Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Israel Is Stupid to Rubbish Richard Goldstone

Posted by jonathanfryer on Friday, 18th September, 2009

Richard GoldstoneThe Israeli government has blown a giant raspberry at the UN report into the hostilities in and around Gaza earlier this year, in which an estimated 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis died. The 575-page document was put together by a small team headed by the eminent South African judge Richard Goldstone. The Israeli authorities refused to allow the team into Israel or the occupied West Bank to carry out their work, but the investigators did go to Gaza and interviewed Israelis in Geneva (the UN’s European headquarters). Israel’s excuse for not cooperating with the investigation was that it was commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council which, Tel Aviv says, is biased against it. To mark the appearance of the report, Israeli embassies round the world put out a strong press release rubbishing it (and Judge Goldstone).

Gilad ShalitThey should not have done. The report bends over backwards to be impartial. It slams Gaza’s Hamas rulers — rightly — for the rocket attacks on Israel which did not distinguish between military and vivilian targets, caused terror among Israeli citizens and therefore ‘would constitute war crimes and may amount to crimes against humanity.’ Similarly, the report rebukes Gaza’s security forces for carrying out extraditional executions and the arbitrary arrest, detention and ill-treatment of political opponents. It also calls for the release of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who has been in captivity for over three years and who should, the report argues, be released on humanitarian grounds.

Gaza conflictAlas, the Israeli government has chosen instead to smart at the stern reproaches the report gives over Israel’s conduct of the Gaza offensive, which it describes as a ‘deliberately disproportionate attack, designed to punish, humiliate and terrorise a civilian population.’ It says that Israeli troops used Palestinians as human shields — a war crime — and that Israeli forces committed ‘grave breaches of the fourth Geneva Convention, which gave rise to ‘individual criminal responsiblity.’ In other words, individual soldiers could find themselves the subject of prosecuton. Moreover, the Golstone team opined, Israels’ blockade of Gaza in the years before the hostilities amounted to intentional collective punishment. And Israeli actions depriving Gazans of their means of subsistence, employment, housing and water, as wellas denying their freedom of movement, ‘could lead a competent court to find that the crime of persecution, a crime against humanity, had been committed.’

These are grave charges, but justified ones. The question now is whether the international community — including Britain and other EU member states — is prepared not just to acknowledge this but to enforce the loigcal consequences — in other words the arrest of certain individuals when they are travelling, and/or appropriate sanctions. In the meantnime, the Israeli propaganda machine is doing everything it can to denigrate Judge Goldstone, a man of immense integrity and experience. The irony is that Richard Goldstone is Jewish and has always considered himself to be a friend of Israel. But this is Israeli government, like its predecessor, has an uncany knack of alienating its friends.

15 Responses to “Israel Is Stupid to Rubbish Richard Goldstone”

  1. Ivan said

    Just how impartial is a report which accuses Israelis of Hamas shelling their population centers? No joke, really: http://samsonblinded.org/blog/goldstone-report-the-rebuttal.htm

  2. Manny said

    richard goldstone is used to sleeping with pigs which is the reason that he now spouts rubbish. This chap is absolutely one of the most stupid i have ever met.
    All kinds of titles having to do with him, eminence, phd, bvd, you name it.

  3. Avraham Ben Ari said

    Mr. Jonathan Fryer
    All I can do as a Israeli citizen is to congratulate the UN comittee for its implacable report investigating IDF behavior in Gaza during December 2008.
    Indeed a real masterpiece of objectivity.
    After having sorted out all human right violations taking place on the planet at the present time (China vs. Tibet, Sudan vs. Darfur, Iran vs. demonstrators – are some examples surely not all), I’m so grateful that the distinguished delegation took time do deal with IDF, the current demonic violators of world pease.
    Hallelujah.
    As I understand what exactly the respectable members want, is to persecute IDF officers for harming civilians, so to say committing crimes against humanity, humanity of which, we, people of Israel do not make part according to UN.
    So be it.
    Being such an expert on warfare ethics as they are, who am I to dispute their judgment?!.
    However my lay understanding of justice, and excuse my ignorance, is that it should undisputedly be impartial, egalitarian, and not biased by any fashionable political, ideological, religious or prejuditial trends.
    This notion of justice puts some stipulations on the committee’s work.
    That is if IDF officers are to be persecuted at all, as good old Dick Goldstone and his pack of antisemitic hyaenas suggest – it shouls be done in the very same international tribunal where Hamas leaders had been put to trial for their own crimes.
    i.e.
    The same very international tribunal that should try the ones accountable for cevilian killings in Afganistan and Pakistan in the present time.
    i.e.
    The same very international tribunal that tried RAF bomber air crews for igniting firestorms over some German cities during WW2 (Hamburg and Dresden are examples).
    i.e.
    The same very tribunal that tried the B29 aviators for devastating Tokio and then Hirishima and Nagasaki ending numerous innocent lives during the same war.
    i.e.
    The same very tribunal that tried the B52 pilots doing the same to the defendless populations of North Vietnam 2 decades later.
    i.e.
    The same very tribunal that tried, the patriotic 4 starred General WiIliam Westmoreland, for the Vietnam atrocities that took place under his command, climaxed in the 1968 My Lai massacre (remember?).

