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Rattling the Cage: A wake-up call from Judge Goldstone

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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:12 PM
Original message
Rattling the Cage: A wake-up call from Judge Goldstone
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=125180458866...


Maybe this will do it. Maybe the Goldstone report on Operation Cast Lead will be the thing that finally puts the fear of God into Israeli society, that shocks this country into deciding once and for all that the occupation must come to an end - for our sake if no one else's.

I don't want to see Israeli political and military leaders brought to The Hague; I don't want them to be unable to get off a plane in a foreign capital. It wouldn't be fair, not if fairness entails equity: There are countless foreign politicians and military men who've done much, much worse things than we did in Gaza who roam the world freely.

But if Israelis have a sense of foreboding since Tuesday's release of the Goldstone report, a fear that the world may really be fed up with our treatment of the Palestinians, then I'm glad. Then I'm hopeful. Because fear is the only thing that might get us to finally set free the 4 million people of Gaza and the West Bank. Of our own accord, of our own moral reckoning, we won't do it. Four years of intifada bus bombings hardened us for a generation, maybe longer. When it comes to Arabs, we've been morally numb for too long to change on our own.

WE JUST don't get it about Gaza. Why, we wonder, doesn't the world understand that we fought a just war, that we were defending ourselves?

We're unable to see that if anybody did to Israel what we did to Gaza in Operation Cast Lead, we wouldn't be talking about war crimes. We wouldn't be talking about crimes against humanity. We would be saying, in one voice, that the end of Israel was upon us, and we would be out to obliterate whoever did that to us.

But, we exclaim, what about the context? What about those thousands and thousands of rockets they fired at Sderot? No country would stand for that. We had to go to war.

We've become so numb, so brainwashed, that we really believe that that's all that happened before we started the war, that that's the entire context. We don't see what the rest of the world saw - that those thousands and thousands of rockets on Sderot caused a tiny fraction of the death and destruction we caused in Gaza at the same time.

In the three years and three months between our disengagement from Gaza and the start of Operation Cast Lead, 28 Israelis were killed by rockets, bombs and bullets from Gaza.

In that same period, more than 1,250 Gazans were killed by missiles, tank shells and all sorts of other ammunition fired by the IDF.

The context of the war - the full context - was that we had blockaded Gaza by air, sea and to a great extent by land, we were racking up a kill ratio of nearly 50 to 1 - then we invaded the country, destroyed thousands upon thousands of homes and public buildings and bumped up the ratio to more than 100-to-1.

And we don't see that we did anything wrong. Somebody's got to tell us. Lots of people have tried, including Amnesty International, the Red Cross, Human Rights Watch and, last but definitely not least, dozens of our own soldiers.

We've tried to smear them all, to silence them, to drown out the message that keeps repeating itself from one source to another. Now we have the message, the same message again, from one of the world's most respected, accomplished men of justice. South Africa's Judge Richard Goldstone has a record that no one in this country would dare try to tarnish. What's more, he's not only a Jew (and a former president of World ORT), he's also a friend of Israel. He was on the board of directors at the Hebrew University, got an honorary doctorate there, he's visited this country any number of times, his daughter's lived here for awhile.

"Israel," he said Tuesday, "committed actions amounting to war crimes, possibly crimes against humanity." He said Hamas's rockets amounted to the same thing - but there's no comparison in magnitude, not in his report and not on the ground. Before, during and since the war with Gaza, Israel has been overwhelmingly the victimizer, not the victim.

WE MIGHT ask ourselves: What motive does Goldstone have to lie, to do a hatchet job on this nation and its army? (We might have asked ourselves the same question about the combat soldiers from the Rabin academy and Breaking the Silence.) The answer is that he has no such motive. He's telling the truth. More precisely, he's reinforcing the truth about the war that's been told by so many others.

Since we can't stain his record as a scourge of apartheid and of war crimes in Kosovo and Rwanda - and since we don't want to even mention his record - I'm sure we'll try to smear Goldstone as a dupe for Israel-bashers. There are one or two other names he'll no doubt be called - off the record, naturally. Israel is going to war, an information war this time, and the Goldstone report is the enemy.

