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Goldstone Report Arises from Dead

Like Lazarus rising from the dead, the Goldstone Report has been given another lease on life by the UN Human Rights Council, thanks to the shame endured by Mahmoud Abbas when he withdrew support for it at the last Council meeting.  Abbas was stung severely by the backlash from Hamas and other Palestinian groups.  This new effort is a result and may go some way toward saving face for Abbas.

The N.Y. Times reports that the UN high commissioner for human rights is also throwing his support behind the report.  This should help to nudge the process forward.  The Council will vote on a resolution that will urge Israel and Hamas to perform a serious investigation of the crimes committed during the Gaza war by both sides.  If either side fails to do so then the Council can return to recommend further action.

Netanyahu has threatened an end to the peace process if the PA doesn’t withdraw Goldstone.  And possibly some Palestinian telecom entrepreneurs may be out $700 million due to a cell phone license which Israel is holding hostage.

I was also delighted to note that the U.S. diplomat who derided the Goldstone Report when it was last considered in Geneva was replaced by a different State Department representative who was positively sedate by comparison:

Douglas M. Griffiths, the American delegate at the meeting on Thursday, reiterated that the United States did not believe that the report was a matter for Security Council consideration and encouraged Israel to carry out its own investigations.

He said it was important to “be mindful of the larger context of ongoing efforts to restart permanent status negotiations that would lead to the creation of a Palestinian state,” The Associated Press reported.

I’m presuming that there will be no last minute jawboning sessions with the American consul who last time managed to pressure Abbas into dropping Goldstone.  Once burned, twice shy.

Haaretz reports that Bibi Netanyahu is desperately seeking help from any source he can to stymie the Report.  But all his efforts appear destined to fail, unlike the last time.  Ban Ki Moon gave him 15 minutes and then told him he could do nothing to intervene against the position of UNHCR.  There was a rather uncomfortable 30 minute exchange with Gordon Brown in which the Israeli PM vainly attempting to persuaded Britain to vote “No” on the Report.

Last week, Bibi looked like a Jewish Houdini, able to break out of every “trap” set for him by his political enemies in Washington or Geneva.  This week, not so much.  Besides the resusitation of Goldstone, Turkey has taken its pound of flesh by allowing the cancellation of a military exercise because Israel was to be involved.  Considering the tight level of coordination between the Israeli and Turkish military in the 1990s, this has to be a blow.  Turkey was the only Muslim country in the region to have such close relations.  Now, it’s a thing of the past.

It proves that a week can be an eternity when it comes to the Middle East.  One day you’re on top of the world and the next you’re sitting in a dust heap.  That’s why you have to try to keep things in perspective and never lose hope completely no matter how bleak things appear.

I was disappointed that the Times reporter who wrote this story inserted a piece of blatant hasbara that is offered by Israel and its Gaza massacre apologists:

Israel says about 400 Gazans die of natural causes every month, possibly accounting for the discrepancy in the numbers.

The reporter of course does not mention that every single Gazan death has been documented and only those war-related have been counted.  This is nothing but pure, blatant, and offensive propaganda.  And it’s deeply offensive.  Israel killed 1,400 Palestinians of whom approximately 1,100 were civilians.  Of these 300 were children.  These are all facts documented by the Goldstone Report and other human rights documentation.


{ 39 comments… add one }

  • Joachim Martillo October 16, 2009, 12:03 AM

    Here is an article my wife and I prepared to address some of the shortcomings of the Goldstone Report: Whither After Goldstone?

  • ellen October 16, 2009, 4:30 AM

    Recently I was outraged to hear NPR news refer to the “so-called ” Goldstone Report.

    I realize the Report has a longer and official name, but in hundreds of news reports I have heard it referred to as the Goldstone Report.

    The only reason to refer to something as “so-called” is to insinuate it is not what it purports to be, to dis-credit it.
    Not exactly a surprise, since NPR’s pro-Israeli bias is blatant.
    As blatant as it’s pro-corporate, pro-government bias.

