Thursday, September 17, 2009

Responses to the Goldstone Report

Here are some links to articles, collected by Daily Alert responding to the now infamous Goldstone Report, which severely criticized Israel over its actions in Gaza.

President Peres: Goldstone Report Makes a Mockery of History - Roni Sofer
Israeli President Shimon Peres responded to the UN Goldstone Report saying that it "makes a mockery of history" and that "it does not distinguish between the aggressor and the defender." "War is crime and the attacker is the criminal. The defender has no choice. The Hamas terror organization is the one who started the war and also carried out other awful crimes. Hamas has used terrorism for years against Israeli children....The report gives de facto legitimacy to terrorist initiatives and ignores the obligation and right of every country to defend itself." (Ynet News) See also Justice in Gaza - Richard Goldstone (New York Times)

UN Investigation of Israel Discredits Itself and Undercuts Human Rights - Alan M. Dershowitz
The report commissioned by the notorious UN Human Rights Council is so filled with lies, distortions and blood libels that it could have been drafted by Hamas extremists. In effect, it actually was. Members were accompanied on their investigations in Gaza by Hamas activists who showed them only what they wanted them to see. The group was eager to find or manufacture "evidence" to support what the Human Rights Council itself had directed them to find, namely that Israel committed "grave violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly due to the recent Israeli military attacks against the occupied Gaza Strip." This conclusion was reached before any investigation. The lowest blow and the worst canard is the claim that the Israeli judicial system "has major structural flaws that make the system inconsistent with international standards." This is a direct attack on the Israeli Supreme Court by a lawyer who knows full well that there is no country in the world that has a judicial system that demands more accountability than the Israeli system does. There is no judicial system in the world that takes more seriously its responsibility to bring its military into compliance with international law. The report is not intended to establish general principles of international law, applicable to all nations. It is directed at one nation and one nation only: the Jew among nations - Israel. (Hudson Institute New York)

IDF Judge-Advocate General: Israel Right Not to Cooperate with Goldstone - Yaakov Katz
The distorted and one-sided UN report proves that Israel had been right not to cooperate with the Goldstone mission, IDF Judge-Advocate General Brig.-Gen. Avichai Mandelblit said Wednesday. "From an initial review of the report it is clear that it is biased, astonishingly extreme, lacks any basis in reality and is a sharp deviation from the mandate given to the mission." Mandelblit spoke of a new "legal front" that the IDF was facing and warned of attempts by numerous NGOs - and possibly European countries which support them - to deter Israel from launching future military operations by threatening its officers with legal action. Prof. Asa Kasher, author of the IDF's code of ethics, noted that "this report was commi ssioned by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that unfairly deals mostly with Israel. These are anti-Israel politics that contain a level of anti-Semitism in them." Kasher noted how the report opened with a detailed description of the Israeli blockade on Gaza. "It is as if this is how it all started," he said. "They did not bother to ask why there was a siege, which was done out of self-defense." (Jerusalem Post)

UN Smears Israeli Self-Defense as "War Crimes" - Gerald M. SteinbergThe tendentious and extremely biased report succeeded in angering Israelis from across the political spectrum. The report condemned every Israeli response to the 8,000 rockets fired by Hamas, but its recommendations did not include any steps to end this aggression. And while Israel is accused of committing acts of terror, the report never acknowledges that Hamas committed acts of terror, even though it is legally banned as a terrorist organization by the U.S and EU. The Goldstone report will increase Israeli cynicism regarding the viability of international institutions and guarantees of Israeli security and fair treatment. (Wall Street Journal Europe)

The Moral Inversion of the Goldstone Report - Melanie Phillips
The Goldstone report does worse than establish a moral equivalence between the instigators of genocidal violence and those who were attempting to defend themselves against it. It presents Israel, the victims of such aggression, as war criminals and the Palestinians, the actual instigators of terror, as its victims. This is not moral equivalence but moral inversion. Even worse, Goldstone presents the Palestinian aggressors as victims of Israel, requiring Israel to make reparation to those from whose houses and streets it was attacked. No reparations to Israel are required from any Palestinians, even though Goldstone accepts that Hamas committed war crimes and crimes against humanity by firing thousands of missiles at its civilians. This disreputable piece of work will embolden and empower Hamas and Palestinian terrorism, provide the jihadis of the UN and their accomplices with the means further to persecute Israel and endorse its genocidal attackers, and incite the Arab and Muslim world still further to aggression and to war. (Spectator-UK)

The Goldstone Report: 575 Pages of NGO "Cut and Paste
"The 575-page Goldstone report is primarily based on NGO statements, publications, and submissions, in numerous cases simply copying false and unsubstantiated allegations. (NGO Monitor)

UN Must Hold U.S. to Same Standard as Israel - Ari Shavit (Ha'aretz)

Two weeks ago American airplanes fired on two oil tankers in northern Afghanistan at the request of a German military officer, killing some 70 people. The U.S. and Germany are responsible for the attack, together with NATO members Britain, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium and Norway. If the international community is committed to international law and universal ethics, it should investigate the assault.

If the U.S., Germany and NATO refuse to cooperate with investigators, the UN should consider transferring the case to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. It may be necessary to put the U.S. president and the German chancellor on trial for committing a severe war crime that did not distinguish between civilians and combatants. Absurd? Yes.

