct credible investigations into the charges leveled against them by the UN fact finding mission. The experts’ report summarized:

The Committee heard the respective parties’ claims that their systems have established mechanisms to ensure accountability and justice. Yet, after listening to victims, witnesses and human rights organizations, it is clear that the needs of victims are not being adequately addressed.

For this reason, it is obvious that it is now time to follow-up on the recommendation of the Goldstone Report and refer the case to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to conduct a proper legal investigation.

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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267 Responses

  1. Potsherd2
    April 2, 2011, 11:43 am

    Poor Goldstone. He wants the Jews to stop hating on him.

    • lobewyper
      April 2, 2011, 11:50 am

      Give the poor guy a break. They threatened to picket his grandson’s Bar Mitzvah. Principles, schminciples!

    • Sand
      April 2, 2011, 11:53 am

      All those hours spent researching and delivering this bloody report — and now this senile old goat pops his head out and wants to change his mind? Well his credibility can be flushed down the toilet.

      • MoT
        April 2, 2011, 5:03 pm

        I think that both -all- sides of the debate will agree that his credibility is now down the toilet, and by his own doing.

        I cannot understand what went into his mid before he wrote this characterless piece.

        Already the Zionist side is telling him to “try harder” (read the WP commendatory section), and the anti-Zionist side is calling him a wimp.

        Sad to see the self-inflicted fall of a distinguished man with a fatal flaw.

    • brothamo
      April 2, 2011, 11:58 am

      riight, that’s the reason. not that goldstone has had time to reconsider some of the findings and is now clarifying his position. no…it’s gotta be those pesky jews and their malicious hasbara.

      • Chaos4700
        April 2, 2011, 12:19 pm

        Are you saying he uncovered new evidence once he returned to South Africa? On what was going on in Gaza? Really.

      • Avi
        April 2, 2011, 12:32 pm

        brothamo April 2, 2011 at 11:58 am

        riight, that’s the reason. not that goldstone has had time to reconsider some of the findings and is now clarifying his position. no…it’s gotta be those pesky jews and their malicious hasbara.

        This is funny.

        The commenter is implying that the contradictions are irrelevant, that Goldstone somehow woke up in the middle of the night and realized, “you know what, I forgot to carry the 3 over. It should have been 293 degrees instead of a 263. Stop the presses”, he must have shouted. Yeah, he “reconsidered” because that’s how professionals work, they plop down some ink on a piece of paper without evaluating the evidence, and then a year later, after they have had time to mull things over, they issue a retraction.

      • Taxi
        April 2, 2011, 12:52 pm

        I dunno Avi, Goldstone’s op-ed read like he was being force-fed dirt intermittently and strategically while penning it – like he had some zio with a bucket of earth and spoon looking over what he was writing and making him taste dirt at certain pre-configured points or the article.

        There’s a muted Goldstone cry for help in there, oh ever so faint but there.

      • brothamo
        April 2, 2011, 1:17 pm

        The clarifications came out when new information, such as the proceedings of Israeli criminal action against its soldiers, was released to Goldstone. This happened long after the report was issued.

      • Avi
        April 2, 2011, 1:49 pm

        brothamo April 2, 2011 at 1:17 pm

        The clarifications came out when new information, such as the proceedings of Israeli criminal action against its soldiers, was released to Goldstone. This happened long after the report was issued.

        Ahhh, yes. More selective reading. Apparently you missed a few paragraphs in the article above. Read it again.

        You are revising history before our very eyes.

        So, I guess who am I to believe, YOU or my lying eyes? Hmmmm. That’s a tough one.

        Let me ponder that. I’ll get back to you in about a year.

      • annie
        April 2, 2011, 2:18 pm

        what new information? this: it appears that an appropriate process is underway, and I am confident that if the officer is found to have been negligent, Israel will respond accordingly.

        is this your idea of ‘new information’?

      • Potsherd2
        April 2, 2011, 2:18 pm

        Too bad that the “proceedings of Israeli criminal action against its soldiers” didn’t include punishing any of them.

        Except iirc that guy who stole a credit card and used it.

      • lyn117
        April 2, 2011, 3:55 pm

        It appears that an appropriate process is underway, and I am confident that if the officer is found to have been negligent, Israel will respond accordingly.

        This isn’t an outright lie, but it raises a couple of questions:
        a) Why does Goldstone in this editorial assume that the officer was simply negligent, not deliberately murderous
        b) Even if the soldier was in fact negligent, is there any good evidence that Israel will make that finding, rather than dismissing the case and claiming the soldier acted properly?

      • VR
        April 2, 2011, 2:24 pm

        No, I am going to tell you what is going on, I told you a long time ago but no one wanted to hear it – Mr. Goldstone’s call for Israel to investigate itself was flawed in the recommendations. It goes back to December 10th, when Mondoweiss had an article by Jerome Slater entitled “Whats really wrong with the Goldstone report?” At that time I said the remedies given were not given in other similar atrocious situations when actions outside the nations were taken, but with Israel’s egregious and decades long atrocities and now this massacre the call is given to “investigate yourself” to Israel.

        So here is the quote, and here we go again with reminders of what I have previously said which are totally ignored by this site, to quote (link at end) –

        “Yes, this is an excellent post Mr. Slater, there is only two items I would add. I knew we were in trouble when Mt Goldstone suggested that Israel “examine itself,” be cause this was a guaranteed way that nothing would be accomplished. Secondly, I have no faith in this system, and there are many reasons why – here is something I said back in January of this year on this site, it seems to have been correct -

        “An excellent post Mr Weiss. The judges view is commendable, but I do not believe that it is going to become a reality. I know that it is not his (Goldstones) position to follow political reasoning, but previous applications of the law in instances like this served the position of the powerful in who was prosecuted. Whether you look at Serbia – which was tethered because it would not follow the lead of the “new world order,” or you look at South Africa because it struck too close to the “victories” of civil rights in the USA only to be submerged in a political realm with little to no justice for the majority of South Africans (not only did the money stay in the same hands, but the people were besieged by the same system of debt through the IMF and the World Bank – take a good look at South Africa today). Or whether we are talking about the exploited countries of Africa (Rwanda) which was the result of European exploitation and animus, to the knocking at the door of Sudan – all politically motivated to subjugate the poor in the short or long run.

        Now, why is this the case? Whether the judges motives are pure or not, it does not remove the real underlying world system and its propagation which means to only strengthen and to allow to act with impunity dominant nations (of which, in your examples are Israel and India which had interest in the destruction of the Tamils). This is why I say Israel will never stand trial for its atrocities, not only because it is in for lack of a better term “the old boys club,” but because it is a slope which the dominants see as slippery and eventually leading to them.

        I want you to remember this post when push comes to shove, because it is important that you realize that what I am saying is the truth, first of all. Secondly, because the only thing that will change it is the overthrow of the current world system by the people.””

        WHAT’S REALLY WRONG WITH THE GOLDSTONE REPORT? see VR December 14, 2010 at 4:31 pm

        There was a link within this link that I gave to post I made further back than this one –

        GOLDSTONE EXPLAINS WHY ISRAEL IS BEING SIGNALED OUT – see VR January 31, 2010 at 12:42 pm

        Here I further explain why the Goldstone Report is not going to amount to anything substantive, even though Mr. Weiss communicated the impassioned explanation of Mr. Goldstone who said there should be a level playing field. There is no level playing field, and specifically there is no level playing field because the “old boys club” does not wish to levy the same consequences to Israel as it does to other weakened nations of color that are considered inferior, and are the target of exploitation. I could continue, but to the point – Mr. Goldstone knew when he gave the recommendation of Israel examining itself that it was totally inadequate, and now he just wishes to salvage something from his work which was commendable, but brings no substantive change. It was so inadequate in the remedy that we are now discussing Cast Lead II on this site, and that because there was no punitive remedy severe enough to change Israeli behavior.

      • Thomson Rutherford
        April 2, 2011, 3:41 pm

        “It was so inadequate in the remedy that we are now discussing Cast Lead II on this site, and that because there was no punitive remedy severe enough to change Israeli behavior.”

        Excellent point, VR.

      • VR
        April 2, 2011, 8:22 pm

        There is something deeply endemically wrong here, not merely from the standpoint of nations – but racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals. I do not mean to deflect attention away from the subject, but the difference we have here is that from privilege as opposed to the disenfranchised. It can be seen on a national and grouping basis as well as individual, the privileged are told to watch out and not do it again – examine themselves (etc.), and the disenfranchised are prosecuted.

        There is something deeply wrong in the process, it is carried into the world within the crib of capitalism – it is not something that can by merely adjusted, it has to be destroyed. It carries with it all the assumptions of this privilege, and will excuse itself every time as the atrocities never cease. Part and parcel of this process is what we are experiencing with the I-P conflict, and the only reason why we concentrate upon this portion is because it directly affects us – but we have to learn that it is part of a global process. Until this is learned we will ever miss the true target, it will be something we try to abolish in our “circle,” but it will never cease because we are not addressing the heart of the issue. In other words, it is both foreign and domestic, micro and macro and it will not be remedied by appealing to just one manifestation –

        IDENTIFY IT

        It is systemic and deadly

      • livingbridge
        April 3, 2011, 10:15 am

        “Part and parcel of this process is what we are experiencing with the I-P conflict, and the only reason why we concentrate upon this portion is because it directly affects us – but we have to learn that it is part of a global process. Until this is learned we will ever miss the true target, it will be something we try to abolish in our “circle,” but it will never cease because we are not addressing the heart of the issue”.

        Extremely important remark. Full thumbs-up!

        We spend so much of our precious time and energy lamenting incidents which amount to symptoms, when the real job we face is the identification of the common denominator to them all, the true disease that’s destroying humanity and the earth.

        As long as there is deliberate conflation between debt and credit, the payment of interest on falsely issued debt will continue to require ever more expansionist political policies.

        The creation of the state of Israel, smack in the middle of the most energy-rich region in the world, containing Western industries’ lifeblood, was no accident!

        Not to absolve Israel of its egregious crimes, but Zionist Israel is playing the role it was assumed to take, sub rosa, at its inception. Israel has profited like no other from ME conflict – it’s the country’s raison d’être! –, while creating the context for a permanent Western financial bonanza.

        Western finance, having hit a new, solid brick wall, is flailing around and, with Israel’s help, has been racing to eliminate every and any resistance to its hegemony [Libya, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Venezuela, etc]. After all, what does all that mountain of debt amount to when the biggest debtors also have the biggest, strongest militaries, which are commanded entirely by central banks?

        Sorry for the diversion from the topic. The point is that the plight of the Palestinians is a tragic symptom of a much bigger issue, which will not be solved by our condolences, empathy and good deeds.

        The same holds true for every oppressed people on this globe.

    • DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells
      April 3, 2011, 1:14 am

      Pretty much it, he’s cracked under the pressure.

  2. Oscar
    April 2, 2011, 11:45 am

    Adam, I think it’s apparent that Goldstone has been under tremendous pressure in the aftermath of his team’s findings, and he’s been given some talking points by senior hasbarists. The op-ed was bewildering, because it continued to excoriate Israel for not cooperating — suggesting that if they had, his report would have been less damning. But it is what it is. For example, there’s no mention in the op-ed of the intentional assault on the policemen’s graudation ceremony, and doesn’t in any way soften the IDF’s long-developed war plan to deploy the Dahiya Doctrine on the civilian population of Gaza.

    The hasbarists may have a field day twittering Fred Hiatt’s propaganda all over the blogoshpere, but in the end, the op-ed will do nothing to change the growing isolation of the country.

    The timing is worrisome, however. Did they need Goldstone to retract some of the worst elements of the report so they can launch Cast Lead II in coming weeks? If so, Goldstone is inadvertantly committing a crime of his own.

    • Taxi
      April 2, 2011, 12:43 pm

      They’re gonna definitely strike the Palestinians to smithereens and displace them before they’re due to declare an independent state this coming September.

      Israel will never allow a Palestinian state between the Jordan River and the sea – that’s the whole point of zionism in a nutshell. All their strategies revolve around this point first and foremost.

    • lysias
      April 2, 2011, 5:36 pm

      I wonder how the new Egyptian government would react to a Cast Lead II.

      Maybe Israel feels a need to extinguish the threat from Gaza before an Egyptian democracy is firmly ensconced.

  3. Richard Witty
    April 2, 2011, 11:46 am

    Thanks for posting this, relatively promptly.

    A stretch Adam.

    In the article, Goldstone did not give Israel a clean bill of health, but definitely took away the edge of certainty underlying your and others’ accusations of Israel.

    The entire tone of the issue is radically changed now. To prove the points that you asserted previously, you will now have to discredit Goldstone (as you did partially above). The similarity of that to the original smear campaign against him will describe an interesting dance.

    Goldstone now infers, ‘Israel is credible. Not perfect, not as public as I would like, not perfectly complete.”

    And, that is a DIFFERENT inference than your, Phil, and Emily’s work.

    • Chaos4700
      April 2, 2011, 12:15 pm

      Goldstone didn’t write the work single-handedly. He was only a useful touchstone because he was the member of the team with THE most bias and his input in the report was still damning toward Israel.

      Let’s hear from some of the other authors, shall we?

    • Chaos4700
      April 2, 2011, 12:17 pm

      How many people have been punished for war crimes in Gaza, Witty? Israelis, specifically. It’s pretty clear that Hamas is laboring under vigilante “justice” from Israel. Just ask that power plant engineer your “precious jewel” abducted from Ukraine.

    • Leigh
      April 2, 2011, 12:56 pm

      I don’t think Witty is right that we need to discredit Richard Goldstone like the other lot did when the report was released. We can easily enough stick to facts. The Goldstone report documented findings, so did human rights organisations. This OpEd contains nothing that can be called facts, findings or investigations.

      The OpEd doesn’t, for example, give any new facts about the systematic and widespread destruction of property, and since the McGowan/Davis report says clearly that the IDF didn’t and couldn’t investigate its own policies regarding such things, the conclusion of the Goldstone report that such destruction was systematic and deliberate remains unchallenged. For heaven’s sake, the Goldstone report concluded that a cement factory was brought down over a period of days by planting explosives in the walls. he cannot now claim, based on no further evidence at all, that it was accidental?

      The OpEd doesn’t give any new information about the use of white phosphorus, except to say, “Israel says they won’t do it again”. And again the McGowan-Davis report shows that they didn’t investigate those policies. So the report’s conclusion on that stands unchallenged.

      The OpEd doesn’t give us anything new on the targeting of children that were playing on rooftops; a deeply dodgy definition of “combatant” in anyone’s book. So that conclusion stands too. Etc. Etc.

      That’s why I find the OpEd weird. He clearly wants us not to be too harsh on Israel, but he gave us no facts that overturn his original conclusions.

      Witty says: “Goldstone now infers, ‘Israel is credible. Not perfect, not as public as I would like, not perfectly complete.”

      But that’s the point about the McGowan-Davis report that actually concludes that the IDF is unwilling and incapable of investigating its policy-making and planning. That’s why it’s annoying that Goldstone uses the McGowan-Davis report to say that the IDF’s investigations are basically credible, while the McGowan-Davis report concludes something very different. Secret investigations of an organisation that tries to investigate itself just aren’t credible, which explains the McGowan-Davis conclusion.

    • Danaa
      April 2, 2011, 1:20 pm

      Witty, a junta (which is what Israel is ruled by) investigating itself, exonerating its own actions as anything but malice – exacting no penalty, other than wrist slapping. Highly credible, indeed. Similar to the Sabra Shantilla, in which, miracle of miracles – it wasn’t us that allowed them phalangists into the camp – it was them that walked in! all on their own, too. At least, Sharon, in a coma, is left to atone, entombed in his own mind, now partly gone, but not enough for peace.

      Sad for Goldstone – put upon by the tribal elders, with screws on his nails and a grandson (+ who knows who else) as moral hostages.

      Sad for us all (though not for you Witty, who sees, hears and speaks no junta) because this goes to show how even good people succumb to enormous pressure.

      Sometimes, in our urge to be inspired and admiration for the good activists and the hope for revised narratives penetrating skulls hardened by tribal allegiances and paranoia, we tend to forget who we are up against. Our enemy are the people, the collective that has managed to hold a superpower hostage and cow great voices in the European continent. Our enemy are those with hundreds of nuclear warheads, aimed at the cities of the world (just in case another massada is needed). Our enemy are the resurrected Shabtai Zvi messianists, now armed and ready to kill. Which they are absolutely prepared to do, as gaza has shown, and Lebanon, and countless Palestinians and rachel Corrie.