But it's no use. We can't win the information war - and the reason is that we're blindfolded. We tied the blindfold on ourselves. We did it because we don't want to see what we're doing in Gaza and the West Bank.

But everyone else sees.

Our friend the Obama administration has been trying to tell us and we won't listen. Now our friend Judge Goldstone is telling us, only much less gently.

Will this do it? Will this scare us awake? Will this be the turning point?

I don't know. But I do know that this man has done a mitzva, a big, brave one. In the name of at least some Israelis, I want to say: Thank you, judge. Shana tova to you, too.





As is often the case, Derfner is spot on.
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villager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:17 PM
Response to Original message
1. some Rosh Hashanah reading, eh?
Provocative -- but doubtless necessary -- stuff....
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:25 PM
Response to Original message
2. "But everyone else sees."
Yes, indeed, bullshit will only take you so far, then it fails.
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shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. it appears people don't see - they can't distinguish fact from fiction
check out this post and the one right after it:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

"see" what I mean?



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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:31 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. No, not really.
I mean I do see the argument made about human shields, but I don't see that it buys you much; saying Hamas is just as bad as we are doesn't really give you a leg up morally, if you see what I mean?

And I don't see what all that has to do with what I said about the OP and his opinion about the Goldstone report and its effect on international opinion etc. I see nothing there.

And we just had a long, incoherent discussion in which you argued that there are no rules anyway since rules cannot be enforced equitably:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 10:17 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. huh?
I mean I do see the argument made about human shields, but I don't see that it buys you much; saying Hamas is just as bad as we are doesn't really give you a leg up morally, if you see what I mean?

so you think the main reason to bring up the issue of human shields is to say Hamas is as bad as Israel?

wow.

And I don't see what all that has to do with what I said about the OP and his opinion about the Goldstone report and its effect on international opinion etc. I see nothing there.

My point exactly - you don't see it at all.

And we just had a long, incoherent discussion in which you argued that there are no rules anyway since rules cannot be enforced equitably:

oh, there are rules and we know they're not enforced equally - but that doesn't seem to bother you much, which is fascinating.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 10:34 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. "Huh?" indeed.
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 10:34 PM by bemildred
I think the main reason you bring up Hamas' use of human shields is to deflect criticism of Israel's use of human shields, and also to deflect criticism of Israel's bombing of areas where civilians are present.

I think it reasonable to expect what you say in response to my posts to have some relation to what I say in my posts. Instead you seem to think obscure claims that I do not "see" are some sort of compelling argument.

I think there are rules and they should be enforced equally, and that's what I said, several times actually.
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shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 10:45 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. indeed
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 10:59 PM by shira
I think the main reason you bring up Hamas' use of human shields is to deflect criticism of Israel's use of human shields, and also to deflect criticism of Israel's bombing of areas where civilians are present.

Wrong and wrong again. If that's what I really believed, that would be quite pathetic.

but at least I can see where you're now coming from - so we're getting somewhere - I suppose if I were you and saw myself from your perspective, I'd have a problem with me too. :)

I think it reasonable to expect what you say in response to my posts to have some relation to what I say in my posts. Instead you seem to think obscure claims that I do not "see" are some sort of compelling argument.

the point I was trying to make is that Derfner and his comrades "see" only what the UNHRC wants them to see - and it's not reality based. It's ironic that he thinks he and others "see" things Israelis and their supporters do not. He has it totally backwards.

I think there are rules and they should be enforced equally, and that's what I said, several times actually.

Well ideally, I'm right with you - but realistically this isn't happening and won't anytime soon. Until it does, grave injustices are being perpetrated - and ignored. The lunatics are running the asylum (realize who really runs the UNHRC).
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 11:03 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. And so on ...
I think the main reason you bring up Hamas' use of human shields is to deflect criticism of Israel's use of human shields, and also to deflect criticism of Israel's bombing of areas where civilians are present.

Wrong and wrong again. If that's what I really believed, that would be quite pathetic.

but at least I can see where you're now coming from - so we're getting somewhere - I suppose if I were you and saw myself from your perspective, I'd have a problem with me too. :)


Tsk, you're trying to tempt me with softballs.