    As to using Palestinians as living shields:
    The Gazan mortar and rocket launcers made a deliberate habit practicing what they did for 8 years in the proximity of schools, hospitals and mosks. So please don’t lecture us about war ethics.

    As about the so called Israeli siege/blockade around Gasa.
    The Gazans elected democratically Hamas government, the same way the Germans once upon a time elected, democratically, Adolf Hitler. The Hamas does not recognize the right of Israel to exist and claims the obligation of continuous armed struggle for Arab/Islamic reconquest of the entire so called Palestine, i.e.
    continuously bombing and killing us in impunity, while at the same time we are supposed to feed them, supply them gas, electricity, water, medical aid and freedom of movement. THIS IS ABSURD – look up in any history book. I doubt if you’l find any example for such idiocy.

    So you can shed all the tears you want for the Gazans – the bastards can blame for their misfortune only themslves.

    As to trashing Judge Goldstone:
    No one cant trash him more than how he trashed himself with his despicable repoet.

    Dick Goldsone is nothing but a weasel faced self loathing little Jew (he had anglicized his Jewish Name), who made a career by grovelling eagerlly to please his political masters whoever they may be.
    With such freinds who needs enemies?!.

    September 29th 2009
    Avraham Ben-Ari MD
    Israel

    P.S. The 9th eleventh attack perptrators and masterminds were civilians in case you forgot.