      I think this is a shot across the bow. We better heed and be prepared. All of us, anywhere we are. The zionists – with their hordes of messianic enablers, like Witty here – will not give up without a fight. A fight in which, when the day comes, they’ll be prepared to take the entire planet down….

    • MRW
      April 2, 2011, 1:48 pm

      The entire tone of the issue is radically changed now

      For you, maybe, Witty.

      But
      (1) you never read the Goldstone Report (your admission)

      (2) you never read Phil, Adam, and Emily’s book (your admission)

      So STFU.

      • Richard Witty
        April 2, 2011, 1:56 pm

        “So STFU.”

        No.

        This clarification by Goldstone (qualified, not 180 degrees different from the original) will not go away.

        It is a material change in the political landscape about Cast Lead.

        There is certainly more to discuss. “STFU” is not the honest courageous sober response to change that I would hope from community “leadership”.

      • annie
        April 2, 2011, 2:24 pm

        To prove the points that you asserted previously, you will now have to discredit Goldstone (as you did partially above)

        is this something you relish? watching us tear apart his carcass to prove we are of the same ilk as the zios? i seriously doubt that will happen witty. i think we are more interested in the truth and the report and his arguments than trying to prove he is our enemy.

        there is no need to discredit goldstone in order to discredit this latest opinion, it’s his own words and findings that either credit or discredit him.

      • James North
        April 2, 2011, 2:51 pm

        Richard: Now is the perfect time for you to go over to Israel-centric sites and “make the better argument.” You could speak directly to Israelis, laud Israel’s apparent willingness to start investigating itself and ask (politely) that all inquiries be both speeded up and conducted publicly (as Goldstone suggests in his Washington Post article). You could ask (again politely) that any Israeli soldiers revealed in this investigation to have committed crimes in Gaza be punished.
        Instead, you apparently prefer to hang around here saying ‘I told you so.’
        Are you sincerely trying to convince Israelis to move toward your cherished 2-state solution? Or are you secretly happy this development gives you another chance to hide from your own conscience?

      • Richard Witty
        April 2, 2011, 3:14 pm

        You’re baiting again (for a change).

        The change in tenor resulting from this article is material, and rather than writing about that you are attacking messengers.

        I feel that many of the comments here have been malevolent (not “tough love”) towards Israel and really any that express any sympathy for Israelis, including by Phil and Adam, so I am “gleeful” that there is some qualification to their theses now.

        Maybe we can talk more substantively on what would be appropriate response, or even policy towards Gaza, Palestine, rest of the world.

        I strongly support electoral efforts within Israel, and the topic of alternative policy proposal is the content of what results in platforms and then implementation.

        To my mind, it is the important purpose of this and related sites.

      • Donald
        April 2, 2011, 3:48 pm

        “This clarification by Goldstone (qualified, not 180 degrees different from the original) will not go away.

        It is a material change in the political landscape about Cast Lead.”

        That’s the problem. Judge Goldstone doesn’t have the facts on his side, but because his name is on the original report and he is now backpedaling there is a material change in the political landscape.

        But the key word there is “political”. The fact remains that Israel inflicted immense damage to civilian infrastructure and killed hundreds of civilians in an operation that showed reckless disregard for human life. It’s sad that Goldstone has now decided to claim that somehow this could happen without it being deliberate policy, and it does make it harder for our side, but that’s because this is how politics works. People pay no attention to the facts–the mass destruction and death inflicted by the Israelis two years ago didn’t suddenly change. What has changed is that a prominent Zionist who was originally critical of Israel’s war crimes and was lionized for it by one side and demonized by the other is backtracking. That’s politics–it has nothing to do with what did happen.

        What really bothers me about this is that you are sort of a weathervane that points in the direction one can expect from many liberal Zionists (except the genuinely honest ones like Jerome Slater). I suspect that the NYT will give Goldstone’s backflip major play. I hope not, but they probably will.

      • James North
        April 2, 2011, 4:02 pm

        Donald is right. Jerry Slater will squarely face the facts; I look forward to his findings.
        Weathervane Richard Witty cannot even hide his glee long enough to go over to Haaretz and “make the better” argument to Israeli voters — the only people he says matter.

      • annie
        April 2, 2011, 4:05 pm

        It is a material change in the political landscape about Cast Lead.

        i hardly grasp how the political landscape can be tilted anymore in israel’s favor. what do you think will happen? will israel get more permission to decimate gaza while the US sits on it’s ass and pays lipservice in the name of our special friendship and israel’s security. how do you imagine this alledged material change in political landscape to manifest itself? do you imagine they’ll stand up and shout from the rooftops “we are going to kill as many palestinian children as we damn well please and there’s nothing you can do about it?”

        what material change in the political landscape are you imagining? Do you think the EU is going to become friendlier? are all those jailed israeli politicians held in captivity for committing war crimes in gaza going to be freed? is that what you mean? oh wait! they already kill with impunity!

      • Richard Witty
        April 2, 2011, 4:37 pm

        I expect that Jerry and I will disagree fairly intensely on some elements of his promised analysis (as we disagreed fairly intensely on his posting on it a couple months ago).

        And, we will agree on much as well.

        Maybe I’m naive, but one thing I disagree with Dr Slater’s comments that he has gone from fan of Israel, to critic requiring “tough love”, to hopeless. I am hopeful, but ONLY if people make the better argument, only if people choose to not give up and to argue for the reasoning of a more benign foreign policy.

        I hope that Dr. Slater does not have illusions that the region of the world consists only of innocent and kind non-violent civil disobedients, whose presence confuse every otherwise clear assertion about right and wrong Israeli policy.

      • Danaa
        April 2, 2011, 4:59 pm

        “I strongly support electoral efforts within Israel, and the topic of alternative policy proposal is the content of what results in platforms and then implementation.”

        Witty – what planet are you living on? did you read the latest polls on the shift in Israel to the right? there’s absolutely zero chance for any kind of “policy change” to emerge, what with the support for the Israel left having declined to 13% in just one decade! just who do you think will these 46% Israelis for whom democracy itself is an afterthought, vote when the time comes? Hadash? Meretz? What you’ll get in Israel are people far more extreme than even Lieberman, the thug. You’ll get the puppy and horse killers – not to mention baby murderers – in charge of the whole chicken coop.

        So please pay attention now: Israel is fast moving to a full blown fascist state (though some would say it is there already, with “democracy” but a thin fig leaf). But you refuse to accommodate this reality, because it doesn’t suit your “let’s have another talkfest” mind (such a it is).

        Hope you still remember my prediction from about 1/2 a year ago. There’s still, I believe a year and 1/2 to go before you are with us (I know, everyone else here probably thinks I’m out of my mind assuming you could possibly, under any circumstances, accept reality. But hey, I’m an opssimist when it comes to human nature…..and besides, stranger things have happened. And more often than not my predictions have a strange way of coming true).

      • Donald
        April 2, 2011, 5:12 pm

        “But hey, I’m an opssimist when it comes to human nature…”

        That’s an interesting prediction, but I think you’re way too optimistic. (Feel free to point out my error if someday RW changes.) I’ve had several occasions where I thought RW was coming around and each time I’ve ended up feeling stupid. He’s deeply invested in his view of liberal Zionism to the point where it completely alters how he sees reality if reality poses a threat to his views. Slater is the interesting contrast–he’s also deeply invested in Zionism (as a few heated discussions at Mondoweiss have demonstrated) but it doesn’t alter his view of the actual history in any way that I’ve noticed, even if we may not like some of his views. But that’s unusual. RW is not the type that lets facts get in the way of his beliefs. There are probably more RW’s in the world than Slaters, I think.

      • Richard Witty
        April 2, 2011, 5:40 pm

        Danaa,
        If you are still an Israeli, your response to polls is YOU giving up.

        If you are capable of organizing, organize. If you vote, vote. If you speak to your neighbors, speak to your neighbors.

        It is difficult that both Palestinian politics AND Israeli politics are dependent on their opponents. By that I mean, that if there is no terror incidents for an extended period, and confidently, then Israelis will get to vote without that stimuli.

        But, that tension never ends in Israel. If you are an Israeli, then you see it loud and clear. The election of the right is the Israeli electorate declaring we’d rather be safe than good.

        How about safe AND good? Not an easy construction in the reality of things. But, that is the challenge. And, peace is what makes it happen.

        And, if you lead, and shift the electorate even one percent by working at it, the Israeli leadership will have to respond, or lose power.

        But, if you renounce electoral efforts, the right will see that too, and feel no need to consider your concerns, in PR, and in actual policy.

      • James North
        April 2, 2011, 5:50 pm

        Danaa is Israeli, and has eloquently explained to us why she left Israel. Richard Witty is American, and in his entire life has visited Israel twice, for a grand total of a few weeks, most recently in 1986.
        Yet Richard Witty presumes to tell Danaa,

        “If you are capable of organizing, organize. If you vote, vote. If you speak to your neighbors, speak to your neighbors.”

        Richard Witty himself does no such thing. He does not use the advanced technology of the internet to speak to thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of Israelis, to “make the better argument.” Instead he sits here, gleeful, his conscience once again silenced. For the moment.

      • Richard Witty
        April 2, 2011, 6:11 pm

        So Danaa is ex-Israeli?

        Yes, I presume to tell Danaa to INVEST in making change, and not be tempted to the radical vanity of divesting.

        And you?

        You don’t have a clue on how many letters I’ve written or to whom, but you criticize. A hanging judge, with no qualms.

      • LeaNder
        April 2, 2011, 6:53 pm

        everyone else here probably thinks I’m out of my mind assuming you could possibly, under any circumstances,

        thanks, Danaa, for reminding us, that’s on my mind occasionally. Seems I missed the exact time frame or forget.

        I wouldn’t say out you’re out of your mind. But having read RW for several years now, I find it absolutely hard to believe. If Israel indeed moves further to the right, his love will grow even stronger, since if it does, that’s only the world’s fault, a result of the pressure, BDS. Which will tell him, now she needs him more than ever. Let’s see.

      • LeaNder
        April 2, 2011, 7:06 pm

        James, isn’t it interesting that you need to tell him that? Considering the amount of time and comments he spends here?
        I’ve noticed this before. How do you plank out were people come from and over such a long period of time?

      • Danaa
        April 3, 2011, 1:54 am

        Witty, you may consider me an ex-Israeli. You do know that Israel doesn’t let their citizenship to just lapse, right? One has to take action and go through all kind of formalities to officially renounce it. I happen to be in the process of trying to do just that, finding the procedure incredibly laborious and intrusive. There’s no end to the documents Israel demands before it agrees to release one from the burden of eternal, ever-lasting citizenship. They kind of treat it like a very bad divorce. In the meantime, I am doing a good job of just forgetting my Hebrew, slowly but surely.

        Other than that, I do consider myself an American immigrant. same as any other immigrant to this country. As such I keenly follow – and often participate actively in American politics, exasperating as it is. As for Israli politics – my actions and words should speak for themselves. I largely gave up on that country a decade ago, once I concluded that the volatile mixture of rapidly growing religious orthodox population, right wing ideology reinforced by the Russian immigration and a highly effective brain washing of the young that makes them immune to reason and trumps human right concerns, all coupled with a pathologic militarization of society AND politics, will ultimately combine to doom whatever peace initiatives or good will are still there. On successive visits I found each time a perceptible diminution of the democratic pulse, and a corresponding increase in the shrillness of discourse on almost any political topic. This diminishing commitment to democratic principles has obvious implications; I just happened to read those loud and clear.

        Israel has a randevouz with destiny, whatever it is. There is very little I or anyone can do about it, IMO. So, along with many other good people around the world, I choose to concentrate on trying to diminish the damage to the victims of this crazy-going state, the ones who suffer now and the ones who’ll suffer still more. Hopefully, our collective concerted efforts will perhaps help prevent the worst from happening. Shining a bright light on Israel’s actions and subjecting it to BDS are essential ingredients on this fight. Like treating a schizophrenic or a manic deprresive, sometimes, talk therapy can run into a wall, and all one can do is behavior modification.

        But if you think you can influence even a single person in Israel to find and act on their better instincts (should they be able to find those somewhere in the deeper recesses), by all means, keep organizing and writing, and whatever else you choose to do to engage them that count. And whatever you do, I hope you bear in mind that Mondoweiss is a waste of time for affecting your great purpose(s). WE are not the ones opposing peace, you know…

        And by all means, do report to us about your successes, will you? (as god said to Abraham, find us 10 just “men”, though we’ll go down to one if need be)……

      • annie
        April 3, 2011, 3:21 am

        You do know that Israel doesn’t let their citizenship to just lapse, right? One has to take action and go through all kind of formalities to officially renounce it.

        all citizenship or just those who have it thru return? i think it is different “Where a person, having acquired Israeli nationality by naturalisation “-

      • Danaa
        April 3, 2011, 3:32 am

        I know I am paraphrasing god’s words. Have it on good authority that he/she/it doesn’t mind so much due to much bigger worries…. (exercise for Witty: can you list some of those? redemption is guaranteed if you get at least three right. God’s worries, I mean) .

        My deepest apologies to Chabad, however….(though I do have a sneaking suspicion they may not mind so much either – for entirely different reasons (than god’s); which is of course, a topic for another discussion…..something to put us all at our Witt’s end?)

      • Richard Witty
        April 3, 2011, 6:37 am

        Not sure what you meant in the last post.

        Thanks for your clear description of your attitudes.

        You and Jerome Slater (and others) have declared that it is “hopeless” to attempt to change Israeli consciousness. And, again and again, I disagree with that assessment.

        And, the reason is that I did see video of a 400,000 strong peace rally in Tel Aviv in the late 80′s. What made that possible was a slight shift in the attitude of the PLO so that peace was then known as possible.

        And, that a moderate shift to the left would change the electoral balance. (in 2008, it was a very moderate shift that would have changed the electoral balance.)

        Your personal reasons for leaving are your own personal reasons. I could see myself doing similarly. I assume that the situation in Israel is traumatic for you, friends and family still there wrenching with continual institutionalization of what disturbed you.

      • petersz
        April 3, 2011, 7:00 am

        Do you think Israelis should be forced to undergo a Zionist re-education program like members of a doomsday religious cult such as the followers of Jim Jones or David Koresh? I think Israel is a modern day Jonestown but with 200 nuclear bombs! The Israeli Jim Jones is Benjamin Netanyahu I swear just looking at him think and act he is clearly unbalanced. What on earth is going on the next flotilla to Gaza, the sinking of the Mavi Marmara perhaps?

      • Avi
        April 3, 2011, 7:14 am

        Danaa,

        I recently renewed my passport. As I was browsing the table of fees to find out exactly how much I had to pay for renewal, I came across the Renouncing Citizenship section. I think it was around $90 or so.

        Are there more fees involved as the process goes further?

        It only makes sense that Israel would make its Jewish citizens jump through hoops to renounce citizenship. The government wants as many warm Jewish bodies as possible between the river and the sea.

        How many Jewish converts did they get out of the “humanitarian” mission to Haiti?

      • jon s
        April 3, 2011, 10:41 am

        Avi,
        Wow! Are you the guy who accused me of hypocricy?? Renewing your passport?? Of the country you hate!

      • Danaa
        April 3, 2011, 11:31 am

        Avi,

        Yes, there is one more fee later on but I can’t say it’s particularly large. The problem is in the jumping through the hoops. They basically want/demand every official document one has ever had from Israel, as well as copies of every page in every other passport (including visas to all countries visited on another country’s passport), certified copies/originals of divorces/marriages to one and all, anywhere, children records, and the list goes on. It seems clear to me that they make the process as onerous a possible.

      • Danaa
        April 3, 2011, 11:49 am

        Annie, if you look at Section 11 of the document you kindly provided, you’ll see that the process of losing (or misplacing?) Israeli nationality is easier for one who came to it through naturalization. They just need to show they’ve been out of the country for 7 years, have not shown commitment to being an Israeli, and/or committed “traitorous” acts against the country (now what on earth could that mean?). In other words, negligence to commit suffices for the more recent oleh.

        Not so for those who have been Israeli from time immemorial, served in the IDF, etc etc.

        Here is line you may find interesting (from the same document):

        “(b) An Israel national who is also a foreign national shall, for the purposes of Israel law, be considered an Israel national”

        Now what does that mean in actuality and what could it possibly mean in the dire futures I imagine coming to ‘lil old Israel?

        And Avi, does that ever worry you? especially as I know you agree that things are bound to get a lot worse before they get better.