The U.S. has killed thousands of innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan and in the last few months encouraged Pakistan to make an extremely brutal military move in its Swat Valley. The U.S. was not required to account for it because everyone understands that this is the price of the terrible war on terror.

Only Israel is required to uphold a moral standard no superpower or Middle Eastern state is required to uphold.

See also Will U.S. Now Let Goldstone into Afghanistan? - Amir Oren (Ha'aretz)

Prime Minister Netanyahu Responds to the Goldstone Report
In an interview Thursday on Israel TV Channel 2, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Goldstone Commission "was a kangaroo court, the result of which was known in advance. Look at the mandate which this commission operated under, a mandate which - by the way - most Western countries opposed and had reservations about. From this mandate, they say in advance that Israel carried out war crimes and now they are filling in the blanks." "The occupation of Gaza? We left Gaza down to the last centimeter.... There were those who said, "Good, this will bring peace." Others said, "Maybe this will not bring peace but the international community will give us full legitimacy as soon as there is the first missile." Then there was the first missile, and the second and the thousandth. There were thousands of missiles and finally Israel responded, as is its right, against the terrorists who hide inside civilian populations and fire at civilian populations. And now the same international public that applauded when we left there, points an accusing finger and accuses us and not Hamas of being war criminals." (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Goldstone Report: A Challenge to Democracies Fighting Terror
The report published by the Goldstone Commission presents a major challenge to democracies forced to act against terrorist groups. It fails to consider the mode of operation of terrorist organizations which deliberately endanger civilians and make urban areas their battlefield of choice. It makes no reference to the recruitment and exploitation of children and the smuggling of weapons, and ignores clear evidence of the abuse of mosques, ambulances, hospitals and residences. At the same time it places unrealistic and unworkable demands on any state seeking to protect its civilians from terrorist attacks. Its simplistic and impractical approach to the complex challenge of confronting terrorism effectivel y creates a presumption of guilt for state forces confronting terrorists in all contexts. (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Goldstone Has Made Things More Difficult for Mitchell - Herb Keinon
U.S. Mideast envoy George Mitchell is trying to put together a package that would make everyone happy enough to agree to sit down and talk. Mitchell wants a settlement moratorium, but he also wants to see steps from the PA and the Arab world. And then along comes South African Judge Richard Goldstone and his UN Human Rights Council-commissioned report and throws a tremendous wrench into the works. If Mitchell thought it was rough getting the Arab world to make normalization gestures before Goldstone issued his report alleging Israeli war crimes in Gaza, one can only imagine how difficult it will be now. And the report does not exactly give Israel confidence that if it withdraws from further territory, the world will recognize its righ t to self-defense. When Israel withdrew from Gaza to the last Jew, there were those who said that if one missile fell on Israel, the country would have all the legitimacy in the world to take military action to defend its citizens. But as Goldstone made painfully clear, that hasn't exactly turned out to be the case - something that will undoubtedly give the country's leaders pause before making further concessions. (Jerusalem Post)

The Goldstone Report's Agenda - Dan Kosky
Richard Goldstone's long-awaited report has confirmed suspicions that his investigation is guided by an agenda to isolate Israel. Panel member Christine Chinkin had branded Israel's Gaza operation a "war crime" before the inquiry had even begun. Hand-picked "witnesses" testified before the UN mission. Most notable was the appearance via video of Shawan Jabarin, director general of al-Haq, a Ramallah-based NGO which spearheads lawsuits against Israeli officials in courts across the world. While Jabarin is "among the senior activists of the Popular Front terrorist organization," Al-Haq's allegations are cited at least 30 times in the report. The report is replete with dubious statistics and sources. Quoted casualty figures list senior Hamas military figures such as N izar Rayan and Said Siam as civilians. Rather than advise how to better stop groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad who deliberately target civilians, Goldstone opts for straightforward denunciation of Israel. (Guardian-UK)

IDF Officers Point to Mistakes in Accusations - Yaakov Katz
One claim made by Goldstone is that Israeli forces "did not use their best efforts to permit humanitarian organizations access to the wounded and medical relief, as required by customary international law." Israel has argued the opposite, citing numerous examples when IDF soldiers risked their own lives to assist Palestinians in need of medical care. While the fighting was going on, the IDF allowed hundreds of trucks loaded with food staples and medicine into Gaza. Israel ceased military operations for several hours each day to allow humanitarian corridors to be opened, even though Hamas took advantage of the lulls. (Jerusalem Post)


Earlier this week the United National Human Rights Council issued the "Goldstone Report," which accuses Israel of committing war crimes during its defensive operation this winter against Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

It is vitally important that your congregants, as well as the community at large, fully understand how deeply flawed this report is and speak out against this biased investigation. We must remind the world that Israel took extraordinary precautions in its efforts to minimize Palestinian civilian causalities while trying to protect its own civilian population from thousands of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.

In an effort to provide you with pertinent information about the Goldstone Report, listed below are some talking points to use when discussing the accusations. The points below are also available in a Word document by clicking

In addition, the press statement AIPAC released commenting on the report can be viewed in PDF format by clicking

Thank you for your efforts in educating your community.
Shanah Tovah,

Mark Waldman
National Director of Synagogue Initiative

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