Goldstone contra Goldstone

From the New Left Project:

The degeneration of Judge Richard Goldstone continues. In April, you’ll recall, he penned an op-ed for the Washington Post that said essentially nothing, but gave the strong impression of retracting the central conclusions of the Goldstone Report on the 2008-9 Gaza massacre. The key point, documented in Norman Finkelstein‘s comprehensive dissection of the recantation, is that, whatever the reasons for Goldstone’s reversal, it wasn’t based on new evidence.

After months of silence, Goldstone has now resurfaced with more of the same. He has written an op-ed for the New York Times – the paper that turned down his April recantation, forcing him to offer a more sensationalised version to the Post – devoted to refuting those who analogise Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to South African apartheid. It has predictably induced much gloating among those who not long ago were smearing him as an antisemite and a traitor. The thrust of the op-ed argues against the use of the apartheid analogy to describe Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, either within Israel itself or within the West Bank. Goldstone slams the analogy as a “malicious” “slander”. If this is what Goldstone truly believes – something about which there is much cause for doubt – one wonders why he has taken so long to raise his voice. After all, the apartheid analogy is hardly a recent one, nor is it especially controversial. A partial list of Goldstone’s malicious slanderers includes such authorities as the Association for Civil Rights Israel; South African Nobel Leaureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu; former US President Jimmy Carter; former Israeli government ministers Yossi Sarid and Shulamit Aloni; and the “father” of South African human rights law John Dugard [note: some of these references are via Finkelstein, forthcoming]. Here’s the editorial board of Ha’aretz, Israel’s most important newspaper:

“the apartheid regime in the territories remains intact; millions of Palestinians are living without rights, freedom of movement or a livelihood, under the yoke of ongoing Israeli occupation, and in the future they will turn the Jews into a minority between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.”

Here’s the verdict of B’Tselem, Israel’s premier human rights organisation:

“Israel has created in the Occupied Territories a regime of separation based on discrimination, applying two separate systems of law in the same area and basing the rights of individuals on their nationality. This regime is the only one of its kind in the world, and is reminiscent of distasteful regimes from the past, such as the Apartheid regime in South Africa.”

Goldstone devotes two paragraphs of the op-ed to attacking the argument that Israel is practicing apartheid within the Green Line, as distinct from its occupation of Palestinian territories. But this is a straw man. Proponents of the apartheid analogy typically either restrict its application to the occupied territories, or they apply it to the system of control encompassing the entire territory between the river and the sea, on the grounds that Israel possesses de facto control over both its own and occupied Palestinian territory (that is, they reject the distinction between Israeli rule within the Green Line and Israeli rule in the oPt that Goldstone proposes as his starting point).

Goldstone then attempts to prove Israel’s innocence of apartheid in the West Bank by – there is no other way to put it – systematically lying about its conduct there. It is child’s play to show that virtually every substantive statement he makes is not only false, but was pre-emptively refuted by the Goldstone Report (PDF) itself:

Goldstone op-ed: “Israel will see roadblocks and similar measures as necessary for its self-defense.”

Goldstone Report:

Israel’s restrictions on movement in the West Bank “are disproportionate to any military objective served”. They are intended to “consolidate its permanent hold on the West Bank” and amount to “a deliberate policy of closely controlling a population in order to make use of areas of its land”. [335] Despite “the claim by Israel that restrictions of movement within the West Bank are imposed on Palestinian residents for security purposes, most of these internal restrictions appear to have been designed to guarantee unobstructed travel to the Israeli inhabitants of the settlements.” [54] They therefore constitute “violations of fundamental rights”, including the Palestinians’ “right to self-determination”. [335]

The cumulative effect of the restrictions on movement has been to “effectively split” Palestinians in the West Bank from their families in Israel, from Gaza, and from East Jerusalem. [57]

Goldstone op-ed: “The security barrier was built to stop unrelenting terrorist attacks”.

Goldstone Report:

The route of the wall is “to a great degree determined by the objective of incorporating settlements into the Israeli side” and has “contributed to the fragmentation of the West Bank into a series of enclaves”. [54] Where located on Palestinian territory (as “some 85 per cent” of it is [329fn873]) it is contrary to international law; is part of a policy aimed at (quoting an EU report) “the illegal annexation” of East Jerusalem [53]; and amounts to “the de facto annexation” of 9.5% of the West Bank. It therefore constitutes “acquisition of territory by force”, a violation of the UN Charter. [335]

Goldstone op-ed: Israel has “no intent to maintain ‘an institutonalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group’”. In Israel, “equal rights are the law”.