      • annie
        April 3, 2011, 12:07 pm

        i wondered about that (b) myself danaa. it’s also referenced by the Israel Land Administration

        Exclusion of Foreign Nationals

        Under Israeli law, the Israel Land Administration cannot lease land to foreign nationals, which includes Palestinian residents of Jerusalem who have identity cards but are not citizens of Israel. In practice foreigners may be allowed to lease if they show that they qualify as Jewish under the Law of Return.[2]

        the first link was from ’52, perhaps that section shall, for the purposes of Israel law, be considered an Israel national” was amended in the more recent nationality law. i wonder if ‘foreign’ national means non jewish national.

      • Danaa
        April 3, 2011, 1:57 pm

        jon s,

        Please refer to my comment above about the difficulty of renouncing Israeli citizenship, no matter how wanted or unwanted. If you have ever been an Israeli, no matter how long you reside outside the country, be it 10 or 20 or even 50 years, Israel requires that you enter the country with your israeli passport, or else they can – and may – keep you out. So if someone like Avi want to visit family or just pop in for an occasional visit to check how things deteriorate while playing tourist, he has no choice but renew the passport. The only alternative is to go through the onerous process I alluded to. Which is something I can’t fault people for avoiding, whatever their feelings are about the country.

        You can say that Israel makes it very difficult to act on one’s feeling, on any level. Just something to consider before you hurl accusations of hypocricy and the like.

      • Richard Witty
        April 3, 2011, 3:52 pm

        North,
        Its weird that you state facts of my life, guessing, and then criticize me for estimating.

        I spent 2 weeks in Israel in 1968, at 14 (and spent part of the rest of that summer with Phil and his older brother).

        I spent 2 months in Israel and the West Bank in 1986, traveling freely without sponsor or tour guide. I met a lot of people from very varying perspectives.

        I haven’t been there since, mostly because I don’t have the disposable income to travel internationally.

        Danaa,
        I would greatly appreciate if you addressed my points about electoral involvement in Israeli politics, about your and others giving up hope. I’ve known many that have left Israel for varying reasons. All found the place intense as a component. One spoke of New York as mellow comparatively.

      • Mikhael
        April 4, 2011, 7:22 pm

        It only makes sense that Israel would make its Jewish citizens jump through hoops to renounce citizenship.

        It’s much harder renouncing American citizenship.

        How many Jewish converts did they get out of the “humanitarian” mission to Haiti?

        Ummm…none.

      • Mikhael
        April 4, 2011, 7:29 pm

        If you have ever been an Israeli, no matter how long you reside outside the country, be it 10 or 20 or even 50 years be it 10 or 20 or even 50 years, Israel requires that you enter the country with your israeli passport,

        Just as the US requires that I present my US passport when I enter and leave the US, and not my Israeli passport.
        My Israeli cousin who has resided in the UK and been a naturalized British citizen for 3 decades must also present her British passport at Heathrow and her Israeli passport at Ben Gurion. What is so unusual or controversial about this? It’s standard practice for all countries that recognize dual citizenship.

      • annie
        April 4, 2011, 7:52 pm

        Just as the US requires that I present my US passport when I enter and leave the US, and not my Israeli passport.

        they do? if you presented your israeli passport how would they even know you were an american citizen? do they check?

      • edwin
        April 4, 2011, 7:58 pm

        Renouncing American citizenship is not that difficult. My wife did it. It required filling out a form – asking about income and why you are renouncing your citizenship, and a requirement to spend some time talking to the consular staff. It took us about 4 hrs in total – most of which was waiting for your number to be called. Oh – it really helps to bring your US passport. They invalidate it, then return! it to you by mail. Now this was a few years back so maybe something has changed.

      • Mikhael
        April 4, 2011, 8:25 pm

        I don’t know if they check, but by law American citizens holding dual citizenship are supposed to present their American documents at the border/airport customs. I suppose if someone hands over a foreign passport and the dual citizen was born in the US, US Customs would see that they were born in the States and request the US, rather than the foreign passport. I don’t know what advantage would accrue to a US citizen by not presenting US travel documents, though.

      • Mikhael
        April 4, 2011, 8:33 pm

        Here’s a dual US-Swiss citizen who’s asking for advice because he’s anxious about if he can get into trouble by flying into the US with his Swiss passport only as he has misplaced his American passport:

        link to flyertalk.com

      • RoHa
        April 4, 2011, 8:45 pm

        As I understand it, if a dual US/Brobdinagian citizen enters the US on a Brobdinagian passport, he is, in law, a Brobdinagian tourist, and this can be (but need not be) regarded as a form of renunciation of US citizenship.

        If a dual British/Brobdinagian citizen enters the UK on a Brobdinagian passport, he is, in law, a Brobdinagian tourist, but this does not count as renunciation of British citizenship.

        Similarly for Australia.

      • Chaos4700
        April 4, 2011, 8:56 pm

        Then why aren’t you confronting jon for attacking Danaa’s and Avi’s citizenship, Mikhael?

      • annie
        April 4, 2011, 9:11 pm

        I don’t know what advantage would accrue to a US citizen by not presenting US travel documents

        for one thing you could save yourself $100+ by not having to renew your passport. i think that was part of danaa’s point:

        So if someone like Avi want to visit family or just pop in for an occasional visit to check how things deteriorate while playing tourist, he has no choice but renew the passport.

      • Mikhael
        April 5, 2011, 10:17 am

        Then why aren’t you confronting jon for attacking Danaa’s and Avi’s citizenship, Mikhael?

        Because I don’t know who “Jon” is, and I didn’t read about his “attack” on Dana’s or Avi’s citizenship, neither of whom I know either. I don’t sit on the computer monitoring Mondoweiss all day, you know, to see who is attacking whom. I just skimmed the comments and saw someone named Avi some comment regarding the onerous and inhumane requirements Israel imposes on renouncing Israeli citizenship and felt I should fact-check him on that; and let him know that my understanding was that the US (and other countries) make renunciation of citizenship difficult also.

      • Avi
        April 5, 2011, 10:32 am

        I just skimmed the comments and saw someone named Avi some comment regarding the onerous and inhumane requirements Israel imposes on renouncing Israeli citizenship and felt I should fact-check him on that; and let him know that my understanding was that the US (and other countries) make renunciation of citizenship difficult also.

        “Fact-check” doesn’t mean what you think it means.

        I never brought up US citizenship. The discussion was about Israeli citizenship.

        So you can’t “fact-check” someone on something they haven’t said.

        Do you comprehend that simple concept?

        Anyway, as several posters have already pointed out regarding the renunciation of US citizenship, you were wrong on that point, too:

        link to travel.state.gov

        Incidentally, you might want to explain why you disappeared and never answered any of the questions I posed to you in another thread several days ago when you were outright lying.

        I don’t suppose that had anything to do with your weasel tactics.

      • Danaa
        April 5, 2011, 11:26 am

        Mikhael, most countries that allow dual citizenships (which the US, BTW, kind of does and kind of doesn’t, stated as non-lawyerlily a I can) do expect their citizen to enter with their country’s passport when they come and go. I did not challenge that fact for Israel or any other place.

        The difference is, however, all in the details, or rather in the interpretation of something called “intent”. Not renewing an American passport for decades, not residing in the US for long time, having established domicile elsewhere, can be construed in the US as grounds for having “intended” to forgo the benefits of citizenship. Whether one chooses to do so or not is dealt with usually on a case by case basis, and i something left to the discretion of the agency in charge. As edwin stated above, the process of formal US citizenship renounciation is also pretty straightforward – partly because “intent” is taken into account. The reason for the importance of “intent” probably has to do with the respect American legal system accords to precedent in general, which is something a country can do when it has a constitution (guess which country doesn’t….).

        Also, since you admit to not being an avid scanner of Monodoweiss pages, you may not have realized that the “they do it too” defense doesn’t count around here. If you try this line you will be challenged, as you were, quite aptly. The somebody called “Danaa” (yes, that’s me) stated the facts of what’s involved in renouncing Israeli citizenship, describing the process as onerous, based on experience. It’s Israel’s choice to make it so, for reasons that we can only guess (and do, do we ever…).

        As an aside Mikhael, in principle, intent to forgo US citizenship can also be inferred from the fact that a citizen chooses to serve in the armed forces of another nation. That too, shows “intent”. Whether this option exercised or not is another story – as American government generally does not “go after” every individual for things they do or don’t, unless there’s a reason, and the law, as it pertains to such things can be ambiguous, and remain so for a long time. Though all it takes is one example to make a clear case law, at which point everything changes. Without a legal challenge, it’s left to the discretion of individual officials, people and/or government offices. I can tell you that serving in another country’s army while a US citizen will lose you a secret clearance. That HAS been established through several cases – and if you google, you shall find. And that is one reason that ex-Israeli individuals may for example try to renounce an Israeli citizenship. The mere attempt to do so, BTW, will count a “intent” to relinquish dual-national status that may count as a point is said person’s favor with regard to clearance. And yes, I do know a couple of cases that fall into this category.

    • Cliff
      April 2, 2011, 2:00 pm

      Witty, Goldstone didn’t write the entire thing by himself. He is the namesake so it’s easy to praise him only or tear him down only.

      You’re excited, and it’s once again quite telling of your level of sincerity for a solution to the conflict.

      You didn’t even read the report. It’s incredibly tacky that you use this as an opportunity to discredit all of the findings which is what you truly want to say but settle for ‘radically changed now’ – yea, what is radically changed?

      A lot of the report was based on interviews. Did Goldstone go back and re-interview everyone?

  4. lobewyper
    April 2, 2011, 11:46 am

    So Goldstone now says:

    “While the length of this investigation is frustrating, it appears that an appropriate process is underway, and I am confident that if the officer is found to have been negligent, Israel will respond accordingly.”

    I wonder if he is trying to suggest that Israel can be trusted to institute “appropriate” investigations of all Gaza war crime allegations? B’Selem and other NGOs have extensive documentation that the Israelis have never consistently done so.

    I am waiting for Jerry Slater to jump all over this Goldstone reversal.

    • jnslater
      April 2, 2011, 2:05 pm

      “I am waiting for Jerry Slater to jump all over this Goldstone reversal.”

      That’s my intention., thanks. Adam has made a damned good start.

      • Richard Witty
        April 2, 2011, 3:17 pm

        Interested.

        Do you think that Goldstone asserting that Israel’s responses to the report were credible (even if qualified), was a material change or immaterial?

        And, if you think it was immaterial, how do you do so without questioning Judge Goldstone’s integrity?

      • annie
        April 2, 2011, 3:30 pm

        And, if you think it was material, how do you do so without questioning Judge Goldstone’s integrity?

      • MRW
        April 2, 2011, 7:00 pm

        And, if you think it was immaterial, how do you do so without questioning Judge Goldstone’s integrity?

        As someone mentioned above, the interviews don’t change. Goldstone’s “integrity” have nothing to do with the content of the interviews, which were collected by various UN people.

        You read neither the report, nor Phil et al’s book. All you are doing here is reviewing an editorial, and extrapolating, boot-strapping, your views and your nanananana to your envy of Phil’s website.

      • lobewyper
        April 2, 2011, 3:33 pm

        “That’s my intention., thanks. Adam has made a damned good start.”

        With both of you on our side, whom should we fear?

      • Donald
        April 2, 2011, 3:51 pm

        “With both of you on our side, whom should we fear?”

        Oh, just about everyone in American politics. The Obama administration and most of the elite media are a lot closer to Richard Witty’s views than they are to Jerome Slater’s. For once I hope the press does a lousy job covering the Goldstone report, but this is just the sort of thing they will leap on. And how many times have you ever seen Jerome Slater or someone with his views writing an op ed piece for the NYT?

      • lobewyper
        April 2, 2011, 5:17 pm

        “And how many times have you ever seen Jerome Slater or someone with his views writing an op ed piece for the NYT?”

        Well, if we can’t have the NYT, maybe we can get Al Jazeera…

      • lyn117
        April 2, 2011, 4:03 pm

        Thank you Dr. Slater. Goldstone has heavily disappointed me, but I guess anyone who follows a racist ideology like Zionism can lose his perspective and perhaps I shouldn’t be so surprised.

      • Egbert
        April 3, 2011, 3:45 am

        Goldtone’s confession and its presentation remind me of the televised confessions made by dissidents in the USSR. Haggard men reading scripts, confessing publicly to the most unlikely events. The inclusion of the Itamar murders is a dead giveaway – that is not Goldstone’s style or work.

      • lyn117
        April 3, 2011, 4:22 pm

        And let me add, just because someone follows an evil, racist philosophy like zionism doesn’t mean that they themselves are evil or racist. I don’t think Goldstone is an evil racist, just very mistaken.

  5. Taxi
    April 2, 2011, 11:54 am

    The zios have squeezed Goldstone’s (and his family’s) nuts into dust.

    The timing and substance of these ‘pressure-point releases’ from the official report are ominous.

    Looks like they’re seriously preparing for a final attack on Gaza and a ‘mass population transfer’ of Palestinians using the exact methods, force and justifications as per the Gaza Assault in 2008.

    A kinda ‘semi-final’ solution cuz there’ll still be the West Bank population, the other half of Palestine, to ‘justifiably’ murder en mass and steal from. That’s another plan to execute once gaza is cleansed from ALL Arab presence.

    • annie
      April 2, 2011, 2:27 pm

      The zios have squeezed Goldstone’s (and his family’s) nuts into dust.

      you really make these threads entertaining for me taxi.

      Looks like they’re seriously preparing for a final attack on Gaza and a ‘mass population transfer’ of Palestinians using the exact methods, force and justifications as per the Gaza Assault in 2008.

      god i hope not.

  6. maximalistNarrative
    April 2, 2011, 12:14 pm

    It took great integrity for this man to admit he was mistaken, and if he could go back in time he would have done different.

    While Israel investigated every charge in the Goldstone blood libel, Khamas, investigated not one.

    Richard Goldstone was used as a tool by the anti-semitic “human rights” council in Geneva, he betrayed his own people and caused more damage than the khamas.

    With the coming Gaza war, with the preparation of khamas, backed by Iran and Mondoweiss commenters, brutal human rights abuses will be repeated by the terrorists in Aza.

    Will you have the moral integrity to speak out against Khamas war crimes?

    • Chaos4700
      April 2, 2011, 12:18 pm

      Did Goldstone think this would get him back in the Lobby’s good graces? Clearly he’s still fucked. Just read that comment right here.

      • Oscar
        April 2, 2011, 1:37 pm

        Chaos, absolutely spot on. Check the comments on WaPo. Most of them are Goldstone hating Zio-cons who will never forgive.

        Interestingly enough, is tepid “reconsideration” will cause more discussion of Goldstone, not less.

        And Witty’s way off the reservation.

  7. brothamo
    April 2, 2011, 12:18 pm

    Goldstone’s initial report (flawed as it was) was met with adulation. He’s a “courageous Jew”, etc, etc. And now when he clarifies his positions and admits mistakes you all say he’s been poisoned by them damn ‘Zios’.

    If you can’t see your own blinding hypocrisy then I gave many of you a benefit of the doubt that you don’t deserve.

    • Chaos4700
      April 2, 2011, 12:25 pm

      Tell us what evidence dropped on him once he returned to South Africa that trumps what he saw ON THE GROUND in Gaza.

      • brothamo
        April 2, 2011, 12:38 pm

        “For example, the most serious attack the Goldstone Report focused on was the killing of some 29 members of the al-Simouni family in their home. The shelling of the home was apparently the consequence of an Israeli commander’s erroneous interpretation of a drone image, and an Israeli officer is under investigation for having ordered the attack.”

        Did you even read the article? Jeeze.

      • mig
        April 2, 2011, 1:24 pm

        “”The shelling of the home was apparently the consequence of an Israeli commander’s erroneous interpretation of a drone image,””

        ++++ Same ol’ story. UN pos. shelling in Khiam,Lebanon. UN pos. in Qana, Lebanon. Error after error.

      • Chaos4700
        April 2, 2011, 2:10 pm

        Did Goldstone see the drone footage himself? Did he interview the commander? The drone operator? The mortar crew?

        He had the chance to investigate Hamas directly. Talk to witnesses on the ground in Gaza. Did Goldstone do the same in Israel? And who was responsible for forbidding him from doing so?

      • annie
        April 2, 2011, 2:37 pm

        . The shelling of the home was apparently the consequence of an Israeli commander’s erroneous interpretation of a drone image, and an Israeli officer is under investigation for having ordered the attack.”

        Did you even read the article? Jeeze.

        did you?

