The report on last winter’s Gaza War by the Goldstone Commission, sponsored by the U.N.’s Human Rights Council, is a danger for all of us. It is a written document stating that it is necessary to give up the fight against systematic terrorism that hits and uses civilians.
In a quick look at the 575 pages of the report designed to establish what happened in Gaza War of 2008-2009 War, it is clear that the Commission set up by the United Nations during the ninth special session of the Human Rights Council in January 2009 is not at all interested in the truth, but only in still another criminalization of Israel. The U.N. embodies once again an example of moralistic “Palestinism” that exploits the guilty feelings of the contemporary world to delegitimize the West. And it effectively aims at the physical and institutional death of the Jewish State.
Every year, the U.N. devotes two thirds of its resolutions on human rights to condemn Israel; its General Assembly has already echoed the anti-semitic speeches by President Ahmadinejad; now it is continuing with a whipping version by Judge Goldstone, a Jew whosedaughter lives in Israel.
Let us proceed step by step.
First, Israel attacked only because it was cornered by thirteen thousand missiles that have fallen on its territory, especially on its southern city, Sderot, since the year 2000. After completely withdrawing from Gaza, Israelasked the U.N. so many times to stop Hamas. But Hamas, which openly aims at destroying all (all) Jewish people in the world, and financed by Iran, went on pursuing its goals. Israel’s appeals to the U.N. were received by a yawn similar to the one by Goldstone in front of the Sderot citizen Noam Bedein, when he went to the meeting of the Commission to testify on the suffering of people from his country.
Secondly, the report consistently refers to international law - whose lies will be mentioned later - and does not speak about Hamas’s crimes. In fact it does not even link the war with the repeated bombing of Israel. Only Israel is to blame, right from before the report began, so much so that even people who are not know to like Israel, such as the UN Commissioner Mary Robinson, the organizer of the Durban conference of 2001, refused to participate in the Committee, by callingit “not balanced”. It is evident instead that the main violators of the Geneva Convention are those who fight by shooting civilians, by strategically using their women and children as human shields and by dressing their fighters as civilians. In this case, Hamas.
Goldstone does not even try to answer the question by the contemporary world: How to fight beyondthe Geneva convention in situations, for example, such as the ones described by Lorenzo Cremonesi in the Corriere della Sera: Terrorized citizens who were obliged to protect Hamas men who held them as human shieldprisoners in their homes, in schools, hospitals, ambulances .
Goldstone condemns Israelfor having fought in a situation of great difficulty where its civilians’ lives were at stake. But he forgets that the Hamas headquarters was located in the basement of the Shiba Hospitaland that Israeldid not touch that even though it was used by the worst terrorists in the most cynical way.
Where did Goldstone obtain his information, as he accuses Israel to have voluntarily hit civilians, which he estimates at1200-1400 deaths? Can this information be verified?
The answer is that the report is full of conscious lies.
The Commission was already set up by people like the Law Professor Christine Chinkin, who before the survey, had “categorically rejected” Israel’s right to self defense,and who had already called Israel“aggressor and perpetrator of war crimes”.
As a study by Gerald Steinberg's NGO-Monitor points out, if we closely look at the sources consulted, we find that many cannot be identified.
The others are simply the most politicized anti-Israeli NGO’s: Betzelem and the Palestinian Centerfor Human Rights. They are mentioned 70 times, the Palestinian organization Al Haq 30 times, and so on.
The assumption that civilian places and people were intentionally hit is filled with factual mistakes: Abdullah Abdel Hamid Muamar, 22 years of age, who was killed, was defined by the Palestinian Center “a student” and therefore a civilian. Human Rights Watch, another favorite source, defines him as an innocent victim. But according to a publication by the Al Qassam Brigades, Muamar was member of Hamas. He appears on an Arab website while holding a Qassam missile.
According to a survey by the Israeli army, 564 victims were armed members of Hamas, 100 belonged to the Islamic Jihad. Members of Fatah, who were present, were not counted. The policemen of the Hamas regime, identified as civilians, accounted for 84% of the Hamas security mechanism; among them, Muhammad el Dasuqi, a member of the Resistance Committee, andprobably one of the terrorists who attacked an American Embassy convoy in 2003. The attack against the U.N. school in the Jabaliya refugee camp was initially indicated as a massacre, while later this was denied. Also according to some local sources, the school was not even hit. The army shot at an adjacent facility which was sheltering Hamas militants.
These examples show that Goldstone has accepted the notion that those who do not wear a military uniform are victims. This just does not work. According to data reported by the journalist Ben-Dror Yemini, the Interdisciplinary Center of Herzliya states that around 63%-75% of the victims were killed because they were involved in the war: that is, about 900 people; unfortunately the civilians used as human shields have to be added to them.
For some reason, the U.N. mandate did not include investigating Hamas - - the one truly responsible for war crimes.
Published in Italian in Il Giornale Sept 17, 2009
Hon. Fiamma Nirenstein
Vice-president Committee on Foreign Affairs, Italian Chamber of Deputies