I think it reasonable to expect what you say in response to my posts to have some relation to what I say in my posts. Instead you seem to think obscure claims that I do not "see" are some sort of compelling argument.

the point I was trying to make is that Derfner and his comrades "see" only what the UNHRC wants them to see - and it's not reality based.


Well, you need to say that or people will not understand what you are going on about. Mr Derfner does not appear to me to be a shill for UNHRC, he reminds me of Rosner, but maybe that is just my "blindness".

I think there are rules and they should be enforced equally, and that's what I said, several times actually.

Well ideally, I'm right with you - but realistically this isn't happening and won't anytime soon. Until it does, grave injustices are being perpetrated - and ignored. The lunatics are running the asylum (realize who really runs the UNHRC).


Well, it seems to me not enforcing the rules also perpetrates grave injustices, and I'm not willing to just give up on it until some unspecified future date when everyone can agree that the process is completely fair to them in particular. I said I was willing to put the US government in the dock too, but apparently that is not enough or something.
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shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 11:19 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. and so forth...
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 11:23 PM by shira
No softballs or tempting - I'll be very clear as to what this is really all about. Lucky for you, I just came across a wonderful article by Barry Rubin who sums it up quite nicely, so I'll use it to articulate why I bring up Hamas' human-shielding:

Aside from a campaign to put sanctions on Israel, what will be the effect of this report?

First, damage to the cause of peace.

--If Israelis are such monsters why should the Arabs or Palestinians make peace with them?

--If Israel is being portrayed as such monsters why shouldnt the Arab and Palestinian side deliberately avoid peace since the tide is on their side? Just do nothing and wait for the world to force Israel to give up everything, even to assist in the destruction of the state of Israel?

--If attacks from Hamas, no matter how much material damage it inflicts on Palestinians, bring material advantages to it, isn't this the strategy to follow?

Second, it encourages repression, aggression, and real war crimes.

--If the Hamas strategy of attacking Israel with rockets, mortars, and cross-border raids along with tearing up a ceasefire and then make gains by portraying itself as a victim works, why not attack Israel and others in similar conflicts?

--If antisemitic propaganda and genocidal goals bring no negative reaction from the world, why should one not use these themes and seek this outcome?

--If Hamas can use civilians as human shields, intimidate people into supporting its line, use hospitals or mosques or schools as military positions and then turn this into a political victory by having their enemy branded as a war criminal for attacking these places even a few times, this is a splendid strategy that others should use. We will be seeing more of it in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, and many other places in the world.


Completely aside from the individual lies and nonsensefor example, counting Hamas police and hundreds of men whose obituaries praised them for being brave militia fighters as civiliansthis report is a disaster for human rights and peace.

It will legitimate one of the worlds most war-provoking, repressive regimes and validate a strategy that uses civilian suffering and war crimes as central features.

http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/2009/09/un-goldstones-...

How's that?

And I don't think Derfner is a shill for the UNHRC....I think he's a useful idiot.

As for the rules - see Rubin above - what rules are really being enforced by the recommendations and observations of this commission? If these are the rules, fuck the rules. The thing is - this commission is bastardizing the actual rules and many don't "see" it at all. If the ACTUAL rules and laws were being enforced fairly and honestly, then YES, it would be great to at least apply them in some cases, which would be better than none. But that isn't happening with this travesty of a report.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Rubins "argument" is a series of straw men and false hypotheticals.
Notice the continual use of "If ..." and "Imagine ...".

There is a lot of hysterical denunciation of Goldstone and the report coming out, I've been reading some of it, in fact I posted a couple WRT Foxman and Nuttyahoo, but I don't think it's going to have much effect, which is sort of Derfner's point.

I don't often agree with Derfner, FWIW, but I think he has a point this time.