        “some of those civilians had been ordered there by IDF soldiers from that same officer’s’ unit and air force officers reportedly informed him of the possible presence of civilians. Despite allegedly being made aware of this information, the officer apparently approved air strikes that killed 21 people and injured 19 gathered in the al-Samouni house. “

    • Avi
      April 2, 2011, 12:38 pm

      brothamo April 2, 2011 at 12:18 pm

      Goldstone’s initial report (flawed as it was)

      How can you make such an accusation? Who are you? And what was “flawed” about the report? How about some details?

      Surely, you don’t think you can use the same language that Obama and Israeli officials used in discrediting the report when it first came out as proof that it is “flawed”. None of them explained why they thought it was flawed. They simply disagreed from a political perspective and wanted it swept under the proverbial rug. And you’re doing the same.

      Findings aren’t “flawed” simply because you say so.

      But, your reactions — you and your fellow Zionist hacks — is not surprising.

      “Am Yisrael Chai”

      Shouldn’t you be dancing?

      • lysias
        April 2, 2011, 5:32 pm

        Where in the print edition of the Washington Post does this appear, anybody know? I just paged through the main three sections of today’s print Washington Post (Main, Metro, Style), and I didn’t notice this op ed.

  8. Chaos4700
    April 2, 2011, 12:20 pm

    Of significant note is that this op-ed was published in the Washington Post.

    • Sand
      April 2, 2011, 12:53 pm

      Noted!

      • GuiltyFeat
        April 2, 2011, 2:04 pm

        Please explain why that is noteworthy.

      • annie
        April 2, 2011, 2:47 pm

        wapo is the institutionalized msm neocon stronghold in the US, they carry water for team zio.

        as an aside i think the one semi positive thing to come out of this latest blast of water carrying is that some ordinary people might now hear for the first time about this report because a barrier against speaking about it may be broken. some might deem it appropriate to actually report on the goldstone report on their other-wised cleansed msm shows.

      • Donald
        April 2, 2011, 3:57 pm

        I don’t see that as a plus, annie. I’d rather they not report on it at all if it is going to be accompanied by the claim that the author of the report now says that Israel is doing a credible job investigating itself. Imagine yourself to be the ordinary person who doesn’t follow the issue and doesn’t realize just how implausible it is that Israel killed hundreds of civilians and inflicted massive damage on Palestinian infrastructure “by accident”. You just hear that there was a report critical of Israel, but the author of the report now says Israel is doing a good job investigating itself. Total disaster, in my opinion. That’s why Richard is so happy he’s even typing clear coherent sentences. (Which goes along with my theory about RW–he’s usually incoherent because there’s nothing he can point to that supports any case he wants to make. Now that Goldstone is essentially trashing his own report, he can focus on that.)

    • DBG
      April 2, 2011, 3:08 pm

      Another significant note is that the original Goldstone report was commissioned by the UNHRC.

      • Chaos4700
        April 3, 2011, 1:16 am

        And we all know that the UN is just full of anti-Semites. Why, they’re almost as bad as veterans!

        You creep.

  9. Debonnaire
    April 2, 2011, 12:21 pm

    It was probably morbid and unseemly family pressure. Wasn’t he immersed in a Jewish demimonde? Dershowitz and all the little Dershowitzes will certainly be dancing the hora over this. It’s pretty pathetic.

  10. James North
    April 2, 2011, 12:25 pm

    I would only add to Adam’s thorough analysis the question I posed to Richard Witty on another thread, (which he ignored):
    Is there any connection between?
    a) Goldstone’s report, and the damaging international publicity it generated, and
    b) Israel’s (still secret) self-investigation.
    Also, Richard has once more jumped on his favorite hobbyhorse, the crimes of Hamas. I will only repeat what just about every other commenter on this site has already said: Launching missles/rockets toward civilians is unquestionably a crime, and should stop. Richard will ignore my statement, as he has ignored countless similar ones in the past, because. . .
    . . . attacking Hamas gives him a one more splendid opportunity to hide from his own conscience about Israel’s far greater and more comprehensive crimes.

    • Chaos4700
      April 2, 2011, 12:30 pm

      I’ll bit Witty is smiling and chortling over this.

      I did say, from very early on, that Goldstone manipulated the inquiry process to attack Hamas as much as possible and it still came out overwelmingly damning of Israel.

      Goldstone has no right to talk about the validity of Israel’s investigations. HE HASN’T SEEN THEM. Israel barred him! That’s why there’s a huge difference from the factual reporting, and this mealy mouthed OPINION PIECE that Witty and his allies are now treating as if it actually competes with a full-out UN investigation.

      • GuiltyFeat
        April 2, 2011, 1:10 pm

        You’re tying yourself in knots here trying to prove that you always knew Goldstone was just another dirty Zionist. It’s pathetic.

        Here is what Goldstone is saying. Israel may have committed war crimes. Hamas definitely committed war crimes. Israel is making a weak effort to investigate. Hamas isn’t.

        Anything you have to say in response to this article must surely include your response to the claim of Hamas war crimes. To continue to ignore that claim and unilaterally condemn Israel is intellectually dishonest.

      • Cliff
        April 2, 2011, 1:54 pm

        GuiltyFeat, are you insane? Israel MAY have committed war crimes?

        It did commit war crimes. There is no comparison – AS USUAL – between Hamas and Israel. Israel violated the ceasefire. Israel initiated the massacre. Israel killed 300+ children.

        Yet, you – in comparison – say Hamas ‘definitely’ while Israel ‘may’ have~

        Disgusting. Get lost.

      • Avi
        April 2, 2011, 1:56 pm

        GuiltyFeat April 2, 2011 at 1:10 pm

        Here is what Goldstone is saying. Israel may have committed war crimes. Hamas definitely committed war crimes. Israel is making a weak effort to investigate. Hamas isn’t.

        Ha ha ha ha. That’s hilarious. “Israel may have …..”, followed by “Hamas definitely……”.

        How convenient. Zionists rejoice.

        Dropping White Phosphorus on a civilian population is clear cut proof that Israel committed war crimes.

        Only in the mind of the mentally unstable would the case be otherwise.

      • GuiltyFeat
        April 2, 2011, 2:02 pm

        Not me, Goldstone.

        But I note that you again fail to address the question of Hamas war crimes. Why is that?

      • Chaos4700
        April 3, 2011, 1:17 am

        Maybe because Hamas war crimes kill almost no one, whereas Israeli war crimes killed THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY CHILDREN? In a matter of months?

      • Walid
        April 2, 2011, 1:11 pm

        Chaos, I’ll bet you that my smile now is bigger than Witty’s; it’s been proven one more time that inside every Zionist there’s a Zionist. Don’t blame the judge for having tried to shake it. He’s back to sticking needles in Hamas when someone here a couple of days back, I think it was you, said that when the war started, the Hamas guys hid in the basements, so I’m left wondering what they’re being blamed for during the war.

      • Chaos4700
        April 2, 2011, 2:08 pm

        I suppose there’s that. I don’t take much solace.

        GF can go screw himself. You all remember what I said about Goldstone, right?

      • Potsherd2
        April 2, 2011, 2:20 pm

        I think it was me.

      • GuiltyFeat
        April 3, 2011, 2:03 am

        Hamas war crimes, chaos? Your thoughts?

      • Chaos4700
        April 4, 2011, 8:58 pm

        You just can’t change the subject back to “Blame those dirty Arabs” fast enough, can you GF?

  11. chet
    April 2, 2011, 12:42 pm

    It would be very interesting to know why Goldstone wrote this op-ed and by whom he was approached to do so.

    • GuiltyFeat
      April 2, 2011, 4:01 pm

      Because when he agreed with you he was an independent thinker, but now he’s a zio-puppet?

      • Avi
        April 2, 2011, 6:01 pm

        GuiltyFeat April 2, 2011 at 4:01 pm

        Because when he agreed with you he was an independent thinker, but now he’s a zio-puppet?

        Goldstone investigated crimes in Apartheid South Africa and the former Yugoslavia. He has a long and well-established record of professionalism and integrity.

        Therefore, when he publishes an article in the Post in which he makes a mockery of himself, it becomes rather obvious that pressure came to bear.

        If you can’t comprehend that simple concept, then you have got a problem.

      • GuiltyFeat
        April 3, 2011, 1:32 am

        If you can’t back up your libelous claims about Richard Goldstone, then you may be the one with the problem, buddy.

        Please provide evidence that Richard Goldstone’s latest op-ed was coerced.

        Evidence, you understand THAT concept, don’t you?

      • Chaos4700
        April 4, 2011, 9:01 pm

        Here you go, Chuckles. And here.

      • Potsherd2
        April 4, 2011, 10:14 pm

        Guilt – if you haven’t seen the pressure placed on the man the last year, you must have had your eyes put out. No wonder if he succumbed.

  12. Avi
    April 2, 2011, 12:44 pm

    The timing of this op-ed’s publication certainly raises a few questions.

    I think that he is being blackmailed. I think a Zionist organization — not the Israeli government directly — is blackmailing him, threatening to reveal some information about his children or wife, not about him personally.

    Those who have seen Goldstone speak on the Bill Moyer’s show, for example, will recall his conviction and confidence in what he found in Gaza.

    The op-ed reads as though his hand was forced. It’s not the writing of the Goldstone of which those who have been paying attention have come to know.

    • Sand
      April 2, 2011, 1:39 pm

      “…Goldstone speak(s) on the Bill Moyer’s show…”

      link to goldstonereport.org

      Interesting interview. Also of note, Goldstone admits he’s a hardcore Zionist. So, now we all know the 2SS has been a zionist sham all along, Goldstone’s op-ed in Washington Post(!) could be a message that he’s now solidifing his support to those who want to push the self-destruction button on Israel. Over to you Taxi — re: Operation Cast Lead II.

      All of this being morally replusive to me.

      “…BILL MOYERS: And Israel, in your judgment, was justified in trying to put an end to those rocket attacks-

      RICHARD GOLDSTONE: Absolutely. No country can be expected to accept that with equanimity.

      BILL MOYERS: You’re Jewish, and a Zionist as well. When you say, “I’m a Zionist,” in your case, what does that mean?

      RICHARD GOLDSTONE: Well, what it means, that I fully support Israel’s right to exist. That’s for the Jewish people to have their own national homeland, in Israel.

    • GuiltyFeat
      April 2, 2011, 4:02 pm

      Hmm. I guess it’s possible.

  13. petersz
    April 2, 2011, 12:46 pm

    Noam Chomsky criticized Goldstone and his report as being only very mildly critical of Israel when it came out. Many people believed the report was extremely damaging to Israel but it was not. As Chomsky so brilliantly pointed out but is still missed by many people on the Left, is that there was absolutely no justification for the Cast Lead War whatsoever. Goldstone deliberately omitted investigating this aspect merely stating “Israel has the right to self defense” as he would have had to come to the conclusion the war was illegal and not in self defense as Israel broke the ceasefire and refused to end the blockade. Had that been so it would have meant everything Israel did was illegal, in effect what Israel carried out was not a “war” but a massacre or pogrom. Now of course he can now excuse Israel for making a few token investigations where “mistakes” were made whilst condemning Hamas for not making any investigation without taking in to account that Israel is the aggressor not Hamas and without the huge disparity in power between the two sides.

    • thetumta
      April 3, 2011, 8:06 am

      It was a premeditated massacre/pogrom with no military objectives whatsoever. The objective was to destroy a captive population’s will to resist by slaughter. Goldstone had to know this all along. Step one was to somehow recast it. His report did it in every way that was plausible. I now wouldn’t be surprised if this op-ed was the simply logical last step in his original formulation on how best to undermine this process. Slowly consign Gazans to the dustbin of history. If so, we were all played by some very excellent Hasbara. In hindsight, I think I was.

  14. Sand
    April 2, 2011, 12:47 pm

    “…Yeah, he “reconsidered” because that’s how professionals work,…they plop down some ink on a piece of paper without evaluating the evidence, and then a year later, after they have had time to mull things over, they issue a retraction…”

    Well, it’s certainly how some high school students writing a report would work, but not a professional. Not a renowned Judge who knew the importance of the report, and the amount of labored time he and others put in reviewing the evidence.

    Perhaps Potsherd2 is right the tribal guilt-trip, and ostracism got to him (afterall, he wouldn’t be the first) — However, either way Goldstone’s credibility is in the gutter.

  15. rob
    April 2, 2011, 1:13 pm

    Reminds me of Jimmy Carter apologizing to israel in 12/09……

  16. seanmcbride
    April 2, 2011, 1:51 pm

    The Israel lobby subjected Goldstone and his family to relentless bullying, intimidation and harassment, and he cracked.

    Next up: Stephen Walt, John Mearsheimer, Andrew Sullivan, Glenn Greenwald, Philip Weiss and Max Blumenthal apologize profusely for having offended Israel and the Jewish people. But that still won’t get them off the hook.

    • Taxi
      April 2, 2011, 2:03 pm

      They threatened to make his grandchildren pay for his ‘alleged’ sins against israel and they told him exactly how they’d do it: through commercial, communal and religious banishment.

  17. seanmcbride
    April 2, 2011, 1:54 pm

    The operative phrase that comes to mind: Stalinist/Orwellian rewriting of history.

  18. Kathleen
    April 2, 2011, 1:55 pm

    “IDF soldiers were accused of using Rabah and a younger child as human shields and where found guilty. For their crime the soldiers were simply demoted and given a suspended sentence. Here is the experts’ report take on the Israeli investigation:

    According to media reports, two soldiers forced a boy to search bags suspected of being booby trapped and were convicted of offenses including inappropriate behavior and overstepping authority. Both soldiers were demoted and received suspended sentences of three months each.

    It should be noted that while some media reports described the conviction as a credit to the IDF, a former IDF deputy chief of staff reportedly said that the soldiers’ criminal records should be cleared and that such events should be probed inside the units and not in interrogation rooms.The boy’s mother apparently indicated her disappointment over the decision to suspend the prison terms and expressed concern at the message that such a lenient sentence would send to IDF soldiers. Reportedly, in the ruling, the actions of the soldiers were condemned by the judges, but they also gave weight to issues such as the contribution of the soldiers to Israel’s security and their personal circumstances, as well as to their fatigue at the time, the unprecedented nature of the case, and that the soldiers did not seek to degrade or humiliate the boy. Evidently the court also indicated that any future such incidents would be dealt with more severely.

    The Committee does not have sufficient information to comment definitively on this judgment, although it is hard to square the apparent finding that the soldiers “did not seek to degrade or humiliate the boy” with evidence that they intended to put him directly in harm’s way at grave risk to his life. The Committee is likewise mindful of other judicial decisions, such as the case of the soldier who was sentenced to a prison term of seven and a half months for stealing a credit card during the operation in Gaza, where a harsher penalty was imposed for acts that did not entail danger to the life or physical integrity of a civilian, much less to a nine year old child.”

    Criminal simply criminal

    • GuiltyFeat
      April 2, 2011, 4:03 pm

      Agreed, this is criminal.

      What about Hamas war crimes? Where do you stand on those?

      • Donald
        April 2, 2011, 4:19 pm

        I can’t speak for Kathleen, but I suspect she’s like most people here–we condemn Hamas when it targets civilians, whether with suicide bombing years ago or with rocket attacks. Most of us also condemn the human rights violations they commit against their own people, just as we condemn the PA for the same thing.

      • GuiltyFeat
        April 2, 2011, 4:41 pm

        Stop squirming and call a war crime a war crime.

        Goldstone uses the term to describe the action of Hamas. He used it in the original report and he reiterated in in this op-ed.

        Why will no one on this board address the war crimes committed by Hamas?

        Israel commits war crimes and Hamas, the elected representatives of the Palestinians commit war crimes.

        Goldstone claims that Israel has instigated some measure of investigation into its war crimes but Hamas has not.

        Does anyone here disagree with that assessment?

      • Richard Witty
        April 2, 2011, 4:44 pm

        I frankly don’t hear that very often at all Donald.

        And nearly 100% of the time when the few posters that state that here do so, they qualify the statement as ‘what would you expect of an oppressed people. Violent resistance is a human right per “international law”.’

      • Taxi
        April 2, 2011, 5:27 pm

        Which part of this universal charter regarding the rights of the OCCUPIED to “resist by all means possible” do you find offensive Richard?

        This ‘right’ is NOT given to the occupier, for obvious reasons.

        You find this objectionable?

      • GuiltyFeat
        April 2, 2011, 5:50 pm

        So Taxi would you say that “resist by all means possible” includes the commission of war crimes?