  4. What is a War Crime?
    A ‘war crime’ is a term defined by international law. Since the foundation of the United Nations, its charter is regarded as the constitutional foundation of ‘international law’, along with the Geneva Conventions that determine the rules of ‘international humanitarian law’. The U.N. Charter rules in Article 2/4: “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”
    Has Israel ever violated this prohibition? Has it ever attacked or threatened another country with the object of eliminating it? Or perhaps all 22 members of the Arab League, plus other states and organizations, have declared openly that their goal is to destroy the sovereign State of Israel?
    Before we go on to discuss the methods of war, let us agree that anyone who calls for the destruction of a U.N. member state is a criminal according to international law and that the legal status of the aggressor is inferior to that of a law-abiding state. Any person or entity that objects to Israel’s very existence is guilty of incitement to commit genocide and of breaching the constitution of international law. By ignoring this hard fact, Judge Goldstone has divorced his report from the law itself.
    Many people quote the Fourth Geneva Convention, which demands that all states avoid harming any civilian population. Whenever enemy civilians are hit by IDF fire, we hear that Israel is guilty of crimes against these rules. Yet these quotations are blatantly partial and prejudiced.
    I wholeheartedly agree that any deliberate attack on defenseless civilians is an outrageous crime against humanity. If there were deviations from the official IDF policy, I totally support taking severe measures against the offenders.
    The additional protocol to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 that entered into force on 7 December 1979, stated that “the civilian population and individual civilians shall enjoy general protection against dangers arising from military operations” (Article 51/1) and that “Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited” (Article 51/2). Furthermore, Article 51/4 states that “Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited. Indiscriminate attacks are: (a) Those which are not directed at a specific military objective; (b) Those which employ a method or means of combat which cannot be directed at a specific military objective; or (c) Those which employ a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be limited as required by this Protocol; and consequently, in each such case, are of a nature to strike military objectives and civilians or civilian objects without distinction.”
    Sounds familiar? Do these definitions describe accurately the IDF’s mode of operation, or perhaps the terror attacks and rocket bombardments by the Fatah, Hamas and Hezbollah? These terrorists do not even try to hide that their targets are almost always civilian and not military! Their operations against civilians are not only indiscriminate, but also openly deliberate.
    Even one of Israel’s sharpest critics, Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, said: “Lobbing rockets blindly into civilian areas is without doubt a war crime. Nothing can justify this assault on the most fundamental standards for sparing civilians the hazards of war.” Can we agree at this point that these terrorists are certainly war criminals?
    The IDF, on the other hand, obeys the Geneva Convention! The clause that is more applicable to IDF operations states clearly: “Civilians shall enjoy the protection afforded by this Section, unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities” (Article 51/3).
    When an Israeli warplane drops a bomb on a building that houses a terror base, can you claim that the civilians that supply food and shelter to the terrorists are not involved in the hostilities? Will you also claim that the cook and the quartermaster in your reserves’ unit are entitled to be protected by the Geneva Convention as uninvolved civilians because they were not carrying guns at the time of the attack?
    Do you think that I’m inventing this interpretation? Let’s read clause 51/7 of the same protocol: “The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favour or impede military operations. The Parties to the conflict shall not direct the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to attempt to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield military operations.”
    The protocol’s Article 58 rules clearly that the “Parties to the conflict shall, to the maximum extent feasible: (a) … endeavour to remove the civilian population, individual civilians and civilian objects under their control from the vicinity of military objectives; (b) Avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas; (c) Take the other necessary precautions to protect the civilian population, individual civilians and civilian objects under their control against the dangers resulting from military operations.”
    The protocol contains detailed rules, derived from Article 28 of the Fourth Geneva Convention: “The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations.”
    Is it not clear who is responsible for the regrettable deaths of Arab civilians, who are deliberately used by the terrorists as human shields? Not only the terror attacks constitute crimes against humanity, but also the very presence of armed combatants among civilian population is a gross violation of the Geneva Convention. Therefore, in plain legal terms, the terror organizations are undoubtedly guilty of crimes against international humanitarian law and are exclusively responsible for the casualties on both sides – Israelis and Arabs alike!
    What do humanitarian organizations do against these criminals? Not only they refrain from any legal action against the terrorist criminals, they also try to obstruct any attempt of self-defense by law-abiding states.
    Moreover, International Law obligates Israel to strike against the terrorists! The actions of the IDF against the terrorists are based primarily on Israel’s legal right to defend itself. Any nation, in any point of history, has acted more fiercely than Israel against ruthless enemies who attacked its population.
    Moreover, Israel is not only exercising its legal right, but in fact, fulfilling its legal obligation! Israel is one of the very few states that follow the letter and the spirit of binding U.N. resolutions against international terrorism. International law demands that all states combat terrorism. U.N. General Assembly Resolution of 17 February 1995 urged all U.N. member states “in accordance with the provisions of the Declaration, to take all appropriate measures at the national and international levels to eliminate terrorism;”
    The annex to this resolution stated (clause 1): “The States Members of the United Nations solemnly reaffirm their unequivocal condemnation of all acts, methods and practices of terrorism, as criminal and unjustifiable, wherever and by whomever committed, including those which jeopardize the friendly relations among States and peoples and threaten the territorial integrity and security of States;” and clause 5 stated that “States must also fulfil their obligations Under the Charter of the United Nations and other relevant rules of International Law with respect to combating international terrorism and are urged to take effective and resolute measures in accordance with the relevant provisions of international law and international standards of human rights for the speedy and final elimination of international terrorism…”
    Hence, we are looking at an amazing situation, where one side is undoubtedly guilty of war crimes, yet the ‘enlightened’ circles support it legally, morally and politically, while they accuse the other side, which obeys the letter and the spirit of the law. Judge Goldstone seems to have given the enemies of the civilised world one of their most important achievements since V-Day, 1945.

  5. Tony Nettooran said

    Justice Goldstone has no reason to report adversely against Israel, if the accusations were incorrect. His team and he had visited the places themselves and made this report from first hand information. The report accuses both parties. But then you cannot say that he hit my cousin, so I have the right to hit his cousin. If these words are written sincerely “I wholeheartedly agree that any deliberate attack on defenseless civilians is an outrageous crime against humanity. If there were deviations from the official IDF policy, I totally support taking severe measures against the offenders” you must encourage soul-searching and self criticism. Afterall, you can get away from reprimands during life-time, but what about after that?

