Larry Derfner at JPost says that Goldstone’s shift means merely that those who believe that Gaza was the “least moral war on earth” are wrong because Israel didn’t have a policy of deliberately targeting civilians. He then goes on to savage the Gaza onslaught as a war “that never should have happened.”
The piece seems to demonstrate two things: 1, Goldstone’s reconsideration is bringing people right back to their horror at the Gaza atrocity; it won’t be forgotten, and 2, the brutalized nature of the Israeli discourse. Note Derfner’s aggressive prose: “we bashed them around worse than ever.” Is this appropriate language for an operation that killed hundreds of civilians a few miles from Derfner’s nice neighborhood? These were real people, under Israel’s control. If Israelis made any real identification with them, they would want war crimes prosecutions, to save their society from this plague and prevent the possibility of wars “that never should have happened.” Derfner:
[N]othing that anybody says can change Operation Cast Lead from what it was – a horrific onslaught that never should have happened. I didn’t need the Goldstone Report to tell me that, and neither did anyone else – it was clear as soon as IAF jets began bombing Gaza that Saturday morning in late December 2008…
Operation Cast Lead was about the most one-sided war imaginable. Goldstone’s report nine months afterward did not spring this truth on an unsuspecting world, and his oped a week ago doesn’t change it, either.
But Israel was fighting in self-defense, wasn’t it? No, Gaza was fighting in self-defense. We invaded their country..
And that’s basically the story of Operation Cast Lead: We bashed the Gazans around beforehand, then we turned down a ceasefire, then we started the war and bashed them around worse than ever.