      • Taxi
        April 2, 2011, 6:01 pm

        Le’me ask you this GuiltyFeat:

        So like when you zio guys soon get occupied by Hizbollah in Northern Galilee, ya think you should be allowed to “resist by all means possible”?

      • Donald
        April 2, 2011, 6:04 pm

        Guilty Feat, maybe you’re slow-witted or something, but when I condemn Hamas for its targeting of civilians I’m condemning their war crimes. If it’s the exact words that interest you, here they are–
        I condemn Hamas for its war crimes. It’s committed quite a few over the years. It blew up Israeli children, it fires rockets at towns, and it has tortured some of its own people.

        Now I also condemn Israel for its war crimes, which are much greater in number. And Israel’s “investigations” are largely meaningless. They give low-ranking people a slap on the wrist or they find that no crime was committed. They aren’t going to investigate high-ranking officials and hold them accountable. Neither will Hamas. Neither will the PA, which is also guilty of crimes against its own people. If one wants justice for war crimes, it’s going to have to come from outside. (The same is true for the victims of American war crimes, for the most part.)

      • Donald
        April 2, 2011, 6:08 pm

        “And nearly 100% of the time when the few posters that state that here do so, they qualify the statement as ‘what would you expect of an oppressed people. Violent resistance is a human right per “international law”.’”

        I think that’s false. Some will say that, some won’t. When self-defense comes up people often mean that Palestinians have the right to use force, but not against civilians. I’ve said that myself, though adding that I think force is a bad idea for other reasons, even if directed only at the IDF. What people here generally say is that Hamas’s crimes are numerically small compared to Israel’s, which is true.

        You rather consistently do what you just condemned in others when it comes to Israel. You consistently talk about “self-defense”, which is not applicable in any good faith way when Israel is guilty of so much violence and oppression against Palestinians and is usually the one which violates ceasefires.

      • GuiltyFeat
        April 3, 2011, 1:35 am

        “So like when you zio guys soon get occupied by Hizbollah in Northern Galilee, ya think you should be allowed to “resist by all means possible”?”

        Up to, but not including the commission of war crimes which includes the deliberate targeting of civilians.

        Now answer my question, Taxi, “would you say that “resist by all means possible” includes the commission of war crimes?”

      • GuiltyFeat
        April 3, 2011, 1:41 am

        Thank you, Donald. You are the only person on this board so far to admit to and condemn Hamas war crimes.

        I’m an Israeli. I’m pretty sure that war crimes were committed in my name by soldiers of my country’s army. These war crimes may have been committed under direct or indirect orders.

        I take issue with your certainty that Israel has committed a greater number of war crimes. How are you measuring that. Individual events. Is that some kind of scale where one human shield is worth two indiscriminate rockets? I think that’s woolly thinking. It’s like saying my cancer is worse than yours.

        We have two elected bodies committing war crimes against each other’s people. Each are culpable. Most of the commentators on this board only blame one.

      • annie
        April 3, 2011, 2:58 am

        You are the only person on this board so far to admit to and condemn Hamas war crimes. I’m pretty sure that war crimes were committed in my name by soldiers of my country’s army. ….We have two elected bodies committing war crimes against each other’s people. Each are culpable. Most of the commentators on this board only blame one.

        excuse me guilty, i just want to make sure i am understanding you correctly. are you admitting to and condemning israel’s war crimes?

      • tree
        April 3, 2011, 3:06 am

        We have two elected bodies committing war crimes against each other’s people. Each are culpable. Most of the commentators on this board only blame one.

        I think the violence is a symptom, so I think its fruitless to compare who’s committed more crimes. The root cause is the ethnic cleansing, the subjugation and occupation of the Palestinian by the Israeli government. I would expect violence to be used by both sides given that condition. The root problem is not the violence. It is the policy that creates the violence. Arguing whether Hamas or Israeli has committed worse war crimes is irrelevant. What’s relevant is that Israel is subjugating millions of people because they are of the “wrong” religion or ethnicity. Everything follows from that. And no war crime from either side justifies that.

        And THAT is why most people here blame Israel. Because it is the one denying Palestinians their basic human rights, and it is the one that could stop doing that in an instant if it so desired.

      • Walid
        April 3, 2011, 3:37 am

        “… I’m an Israeli. I’m pretty sure that war crimes were committed in my name by soldiers of my country’s army. These war crimes may have been committed under direct or indirect orders.”

        “We did it because we were following orders”; that’s what the Nazis said after the war, and your saying it now is more of the Zionists following the footsteps of the Nazis. That’s a guilty feat.

        To get back to what you said about your soldiers following direct or indirect orders you don’t account for most of Israel’s vile actions being attributed to Zionists getting some sick satisfaction in mistreating a weaker people as doing so is a guilty feat. The notion that Israel’s military operates under some mythical purity of arms is like the crap that your soldiers leave on people’s walls and furniture. It sure doesn’t include having toilet-trained its soldiers. And that’s another guilty feat.

        I’m not sorry to be bursting your bubble, Guilty, but I also think that Hamas committed war crimes in bombing civilians or in targetting the civilians of Sderot with their qassams and I’m not a fan of Hamas but you have to outgrow the notion that Israel had to flatten Gaza because of what Hamas was doing.

      • annie
        April 3, 2011, 3:42 am

        i read an interview w/meshaal. he said he would agree to only target military targets if we’d supply him with weapons to accomplish that.

      • Taxi
        April 3, 2011, 6:01 am

        Which part of the word ‘ALL’ do you not understand Guilty?

        And you didn’t answer my question either mister snake. What are you gonna say about your rights to resist when Hizbollah’s boot is on your neck right in your own (stolen) home?

        You prefer that the universal law accorded you the occupied to be worded: resist by SOME means possible?

        Yeah right!

        Goose and gander friendo, goose and gander.

      • GuiltyFeat
        April 3, 2011, 5:20 pm

        I did answer you earlier. I said it’s impossible to know, but I believe the correct response is to resist by any means necessary up to but not including the commission of war crimes.

      • GuiltyFeat
        April 3, 2011, 5:27 pm

        “excuse me guilty, i just want to make sure i am understanding you correctly. are you admitting to and condemning israel’s war crimes?”

        Yes, I think I probably am. To qualify, I have lived here for 15 years but I have never served in the army. My children have not been called up yet. I have no first-hand knowledge of war crimes. Nevertheless, I think, like many of you, that the weight of evidence points to the commission of war crimes by Israel.

        Nevertheless, I reject the idea that these war crimes, horrific as they are, can be seen without the context of war crimes that have been committed against the State of Israel by Hamas, Hizbullah and Iraq and continue on a weekly if not daily basis.

        I do not seek to defend Israel by pointing to these other crimes, but I believe it’s disingenuous to judge Israel without also judging the other sovereign states and Hamas who commit war crimes against Israel without compunction.

      • GuiltyFeat
        April 3, 2011, 5:31 pm

        “These war crimes may have been committed under direct or indirect orders.” @Walid.

        I did not make myself clear. When I referenced war crimes committed under direct or indirect order I was talking about intentionality. I did not mean to exonerate any soldier that commits a crime as a result of an order, only to point out that the intention may have come from higher up the command chain and not just in the heat of battle.

    • Potsherd2
      April 2, 2011, 5:42 pm

      the unprecedented nature of the case

      Bullshit! The nature of the case was highly precedented. The Israeli courts have been trying for decades to quash the IDF’s use of civilians, including children, as human shields. To no avail.

  19. seanmcbride
    April 2, 2011, 2:01 pm

    Jeffrey Goldberg accuses Richard Goldstone of having committed a “blood libel” here:

    link to theatlantic.com

  20. Kathleen
    April 2, 2011, 2:15 pm

    Goldstone: “and I am confident that if the officer is found to have been negligent, Israel will respond accordingly. ”

    What actions by Israel would give Goldstone this confidence?

    That article by Goldstone is a complete flip. Thought the man had more integrity.

    And why would anyone expect either side to do a fair investigation into their own behavior? Absurd. Did Hamas allow Goldstone access during the investigation?

  21. Kathleen
    April 2, 2011, 2:18 pm

    “I had hoped that our inquiry into all aspects of the Gaza conflict would begin a new era of evenhandedness at the U.N. Human Rights Council, whose history of bias against Israel cannot be doubted.”

    This history of bias against Israel is very much doubted

    • GuiltyFeat
      April 2, 2011, 4:42 pm

      “This history of bias against Israel is very much doubted”

      Not by Goldstone, it seems. His integrity was good enough when he said things you wanted to believe, why not now?

      • Chaos4700
        April 3, 2011, 1:20 am

        So it’s your contention he was LYING when he FILED AN OFFICIAL REPORT WITH THE UN and now that he’s writing an opinion piece, now THAT is supposed to be the truth? Really? An opinion piece? In the Washington “WMDs in Iraq / Hussein and al-Qaeda in bed together” Post?

      • Potsherd2
        April 3, 2011, 5:49 pm

        Reading his article, there is no “retraction” in it, no repudiation of any of the facts it presented. If he had done so, if he had presented evidence to show that his original report was mistaken, his integrity would only be enhanced.

        But this thing is nothing but appeasement, groveling for forgiveness – which will not be forthcoming. He has given up his self-respect, and for what?

      • Donald
        April 3, 2011, 6:02 pm

        ” there is no “retraction” in it, ”

        There is a retraction of the claim that Israel targeted civilians, but it’s a retraction based on nothing substantive except the claims of Israelis.
        That was the flaw in the original report–the demand that Israel and Hamas investigate their own crimes. It’s extremely rare that any government ever does that in a way that has integrity–to my knowledge it only happens when there’s been a revolution, in which case what’s really going on is that the new government is investigating the crimes of its overthrown enemies. Governments sometimes investigate the crimes of low level people, but that’s all they can be trusted to do.

  22. DBG
    April 2, 2011, 2:20 pm

    This blog post and the commenters reaction proves just how morally bankrupt your movement is.

    • Robert
      April 2, 2011, 4:10 pm

      DBG,

      I don’t think so. It is utterly, centrally important to find the truth of the situation no matter what. Truth comes from a lot of data, and cross-checking evidence. There was a lot of that in the Goldstone Report, and not a lot of new data in the Op-Ed. The possibility of an Israel Lobby person manipulating Goldstone, as well as Jimmy Carter, for example is real. Why was Goldstone’s grandson’s Bar Mitzvah targeted? Why was Carter forced to submit an apology after he wrote an accurate book about apartheid in the West Bank? Mondoweiss is not morally bankrupt at all, it is morally awake and aware.

    • Chaos4700
      April 3, 2011, 1:21 am

      When we kill three hundred and fifty children without a flicker of remorse like YOU did, then you can think about calling us morally bankrupt.

  23. Kathleen
    April 2, 2011, 2:22 pm

    The comments are interesting. Goldstone rolled over and over. He turns out to be Israel’s dog after all

    link to washingtonpost.com

  24. Kathleen
    April 2, 2011, 2:39 pm

    Went over to Norman Finkelsteins to see if he has responded to this roll over by Goldstone. Nothing yet. Finkelstein will be sure to respond to this
    link to normanfinkelstein.com

    Netanyahu is jumping with joy. Goldstone rolled over 34 minutes ago
    link to jpost.com
    “I think our soldiers and army behaved according to the highest standards” during Operation Cast Lead, Netanyahu said.
    link to jpost.com

    • annie
      April 2, 2011, 2:50 pm

      OMG, you’ve got to be kidding me.

    • Potsherd2
      April 2, 2011, 3:02 pm

      Yeah, he wants the UN to repudiate the entire report

      • lobewyper
        April 2, 2011, 3:35 pm

        So, ya’ll thought Bibi had no skills!

      • Taxi
        April 2, 2011, 5:20 pm

        The skills of thuggery and skulduggery.

  25. Kathleen
    April 2, 2011, 2:47 pm

    Enough harassment works on some people.
    Norman Finkelstein has never backed down to Israel or the national or international I lobby.

    link to articles.latimes.com

    link to wn.com

    link to goldstonereport.org

  26. Kathleen
    April 2, 2011, 3:14 pm

    Responses to Goldstones roll over op ed

    Netanyahu to UN: Retract Gaza war report in wake of Goldstone’s comments
    Following Richard Goldstone’s op-ed in which he expressed regret regarding his report on alleged Israeli war crimes in the Gaza war, PM says ‘everything we said proved to be true’ and urges the UN to scrap the report.

    “Netanyahu said that in the wake of Goldstone’s comments, the United Nations must cancel his damning report.

    “The fact that Goldstone changed his mind must lead to the shelving of the report once and for all,” Netanyahu demanded.

    Defense Minister Ehud Barak also responded to Goldstone’s op-ed on Saturday. He too demanded that Goldstone present his new conclusions to official bodies.

    “We always said that the IDF is a moral army that acted according to international law. Judge Goldstone needs to publish his present conclusions before all international bodies where he published his distorted report,” said Barak. ”
    link to haaretz.com

  27. Kathleen
    April 2, 2011, 3:24 pm

    How will Netanyahu, and the I lobby shut these guys down?

    30 testimonies from Israeli soldiers
    link to palestinemonitor.org

    Breaking the Silence founder Yehuda Shaul, is there a crack in the Israeli army’s wall of silence?
    link to israeli-occupation.org

    Breaking the Silence
    link to shovrimshtika.org
    link to archive.org

  28. DICKERSON3870
    April 2, 2011, 3:29 pm

    RE: “Judge Richard Goldstone has a confusing and potentially damaging op-ed in today’s Washington Post…” – Adam Horowitz
    SPEAKING OF THE WASHINGTON POST, ALSO SEE: Israel releases map detailing hundreds of Hezbollah sites in Lebanon ~ Natasha Mozgovaya, Haaretz, 03/30/11

    (excerpts) Israeli military officials have provided a map detailing nearly 1,000 sites and facilities monitored by the Hezbollah militant group in southern Lebanon, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
    Israeli intelligence officials believe that the 550 underground bunkers identified have been stocked with weapons transferred from Syria since the 2006 Second Lebanon War, according to the report. The map obtained by the Washington Post also details 300 surveillance sites and 100 other facilities Israel believes belong to Hezbollah militants.
    The map indicates Israel’s deep concern regarding relations between Syria and Hezbollah, according to the Washington Post, which cites Israeli officials as having said in interviews that most of Hezbollah’s weapons are secretly transferred from arms depots near Damascus to facilities in southern Lebanon.
    The Washington Post surmised that in releasing the map, the Israel Defense Forces was making a preemptive bid to dispel condemnation of any future Israeli attacks on civilian areas marked in the map.
    A senior Israeli commander told the Washington Post that Israel’s interest in providing those details was “to show the world that the Hezbollah organization has turned these villages into fighting zones.”…

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to haaretz.com
    P.S. I guess this means that the Washington Post (to the chagrin of the NYT) is now the Israel Defense Forces’ official newspaper in the U.S.

  29. Kathleen
    April 2, 2011, 3:34 pm

    Remember this

    Israel Shells UN Headquarters In Gaza
    link to huffingtonpost.com

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israeli artillery shells struck the U.N. headquarters in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, setting a food warehouse ablaze and drawing a sharp rebuke from the visiting U.N. chief who called it an “outrage.” Another Israeli bombardment killed Hamas’ head of security.

    The attack added to a day of deadly chaos pitting Israeli troops against Islamic militants. Terrified residents huddled in shelters and stairwells, or scooped up toddlers and fled on foot.

    After nightfall, shells landed near Gaza City’s Quds Hospital, where many families had sought refuge, and the building caught fire, forcing staff to evacuate hundreds of people. According to a hospital medic, some patients were pushed down the street on gurneys; a few held white flags.

    The destruction added to what aid groups say is a humanitarian crisis in Gaza and ratcheted up tensions between Israel and the international community even as diplomats indicated progress in cease-fire talks.”

    Yeah right Israel did not purposely target civilian or humanitarian sites.

  30. Golden Rule
    April 2, 2011, 3:37 pm

    This was an absolutely amazing OP-ED written by Mr. Goldstone. A person with this type of integrity to clarify his position after Israel’s investigations is amazing. He should be respected, not demonized.

    I am very saddened by the pro-Palestinian’s response to this. he was once a hero, now he is demonized for wanted to amend his report in a public setting. Hamas needs to be held to the same accountability as Israel has, they’ve done their part to investigate, but Hamas has not. As for the UNHRC, it is obviously has an anti-Israel agenda.

    • Kathleen
      April 2, 2011, 4:04 pm

      Why would you ask the Israeli’s or Palestinians/ Hamas to investigate themselves. There is so much evidence that Israel is incapable of this and it makes sense that Hamas would be incapable also.

