Goldstone dares US on Gaza report

October 22nd, 2009 | Posted in Palestine, Politics
    Al Jazeera Thursday, October 22, 2009.


    Photo: Zoriah (c) Palestinian youth among rubble in the Gaza Strip.

Richard Goldstone, the jurist who authored a UN report accusing Israel of war crimes and crimes against humanity during its war on Gaza, has challenged the US to justify its claims that his findings are flawed and biased.

Goldstone told Al Jazeera on Thursday that he had not heard from the administration of Barack Obama, the US president, about the flaws Washington claims to have identified in the report.

“I have yet to hear from the Obama administration what the flaws in the report that they have identified are. I would be happy to respond to them, if and when I know what they are,” Goldstone said.

“The Obama administration joined our recommendation calling for full and good-faith investigations, both in Israel and in Gaza [by Hamas], but said that the report was flawed.”

‘Personal attack’

Goldstone said the attacks on him had become personal and that he believed most critics had not even read the report.

“I’ve no doubt, many of the critics – the overwhelmingly majority of critics – have not read the report,” he said.

“And, you know, what proves that, I think, is that the level of criticism does not go to the substance of the report.

“There still have not been responses to the really serious allegations that are made. People generally don’t like to be accused of criminal activity.

“So it didn’t surprise me that there was criticism, even strong criticism, and it has come from both sides.”

Goldstone said he regretted the “extremes from which some of the criticism has come and the fact that it has been so personal”.

The remarks follow US criticism of the report, which it says is one-sided.

The US and Israel were among countries which voted against a UN human rights council resolution on the report passed in Geneva by 25 votes to six with 11 countries abstaining.

The Goldstone report also accuses Hamas, the Palestinian faction in control of Gaza, of war crime violations, but it reserved most of its criticism for Israel.

Israel’s three-week offensive on Gaza between last December and January killed about 1,400 Palestinians, a majority of them women and children, and 13 Israelis.

Israel said it attacked the coastal territory to stop Hamas fighters firing rockets into southern Israel.

1 Comment »

The refusal of the United states to accept the Goldstone Report is discouraging but understandable given the intense pressure the Jewish lobby group exerts on U.S. foreign policy re Israel. AIPAC is particularly influential. In addition, the Jewish people contribute heavily to finance the political campaigns of U.S. senators and congressmen in order to enlist their support for Israel.
What I find intolerable is the silence of the international community, including my country ,Canada, regarding Israel’s war crimes, crimes against humanity and its flagrant and frequent violations of the 4th Geneva Convention. Why is Israel so special that it can violate accepted international rules with respect to conquered peoples with such impunity?

Recently Iran has come back into the news regarding its nuclear program, but in all the furor, fears and denunciations, Israel’s stockpile of hundreds of nuclear warheads at the facility at Dimona, south of Beersheva in the Negev, goes ignored.
Israel ‘s warring tendencies are obvious but not so Iran which according to my research last invaded a country – Russia — in 1826. Israel, on the other hand and during the last 20 years, has invaded Lebanon twice with terrible destruction and destroyed Gaza.

I am heartened that civil society around the world is taking action to defend and promote the cause of the Palestinians, the most victimized peoples in the world.

Comment by Barry V. Fisher — October 28th, 2009 @ 3:51 PM

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