  6. Dear Mr. Nettooran,
    You have both facts and your morality wrong. Mr. Goldstone did NOT visit the places and the people that were bombarded with over 10,000 Hamas rockets for YEARS. His report completely ignores the intention of Hamas to exterminate Israel and its Jews, a criminal call for genocide by all standards.
    As for God’s verdict in the afterlife, I strongly suggest that you read again both the Bible and Qur’an.
    Ehud Tokatly

  7. Manny said

    DOES ANYONE HERE KNOW THE EMAIL ADDRESS OF RICHARD GOLDSTON OF WHOM WE SPEAK.
    I HAD IT AND LOST IT AND NOW CANNOT SEEM ABLE TO FIND IT.
    WOULD APPRECIATE GETTING IT.
    MANNY

  8. Tony Nettooran said

    Dear Mr. Tokatly and all,
    Justice Goldstone’s report doesn’t ignore wrongdoings on the part of Hamas. It is also pointed out in the report. Moreover, there are confessions from Israeli soldiers came out through nowhere else than Israeli media, where they repents having caused death of unarmed persons, and were instructed not to care about civilian casualties. While you are talking about “intention to exterminate Israel and its Jews, a criminal call for genocide” and things like that, you must realise that in the offensive, there have been 13 casualties of Hamas attacks (I am not condoning it, every life is precious) where as more than 1,300 Palastineans died, of which around 200 where children. Which would support the words you have used? It might be your patriotism that impels you to present one side, but sometimes retrospection is good for individuals as well as for countries.

  9. Dear Mr. Nettooran,

    Unlike Mr. Goldstone, I’d like to stick to the facts.

    Can you show me ONE “confession” of an Israeli soldier who was ordered to deliberately target uninvolved civilians? Not many, just ONE, please. Unlike you, I can show you strict IDF written orders, accompanied with HUNDREDS of verbal testimonies by IDF officers and soldiers, that FORBID shooting at armed terrorists when they hide behind their own women and children.

    The fact that fewer Israeli civilians got hurt is due to Israel’s morality. Unlike HAMAS, we protect our citizens in proper shelters, not hide behind their back with the open intention to get them hit for propaganda gains.

    Now, please go back to my original post and read the quotes from the Fourth Geneva Convention. Perhaps YOU are the one-sided paticipant in this exchange. Along with “Judge” Goldstone, who knows the law very well and deliberately adopts lies, slander and distortion of the law itself, for personal and political gains.

    Shame on all who support Goldstone the liar!

    • Tony Nettooran said

      Dear Mr. Tokatly,

      >> Can you show me ONE “confession” of an Israeli soldier who was ordered to deliberately >> target uninvolved civilians? Not many, just ONE, please.

      Take this from the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz:
      …According to the squad leader: “The sharpshooter saw a woman and children approaching him, closer than the lines he was told no one should pass. He shot them straight away. In any case, what happened is that in the end he killed them.
      “I don’t think he felt too bad about it, because after all, as far as he was concerned, he did his job according to the orders he was given. And the atmosphere in general, from what I understood from most of my men who I talked to … I don’t know how to describe it …. The lives of Palestinians, let’s say, is something very, very less important than the lives of our soldiers.”
      Read the full text if you want: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1072040.html

      (2) Another account:
      “That’s what is so nice, as it were, about Gaza: You see a person on a road … and you can just shoot him.”
      (3) See the grafiti of a pregnant arab woman on the T-shirt of a soldier
      http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1072466.html
      A T-shirt of an IDF soldier in the sniper unit reading ‘1 shot two kills.’

      (4) Read another detailed confession:
      http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1072475.html
      “At first the specified action was to go into a house. We were supposed to go in with an armored personnel carrier called an Achzarit [literally, Cruel] to burst through the lower door, to start shooting inside and then … I call this murder … in effect, we were supposed to go up floor by floor, and any person we identified – we were supposed to shoot. I initially asked myself: Where is the logic in this?

      Please treat the truth as a truth.
      Regards,
      Tony

  10. Dear Mr. Nettooran,

    I knew you would bring these propaganda items. But you still have NOT answered my question: Do you have evidence of official IDF orders to deliberately target civilians? Can you, or the Israeli-based Arab propaganda newspaper Haaretz, show a document to such an effect? Take a good look at the pieces you quoted and search for evidence to an Israeli policy to kill unarmed persons!

    By the way, the accusations published by those guys were investigated by the Israeli authorities and whenever an individual was found to act AGAINST the official orders, these criminals were punished. Can you show me ONE case of a Palestinian who was punished for targeting civilians?

    I know that you and your like prefer to ignore the TRUTH, which is evident to any honest person: The Hamas, Hezbollah, Fatah and other groups have been conducting a criminal terror campaign, with people like you trying to defend them by falsely accusing Israel and denying its right to defend its civilians.

    The fact that you can quote anti-Israeli slanders from an Israeli newspapers is only a credit to our democracy. The free press can lie freely in our free country, which is hardly the case in any Arab society.

    But I don’t think you will let the facts confuse you. The guilt of the Jewish State seems to be a deep need in your mental world.

    Think about it.