      Israel should open up to the investigation that Goldstone was trying to finish. Goldstone should not be taking Israel word for it.

      Did Hamas allow Goldstone to go and do what he needed to do during the UN investigation? I believe they did.

      Israel should allow Goldstone to complete this investigation

    • Donald
      April 2, 2011, 4:12 pm

      “This was an absolutely amazing OP-ED written by Mr. Goldstone. A person with this type of integrity to clarify his position after Israel’s investigations is amazing. He should be respected, not demonized.

      I am very saddened by the pro-Palestinian’s response to this. he was once a hero, now he is demonized for wanted to amend his report in a public setting.”

      This is fatuous. I’ll spell out what I take to be your reasoning–

      1. Goldstone, a Zionist, authored a report which was full of damning evidence that demonstrated Israel had caused immense destruction to civilian targets and killed hundreds of civilians in the Gaza War. He was praised for this by those sympathetic to Palestinians and condemned by many or most Zionists.

      2. Two years later nothing has changed on the factual front. It’s impossible to believe that Israel could have wreaked so much havoc without it being policy and in fact there was evidence from statements by Israeli officials that it was policy. But Goldstone now says Israel is doing a fine job investigating itself and has shown Israel didn’t mean to do all those terrible things it did. It was just some bad apples.

      3. Mondoweissers are unhappy about his backflip.

      4. Therefore, we are morally bankrupt.

      Put like that, yeah, gosh, that’s a compelling argument.

      So it’s your opinion that when Israel killed hundreds of civilians and inflicted immense damage on Gazan infrastructure all they have to do is launch a few token investigations into a few low-ranking people and that settles the matter?

      I have news for you. Powerful countries often do this–they kill innocent people in large numbers or commit other war crimes and then, if there is bad PR, they scapegoat a few low ranking people. It’s hard to believe anything so flagrantly hypocritical would fool anyone but it’s a depressing fact about human nature that a great many people want badly to be fooled.

    • DICKERSON3870
      April 2, 2011, 4:20 pm

      RE: “This was an absolutely amazing OP-ED written by Mr. Goldstone. A person with this type of integrity to clarify his position after Israel’s investigations is amazing.” – Golden Rule

      MY COMMENT: It just occurred to me that “Golden Rule” would be a great screen name to use for posting hasbara!

      SEE: Hasbara spam alert ~ by Richard Silverstein, guardian.co.uk, 01/09/09
      With Israel’s foreign ministry organising volunteers to flood news websites with pro-Israeli comments, Propaganda 2.0 is here

      The hasbara brigade strikes again! You always hear about Israeli attempts at media manipulation. Everyone knows it’s going on but usually the process happens through cyber insurgents like those involved with Giyus (and its media monitoring software, Megaphone). Now, we know that the Israeli foreign ministry itself is orchestrating propaganda efforts designed to flood news websites with pro-Israel arguments and information.
      A reader of my blog has received the following email which documents both the efforts and the agency that originated them. The solicitation to become a pro-Israel “media volunteer” also includes a list of media links which the ministry would like addressed by pro-Israel comments

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to guardian.co.uk

    • Cliff
      April 2, 2011, 4:43 pm

      what does anti-israel agenda mean

      explain to us who at UNHRC is anti-israel and how the anti-israel agenda works behind the scenes there, oh wise Zionist

      • DBG
        April 2, 2011, 6:23 pm

        Just so we are clear, were talking about the United Nations Human Rights Council right Cliff? Anyone who doesn’t claim they aren’t biased against Israel is insane. You know this is the second version of this council, the first one was disbanded because of their biased against Israel.

        Here is some reading if this is all ‘news to you’

        link to reuters.com

        link to ynetnews.com

        link to njdc.org

        It really amazes me how blind you people are on here.

      • Taxi
        April 2, 2011, 8:38 pm

        It’s amazing how amazed yet not amazing you are.

      • GuiltyFeat
        April 3, 2011, 5:18 am

        Taxi I would think this article deserves a slightly better thought out rebuttal than “I know you are but what am I.”

        link to reuters.com

      • Taxi
        April 3, 2011, 7:05 am

        I don’t get your reference quote and so I won’t touch your link.

    • Potsherd2
      April 2, 2011, 5:52 pm

      I believe that people here are pitying Goldstone, not demonizing him. We are sad that the relentless hounding of the Jewish public has caused him to grovel for approval.

  31. DICKERSON3870
    April 2, 2011, 3:42 pm

    RE: “Judge Richard Goldstone has a confusing and potentially damaging op-ed in today’s Washington Post…” – Adam Horowitz
    ALSO SEE – Netanyahu to UN: Retract Gaza war report in wake of Goldstone’s comments ~ Haaretz, 04/02/11

    (subtitle/summary) Following Richard Goldstone’s op-ed in which he expressed regret regarding his report on alleged Israeli war crimes in the Gaza war, PM says ‘everything we said proved to be true’ and urges the UN to scrap the report.

    ENTIRE ARTICLE – link to haaretz.com

  32. Kathleen
    April 2, 2011, 3:43 pm

    Great links , reports etc about Cast Lead
    link to australiansforpalestine.com

    Amnesty report
    link to amnesty.org

    Remember how Israel kept journalist at a distance so that they could not accurately report or document what was going on in the Gaza during Cast Lead
    Operation “Cast lead”: news control as a military objective
    Published on Sunday 15 February 2009. Mis a jour le Wednesday 18 February 2009.

    Following the 22-day Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip, Reporters Without Borders carried out an on-the-spot investigation at the end of January to gauge the level of press freedom violations during the conflict. The organisation also studied the consequences of keeping foreign journalists out of Gaza. News was also a casualty of this war.

    Download the report “Operation ‘Cast Lead’: Control of information as military objective”:
    link to en.rsf.org

  33. Kathleen
    April 2, 2011, 4:06 pm

    Wonder if any of our Reps will call Goldstone to the hill for a hearing now that he rolled over. Still would be interesting

  34. DICKERSON3870
    April 2, 2011, 4:07 pm

    RE: “Judge Richard Goldstone has a confusing…op-ed in today’s Washington Post…” – Adam Horowitz
    “OLDE SNARKY” SEZ: Yes, when Dershowitz goes into full tilt ‘obfuscation mode’ it can get very, very confusing!

  35. Robert
    April 2, 2011, 4:22 pm

    From Goldstone’s op-ed piece:

    “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.

    The second sentence of the second paragraph, regarding the Itamar killings, is out-of-place and smells political. The entire context is about Hamas investigating itself, and he switches topic to the Itamar killings without a good reason. This is particularly the case because the killer of the Itamar family hasnt been found yet. He is including that sentence as a sop to please those who want to dilute and relativize the impact of the Goldstone Report.

    My gut tells me that he has lost his confidence because someone has gotten to him.

    • GuiltyFeat
      April 2, 2011, 4:48 pm

      Your gut? Well that’s fascinating and thanks for bringing it to the debate.

      Should we delve any further into the question of whether “someone has gotten to him” or is “your gut” enough to settle the matter?

      • Robert
        April 2, 2011, 5:33 pm

        GF,

        This op-ed is only a few hours old, and more will come out in the days ahead. The other members of the commission should weigh in, and Goldstone should present all of his new evidence. I’m glad to see that Ehud Barak called for presentation of new evidence, let’s see what happened.

        There is a mountain of evidence in the Goldstone Report, and I would like to see if there is a mountain of evidence to rebut it. I really doubt it. Also, GF, look at this interview link to goldstonereport.org . Look at the confidence that Goldstone has. He is sure of what he is saying. Not so the op-ed. We’ll see if it’s followed up with data.

        Don’t forget Jimmy Carter. He wrote “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid” and he was excoriated for using the word Apartheid in 2007. Now, the word Apartheid is commonly discussed, so he was right. But when his grandson was running for office, he issued an “Al Het” apology to the Jewish community for writing the book, which is an accurate book. Smells to high heaven, and so does the Goldstone op ed.

      • Potsherd2
        April 3, 2011, 5:53 pm

        He has no new evidence. He says, “if I knew then what I know now” but gives no specifics whatsoever. Maybe “what I know now” is that Jews worldwide would vilify him over the report.

      • tree
        April 3, 2011, 3:24 am

        SO, GF, do you have any rational reason why an op-ed about the Goldstone Report on the 2009 Gaza War by Judge Goldstone should have included the recent Itamar killings?Hamas has definitely denied any involvement and there is no know perpetrator at this point, which means the deaths could have been totally unrelated to the conflict, so why bring it up?

        Its totally out of place in the op-ed.

      • annie
        April 3, 2011, 3:26 am

        i agree, that totally stood out in the article for me. gratuitous pandering?

      • GuiltyFeat
        April 3, 2011, 5:25 am

        I agree with you as well on this point.

        It’s opportunist, but if you read the piece, Goldstone is calling out the Human Rights Council (UNHRC), not Hamas for this omission.

        It’s not the strongest part of the piece in my opinion.

      • tree
        April 3, 2011, 9:52 am

        Since no Palestinian group has claimed responsibility, it would be bizarre in the extreme for the UNCHR to condemn an act that could very likely turn out to be one of private motives. Should the UNCHR have condemned Loughner in the US? Or the Oshrenko killings in Israel?

      • GuiltyFeat
        April 3, 2011, 5:33 pm

        Agreed. I thought it was a meaningless aside on Goldstone’s part.

    • Kathleen
      April 3, 2011, 1:21 pm

      “The second sentence of the second paragraph, regarding the Itamar killings, is out-of-place and smells political.”

      I thought the same thing. Goldstone beats up on the UN Human rights council, says that Israel investigating themselves is trustworthy and Hamas doing the same is not.

      He is doing some serious back pedaling.

  36. jon s
    April 2, 2011, 4:23 pm

    In the wake of Goldstone’s courageous new article, one inevitable conclusion is how foolish the Israeli government’s decision not to cooperate with the Goldstone commission was. The proverbial “shoot- yourself-in-the-foot”.
    These are the relevant questions, as I see it:
    1.Did the IDF take measures to minimize civilian casualties? If so –were those precautions adequate? Could more be done?
    2. How does the IDF compare on this score to other armed forces in other conflicts? (Such as the Americans in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Russians in Chechnya and Georgia, NATO in former Yugoslavia…)
    3. What is the degree of responsibility of the Hamas for those civilian casualties, considering their deliberate and cynical strategy of trying to increase the number of civilian casualties on their own side, by using their own people as human shields?

    • annie
      April 2, 2011, 4:37 pm

      interesting framing jon

      1. considering their deliberate and cynical strategy of trying to increase the number of civilian casualties on their own side, by using their own people as human shields

      what’s your source on this. and why do you call hamas ‘the hamas’?

      • Donald
        April 2, 2011, 4:47 pm

        Interesting indeed. Not a single one of Goldstone’s new fans has any interest in the evidence presented in the Goldstone report or in other human rights reports about Gaza. Instead, it’s all about how “courageous” he is to switch sides and start parroting Israel’s own self-justifications.

      • GuiltyFeat
        April 2, 2011, 4:52 pm

        I don’t understand this response. Who are you quoting?

        I’ll call them Hamas if you like. Annie, what’s your take on Goldstone’s unequivocal opinion that Hamas commits war crimes by firing rocket indiscriminately into civilian areas of Israel?

        I’m pretty sure you could easily name two or three Israelis that you would like tried for war crimes. Can you also name two or three leaders of Hamas that you think should also be tried for war crimes?

      • Avi
        April 2, 2011, 4:55 pm

        annie April 2, 2011 at 4:37 pm

        interesting framing jon

        1. considering their deliberate and cynical strategy of trying to increase the number of civilian casualties on their own side, by using their own people as human shields

        what’s your source on this. and why do you call hamas ‘the hamas’?

        Like most Olim to Israel, jon s. is merely regurgitating Hasbara he hears on Israeli TV and radio. Sure, he’s been living there since the 1990s, but his idea of understanding reality is to see it through the prism of his Zionist overlords. That way he can pretend to be an Israeli, to belong to a group and feel as though he’s one of them.

        And despite the fact that he hasn’t a scintilla of clue as to what he’s talking about, he’ll continue to peddle the same garbage because that’s what he believes will help Israel.

        As for his previous claim that he served in the IOF, I call bunk. Unless one is a paper pusher hunkered down in a closet, it takes a deluted automaton to serve in any combat capacity and not come out with the realization that the Israeli military is knee-deep in atrocities and violations of human rights on a regular basis.

      • jon s
        April 2, 2011, 5:26 pm

        Avi, You’re rather tiresome with your nasty ad hominem attacks.
        -I’ve been in Israel since way before the 1990s.
        -I’m here and you’re not, so I know what I’m talking about more than you do. I wonder if you’ve served in the IDF.
        -I’ve never stated that the IDF has not carried out human rights violations.

      • Avi
        April 2, 2011, 6:10 pm

        jon s April 2, 2011 at 5:26 pm

        Avi, You’re rather tiresome with your nasty ad hominem attacks.

        It wasn’t an ad hominem. It was a statement of fact. And your Hasbara and obfuscation are certainly vomit inducing. So, don’t go all indignant. It’s pathetic.

        -I’ve been in Israel since way before the 1990s.

        OK, since 1989.

        -I’m here and you’re not, so I know what I’m talking about more than you do.

        You could be anywhere and you would still spew the same nonsense. Take the ear plugs out and the eye covers off and your argument might hold some water.

        I wonder if you’ve served in the IDF.

        How convenient.

        I’ve never stated that the IDF has not carried out human rights violations.

        No you didn’t, but you did deny on numerous occasions certain behavior which you pretended did not exist. Willful ignorance is not good enough a defense, bubbeleh.

      • DBG
        April 2, 2011, 6:17 pm

        Have you served in the IDF Avi? Why did you leave Israel? How old were you. If you are going to constantly attack Jon S. for not being Israeli enough you should really explain your constant ad-hominem attacks against him.

        Phil and Adam, you should explain why you allow this constant barrage of ad-hominems attack from people like Avi, Chaos, etc while censoring others?

      • annie
        April 2, 2011, 9:17 pm

        quit diverting and cut to the chase jon.you’re either spewing hasbara or you can back up this claim:

        1. considering their deliberate and cynical strategy of trying to increase the number of civilian casualties on their own side, by using their own people as human shields

        where’s you evidence of this alleged ‘strategy’.

        fork it up or quit whining for getting called out on your bs. lil dbg is whining for phil and adam to rescue you but it aint gonna work.
        we’re hip to these lies.

      • Avi
        April 3, 2011, 5:08 am

        DBG April 2, 2011 at 6:17 pm

        Have you served in the IDF Avi? Why did you leave Israel? How old were you. If you are going to constantly attack Jon S. for not being Israeli enough

        I’m not attacking jon s. for “not being Israeli enough” as you so wrongfully claim.

        Your friend is enjoying the fruit of a large scale injustice while he continues to perpetuate that injustice.

        It is hypocritical for someone who has been privileged over the indigenous people of Palestine to take advantage of free airfare, government subsidies, financial incentives, tax breaks, tax-free purchases and cash in hand for several years by virtue of him being Jewish — all thanks to a government policy based on fairy tales that the land was given to Jews some two-thousand years ago.

        Meanwhile, Palestinians who were born on their own land, are denied entry and are prohibited from ever visiting their homes.

        So, when your buddy comes along and runs interference for a state that has killed about 348 children in less than three weeks, it is my obligation to point the hypocrisy to him, as well as to point out the simple fact that he is the epitome of parasitism.

        See if you can wrap your head around that.

      • jon s
        April 3, 2011, 10:36 am

        Avi, For some reason beyond my comprehension you insist on trying to make me, personally, the issue. Maybe you don’t have any real answers , maybe there’s something about the Israeli Left that you can’t deal with, who knows, I’m not your shrink.
        For the record: I never received “free airfare, government subsidies…” and the rest of your list..

      • Avi
        April 3, 2011, 11:02 am

        Given the fact that you peddle Israeli propaganda claiming it to be a finding in the Goldstone report, renders all your claims and denials shoddy. And that wasn’t the first, and it certainly won’t be the last given your track record.

        As for your indignation. Well, it’s only understandable that you will resent criticism when your very own hypocrisy is the core of that criticism.

        If you don’t see the connection, I can explain it again until you get it.

        Incidentally, you might want to consult a psychiatrist about your delusion of claiming to be a post-Zionist, or whatever label you are using these days.