Goldstone Report:

Israel’s “systematic discrimination, both in law and in practice, against Palestinians” violates international law, and possibly amounts to a crime against humanity [324]. In the West Bank, “a two-tiered road system has been established” with the main roads are reserved for Israelis. [55] Israel’s legal practice in the occupied territories has resulted in “institutionalized discrimination against Palestinians… to the benefit of Jewish settlers”. Domestically Israel’s legal regime is “two-tiered”, granting Jews “superior rights and privileges”; meanwhile Palestinian inhabitants of occupied territories are categorised as “alien persons”. [57] The Report notes the conclusions of a study by the respected Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) that Israel’s “discrimination in planning and building” and other policies in Jerusalem “are concrete expressions of an Israeli policy designed to secure a Jewish majority in Jerusalem and push Palestinian residents outside”. [332] 

Needless to say, where the Goldstone Report cites pages of evidence, from the most authoritative human rights organisations and international bodies, to support its conclusions, Goldstone’s op-ed cites nothing. If Goldstone could have cited authoritative sources to support the conclusions of his op-ed, he no doubt would have; he didn’t, because as exhaustively documented in the Goldstone Report, those sources comprehensively refute him.

Jamie Stern-Weiner studies politics at the University of Cambridge, and is particularly interested in the history of political thought, contemporary British foreign policy, and the Israel-Palestine conflict. His articles have been published on New Left Project, Le Monde Diplomatique and Znet. You can follow him on twitter at @jamiesw.

About Jamie Stern-Weiner

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 66 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Potsherd2 says:

    And “the Jews” still despise him. There is no redemption for him, but he’ll keep groveling and defiling the truth, in hope of it.

    • “Once a traitor ,always a traitor” .
      The tribe does not forgive, and do not forget that.

    • RE: “And ‘the Jews’ still despise him. There is no redemption for him…” ~ Potsherd2

      SEE: Sinning against Zionism: Traitor to Country, by William A. Cook , Dissident Voice, 4/21/11

      Hell is where many false commitments must be unlearned. — Ricardo J. Quinones, Dante Alighieri

      (excerpt) Richard Goldstone’s journey from Justice to Sinner represents the spiritual act of dying in the Zionist world. By recanting his own report he has attempted to break the bonds that cast him into the sufferings in Caina, Antenora, and Judecca where, in Dante’s Inferno, those treacherous to their own, are removed from the light and warmth of their kin, their country, and their masters and suffer eternal damnation in the remorseless dead center of the ice in the most bottomless circle of Hell. Fortunately, Goldstone like Dante can learn that he has, in his journey, aligned himself with many false gods and many false attachments ignoring on the way the elementary truths that bind humankind ineluctably in one race in a bond of human grace.
      The Zionist world needs no Hell since it heeds no conscience. It exists on one foundation, a solid block of ice that freezes the soul of all who bear allegiance to its creed of absolute obedience, an ancient form of tribal slavery bound by fear that shackles the soul, by isolation that instills despair, by humiliation that corrodes self, and by victimhood that bonds the tribe in self-perpetuating agony. It is in this sense Medieval, a remnant of the inquisitorial mind that harbored no dissent, gave no credence to personal freedom, and obligated all to one monolithic understanding of commitment to the powers that control…

      ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to dissidentvoice.org

  2. Bumblebye says:

    Either somebody has the “goods” on him, or they’ve threatened his kids and grandkids career prospects. Could anything less have “turned” the man?

    • Real Jew says:

      It has to be something along those lines. Either he’s being blackmailed, or they have some dirt on him (favorite tactic of the lobby), money, or maybe he’s just dead tired of the harassment/intimidation campaign launched against him. Clear evidence of this can be taken from the fact that none of the other three authors of the GS report has come out and backtracked on the initial report findings. Not to mention he hadn’t provided any new.evidence to back his claim. The lobby was just so adamant to discredit the report that they tried anything to discredit it and what’s the best way to do so? Force the man the report was named after to reneg. Nobody is buying this shit.

  3. pabelmont says:

    Exquisite. Thanks so much for making this effort. I have not checked the quotes, but they look reasonable and should very much like to see anyone try to falsify this essay. More likely, it will be ignored. It belongs in the annals (if there are such) of debunking Zionist Hasbara.