    In case there are still people who regard npr as “balanced” (lol) this is a good site to check: http://nprcheck.blogspot.com/

  • ellen October 16, 2009, 4:35 AM

    “Jewish Zionist transnational political economic manipulation and corruption”
    “Goldstone’s International Zionist Shyster Law” [murillo]

    Right….this mutt is not an anti-semite.
    Shyster is not a code word for Jewish Lawyer.
    …and Kissinger is a peacemaker.

    Really Richard don’t you think you are encouraging an anti-semite by having him publish comments?
    Have you read his blog?

    • Joachim Martillo October 16, 2009, 5:06 AM

      Hey, I grew up in New York. Shyster is used as the generic equivalent of pettifogger which Americans don’t understand.

      We talk about Italian shysters, Polish shysters, Chinese shysters, and WASP shysters.

      In the first 10 minutes of Robocop, the police captain uses shyster as the generic term for a crooked lawyer defending a criminal — my usage exactly.

      I study transnational political economic manipulation and corruption. Ethnicity does not matter to me. I study it in the Arab and Islamic world or E. Asia.

      You seem to believe that somehow Jews of all people in the world do not engage in such behavior and therefore must be superior to non-Jews.

      It is hard to be more racist than Ellen.

    • silvia October 16, 2009, 2:15 PM

      Silverstein seems to be more accepting of antisemites than do Palestinian activists Ali Abunimah and Hussein Ibish who during the second Intifada when they were recruiting pens like mad – have brutally kicked from their midst the antisemite Israel Shamir. This character (surprise!) happens to be published on the blog in question.

      • Richard Silverstein October 16, 2009, 4:28 PM

        If any reader feels Martillo’s comments offend or are anti Semitic I encourage you to let me know. I have warned Joachim about a recent comment & will consider banning him if he violates my comment rules.

      • LD October 16, 2009, 4:30 PM

        Antisemite ansitsemite antisemite

        Is that ALL you got silvia? Think of some new material.

    • Richard Silverstein October 16, 2009, 4:25 PM

      My deal w. Martillo is I don’t read his blog & I don’t subscribe to his views. And as long as he keeps his more offensive views out of my comment threads, I don’t ban him. But when he does come close to the edge I warn him. But if you feel any of his comments cross a line pls. let me know. I’m always willing to revisit my decision on whether to continue to allow him to participate.

  • silvia October 16, 2009, 9:26 AM

    “Last week, Bibi looked like a Jewish Houdini”

    Houdini WAS Jewish. What does that make Bibi? A jewish Jewish escapologist?

    But that’s not the only area where you don’t have a clue. From your comments, it seems you are for a freeze of settlement growth now, and against a palestinian state with permanent borders now. But my assessment is that as usual, uou’re lagging behind on Middle East affairs.

    • Richard Silverstein October 16, 2009, 9:28 AM

      I’m in favor of an Israeli state with permanent defined borders. This is something opposed by Israel.

      • Rafi October 16, 2009, 11:06 AM

        If you support something that Israel opposes, doesn’t it makes you Anti-Israel?

        • Richard Silverstein October 16, 2009, 4:18 PM

          Israel doesn’t oppose it. A rightist Israeli gov’t does. George Bush didn’t represent me any more than Bibi Netanyahu does. I’m no less American for opposing Bush than I am anti-Israel for opposing Netanyahu.

      • silvia October 16, 2009, 11:59 AM

        I am not saying this to insult your intelligence – but am I to understand that you’re saying that Israel should withdraw unilaterally from the West Bank?

        • Richard Silverstein October 16, 2009, 5:28 PM

          I support an Israeli withdrawal back to 1967 borders as part of a comprehensive settlement of the conflict.

          As for insulting my intelligence, I’m afraid you do that regularly and the intelligence of many others of my readers as well.