    • Cliff
      April 2, 2011, 4:41 pm

      where is your evidence of human shields

      not one instance, but a systematic usage of said tactic that explains the civilian death toll in question

      goldstone’s article is not an exoneration of israel, so don’t start the party just yet

      he didn’t write the report himself

      it bears his name, but that doesn’t mean he was the only person on the team

      furthermore the report is based on testimonies among other things

      but naturally, given your shallow intellectualism jon s, you want to use this article to ‘point score’

    • Richard Witty
      April 2, 2011, 4:42 pm

      They were worried about bias. The human rights council engaging Dr. Goldstone included Iran and other malevolently biased states, that DID attempt to pressure him into a hatchet job, which he refused.

      I dislike that he is being accused of pandering. It diminishes the credibility of posters here for their fickleness about him as a person. In one minute, a courageous observer. In the next a spineless liar. (The accusation that the “facts remain the same”, but that he caved, is that, an accusation that the man is a spineless liar.)

      Is that what Phil and Adam think of the man? Adam?

      • radkelt
        April 2, 2011, 10:21 pm

        “In one minute, a courageous observer. In the next a spineless liar”…
        could be true of most of us given sufficient pressure.

      • Chaos4700
        April 3, 2011, 1:24 am

        OUR fickleness? Was Goldstone lying when he wrote the report? Or is Goldstone lying now?

      • MRW
        April 3, 2011, 2:37 pm

        Hear, hear, Chaos.

    • Potsherd2
      April 2, 2011, 5:49 pm

      one inevitable conclusion is how foolish the Israeli government’s decision not to cooperate with the Goldstone commission was. The proverbial “shoot- yourself-in-the-foot”.

      Very true, and if Goldstone had stuck at that, no one would criticize this rollover. And what he could have said is that, so far, Israeli investigation of a few incidents does confirm the original conclusion of the report, which is that Israeli troops did commit war crimes.

      And of course there’s the gimme shot against Hamas, which is totally irrelevant to the question of Israeli war crimes.

      What his own words don’t really support is this notion that the original report should be repudiated.

      • GuiltyFeat
        April 3, 2011, 5:30 am

        “What his own words don’t really support is this notion that the original report should be repudiated.”

        Repudiated, no. Modified, yes. Goldstone now say that the evidence points to a certainty that Hamas committed war crimes, while only the possibility that Israel did. This is hugely significant, no?

      • Taxi
        April 3, 2011, 6:33 am

        So It’s like possible that BILLIONS of people around the world DIDN’T see those dreamy streams of israeli WHITE PHOSPHOROUS raining on Gaza schools and hospitals, right?

        What an asshole of an interpretation you’re proposing Guilty.

        I can tell you REALLY enjoyed Gaza burning.

      • GuiltyFeat
        April 3, 2011, 10:42 am

        According to Goldstone, yes, it’s possible that your interpretation of “dreamy streams” of white phosphorous (you tell us more about your own relationship to tragedy and death with that description than you perhaps meant to) does not equate to war crimes. That’s what he says.

        He also maintains as before that Hamas committed war crimes by firing rockets indiscriminately at civilians areas.

        “I can tell you REALLY enjoyed Gaza burning.”

        What an utterly hateful thing to write. Nothing I have written contains even one hundredth of the venom and aggression with which you pepper your nasty little posts. There is absolutely no call for this kind of vicious filth on a civilized board like this. Shame on you.

      • MRW
        April 3, 2011, 2:44 pm

        Goldstone now say that the evidence points to a certainty that Hamas committed war crimes, while only the possibility that Israel did. This is hugely significant, no?

        No, it’s a lie.

      • kapok
        April 3, 2011, 3:20 pm

        “you tell us more” umm, OK, mister-slices-children’s throats.

      • Donald
        April 3, 2011, 5:47 pm

        “According to Goldstone, yes, it’s possible that your interpretation of “dreamy streams” of white phosphorous (you tell us more about your own relationship to tragedy and death with that description than you perhaps meant to) does not equate to war crimes. That’s what he says.”

        What a pathetic human being he has become then. I suppose that we can also have deep discussions about whether it’s a crime to strap explosives around a person’s body and then send that person to explode inside a restaurant.

        And you’re tossing away your moral credibility with both hands, GF. You had a legitimate point to make about Hamas war crimes, but it appears it was all in the service of making it certain that Palestinians commit war crimes, while Israelis can use indisriminate weapons in urban areas on a much larger scale and gosh, we just can’t know without looking inside their beautiful souls whether it was criminal or not.

  37. AngelaJerusalem
    April 2, 2011, 4:37 pm

    link to bit.ly – Netanyahu is now making major political capital out of Goldstone’s op-ed — misinterpreting it completely, IMHO. (And this spin now becomes the received wisdom…) He demands the UN retract the Goldstone Report, even though Goldstone himself hasn’t outright contradicted its findings or suggested a full inquiry by Israel into the allegations isn’t still outstanding.

    Thanks, Adam, for a great analysis. Here’s hoping the ICC is eventually the forum for justice before any Cast Lead 2 or Mavi Marmara 2. Or Intifada 3. Or… or… or…. [sigh]

  38. Cliff
    April 2, 2011, 4:45 pm

    I would like to know what new research Goldstone has done to arrive at some of his revised conclusions

    surely the ‘liberal Zionist’ Richard Witty will also want some more detail as to what evidence propelled Goldstone to write this op-ed 2 years later

  39. Richard Witty
    April 2, 2011, 4:48 pm

    One of my disappointments with Adam’s and with posters’ response here, is that instead of finding out from the man himself what he actually concludes currently, there is a “shoot first” mentality, actively attempting to discredit him.

    Find out. You must have some contact with the man, after all these months.

    Then write something thoughtful and intelligent please.

    • Donald
      April 2, 2011, 5:30 pm

      “One of my disappointments with Adam’s and with posters’ response here, is that instead of finding out from the man himself what he actually concludes currently, there is a “shoot first” mentality, actively attempting to discredit him.”

      This is completely upside down.

      The reason people at this website praised Goldstone was because he helped write a report that was full of evidence concerning the destruction Israel wreaked on Gaza. The same evidence was described in other places, in reports by Amnesty International and other human rights groups, but Goldstone’s report received attention in part because of the man himself–a self-proclaimed Zionist who refused to accept the mandate to investigate Israel’s actions unless he also was given a mandate to investigate Hamas. He was given that mandate and turned out a fine report, and was abused for it.

      Now he is backtracking and as several posts here have already pointed out, there is no evidence to support the position he is taking. He misrepresents what is in the report by McGowan Davis and you could see that for yourself if you looked. (I did). The report specifically says there was no investigation by Israel into the larger policy issues (and incidentally, I find it remarkably naive that anyone would think either Israel or Hamas would do an honest job if such an investigation were authorized). People here are deeply disappointed in Goldstone because he is essentially spitting on his own report. Why he is doing this is between him and his conscience–what is far more important is that the facts haven’t changed in any significant way and he is now, in effect, helping Israel to whitewash its crimes.

      Anyway, Richard, you show no interest in the facts that three people here have outlined so far. Show some interest in those facts and maybe you’d appreciate what has been written.

    • MRW
      April 2, 2011, 7:08 pm

      Oh, blow it out your ass, Witty. Who are you? One of my disappointments with Adam’s and with posters’ response here, is that instead of finding out from the man himself what he actually concludes currently You just finished writing god knows how many posts about what Goldstone meant, now you’re a purist?

      Then write something thoughtful and intelligent please.
      You do it.

      You do your homework, as James North asks you to do.

      • Richard Witty
        April 2, 2011, 11:22 pm

        Donald,
        The reason people at this site praised Goldstone was because he confirmed your suspicion of “war crimes”. You liked the hotness of the word.

        And, here is judge Goldstone declaring “maybe” the use of the term “war crime” is not an accurate description.

        It can still be criticized, even severely. And certainly policies can be criticized (hopefully realistically rather than with bias and fantasy).

      • Chaos4700
        April 3, 2011, 1:25 am

        I said from the beginning that Goldstone was out to target Hamas. He just wasn’t willing to lie when he helped write the report.

        Note — HELPED WRITE. Have any of the other authors of the report retracted?

      • Donald
        April 3, 2011, 5:56 pm

        “And, here is judge Goldstone declaring “maybe” the use of the term “war crime” is not an accurate description.”

        Based on no evidence. And you continue to ignore the evidence. You ignore every specific claim made on this subject. You’ve ignored the details in four posts on this blog.

        You know, Richard, the problem here is that those of us who try to be consistent on human rights are always at a severe disadvantage when arguing with ethnocentric hypocrites. I can’t in good conscience deny that Hamas and other Palestinian groups commit war crimes and you pocket that concession as though it is your right, but when it comes to Israeli brutality on a massive scale you deny intentionality no matter how obvious it is. James North has said you have a bad conscience and I’ve agreed, but now I’m not so sure–you leap so eagerly at Goldstone’s almost evidence-free absolution given to Israel and you gloat so much I’m not sure there’s any hidden conflict inside.

  40. jon s
    April 2, 2011, 4:59 pm

    Annie, OK, you’re #1 is actually my #3… but anyway:
    By using schools, mosques, residential areas and so on as launching sites and as depots for their rockets, they certainly knew that the IDF would strike back at those facilities, probably causing civilian casualties.

    What’s the difference if I called them Hamas or “the Hamas”?

    Note that I did not make any comparison of the IDF to the Hamas, or any expectation that the Hamas not target civilians. They’re terrorists and deliberately targetting civilians is what they do.

    • radkelt
      April 2, 2011, 10:41 pm

      given universal conscription does rocketing any area of Israel
      (including former Palestine villages) constitute “targeting civilians”?
      If deliberately targeting civilians is “terrorisim” how can indiscriminate
      use of white phosphorus not be categorized as such?

    • annie
      April 2, 2011, 11:03 pm

      By using schools, mosques, residential areas and so on as launching sites and as depots for their rockets, they certainly knew that the IDF would strike back at those facilities, probably causing civilian casualties.

      who is your source they used schools and mosques jon? when you say ‘they certainly knew that the IDF would strike back at those facilities’ do you mean because the goi advertised they were going to regard civilian neighborhoods as military bases? where were they supposed to go jon? from the report:

      The Mission notes that, in any event, given the densely populated character of the northern half of the Gaza Strip, once Israeli forces gained control of the more open or outlying areas during the first days of the ground invasion, most — if not all — locations still accessible to Palestinian armed groups were in urban
      areas.

      this is the most densely populated area on the planet. and no, israel cannot break international law and then blame it on hamas claiming they ‘knew they would do it’. the only evidence w/using human shields in the massacre was the idf. in fact there are no deaths attributed to hamas wrt this allegation.

      What’s the difference if I called them Hamas or “the Hamas”?

      hey if you want to carry around a red flag advertising yourself as another caroline glick knock yourself out. why are you answering my question w/a question anyway? the difference is their name is not ‘the hamas’. so why sound like a rabid ziofreak? it’s your choice tho. go for it dude. fly those colors.

  41. jon s
    April 2, 2011, 5:13 pm

    As for sources, see the Goldstone report itself, from around page 111.

    • tree
      April 2, 2011, 8:41 pm

      As for sources, see the Goldstone report itself, from around page 111.

      The report does not support your allegation, and in fact runs counter to it.

      From the reports findings:

      482. On the basis of the information it gathered, the Mission finds that there are indications that Palestinian armed groups launched rockets from urban areas. The Mission has not been able to obtain any direct evidence that this was done with the specific intent of shielding the rocket launchers from counterstrikes by the Israeli armed forces. The Mission also notes, however, that Palestinian armed groups do not appear to have given Gaza residents sufficient warning of their intention to launch rockets from their neighbourhoods to allow them to leave and protect themselves against Israeli strikes at the rocket launching sites. The Mission notes that, in any event, given the densely populated character of the northern half of the Gaza Strip, once Israeli forces gained control of the more open or outlying areas during the first days of the ground invasion, most — if not all — locations still accessible to Palestinian armed groups were in urban
      areas.

      483. The Mission finds that the presence of Palestinian armed fighters in urban residential areas during the military operations is established. On the basis of the information it gathered, the Mission is unable to form an opinion on the exact nature or the intensity of their combat activities in urban residential areas that would have placed the civilian population and civilian objects at risk of attack. While reports reviewed by the Mission credibly indicate that members of Palestinian armed groups were not always dressed in a way that distinguished them from civilians, the Mission found no evidence that Palestinian combatants mingled with the civilian population with the intention of shielding themselves from attack.339

      484. From the information it gathered, the Mission does not discount the use of booby traps bythe Palestinian armed groups. The Mission has no basis to conclude that civilian lives were put at risk, since none of the reports records the presence of civilians in or near the houses that were allegedly booby-trapped.

      485. On the basis of its own investigations and statements by United Nations officials, the Mission excludes that Palestinian armed groups engaged in combat activities from United Nations facilities that were used as shelters during the military operations. The Mission cannot discount the possibility that Palestinian armed groups were active in the vicinity of such facilities.

      486. The Mission is unable to make any determination on the general allegation that Palestinian armed groups used mosques for military purposes. It notes that, in the one incident it investigated of an Israeli attack on a mosque, it found no indication that the mosque was so used.

      487. On the basis of the investigations it has conducted, the Mission did not find any evidence to support the allegations that hospital facilities were used by the Gaza authorities or by Palestinian armed groups to shield military activities and that ambulances were used to transport combatants or for other military purposes.

      488. On the basis of the information it gathered, the Mission found no indication that the civilian population was forced by Hamas or Palestinian armed groups to remain in areas under attack from the Israeli armed forces.

      • tree
        April 2, 2011, 8:50 pm

        jon s . Your source was the Israeli government allegations, not the findings of the Goldstone Report, as shown above.

      • annie
        April 2, 2011, 9:22 pm

        of course his source was Israeli government. we’ve heard this lie ad nauseum. this source has been discredited over and over and over. they lie whenever it suits them. they spew propaganda endlessly.

        another mouthpiece for the government. surprise surprise.

      • tree
        April 2, 2011, 10:02 pm

        of course his source was Israeli government…

        Yes, but he insisted his source was the Goldstone Report, which I felt it necessary to quote to prove that he was either mistaken on lying.

        I’m even willing to believe that he was truly mistaken and not deliberately lying, since the propaganda in Israel is sometimes overwhelming, and if you are not a questioning soul to begin with, or if you are already favorably inclined to believe that Jews are more moral than others, its easy to swallow the same dreck that nearly every other Israeli does and think its elixir instead. Lots of mushrooms in Israel. Kept in the dark and fed sh*t, and not enough are independent enough to reach for the light.

      • annie
        April 2, 2011, 10:54 pm

        I’m even willing to believe that he was truly mistaken and not deliberately lying,

        i’m over being forgiving on this particular issue (trying to increase the number of civilian casualties on their own side, by using their own people as human shields) because it’s the numero uno big tamale of the goi to the point of bibi trying to go to the UN to change the rules of war wrt civilians. this is no mistaken blurb, it is calculated. read up on the dahiya doctrine. no, civilain neighborhoods are NOT military bases..

      • tree
        April 2, 2011, 11:07 pm

        I’m not excusing the reprehensible tactic of blaming others for the violent actions of the IDF. I’m simply saying that I think its possible that jon s has been brainwashed into believing this crap. And I think that its important to point out to him that the Goldstone Report, which he claimed supported Israel’s ugly and destructive propaganda , does not in fact support it at all. I’m well aware of the Dahiya doctrine, but I think the link would be a good one for jon s to read.

      • annie
        April 2, 2011, 11:12 pm

        I think that its important to point out to him that the Goldstone Report, which he claimed supported Israel’s ugly and destructive propaganda , does not in fact support it at all.

        i agree, it’s worth repeating.

      • Kathleen
        April 3, 2011, 1:24 pm

        Hit the nail on the head again. Why would Goldstone trust Israel or Hamas to investigating their own actions fairly?

      • Mohammad Alsaafin
        April 3, 2011, 2:03 am

        ouch. jon s?

      • Chaos4700
        April 4, 2011, 9:02 pm

        He’s fled. Don’t bother, jon won’t own up to his overt prevarication. Why would he? He’s mainstream Israeli. Truth just isn’t a virtue for him.

  42. lysias
    April 2, 2011, 5:18 pm

    Off topic, I can’t access the home page of Mondoweiss (at least via Mozilla Firefox). I got here via accessing the cached version of the home page on Google.

  43. Saleema
    April 2, 2011, 5:34 pm

    This just proves how Zionism controls famous Jews’ lives by exerting pressure on them from all fronts (ex: protesting Goldstone’s grandson’s Bat Mitzvah). He was made to feel guilty until he relented and caved in. Poor man. I can understand why he would do that. Imagine if anyone of us were to be hounded day and night from our own communities as Goldstone was.