But we are not going to "see" eye to eye, are we?
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shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 11:38 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. no it's not - it's the reality of the situation
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 11:51 PM by shira
and what's chilling and so twisted is that you know what's going on - for example, HRW covering for Hamas human shielding - Iran's role in all this minimized and ignored - you know the repercussions as Rubin so eloquently stated - but you seem to be okay with all that.

this report - an utter farce that you believe is 'justice' and the rule of law being upheld in some twisted way - is a green light for Hamas and other warmongering, repressive militant groups to wage war and terror against anyone they wish, as well as their own people - in other words, it's a complete disaster for human rights and peace.

unbelievable.

you're right - we don't see eye to eye.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 12:02 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. I can assure you that Mr Rubin would not be saying "If" and "imagine"
if he thought he could get away with asserting those things as facts. But he can say "if" or "imagine" and follow with anything he likes, because he is not making any falsifiable assertions about reality. It's a common and overused to the point of being boring propaganda method.

The point of the OP is that Mr Derfner thinks the report will not be seen as a farce, and that that is a problem that ought not be ignored.
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shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #18
24. replace the "ifs" with assertions then - what is demonstrably false about any of those assertions?
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 09:18 AM
Response to Reply #24
26. I'm not getting through, am I?
Edited on Fri Sep-18-09 09:20 AM by bemildred
My point was precisely that there is NOTHING demonstrable true or false about those assertions, they are hypotheticals and fantasies, not falsifiable claims.

Edit: how about you explaining to me why Rubin is saying "if" and "imagine" all the time if what he is saying is verifiable truth?
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shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #26
27. no - i think we speak 2 different languages
I've read Rubin for quite some time now - anyone familiar with his articles and writing style would realize he's not trying to push hypotheticals and fantasies.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 10:32 AM
Response to Reply #27
29. OK, just one ...
"If Israelis are such monsters why should the Arabs or Palestinians make peace with them?"

That is a hypothetical, an if .. then ... statement. It is true if and only if the premise "Israelis are such monsters" is false or the conclusion "why should the Arabs or Palestinians make peace with them?" is true. The conclusion presents itself as a question too, but it isn't, it is a statement, "the Arabs don't want to make peace". Since the premise is false, i.e. Israelis are not such monsters, it does not matter what the conclusion is, the hypothetical, his claim, is always true no matter what. That is what a false hypothetical is, an inference in which the premise is false, hence which is true no matter what the conclusion, and it is a favored rhetorical ploy to smuggle in ideas that one does not want to defend directly: "the Arabs don't want to make peace." Rubin himself does not believe the premise, and he really just wants to assert that "the Arabs" don't really want to make peace, as though they were some sort of monolithic group in which everyone thinks the same. Nobody would tolerate anyone talking about "the Jews" is such stereotypes. There is not even one direct assertion of fact in it, and the rhetorical form is inconsistent with what he is actually saying, something along the lines of: Israelis are not such monsters (a claim Goldstone does not make) and "the Arabs" don't want to make peace, a claim that is demonstrably false for at least some Arabs, probably most Arabs, and that Rubin really wants to refute, but cannot defend directly, and he knows it.
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shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 11:26 AM
Response to Reply #29
31. do you believe the report is basically honest, fair, and accurate?
Edited on Fri Sep-18-09 11:28 AM by shira
yes or no?

obviously I don't believe so, as I think it deliberately and unfairly paints Israel as monsters, but I want to know your opinion.



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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #31
32. I don't really have an opinion about it.
I haven't read it, I don't expect that I will read it, so it would be silly for me to have opinions about it's quality.

I will say that since the Israeli government refused to participate, the argument from "fairness" is weakened, since they themselves refused to hold up their side of the argument.

I will say that there is nothing fair about the situation, the treatment of Palestinians is certainly not fair; if Israelis were really all that interested in fairness, I would think it would carry over into their treatment of Palestinians and Israeli Arabs. In any case I think Israelis have no more expectation of fairness than Palestinians, and it appears to me that means not much expectation of fairness at all. So sue me. It's not my doing, any of it.
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shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #32
36. alright then....let's assume it's not factually accurate for various reasons
do you have good reason to believe - based on the little bit you know - that the Goldstone commission at least tried to be objective, fair, and honest with the information they had?
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. That seems like a bad assumption to me, another false hypothetical.
I would think that Mr Goldstone and the commission would be most careful that their facts are well attested, since they would expect what they say to be scrutinized closely for factual errors, and that would be my default assumption on both points, that the commission would be meticulous, and that the report would be scrutinized closely. If in fact they were sloppy, it ought to be easy to demonstrate, and I would expect to see a well-constucted (i.e. not itself sloppy) demolition of their report. Pending such a demonstration I will assume they were not sloppy about facts.