          • silvia October 17, 2009, 12:26 AM

            “I support an Israeli withdrawal back to 1967 borders as part of a comprehensive settlement of the conflict”

            Then why can you not see that “the larger context of ongoing efforts to restart permanent status negotiations that would lead to the creation of a Palestinian state” that the ambassador speaks of, is precisely the comprehensive settlement you’re talking about?

            And isn’t your insistance on a freeze a bit myopic? Isn’t it putting the cart before the horse?

            I think the reason you are unaware of the developments that have been taking place since the freezomania is that you are so blinded by your views of Netanyahu, that you thought of his two-state speech as mere theorizing, rather than recognizing it as a counter-offer to Abbas-Obama’s tiny demand of a freeze.

          • Richard Silverstein October 17, 2009, 7:41 PM

            “the larger context of ongoing efforts to restart permanent status negotiations that would lead to the creation of a Palestinian state” that the ambassador speaks of, is precisely the comprehensive settlement you’re talking about?

            I want no part of vague future promises of negotiations based on equally vague conditions & contingencies established by Israel. I want negotiations now. I want a settlement now. Anything short of that is unacceptable.

            you thought of his two-state speech as mere theorizing

            Bibi’s speech was an acceptance of the inevitable. He would’ve looked like a politically irrelevant fool is he’d continued to hold by the rejectionist position he attempted to maintain. Saying you accept the idea of two states while doing nothing to bring it about is just as unacceptable as saying you reject the idea of 2 states, which was Bibi’s previous position.

          • silvia October 18, 2009, 12:29 AM

            I was just being charitable. It doesn’t look good when the owner of a blog claiming to inform on the Middle East doesn’t have a clue what’s going on in his own White House.

          • Richard Silverstein October 18, 2009, 1:34 AM

            If anyone here doesn’t have a clue it’s you, my dear. And as for your claim of what does or doesn’t look good concerning me or this blog, you’ve have to excuse me while I guffaw. You’re not the most credible character around these parts in case you hadn’t noticed.

          • Shirin October 17, 2009, 9:14 AM

            isn’t your insistance on a freeze…putting the cart before the horse?

            Yeah, it sure is. It’s like asking someone to stop madly gobbling up the pizza while discussing how to divide it up – totally unreasonable.

  • Rafi October 16, 2009, 10:58 AM

    1, the report was approved by The Council , you must be thrilled.

    2. Britain abstained, like on the 181 vote back in the day.

    3. They only mentions Israel, Hamas gets a pass.

    4. I guess now Bibi will officialy end the peace process, but what about the Economic peace process?

    • Richard Silverstein October 16, 2009, 4:20 PM

      Goldstone criticized the Council for omitting Hamas & I agree & will criticize the Council for this as well.

      Bibi will not end the peace process unless he wishes to get into a major donnybrook with the U.S.

    • LD October 16, 2009, 4:33 PM

      Who cares if Hamas gets a pass? They are Hamas. They are inherently deligitimized. They also happen to be Arab and Palestinian and Muslim. Even further deligitimization.

      Have you read the report? I don’t think so. Neither has the other Zionist, silvia.

      Both of you should. It is superficial to say both Hamas and Israel committed crimes. It’s a superficial truth.

      It was OVERWHELMINGLY Israel.

      And there’s still the damn siege of Gaza. And the Occupation and the settlement expansion and yada yada yada.

      What is your solution? Do you think the Palestinians are going to just leave and you get your pure Jewish homeland?

      • Rafi October 16, 2009, 10:33 PM

        I care that Hamas gets a pass, it speaks to the moral deficite of this council, judge Goldstone cares, even mr Silverstein cares, I read parts of the report.

        you think it’s a “superficial truth” that Hamas commits crimes? are Hamas the noble freedom fighters or are they islamofacists war criminals who use schools and hospitals as launching pads and targets? I see them as both (minus the noble part).