    • MRW
      April 2, 2011, 7:19 pm

      Bar Mitzvah.

      • tree
        April 2, 2011, 8:53 pm

        Bar Mitzvah for boys at age 13, Bat Mitzvah for girls at age 12. In this case Bar Mitzvah is the proper term, as MRW says.

      • Saleema
        April 3, 2011, 1:10 pm

        thansk MRW, and tree.

  44. MHughes976
    April 2, 2011, 6:03 pm

    Objectively I think it’s clear that Goldstone is going beyond what the Independent Committee report warrants, which is that there is no legally conclusive proof of the nature of Israel’s policies and intentions, partly because Israel’s own processes are not too informative or cooperative, and that a particular very shocking incident could have been in part the result of poor information conveyed to a particular commander amid the famous fog of war. (Of course it could; who could have been unaware of that?)
    G goes beyond this lack of proof to an acceptance of innocence, or something very close to that. He seems to be trying to salvage something, which is the importance of cooperating with UN enquiries in the future. I suspect that he will completely fail, or worse than fail, in this.
    He must know that he will never be taken seriously again and must have put himself in this position as a result of personal pressure that can hardly be imagined.
    Well, I suppose that this shows the limitations of relying on initial reports that are almost bound to be revised in some degree and of asking celebrity individuals to make themselves the public face of controversial opinions.

  45. Sonja
    April 2, 2011, 6:27 pm

    It must be really hard to not to give in to the pressure of so many people out to destroy you. I think the trick is in the sentence:

    “the investigations published by the Israeli military (…) indicate that civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy.”

    1. ‘Investigations’ by the Israeli military (alone) are unreliable, everybody knows that, and especially a judge. And a murderer’s account is never regarded as ‘evidence’ nor ‘proof’. It means nothing, and it keeps meaning nothing until an independent investigation has been done.

    2. “indicate” An indication is not proof, not evidence. “Indicate” means: it appears that way, it suggests that. It’s an indication of what might have happenend, not what really happened.

    3. “civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy.” So, that leaves the option that there was another reason to target civilians intentionally – only not as a “policy” (and who’s policy?).

    When I first read the op-ed I thought, yeah, April’s Fools Day, what a sick joke. Why would a person like Goldstone, a judge, choose an op-ed in an American newspaper to inform the world? Why not in an official writing? Why not in a report? Essay? Press release? Letter? It’s not convincing at all.

    • Thomson Rutherford
      April 3, 2011, 3:49 am

      “Why would a person like Goldstone, a judge, choose an op-ed in an American newspaper to inform the world?”

      (1) This was a Zionist political statement. (2) Washington is the center of the Jewish political world. (3) The Washington Post is the most influential neocon Zionist media organ in the world; origination there ensures instant blanket coverage in Israel and thence in Jewish-owned media throughout the world. (4) Fred Hiatt, head of the WaPo editorial board, could be relied on implicitly to manage the process of getting the “right” words out of Goldstone, capping the piece with an exploitative headline, and disseminating the finished product to Hiatt’s media buddies around the world.

      Don’t you think these Zionists know how to do things? The crushed and craven Goldstone must have been steered by expert handlers – Hiatt included.

      • GuiltyFeat
        April 3, 2011, 5:06 am

        If all this were remotely true, wouldn’t it have made more sense to do this 2 years ago. Even the most pro-Goldstone Zionist of today must admit that this op-ed cannot undo the damage that was done by the release of the report.

        Your deluded conspiracy theories make no sense. Also your claim that the media is Jewish-owned is simply racist. Would you be more comfortable if non-Jews owned media properties? What kind of quota of Jewish ownership would be acceptable to you. How do you define a Jew when it comes to media ownership. Is it enough to have one parent or grandparent that was a Jew? Repulsive thinking that has nothing to do with this current debate. Please keep your bigoted bollocks to yourself.

      • Thomson Rutherford
        April 3, 2011, 2:32 pm

        “Would you be more comfortable if non-Jews owned media properties?”

        Well, yes, now that you mention it. I would be more comfortable if more of the media were owned by non-Jews. I would be more comfortable because Zionism in practice makes me very uncomfortable, and because concentrated Jewish ownership or control of the MSM in many countries (especially the U.S.) has made the political conquests of the Zionists all the easier to achieve.

        Also, I am always made uncomfortable by monopoly political or economic power exerted by any small, self-interested group, regardless of its identity, identity problems, identity crises, etc. You refer to my aversion to such concentrated power as “bigotry” while I think of it as devotion to democratic egalitarianism. I don’t accept your accusation.

        “If all this were remotely true, wouldn’t it have made more sense to do this 2 years ago.”

        This is the only relevant issue you raised. Judge Goldstone was an honorable man who, as an admittedly hard-core Zionist, tried to produce a UN report which would, as he saw it, move Israel in a better direction. The Zionist machine saw him as a traitor and set out to destroy him personally (as they are wont to do with their enemies). But Goldstone is a man of principle, and it took two years for the Zealots to break him. End of story. Not a conspiracy theory, just observed fact.

      • Sonja
        April 3, 2011, 6:06 am

        (1) Judge Golstone is indeed a zionist. He declared that already well before he started with the UN report. (2) “Washington is the center of the Jewish political world”? Are you sure it’s not Jerusalem (and Tel Aviv)? (3) “The Washington Post is the most influential neocon Zionist media organ in the world”. No it’s not. The Washington Post is no more or less pro-Israel than every other mainstrem newspaper in the US and Israel.

        Conspiracy theories enough – I’m only interested in what actually happens. I don’t think Goldstone is “steered” by someone, because in that case he would have written in clear and easy to understand words that Israel, albeit in his opinion, was NOT involved in war crimes and human rights violations. I think he wants to get rid of the pressure, but his conscience made him write a multi-interpretable op-ed.

      • Thomson Rutherford
        April 3, 2011, 3:24 pm

        “… he would have written in clear and easy to understand words that Israel, albeit in his opinion, was NOT involved in war crimes and human rights violations.”

        You may be right with the rest of this statement, but not with the suggestion that it would have been his honest opinion. Goldstone had reviewed enough of the facts to have been, and to continue to be, convinced that Israel had committed war crimes and human rights violations. To suggest otherwise is to denigrate the man’s integrity FROM THE BEGINNING. He broke under extreme psychological pressure.

        “I think he wants to get rid of the pressure, but his conscience made him write a multi-interpretable op-ed.”

        Of course, he was trying (misguidedly) to get rid of the pressure. But it was not his conscience that led him to write what he knew to be a largely false or misleading article. IMHO, he obfuscated his meanings in order to try to salvage as much as he could of his reputation in the broader (non-Zionist) world. That’s not the same thing as “conscience”, in most moral frameworks.

        On the question of “steering”, FYI when guest op-ed pieces on controversial topics are received by WaPo (or by the NYT), the editorial staff helps in wording the articles not only for style standards, but also substantively to ensure that the presentation of the content is compatible with the papers editorial policies. (A famous example: Tony Judt was required to mention that he was Jewish before the ‘NYT’ would print his op-ed review of the M-W book.) When the editorial board is headed by neocons like Fred Hiatt and Jackson Diehl, and the topic is the “Goldstone” Report, and the submitter is Goldstone, I would expect a certain amount of discussion to occur before printing.

      • Sonja
        April 3, 2011, 5:27 pm

        “You may be right with the rest of this statement, but not with the suggestion that it would have been his honest opinion.”

        I agree, what I meant was that people take an op-ed piece as an ‘opinion’, so Goldstone’s ‘honest opinion’, and not as a fact. Also, it cannot be anything else but his ‘opinion’ because he writes that IDF-investigations made him change his mind. While we all know, and Goldstone not in the least, that these investigations are generally unreliable.

        I can agree with the fact that Goldstone ‘broke’, but not that he is being steered or prompted.

        “he obfuscated his meanings in order to try to salvage as much as he could of his reputation in the broader (non-Zionist) world.”

        I think it is the other way around: he obfuscated his meanings in order to give space for interpretation. As I wrote before: else he would have written that Israël in general was not guilty of war crimes and human rights violations. But he didn’t write that.

        But I think we can agree that here we have a man struggling with the fact of outside threats and his conscience. For producing the Goldstone Report, a report that demanded great personal courage, I think he deserves some slack. I also think that this op-ed will not be his last word on the case.

      • Thomson Rutherford
        April 3, 2011, 7:26 pm

        “… he obfuscated his meanings in order to give space for interpretation.”

        Agreed, Sonja. My sentence that you quote simply offers one reason why he would want to give wide latitude for interpretation. I think we both agree that, at least at the start of this task, Goldstone was basically an honorable man. Albeit one with possibly irreconcilable motives – hence, the classic tragedy.

      • Thomson Rutherford
        April 3, 2011, 7:37 pm

        And, Sonja, I would suggest the Goldstone case as a potential example of how utterly destructive of human character Zionism can be – both from inside and from outside.

  46. MRW
    April 2, 2011, 7:03 pm

    Wait until the other writers of this report weigh in.

  47. MRW
    April 2, 2011, 7:16 pm

    Who was the guy who took over the Warren Commission Report and insisted belatedly there was one bullet that killed Kennedy (twice, front and back) and then hit Connelly?

  48. Baruch B
    April 2, 2011, 9:18 pm

    Goldstone’s problem is that he is a Jewish Nation State Zionist. He has suffered exclusion for the courage that he showed in his writing of the report. Since he fundamentally supports an exclusionary state he doesn’t like be excluded from that state or its movement. If he cannot see the fundamental flaw of Israel as it was created he can only back away from the report. And as to the question of proportionality, I still ask if Israel has a right to defend itself, do the Palestinians have a right to defend themselves as well? Will Goldstone affirm a Palestinian right of self-defense as well? I never trusted his report. He is a brilliantly confused person in this regard.

  49. yourstruly
    April 2, 2011, 11:00 pm

    arguing the merits of the Goldstone Report

    however intellectually stimulating

    will it help us antizionists win over the american people to the palestinian cause?

    or will the general attitude be something like, “since i’m an american, what’s the slaughter of palestinians got to do with me?””

    yes, there was concern that more than 4000 american soldiers were martyred in Iraq, but how many of us noticed the Iraq War took the lives of tens of thousands of Iraqis?

    and how many even know that almost every day at least one american soldier is killed in Afghanistan, not to mention the number of Afghan casualties

    so why such a fuss over the goldstone report

    after all, getting it right won’t bring peace to the ME

    what will bring peace is our finding a way to stop the u. s. government in its unconditional support of the settler entity

    thereby leaving the settler-entity completely isolated

    which will force it to respect and deal with its neighbors

    what’ll it take?

    our exposing the israel lobby and its puppets in our government for their dual loyalies, their israel right or wrong

    no matter that israel’s intransigence vis-a-vis a mideast peace agreement

    endangers* u. s. troops in afghanistan as well as being a threat to our nation’s security

    what this will take is our nailing israel’s u.s supporters for the traitors that they are, especially the israel lobby and its puppets in congress and the white house

    by our doing this the i/p conflict will be upgraded from an issue perceived to be rather non-compelling and remote to most americans, to one that is of immediate concern

    expose and label the settler entity’s american supporters for the traitors they are

  50. LeaNder
    April 3, 2011, 8:00 am

    As a foreign nitwit, I’d like to know what it means that his article was printed in the opinion section. I didn’t notice this section before. Although it would have been the appropriate section e.g. for Julia Chaitin’s article from Sderot, during the Gaza war. But I am sure that’s not were it was printed then. Or did they change the layout meanwhile?

    PostOpinions

  51. seanmcbride
    April 3, 2011, 9:13 am

    Richard Goldstone and Dennis Ross: does everyone here notice the same modus operandi? They deliberately sabotage their own work on behalf of the Israeli extremism they claim to oppose.

    I no longer believe that this kind of bizarre behavior is accidental or unconscious — it’s part of a well-planned op to protect Israel’s relentless campaign to expand its borders and crush Palestinians. Are there any authentic Zionists on the left out there? I doubt it. Messianic ethnic nationalism and classical liberal values are radically at odds.

  52. VR
    April 3, 2011, 11:02 am

    It is necessary to closely examine what Mr. Goldstone says, and there are certain telltale signs in his piece which says he has caved in? I don’t think so as I said above, because at the outset there were several contextual issues that were apparently made as escape routes for examination of Israel. The right to “defense” theme (which is a common excuse for colonialism) and inadequate remedies. When you saw this at the outset, you should have never built a house of substantive change upon the document.

    • Sonja
      April 3, 2011, 5:38 pm

      On the contrary, he wanted to have his report taken seriously by everyone. When writing or even suggesting that Israël doesn’t have the right to defend itself, would result in every pro-Israël country to reject it without hesitation. And that would be foolish.

      • VR
        April 3, 2011, 9:53 pm

        Oh no I am afraid not, you do not repeat a lie when you want to be accepted (anyone familiar with “Israel’s right to defend itself” used by the Israelis knows it is a patent lie while attacking the Palestinians). When you choose to investigate an event you do not strip it of its context, you do not do it jus in bello in the context of the one instance, you do it jus ad bellum bringing out the entire context of or reasons for the attack. You cannot remove it from the perennial settler colonial state and expect to bring any remedy of consequence. In the use of Mr Goldstone’s methodology you have a turning on its head of every atrocity leading up to the Operation Cast Lead (recorded and recognized by the UN). At the same time you should ask what has also been the judges performance in both Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and what you would come away with is serving the interests of empire. Anyone who does not take up the above mentioned will eventually head for nothing of consequence, and this is why it was so easy for dismissal by Mr. Goldstone in the cheap and incomplete investigations which Israel made into its own activity during the massacre.

        This is nothing new for me in regard to what I am posting, I said it right after the report and I stand by what I said. The result of this report which Goldstone made ended just like I said it would long before this occurred (see this post above VR April 2, 2011 at 2:24 pm), this is just the sealing of the fact.

        Since you like to examine something minutely Sonja, why don’t you examine what the judge said in the article under discussion – some of the high points, or should I say low points (and most of the judges sentiment was previous to the report):

        “If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.”

        “…civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy.”

        “…I am confident that if the officer is found to have been negligent, Israel will respond accordingly.”

        “I had hoped that our inquiry into all aspects of the Gaza conflict would begin a new era of evenhandedness at the U.N. Human Rights Council, whose history of bias against Israel cannot be doubted.”

        “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.”

        I do not think I need to explain the context of all of these quotes their meaning is apparent, and if you object to what I say than you practice a double standard – I am posting jus in bello, and not jus ad bellum, how do you like the practice?

      • Sonja
        April 4, 2011, 1:52 am

        We all know how things should be, should be regarded and said. But no one listens to reason when it comes to Israel.“Israel’s right to defend itself” is of course a euphemism for crime and slaughter of the Palestinians. Just as being “a friend of Israel” is a euphemism for collaborating with the rogue state. But is it possible to convince the criminally insane (Israel & friends) with facts and reason? I don’t think so. The only thing you can do is use their insane ‘logic’ to make them listen. I think Goldstone merely tried to be smart that way. But he failed.

  53. Sonja
    April 3, 2011, 7:50 pm

    Had Richard Goldstone not served as the head of the UN inquiry into the Gaza war, the accusations against Israel would have been harsher, Goldstone’s daughter, Nicole, said in an interview conducted in Hebrew with Army Radio on Wednesday.
    (…)
    “It wasn’t easy [for him],” Nicole Goldstone said. “My father did not expect to see and hear what he saw and heard.”

    link to haaretz.com

    Read this minutely. A transcript of the interview is neccesary, because I can smell hasbara from a mile away.

  54. Sonja
    April 4, 2011, 5:10 am

    Goldstone writes: “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.”

    So, Goldstone knows “Hamas” mudered the Fogel family. Isn’t that amazing?

  55. seanmcbride
    April 4, 2011, 11:34 am

    Everyone should be asking Richard Goldstone: what legal values and standards of evidence are you using to come to the conclusion that anyone in particular murdered the Fogels? It should be clear by now that Goldstone is fully on board with the Israel lobby and the pro-Israel propaganda machine. He is not an impartial observer and analyst of anything related to Israel.

    He may have sincerely attempted at one time to be an impartial observer, and recanted after being harassed and mentally terrorized and tortured by pro-Israel militants. Or he may have been playing a duplicitous game all along, much like Dennis Ross. Duplicitous game is the more likely scenario.

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