    Perhaps (ho-ho-ho) the NYT will publish it!

    • Donald says:

      “Perhaps (ho-ho-ho) the NYT will publish it!”

      That was funny. In some alternate universe where the NYT had something resembling a journalistic conscience they would do just that. They’d also have Norman Finkelstein write something for them every now and then.

  4. Chu says:

    From Goldstone’s Op-Ed:
    In Israel, there is no apartheid. Nothing there comes close to the definition of apartheid under the 1998 Rome Statute: “Inhumane acts … committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.”

    In Israel, there is no apartheid? It’s painful to see someone continually lose all their integrity backtracking on their report. This type of denial he writes about reminds me of Obama’s last speech to the UN about Israel. They both are sidestepping the problem of Israel’s aggression.

  5. Goldstone in his original op-ed did describe that “if I knew then what I know now, I would have drafted the report differently” (a paraphrase). That is vague language, but he elaborated that aspects of Cast Lead that he originally interpreted as inadmissable, he later came to regard as potentially admissable.

    The report’s statement of fact remained, but the statement of interpretation was clarified, modified.

    One cannot speak with the same certainty about an interpretation as one can about an objective measurement. “X building was hit with Y bombs of so and so specification” is a statement of fact.

    The destruction of X building is a war crime, is a statement of interpretation or recommendation at most.

    As interpretation is the name of the game as to whether and to what extent moral and legal boundaries were crossed.

    The danger with the name-calling terms “war crime”, “apartheid” is that they are off versus on terms. They do NOT inform to the extent of a sense of degree or conditionality.

    Even for the purposes of generating sympathy for Palestinian victims, and for holding perpetrators accountable, the diminishment of the message in name-calling rather than descriptive language, is profound.

    To use exagerated and off or on language, deters the ability to communicate the experience of Palestinians, individuals and collectively.

    Also, as I’ve written elsewhere, the castigation of Goldstone speaks poorly to the movement.

    ANY that propose to support dissent against Israel, faces the reality of “what if I change my mind even an iota? Is that how I will be spoken of?”

    • Mooser says:

      “To use exagerated and off or on language, “

      I agree with you completely Richard. The “off or on” language I object to most is the terrible tendency (could it be an anti-Semitic policy?) of anti-Zionists to use the exaggerated words “dead” or “killed” in regard to Palestinians who have temporarily stopped breathing, and have suppressed all signs of metabolism as a way of making Israel look bad. Are they really “dead”, or just resting, like that phony parrot?

      • LeaNder says:

        I slightly stumbled over “off versus on” too. This passage is even better:

        The danger with the name-calling terms “war crime”, “apartheid” is that they are off versus on terms.

        I have bad news for Richard, given that war is not really a recent invention there should be a rather good legal definition of war crimes by now. So it may not really be a matter of interpretation, at least as long as Israel doesn’t manage to change the rules of the game. The terrorist / “stateless actor” Israel considers “on” seems to be “off” considering the occupier’s duty to protect people under occupation.

        I watched experienced US soldiers watch Cast Lead, none of them stated this was business as usual, as is to be expected they were shocked. Who wouldn’t be witnessing the slaughter of a mainly unarmed people?

        • Mooser says:

          “I watched experienced US soldiers watch Cast Lead, none of them stated this was business as usual, as is to be expected they were shocked.”

          Naturally, they would be! In America, that’s the kind of stuff our soldiers leave to security contractors.

    • Mooser says:

      “ANY that propose to support dissent against Israel, faces the reality of “what if I change my mind even an iota? Is that how I will be spoken of?””

      Gee, Richard, could you please identify the source of that quote? Oh never mind.
      But yes, Richard, no doubt you can think of tens, nay, hundreds of people who have suffered social, political, and financial consequences for becoming less critical of Israel. The names just trip off the tongue, don’t they! And did you know I fart Esau-de-cologne?

      • Mooser says:

        You know, I’m losing patience with people like me who say Phil should ban Richard! Gosh-darn-it, laughter is the best medicine, and Phil needs to stay healthy.
        Of course, its always good to be cautious, too. You can’t let there-but-for-the-grace-of turn into smugness.

    • LeaNder says:

      Also, as I’ve written elsewhere, the castigation of Goldstone speaks poorly to the movement.

