Monday, April 04, 2011

The Limits Of Forgiveness

A funny thing happened a few days ago - so funny that at first I thought it was some sort of April Fool's joke.

South African jurist Richard Goldstone published a mewling op-ed in the Washington Post essentially disavowing the infamous Goldstone Report he authored that falsely condemned Israel for war crimes during Operation Cast lead against Hamas in Gaza.

While the Goldstone Report certainly didn't start the movement to delegitimize Israel, it put it on steroids and gave it the imprimatur of 'social justice' and the 'International community'.

The report's outright lies, omissions and bias had been revealed long before by some notable experts, but that didn't stop the EU, the UN Human Rights Council from endorsing it as gospel and the basis for future actions.

And what a prize it was for them! Here, at last proof of how those blood thirsty Jews really behave. It actually referred to Israelis as subhuman, violent and paranoid.And written by a Jew, one of their own!

What actually happened is that the UNHRC, dominated by Muslim countries, wanted to libel Israel and its army formally after the IDF went into Gaza to stop the rocket attacks on Israel's civilians. And they wanted a front man willing to lead the charge and come up with the desired result..someone with international human rights cred, someone whose need for attention and approbation in UN circles would trump any sense of objectivity and preferably a Jew, so they could avoid the overt appearance of anti-Semitism among the credible.

They found that person in South African jurist Richard Goldstone.

Judge Goldstone's problems began after the report was first issued back in 2009.His response to the very valid criticisms of its contents were not to try revising it or tempering it, but to arrogantly double down.He launched what amounted to a PR crusade on the airwaves, and wrote editorials defending the report, three of them in the New York Times...which refused to publish his latest mea culpa for obvious reasons.

He even briefly attempted public debate, but gave that up after several attempts ended in his positions being utterly destroyed verbally, most notably against Dore Gold at Brandeis University in 2009.

And worst of all, he failed utterly to bring the vast majority of Israelis on board in a grand orgy of self-hatred and separate them from their defenders, even those on the Left.He forgot that the IDF really is a people's army, and that the Israelis knew whom their children, family members and neighbors were, even if he hadn't the slightest clue.

The final curtain, as Law Professor Avi Bell relates, had to have come three days before Goldstone's whining little apologia in the Washington Post, sitting there at Stanford Law School with his wife next to him and watching Bell and Peter Berkowitz tear apart Goldstone's abysmal tissue of lies to his face:

Goldstone has refused to disavow the report’s attempt to eliminate laws against terrorism from the international legal codex, and its refusal to acknowledge that Hamas is a terrorist organization. He has not renounced the preposterous characterization of Gaza as territory under Israeli occupation, or the report’s shocking claim that Israel’s limited economic sanctions against the Hamas government are an unlawful form of collective punishment. He continues to remain silent on the report labeling all Israelis liars to stamp Hamas’s anti-Israel libels with the imprimatur of truth. He has not yet expressed remorse about the report’s gratuitous inclusion of anti-Jewish slurs, such as its endorsement of the bigoted claim that Israeli Jews are dehumanized and paranoid.

Goldstone said during the debate that no one has disputed the report’s factual allegations. But this is demonstrably false and Goldstone knew it, because he was looking right at me when I reminded him of this fact during the debate. He did not repeat the claim in The Washington Post. {...}

Goldstone excused the report’s harsh pronouncements of Israeli guilt on the grounds that his mission did not have contrary evidence. But this is both false and irrelevant. The mission had plenty of contrary evidence, including photographs and testimony, which it willfully disregarded. Where evidence was lacking, the responsible course was to admit that the mission did not know what had happened. Instead, the report repeatedly and unjustifiably presumed Israel guilty and Hamas innocent.

And to add insult to injury, after everything, we get this self serving 'apology'? Gosh, he never realized that the genocidal Hamas was never going to investigate themselves? Oh, he's now convinced the IDF didn't intentionally target civilians? He had no choice but to believe the fairy tales Hamas told him and his 'investigators', and if he knew then what he knows now, the Goldstone Report would have "been a different document"...really?

If it had, it never would have been issued, it would have been quietly buried. But the UNHRC knew that when they hired Judge Goldstone, they found the right man for the job. They knew exactly what he and his panel were going to produce beforehand, just as they knew they could depend on Goldstone to hit the studio at places like CNN, NPR and the BBC to work to sell it afterwards.

They used him like the whore he was utterly delighted to least until the fiction cracked and the spotlight wasn't pleasant anymore.

The harm the Goldstone libel has done to Israel is incalculable. It has strengthened the country's genocidal Arab enemies, provided a foundation for continued diplomatic attacks on Israel's legitimacy as a nation, a precedent for the perversion of international law and continued fodder for the continued myth of 'fascist, apartheid Israel' to be recycled over and over again.

Had Judge Goldstone actually come out with a full blown, honest apology, it would not have changed any of that, but it might have been the start of his own personal redemption.

As it is, he couldn't even muster the courage to do that much.

Instead, Richard Goldstone will continue to be the bird that defecated in his own nest, wallowed happily in the muck and now wonders how to get rid of the awful smell.

There's no getting rid of it. It will stay with him the rest of his life.

please helps me write more gooder!


Atlanta Roofing said...

That’s good enough for me–it’s also what Goldstone could have said if he’d wanted to, but he chose not to. I don’t personally see much of a moral distinction between targeting civilian infrastructure and using indiscriminate firepower and “targeting civilians”, but I won’t quibble about it unless someone says that Hamas rockets are supposed to be worse than what Israel did. In that case, they must want Israel to suffer what Gazans suffered in the next war. I’m sure the more bloodthirsty Hamas members would be happy to accommodate if they could.

Freedom Fighter said...

If you don't see a 'moral distinction' between aggression and defense, between deliberately targeting civilians as opposed to deliberately trying to avoid as many civilian casualties as possible even though Hamas 'fighters' were deliberately launching rockets from civilian areas like schools and hiding behind civilians and essentially using them as human shields..

Well, I truly feel sorry for you.

Hamas, by the way,is an openly genocidal organization. So there's no such thing as 'the more bloodthirsty members', and making a distinction as you have is a dangerous fallacy.