Very well done editorial about Goldstone, his report and the implications for Israel by the folks over at The Forward.

When he spoke with our Gal Beckerman on October 2, Goldstone took pains to characterize his mission for the U.N. Human Rights Council as purely fact-finding, gathering information that would later be evaluated and tested. A useful road map for further investigations, he said. It was almost as if he were trying to frame the 575-page report as a brief that members of the international community could look at and decide for themselves whether further action was warranted.

“We had to do the best we could with the material we had,” he said during the interview. “If this was a court of law, there would have been nothing proven.”

And: “I wouldn’t consider it in any way embarrassing if many of the allegations turn out to be disproved.”

Nothing proven? Allegations? The air of tentativeness that hung over Goldstone’s remarks that day was surely missing from the stark and disturbing legal conclusions in the report, in which Israel was told flat out that it had violated international law by targeting civilians — “the people of Gaza as a whole.”

Nor is there anything tentative about Goldstone’s words in a New York Times opinion article published after the report was released, in which he wrote, “Repeatedly, the Israel Defense Forces failed to adequately distinguish between combatants and civilians, as the laws of war strictly require.”

It is difficult to know what to make of these contradictory statements, except that it’s obvious Goldstone is trying to climb down from the dangerous perch he had built.

Read it all.

Also at the Forward, there’s a discussion of the JFNA Jewish Community Heroes competition where our own Rabbi Yonah Bookstein was the top vote-getter. Apparently some people are upset that an online competition had people using a variety of online tools to get votes. Other people are more upset that there are so many Chabadniks among the finalists. People should stop being upset and should be pretty glad that this competition was an unqualified success.

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  • Cheers to themiddle for the exposure and Cheers to Forward. Extremely well done indeed.

    While most have seen this by now, here’s our own documentary interview on Goldstone prior-to-report-days, BUT Still worth a viewing!!! Be sure to watch the to end and speak your minds via comments. Cheers!

  • All this talk of an investigation is somewhat confusing. There are already over 100 ongoing investigations in Israel into the aftermath of Cast Lead, over 20 of which are criminal. Indeed, some soldiers have always been punished for the (minor) crime (but crime nonetheless) of looting a Palestinian home and stealing a credit card.

    I think the concern is that a broader investigation would undermine the ongoing ones. Perhaps, once these investigations into specific incidents have been concluded, a more wide ranging one with a broader mandate could be established?

  • PRI broadcast a report last night that some Israelis have proposed an independent investigation (i.e., one not done by the government or the IDF); however, Marc Regev for the gov’t. likened this to a capitulation to Goldstone.

  • As for the editorial– it’s too bad its contents weren’t inverted, with the paragraphs endorsing an Israeli investigation at the beginning. What does parsing Goldstone’s interviews and op-eds accomplish? Say what you will about his public statements, he’s safely over the bar of self-loathing anti-Semite.

  • It’s not that he’s an anti-Semite. I don’t think anybody thinks that. It’s that he has played into the hands of those who are as well as those who are Israel’s sworn enemies.

    There are many voices calling for an investigation. However, they are almost all doing it because Goldstone has put Israel is a serious jam, not because anybody accepts what he has written. The key parties who support the report are the high-fivin’ NGOs who were attacking Israel long before Cast Lead for everything it does and things it doesn’t do.

  • I heard Goldstone speak – he has no love for Israel. He touted the war crimes stuff then too – all BEFORE his so called investigation.

  • Middle, it all reduces to the question of the substance of the report. As we know in the US post- Gitmo, ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’, rendition etc., the motives of those asking the questions are immaterial. Either abuses occurred or they didn’t.

    This really shouldn’t be a ‘jam’ at all. If it is, it’s because, as I suggested, Goldstone can’t be dismissed as a caricature, and the matter can’t be spun for the public as a binary choice between dismissing the report altogether or deeming the IDF to be war criminals.

    In any event, the unintended beneficiary of Goldstone is, of course, Bibi. Pre-Goldstone, the focus was on Obama’s efforts to get him to agree to a settlements ‘freeze’. Not only is this off the front page (and the table): Bibi gets to do what he does best, depict Israel as surrounded by enemies, indeed nearly friendless, with little choice but to hunker down. As someone who has little to offer but perpetuation of the status quo, Bibi can thank Goldstone for increasing the public’s fears, thereby helping to keep the status quo firmly in place.

  • goldstone report is one sided the peace can come only with . this kind of attack on Palestinian murder . but we live in sick world that a crock and a liar report one sided and not what cause this action . if we look why this action happened we see that the Palestinian murder cause at . i even support stronger actin against the Palestinian i think this was to little for the people that support death .
    alot of thing wrong in israel in alot of way israel is a dirty country .
    yes i am Disraeli i know how dirty inside politic can be . the court and other government institution.

    but to bring peace we must attack this people they no other way .
    the Arab with help of European and united nation killing jewish people 2000 years