      Always much self in your projective mirror, RW. I can’t see any castigation of Goldstone beyond legitimate questions and critique.

      I have to admit that you are playing your “gotcha” blames more subtly now, straw men instead of name calling. What hasn’t disappeared though, are your simplistic generalizations.

      • “I have bad news for Richard, given that war is not really a recent invention there should be a rather good legal definition of war crimes by now.”

        My point was about their usage, how people use them politically.

        Its not all that different than what Norman Finkelstein comments about the holocaust, that it is invoked (for information and for distortion). I find it an irony that he uses the terms “war crimes” in similar manner to that which he condemn.

        The “speaking poorly to the movement” is of what a liberal experiences when they come here, or anywhere militancy congregates on the web or in f2f. If you are a human being and bear multiple sympathies, you will be harrangued. Not many are persuaded by that.

        The very vast majority does not regard the Israel/Palestine context as an oppression. The very vast majority use and mean the term “conflict”, and accurately.

        Those that use that term here are harrangued, the majority that venture here, except for those with a predisposition to solidarity.

        • LeaNder says:

          Its not all that different than what Norman Finkelstein comments about the holocaust, that it is invoked (for information and for distortion). I find it an irony that he uses the terms “war crimes” in similar manner to that which he condemn.

          I do not get your parallel. Maybe you could summarize his comments about the Holocaust and show how he does the same he criticizes? Why do you think Raul Hilberg supported him?

          The very vast majority does not regard the Israel/Palestine context as an oppression. The very vast majority use and mean the term “conflict”, and accurately.

          Yes the view of the majority, that it is not oppression but simply a conflict may well be the core problem. Again could you elaborate? Why is it not suppression but simply a conflict?

    • Mooser says:

      “(a paraphrase).”

      Oh, stop scoffing, you bunch of “traditional” Jew-haters! I looked up “paraphrase” and a quote you make up when the original article, which could be accessed in two seconds through Google, doesn’t supply anything which serves your purpose was definition number 36. And a half.
      Some people might call it a lie, but remember: “It’s not a lie if you believe it”!

      That is vague language

      Well then Richard, take a little more time and make up something better. What else you got to do?

    • Rusty Pipes says:

      Re:

      The danger with the name-calling terms “war crime”, “apartheid” is that they are off versus on terms. They do NOT inform to the extent of a sense of degree or conditionality.

      The real danger with the terms, “war crime” and “apartheid” are that they are precisely defined terms in International Law. As Palestine gains membership to more and more UN agencies, it finally may be able to start bringing the Government of Israel and its leaders to account for the violation of Palestinians’ Human Rights. No amount of Brand Israel PR can continue to shield even Americans from what words best describe Israel’s actions in International courts.

    • Mooser says:

      “Goldstone in his original op-ed did describe that “if I knew then what I know now, I would have drafted the report differently” “

      ROTFL! ROTFLMSJAO! Yeah, I bet he sure as hell would have, if he knew the shitstorm which was gonna break over his head of he was honest.

  6. seafoid says:

    It’s about comforting the settlers.

    link to myrightword.blogspot.com

  7. POA says:

    Considering Israel’s behaviour and tactics, it is not unreasonable to assume Goldstone has recieved an “or else” from Israel’s more fascist and murderous elements. In truth, we have no idea what kind of threats Goldstone or his family have recieved, possibly convincing him to turn tail and recant.

    Israel’s leaders seem bound and determined to rewrite history, just as our own leaders are attempting to do so in regards to the eight years of illegal Bush activity. Who can doubt that ANY STRATEGY OR TACTIC, no matter how fascist, criminal, or threatening, will be employed by the Israelis?

    I won’t judge Goldstone by his current stances, for fear can bring any man to his knees.

    The Goldstone I respect and admire wrote the Goldstone Report. And no amount of threat or coercement from the Israelis can erase history, and the courage that Goldstone once exhibited. They might be able rewrite history, but they can’t erase it.

    • American says:

      “for fear can bring any man to his knees. ”

      Not any man…. some men. If everyone could be brought to their knees by fear, Israel would have defeated Palestine long ago.

    • Kathleen says:

      interesting take

    • Charon says:

      Threats behind-the-scenes probably play a huge role in the Zionist narrative. Threats and bribes, especially when people pull a 180

    • Opti says:

      Conspiracy theories are fun but rarely accurate.

