I was led to this interview by screeching and yelling pro-Palestinian (read: anti-Israel) internet activists who complained about the unfairness of this interview and the manner in which Bill Moyers “took Israel’s side” in his interview of Richard Goldstone. So I actually took the time to listen and watch the entire interview and realized that many pro-Palestinians are idiots. This is an exceptional interview and one that gives Goldstone a great deal of credibility even if the really tough questions are not asked of him.
The bottom line of this interview is that Israel can play the political game all it wants, but it will not be able to avoid the inevitable investigation that the Goldstone Commission has called for. By postponing the inevitable, the Israelis are only hurting their own credibility. They should have taken on the challenge of an open investigation within days of this report coming out.
Goldstone is a sophisticated, articulate foe who is able to calmly counter most points raised to criticize his commission and responses to his most challenging questions have not been addressed by any party. The key questions and concerns he raises publicly relate to the destruction of agricultural and food producing sources, namely the flour mill and large chicken farm, as well as 200 industrial factories. I have less of a concern about the factories, since many may have been used for military efforts, but the food production sources raise legitimate questions that should be addressed by Israel.
The bottom line is that Goldstone is doing the media circuit across the globe but particularly in the US. His claims lie there on the table and even skeptical, skilled journalists are not challenging him on the details of his report or his mandate to the degree they should. For example, Moyers takes at face value that Goldstone’s mandate from the UNHRC was modified, but there is no actual modification to the original mandate and there is no challenge to Goldstone’s assertion that he was able to have the UNHRC change the language of their response to the Report. In that instance, Goldstone acknowledges that the UNHRC wrote a document full of anti-Israel bias but claims that he was able to influence an addition of a short paragraph demanding that all violence against civilians. Of course, the tough questions that are never asked of him are:
– Why do you accept any document that shows such anti-Israel bias?
– Why are you satisfied with a modification that still does not even hold the Palestinians minimally responsible for their actions and does not even mention the accusations against them specifically?
– Why do you contend that the mandate for your investigation was changed when in fact the outcome at the UNHRC reflects the original mandate and not the one you claimed you had?
And so on. There are many points on which to challenge Goldstone, but this is not going to happen on his current media circuit and with every interview he gives such as this, his credibility increases and Israel’s diminishes. Israel needs to stop procrastinating and delaying the inevitable investigation it will have to conduct.
Here is the Bill Moyers – Richard Goldstone interview, Part I.
Here is Part II.