        I am a Zionist, and the same time against the damn siege of Gaza. And the Occupation and the settlement expansion and yada yada yada, I am also against rockets coming down on Israel and support suitable military action to prevent/stop it.

        I already have a Jewish homeland, you know, the state of Israel, not a pure one, but it wasnt suppose to be nor i want it to be like that, do you have a problem with the Jews having a homeland?

        in order to preserve it i want Israel to leave the west bank, unilaterly or in a peace deal, the Palestinians have my permission to stay where they are in Zion, the refugees can come to the west bank, not Israel.

        • Richard Silverstein October 16, 2009, 10:56 PM

          Hamas has not gotten a pass. Goldstone places blame squarely on its shoulders for its own crimes.

          Hamas the noble freedom fighters or are they islamofacists war criminals who use schools and hospitals as launching pads and targets?

          This is a clear violation of my comment rules. Read them if you want to continue posting comments. I do not tolerate slogans in place of facts & accuracy. If you want to criticize Hamas I expect you will do so w/o grandstanding. If you need to grandstand you’ll do it elsewhere.

          • Rafi October 16, 2009, 11:39 PM

            grandstanding i get, i will tone it down, but what is inaccurate here?

        • Shirin October 17, 2009, 12:06 AM

          the Palestinians have my permission to stay where they are in Zion

          The Palestinians have not asked for your permission, nor do they need it. They have something that dwarfs your permission, they have rights.

        • LD October 17, 2009, 6:44 AM

          First off, liar, I never said that the act of Hamas committing crimes is superficial.

          I said saying “Israel and Hamas committed war crimes” is superficial – BECAUSE IT IS.

          Read the damn report, Zionist. Read it and you’ll see that overwhelmingly it’s revealing Israel’s crimes. Hamas simply didn’t do as much to YOU as you did to them. Not even CLOSE.

          It reveals the IDF to be a bunch of murderers – which is what they are.

          And yes, I do have a problem with your Jewish homeland. I think the concept is insane and ridiculous.

          You couldn’t have your Jewish homeland without getting rid of all those ARABS who were already living there.

          Whatever crime is committed against the people of Southern Israel, it doesn’t compare to the crimes Israel commits against the people of Gaza and the West Bank.

          No State has an inherent and arbitrary right to exist. Certainly not States are founded through ethnic cleansing and nationalistic myths like the Jewish State. That goes for America as well.

          That doesn’t mean ‘the Jews’ should be thrown into the sea. It means that a historical injustice should be corrected.

          How often is it that a 80 year old ex-Nazi guard is arrested and it’s a big production? There are 5 million Palestinian refugees now.

          There is the Occupation. The settlement expansion. The long list of injustices and abuse that go on DAILY in the OT.

          There is the institutional racism and discrimination against Arabs inside of Israel.

          Israel as a Jewish State has no right to exist if it is discriminatory. If it is a criminal State – which it is.

          The United States has no “right” to exist!

          This entire concept of “right” to exist, which you’re alluding to is emotional blackmail.

          This is identity politics. And Jewish identity has more political capital than Arab or Muslim identity.

          I don’t think you’ll get your Jewish homeland anyways. Your criminal leaders are screwing up that plan so well that Israel will destroy itself (politically) and we’ll probably end up with 1-State. Oh that means you’ll have to treat the Palestinians like human beings. Equal rights? That’s antisemitic!

          You’re a clown. Typical Zionist.

      • silvia October 17, 2009, 12:49 AM

        “It was OVERWHELMINGLY Israel.”

        It would have been overwhelmingly Israel had Israel rased Gaza in one night, which -even you would admit – it could have easily done. THAT would have constituted a war crime.
        But it didn’t and it took one month instead. Why?

        • LD October 17, 2009, 6:53 AM

          What are you babbling about? Roughly 300 dead children isn’t a war crime? Attacking civilians deliberately? Destroying civilian civilian infrastructure? Boxing in 1.5 million people? Depriving them of the basic necessities of life?