      More likely (and correctly), Goldstone is trying to appease the Zionist lobby who really went against him after releasing his initial report damning Israel. A couple of instances:
      1) Judge Goldstone was banned by the South African Zionist Federation [such an ironic federation!]
      2) Goldstone was banned from attending grandchild event (in Israel, if memory serves me well).

      He was painted as a traitor and is getting up in his year where his career is more or less over. Now, he wants to be back in the warm (read: bloody) arms of the Zionist lobby so that he can spend time with his family in apartheid Israel.

      • annie says:

        i think it is possibly a little deeper than that. my recollection is just a few days before the ‘rescinding’ op ed, which didn’t actually rescind, goldstone appeared at a panel on international law..i would have to check..it possibly could have been on the report itself..at stanford universtity. noura erakat was on the panel. it was directly after the legislating palestine conference at hasting college which i attended and it was fantastic. some people were leaving an attending both events that is why i recall this and was so astounded by his op ed. becasue why would he be attending this event at stanford and speaking at it KNOWING he was going to be throwing all these people under a bus days later..and give no indication at the event that was his state of mind?

        anyway..i think it is probably archived here around that time in the comment section..but as i recall..there was some meeting of goldstone and select members of the ‘jewish community’, and it was after that meeting the op ed occurred. very swiftly. but this is just from memory..perhaps it wasn’t as swift as i recall but that was my impression at the time.

  8. mjrosenberg says:

    Goldstone’s primary need is to remain a member in good standing of the organized Jewish community in SA. So he caved, the sign of a weak man unwilling to face social ostracism over principle. Over Palestinian lives, to be exact.
    This type of behavior is common throughout the diaspora. If you choose to support Palestinian rights, you are choosing not to be part of the organized community. That is why organizations like my previous employer, Israel Policy Forum, went under. The machers cared about justice but cared about remaining members in good standing of the “community” more.

    I, for one, couldn’t care less about that. I never was part of the organized community and would never want to be. But many other middle aged folks
    will not risk antagonizing the community. They want in. (So many on my side of the fence are joyous at being out).

    The good news. People under 40 don’t and will not care about being part of the “community.” Those that want to do Jewish things will be doing them at home, or with friends, even at synagogues (which are moving away from Israel emphasis so as not to offend a large segment of their congregations) but they will not be doing their Judaism at AIPAC or the AJC. They are too American for that, which means post-national (at least among progressives which is what most Jews are).

    Ultimately, organizing against the occupation will be primarily done outside a Jewish framework. People cannot have their cake and eat it. The question is as always: which side are you on? The organized Jewish community is hopeless but, fortunately, it is leaving to be replaced with something different. Prophetic Judaism and universalism perhaps?

    • Mooser says:

      “People cannot have their cake and eat it.”

      You are, of course, referring to the idea that Israel can exist without continual expansion and occupation?

    • Donald says:

      “Prophetic Judaism and universalism perhaps?”

      I hope you’re right.

    • Kathleen says:

      “Goldstone’s primary need is to remain a member in good standing of the organized Jewish community in SA. So he caved, the sign of a weak man unwilling to face social ostracism over principle.”

      Thanks for your insights

    • Kathleen says:

      “The question is as always: which side are you on? ”

      I believe one can be
      Pro Palestine
      Pro Israel based on the 67 border
      Pro Peace Pro Justice.

      I do not agree with the way Israel came to be any more than I agree the way the US came to be. But based on international agreements Israel exist based on the 67 border. Do we have to choose any other side besides the side of justice?

    • “Goldstone’s primary need is to remain a member in good standing of the organized Jewish community in SA.”

      Such a judge you are MJ. Can you see into a person’s mind from two articles?

      Nation is inherent in Judaism. Prophetic Judaism and universalism are certainly part of it, and any that only adopt national Judaism are missing a great deal.

      But, Judaism is religion in a social body, not in a credo.

      The relation of most Jews, under fourty or over fifty, to Israel is of sympathy, not so much of loyalty.

      The shift that happens with those of wealth is the question of responsibility, not so much as power.

      The majority that I’ve met that contribute to large Jewish organizations, feel a responsibility to honor their parents and grandparents in that regard, honor the European and sephardi Jews that make up the majority of the population of Israel, and not the ones descended from those of us that got out early.