    Ehud

  11. Tony Nettooran said

    Dear Mr. Tokatly,

    You asked me to show you ONE confession, I gave you FOUR. You challenged “Not many, just ONE, please”; You got “Not just ONE, BUT MANY”. If you had any principles, you should have apologized and corrected or at least retired from this. But now you are asking defence documents as proof! I am not here to fight out for any side. I am just an ordinary man whose profession is not this. I am not an Arab or a Zionist (or even a South African) to support any of the parties. You question the credibility of the report accusing Haaretz “the Israeli-based Arab propaganda newspaper Haaretz”, OK, whatever. But my friend, please be aware that it is only reported by Haaretz, the original source is:
    ‘The testimonies were published by the military academy at Oranim College. Graduates of the academy, who had served in Gaza, were speaking to new recruits at a seminar.
    The transcript of the session for the college’s Yitzhak Rabin pre-military course, which was held last month, APPEARED IN A NEWSLETTER PUBLISHED BY THE ACADEMY.
    “[The testimonies] conveyed an atmosphere in which one feels entitled to use unrestricted force against Palestinians,” academy director Dany Zamir told public radio.’

    And what was the response of the IDF?
    “The Israeli army has said it will investigate the soldiers’ accounts.”
    Reported by BBC,

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7952603.stm

    So the Israeli Army had to accept it, they didn’t say “the Israeli-based Arab propaganda Oranim College military academy newsletter”. Now what you have to say, Mr.Ehud?

    I understand that there is no point in debating with you, because you created a mental block and would entertain nothing against what you try to stress. So I don’t try anymore. But one day you may realise what injustice you were trying to shield…

  12. Dear Mr. Tony (this is the equivalent of you addressing me as “Mr. Ehud”),

    Like so many anti-Israel propagandists, you excel in misquotations. Yet, your misquote is not too wise, because my original question is still displayed on this page and anyone can scroll up and see that you are bending my words to suite your agenda and your own “mental block”, as you put it.

    I asked you very clearly: “Can you show me ONE “confession” of an Israeli soldier who was ordered to deliberately target uninvolved civilians? Not many, just ONE, please.”

    Did you show me any confession of AN ORDER TO DELIBERATELY TARGET UNINVOLVED CIVILIANS?

    Read Ha’aretz again:

    1) “The testimonies include a description by an infantry squad leader of an incident where an IDF sharpshooter mistakenly shot a Palestinian mother and her two children.”
    Read again: “MISTAKENLY”
    The description that follows talks about “an atmosphere” and a subjective perception of the witness, NOT about any OFFICIAL ORDER to TARGET CIVILIANS.

    2) The second testimony was about one individual who commanded his troops to kill a woman. Who was that woman? Did she shield an armed terrorist? Was she shot by the troops? No details are given.
    As I pointed out, such testimonies were investigated by the IDF, since the OFFICIAL IDF policy PROHIBITS targeting uninvolved civilians.

    3) Then, there is much description of uncivilized conduct by the troops, including spitting and cursing. Right. Would you like to show me the law that prohibits troops to spit and curse on the battlefield?

    4) I can tell you a few things about the political motivation of Mr. Zamir and his establishment, but you don’t seem to be interested in internal Israeli politics, which is fair enough.

    No one denies that any battle is very ugly. Mistakes are made in all wars. But there is a difference between errors and deliberate crimes. Unlike you, I am an Israeli Jew and I am very sad that our enemies have been forcing us to fight them for over a century. Unlike us, Palestinian Arabs have ALWAYS used criminal strategies of DELIBERATE terror attacks almost ONLY against civilians, yet they were NEVER investigated by the UN or any Western country. Why do you choose to ignore these obvious facts?

    Again, Mr. Tony, show me ONE IDF ORDER TO DELIBERATELY TARGET UNINVOLVED CIVILIANS!!

    So, dear Mr. Tony, are you not projecting on me your own faults? Are you not the biased liar in this exchange? I cannot agree with you more about your final statement, and I too must tell you that “you created a mental block and would entertain nothing against what you try to stress. So I don’t try anymore. But one day you may realise what injustice you were trying to shield…”

  13. Maflas said

    Israel – an artificial construct.

    London bridge is falling down…and now it’s time for Tel Aviv.

  14. Dear Maflas,

    Thank you so much for spilling the beans. You have just supplied an excellent proof that:

    THE GOLDSTONE REPORT IS SUPPORTED BY GENOCIDAL ANTI-SEMITES, WHO USE PSEUDO-HUMANISTIC JARGON TO HIDE THEIR RACIST, CRIMINAL INTENTIONS.

    I sincerely wish you everything you wish for my people.

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