          It’s OBVIOUS to any sane person, I’m speaking in comparative terms because the damn report is comparative. You know, this isn’t Israel versus the Zerg. It’s not Israel versus the Nazis.

          And yea, psycho, if we ignored context and REALITY and simply used a Zionist measuring stick (NAZI NAZI HITLER HOLOCAUST ANTISEMITE!) then sure, 1500ish people dead in around 22 days – mostly civilians – is no big deal.

          I mean, it’s not ‘the Holocaust’ (cha-ching) – is it? It’s not six million, it’s not gas chambers, it’s not lampshades. Is it?

          I believe this is Zionist debating point, #3 (Everyone sucks).

          But why then, do Zionists compare the I-P conflict’s coverage to Darfur? I mean, remember the Holocaust? Six million!

          Hey guys, just let the Jewish State butcher more Palestinians and steal their land. Remember six million Jews died 60+ years ago, so Jews today get a free pass on ethnic cleansing and lying and nationalistic myths and mayhem.

          Go to hell.

          (I don’t care if I’m banned from this blog. This report is more important than being civil to 2 Nazis. Yes, they are Nazis.)

          • silvia October 17, 2009, 8:13 AM

            What your rantings and foaming are telling me is that my argument – which is that had Israel wanted to deliberately kill civilians the whole war would have lasted no more than one night – is very convincing.

          • Richard Silverstein October 17, 2009, 11:30 PM

            Yr argument is only convincing to yrself & certainly not to anyone here.

          • Richard Silverstein October 17, 2009, 11:28 PM

            I don’t care if I’m banned from this blog. This report is more important than being civil to 2 Nazis. Yes, they are Nazis.

            WAY, WAY over the line. Not acceptable. And no, civility and respect even for those you disagree with is very important to me. If you can’t honor that then either you’ll stop commenting here or I’ll do that for you. Which will it be? You need to understand that NO ONE gets called that around here no matter how much you dislike or disagree w. them. These commenters are NOT Nazis & you dishonor the Holocaust and the suffering caused by real Nazis by misusing this term.

            I’m going to be moderating all yr comments for a while. If you restrain yrself you can comment here. If you can’t I’ll be forced to take further action.

        • Richard Silverstein October 17, 2009, 7:37 PM

          Preposterous logic according to which Israel would have had to exterminate all the people in Gaza to have truly merited a war crime prosecution. But “merely” killing 1,100 civilians of whom 300 are children constitutes self-defense.

          • silvia October 18, 2009, 12:25 AM

            You are avoiding the question. Why did Israel engage in a long and costly war when it could have achieved the same results strategically in one day?

          • Richard Silverstein October 18, 2009, 1:32 AM

            Israel actually intended to occupy Gaza and took great pains to prepare for this eventuality. But for some reason it thought better of the idea and instead just hunkered down for the duration. As for why the massacre lasted as long as it did, for that you’ll have to ask your own generals. I don’t pretend to understand how the brilliant strategic minds who brought you disaster in Lebanon and Gaza work.

          • silvia October 18, 2009, 12:33 AM

            The keyword is not killing. What constitutes a war crime is “deliberate” killing.

          • Richard Silverstein October 18, 2009, 1:34 AM

            Of which Israel did more than its share if you ask just about anyone except you and Israel’s other apologists.

  • Awamori October 17, 2009, 1:20 PM

    Given that HAMAS is wedded to the philosophy of destroying Israel and killing its Jewish citizens, one should hardly be shocked that Israel is not going to take a soft line with the Islamist ‘resistance/terrorist’ group.

    Remember too, that HAMAS has had an out from day one. Israel and the Quartet have repeatedly stated that all HAMAS has to do to end the blockade is stop its violent actions, stop its incitement to violence, and accept the previous agreements signed by Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

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