      My experience shifted radically when I married the child of a European holocaust survivor. The stories of the holocaust and then the settlement of Israel were third or fourth-hand (media) stories.

      But, second hand was a bit more real. It was NOT the rosy, not sanitized. But, it was also not the rhetorical, the anti-sanitized.

      • MarkF says:

        “The relation of most Jews, under fourty or over fifty, to Israel is of sympathy, not so much of loyalty”

        If MJ is a judge, then you’re a pollster, right Richard? Please. We get it shoved down our throats from our parents and from Hebrew School. You don’t remember seeing the videos of the open graves with skulls and skeletons that they showed us when we were what, ten or eleven years old?

        I heard first-hand stories since my dad was a survivor. It doesn’t justify the pressure that twisted Goldstone into a pretzel, much like Jimmy Carter. It DOES seem to justify 3 billion a year for a safety net though, correct?

        Nation wrapped with all your ingredients implies complicity, and ostricism for non-complience – see Goldstone.

        • eljay says:

          >> But, second hand was a bit more real. It was NOT the rosy, not sanitized. But, it was also not the rhetorical, the anti-sanitized.

          But, ultimately, it was also entirely irrelevant to RW because i) he wasn’t even born when the Holocaust happened and ii) “the PRESENT is what matters!”

        • MarkF,
          If MJ had used language like “I think that Goldstone …”, then he would be stating an opinion, just an opinion.

          MJ’s statement as it is, is an insult to Goldstone, stated as an authority (somehow an authority into what Goldstone thinks).

          If you heard stories, that is second hand, Mark (not a big deal that correction).

          Again, the reality is that the majority of Jews bear a sympathy with their kindred, and it includes representations and exagerations, but sympathy nevertheless.

          The fantasy of a grand generational alienation from Israel is an interesting form of “hope”.

          My hope is different. My hope is that Jewish and other Americans will love Israel and expand their sympathies, so that the form of their love will be to urge Israel to do the prudent and kind action that a true friend encourages (sacrifices and compromises for real durable peace).

        • It changed my views Eljay. Prior I had the view of an American only, distant and immune from the European struggles that led to the need for Zionism (in contrast to the utopian hope).

          After knowing my mother-in-law, I cannot now call the immigration to Israel, settlement in Israel an expropriation, and establishment of Israel as a state as an unnecessary injustice in 1948.

          Our context distorts as well as informs our understanding.

        • eljay says:

          >> After knowing my mother-in-law, I cannot now call the immigration to Israel, settlement in Israel an expropriation, and establishment of Israel as a state as an unnecessary injustice in 1948.

          Zio-supremacist hypocrisy and immorality in a nutshell: A commits grave injustices against B, therefore B is entitled to commit grave injustices against C…if and only if B represents Jews.

          Disgusting.

        • MY hope is that American Jews and all Americans would love the United States enough to seek her integrity and her interests above all.

        • Eljay,
          Please try to honor my in-laws experience rather than assume that it should just dissolve into history.

          Their experience does NOT justify current wrongs to Palestinians. Those that use the holocaust for that purpose abuse the memory of our ancestors.

          It does though explain the reason, the just reason, for significant migration, fear multiplying the effect of some harrassment by Arab communities, when they arrived, and then the desire for statehood, rather than minority status.

          And, that that state remains a coherent nation-state, a valid state, even with structural and incidental tensions.

          The rational argument for radical change has not been made to date. I personally don’t think it is possible to frankly.

        • Cliff says:

          Dick Witty,

          You have no right to lecture anyone about historical suffering.

          link to mondoweiss.net

          “This is crazy. It is an effort to deny the experience of a prominent intellectual who witnessed the Nakba then sought to document it. ”

          Again, this is the crazy line. If the test question was about Palestine, then it didn’t belong there. If the question was meant to have universal signficance, as the poetic and very subjective language implies, then it applies to the Jewish historical experience, the Irish historical experience, the Armenian historical experience, the African-American historical experience, as well.

          Eljay responded to you at the time with:

          You are such a drama queen. The test, according to the article, “requires students to read excerpts of poetry and prose and compare them to other works they have studied in class.”

          An excerpt of prose was presented. It contained no reference to Palestine or Israel. Rather than compare it to other works she studied in class, the girl suffered trauma. And rather than present yourself as a human being instead of a victim, you took a neutral passage about exile and turned it into a sob-story about Jewish suffering. “Remember the Holocaust!”

          Sheesh, what a drama queen…

          Just like hophmi, you are a racist and lying buffoon. Thankfully we have a search function.

        • RoHa says:

          Still trying to sell this one? Give it up.

          “It does though explain the reason, the just reason, for significant migration, fear multiplying the effect of some harrassment by Arab communities, when they arrived, and then the desire for statehood, rather than minority status.”

          The experience may explain the way they thought. It does not give moral justification. They may have been terrified. It does not give them a right to take over the land and drive out the people.

          (And the harrassment by Arab communities was a response to the declarations and actions of the Jewish invaders in the entire period from 1897 onwards.)

        • RoHa says:

          “After knowing my mother-in-law, I cannot now call the immigration to Israel, settlement in Israel an expropriation, and establishment of Israel as a state as an unnecessary injustice in 1948.”

          What was it necessary for?

        • eljay says:

          1. A harms B.
          - This is immoral, unjust and unacceptable.
          - A must be held accountable.
          2. As a result of being harmed by A, B harms C.
          - This is immoral, unjust and unacceptable.
          - B must be held accountable.

          So straightforward, and yet the Zio-supremacist mind – even the “humanist” one – is unable to grasp this.

          >> Their experience does NOT justify current wrongs to Palestinians.

          Their experience does not justify ANY wrongs – past, present or future – to Palestinians.

        • RoHa says:

          “So straightforward, and yet the Zio-supremacist mind – even the “humanist” one – is unable to grasp this.”

          But B matters, and C doesn’t.

        • Richard Witty said:
          I was a racist Zionist apologist before, and I am a racist Zionist apologist today. I could not provide a moral justification for the war crimes, mass-murders and ethnic cleansing of settlers previously, but now I am trying to use a different set of words. I don’t know what I mean to say but I am trying to jump through all kinds of hoops to avoid condemning the 63 years of injustice my people have inflicted upon an innocent people.

      • Mooser says:

        You know, sometimes I’m tempted to tell Witty to go boil his head, but that won’t do; maybe a pressure-cooker or auto-clave is required.
        But as a source of blather, he reigns supreme. There is one place I would always feel safe with Witty, the basket of a hot-air ballon. He could avert any crash.

      • RoHa says:

        “Nation is inherent in Judaism.”

        What does “nation” mean here?

        (I really should take a holiday from MW, for the sake of my blood pressure. I ask fundamental questions about what terms mean, or about the point of some arrangement, and get no real answer. Very frustrating.)

    • Charon says:

      “If you choose to support Palestinian rights, you are choosing not to be part of the organized community”

      The organized community being Zionism. The younger generation will eventually replace the older generation. If Zionism is still around at that time, it could hopefully become an ideology rejected by the majority of Jewish people outside of what is currently called Israel.

    • Opti says:

      Are you the infamous MJ Rosenberg from Al Jazeera/Media Matters?

  9. Chu says:

    The Goldstone Report has been a thorn in the side of the zionist rulers of Israel and their apologist corp of internet Megaphonies and propaganda peddlers, since it was published. It’s a stark and candid assessment of the brutality unleashed by Israel on the confined people of Gaza living in what some call the “largest open air prison in the world”. It correctly accused Israel of potential war crimes and crimes against humanity and recommended a full inquiry by the International Criminal Court. The fact that Richard Goldstone turned into a coward after god-knows how many zealots threatened his life, changes nothing.
    link to sweetandsoursocialism.wordpress.com

  10. iamuglow says:

    His weak argument seems to be

    ‘It’s not apartheid in WB cause the Israelis are only oppressing the Palestinians temporarily. The Israelis don’t intend to oppress the Palestinians permanently for the benefit of Israelis….Heavens forbid! No, No, once they clear out the Palestinians living in E Jerusalem, the choice areas of the WB & the Jordan Valley, the Israelis are going to stop the systematic oppression. I swear! What looks like apartheid in Israel is just a phase. Once we get rid of all the Palestinians around here, then we’ll be nice to them.

  11. “Weakening of societies and individuals IS in the interest of many groups.
    It is a long process, but knowing its properties can make a degeneration of whole societies.
    Then one has to defend himself against so-called “spirit of the population” – the forces that force an individual to accept specific actions, behaviors and attitudes that the decadent society recognises as its own.
    One of the greatest human fears is the fear of ostracism and rejection. These fears are well used by the authorities “.
    I don’t know who said it, but I like it.

  12. BillM says:

    Goldstone makes the perfect case FOR Apartheid based on his own definition of Apartheid: “Inhumane acts … committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.”

    Note that he doesn’t even TRY to contest the “inhumane actions” “systematic oppression” “domination by one racial group” parts. He focuses solely on “intent,” when as any performer (and any lawyer without a viable case) knows is a great focus because you can never really “prove” intent. A person can always reasonably doubt whether the secret internal intent was really there. Of course, Goldstone’s position requires one to view the Occupation (which at 44 years old has almost outlasted the 46-year-long formal Apartheid) as one extended accident, with 500,000 settlers accidently ending up on the wrong side of the border. By any legal standard, judging based on actions, the “intent” would certainly be there.

    I’m not sure Goldstone’s line could convince anyone who isn’t a true believer already. Of course, that is the key reason Goldstone was the one chosen to deliver this line, so its weakness can be masked in the “look, he was once pro-Palestinian but not any more” meme. Poor Goldstone will spend the rest of his life using that meme to support the steadily weakening pro-Israel lines.

  13. eGuard says:

    At least one steady line in Goldstones so far: his mental doodles were published on April Fools’ day and Halloween. Expect the next one on February 30 (or March 15).

  14. Kathleen says:

    Gaza war report co-authors reject Goldstone’s retraction
    Three members of UN panel that investigated the 2008-2009 Gaza war reject an op-ed by Richard Goldstone, the fourth member and chairman, which retracted key conclusions of the report such as Israel’s intentional targeting of civilians.
    link to haaretz.com

  15. Kathleen says:

    Israeli soldiers cast lead
    link to youtube.com
    link to nevercastleadagain.wordpress.com

    And remember Israel restricting reporters in a massive way during cast lead
    Operation “Cast lead”: news control as a military objective
    link to en.rsf.org

  16. eGuard says:

    Aside. Jamie Stern-Weiner writes: the New York Times – the paper that turned down his April recantation, forcing him to offer a more sensationalised version to the [Washington] Post -

    This is quite plausible, but are there any versions leaked, or is any correspondence available from this pre-press process?

  17. Rusty Pipes says:

    Excellent article, as always, Jamie. Great to see your work posted here!

  18. I think a component of the Goldstone contreversy, is the question of whether Judaism is a credo or a people movement (with credos a component).

    A nation is half-step diversion from a people.

    A credo alone though is a full step from what constitutes a people.

    Unitarianism is a credo based religion, also intended to be applied, but with no expectation of forming a unitarian nation, no expectation of even a unifying historical experience forming a component of a chain of community.

    I have friends whose families are Quakers and all of their siblings continued, comprising a “teach your children” sequence, similar to l’dor v’dor in Judaism. I don’t know about their now teenage kids.

    Even the prophetic tradition is not a credo-based tradition, but an intuitive means of reminding to be a people, a people with mission and principles to apply.

    • Chaos4700 says:

      Have you told your Quaker friends that you have the explicit belief that ethnic cleansing is sometimes necessary? Do that, and report back on the status of your friendships.

      • Well,
        I have many friends associated with political action through their meetings and related organizations.

        Yes, I do question them on the same lines that I question here, whether their moral goal justifies their periodically immoral means to reach it, and what happens after.

        The AFSC was very assertive to support anti-apartheid rights, and more than a couple stayed to actually follow up to improve black South Africans’ lives after, and some were there on the ground working with black South Africans in the social effort to uplift as well.

        But, most took off. So, the current state of black South Africa is not really indistinguishable socially and economically from what it was during apartheid.

        It points to what work, what attention is needed.

        Name-calling is a vanity.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          You didn’t answer my question. Have you told your Quaker friends that you support ethnic cleansing, as long as it’s done for Jewish interests?

          Intriguing defense of apartheid, by the way, Witty.

        • You think that describing the failure of the dissenting community to actually bother to stay and help is a defense of apartheid?

        • Chaos4700 says:

          If you aren’t going to answer my question, I’m going to have to just assume that you hide that fact from them.

          What I think is defense of apartheid is insisting that removing apartheid made no difference at all, and that South African blacks were just as well off under apartheid. That’s what you are saying. I’m not talking about anyone but you.