It does seem reasonable to think that the facts they base their report on are incomplete, since they say so themselves, but there is nothing wrong with writing a report based on the facts available to you, since that is all that anyone ever does when they write a report.
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shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. okay, thanks
one more question, if you don't mind...

Most Israeli citizens don't take any reports like these seriously. Why do you think this is?
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. I wouldn't want to generalize about Israeli citizens and their opinions.
I have to go out of town again for a few days. Have a nice weekend.
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FarrenH Donating Member (485 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #26
33. Hypotheticals/Counterfactuals are Shira's mainstay
Shira doesn't seem to make any distinction between speculation and fact, in my experience ;)
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. Let's be fair and admit they are popular most anywhere you go.
"Conservatives" here in the USA are very, very fond of them for example.
:hi:
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shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #33
35. still smarting from being proven wrong about Apartheid in Israel?
Edited on Fri Sep-18-09 12:48 PM by shira
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 01:36 AM
Response to Reply #16
20. no its not...and i'm a prime example.....
Edited on Fri Sep-18-09 01:45 AM by pelsar
since being here and reading more and more about HRW etc and their reports....and knowing full well that so many lack real info (i would say one of the most obvious was when the israeli tank a year back killed the Palestinian reporter who was filming it from a distance.....)...the criticism on the tank crew for murder etc were based on nothing less than ignorance of what a tank crew can/can't see and the similarities between a camera and a anti tank weapon and the time they have to react in a war environment.

At any rate, my attitude toward the different groups (outside of betszlem which still has credibility in my eyes), has turned cold....i really don't care what they write They've cried "wolf" a few too many times for my taste.

since they squarely put the greater blame on israel for reacting (in this case) to stop 6000+ rockets for over 5 years, criticizing/ignoring every attempt at stopping them via limited violence, declaring everything a 'war crime" (as far as i can remember)... previous to the invasion

but worst of all, like the guy wrote, in the end, its simply encourages hamas and friends, knowing full well, that they'll get the better side of any kind of report and intl pressure.

_____________________
Was it written anywhere, that to avoid the invasion, all hamas had to do is what they are doing now?...not shoot kassams?
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #20
25. You are an example of not being a series of straw men and false hypotheticals?
My observation has been that pretty much everyone lies and obfuscates in this dispute. I don't see why I should not be "fair" by noting that it's not just the Palestinians that make stuff up and distort the truth.

"Israel" - which is really the Israeli government - gets the greater blame because it has the greater power, to do good or not to do good. I'm sure the Palestinians would be happy to accept greater blame if better weapons came with the deal.
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #25
28. now translate the greater power in to reality....
Edited on Fri Sep-18-09 10:36 AM by pelsar
being the stronger one, the greater power, does not mean that one should let its citizens be terrorized...i.e. which is the reality of accusing of war crimes for every method it used to stop the kassams..until the invasion, which actually worked. (and of course had additional war crimes.....)

the weaker power, i.e the Palestinians have proved countless times that they in fact are not "powerless". Responsibilities is not relative to power or money, its a value that all societies and people have...or so i teach my kids.
____

if anything i would say the limited resources of HRW etc should be spent on the Palestinians...Israel already has Betzalem an countless other groups, the Palestinians have virtually nothing, it is they that need the education.

who knows they might have learned that before the invasion, the shooting kassams into israel is in fact a war crime and its leaders may be called to the Hague and maybe that education would have stopped them from shooting.....and that would have stopped the invasion before it got started.....

isnt that the goal of the HRW?
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #28
30. You are arguing that the end justifies the means.
You are welcome to that, but you will find that it is not widely accepted, which is Mr Derfner's point.
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-19-09 01:30 AM
Response to Reply #30
43. no..I am arguing reality....
Edited on Sat Sep-19-09 01:31 AM by pelsar
......i doubt you can site a single instance that anything israel did to stop the kassams that was "not considered a war crime, against humanity, etc..." And israel tried many things.....and the terrorism kept on coming....didn't it?

thats reality....

(the sole period of no kassams was when hamas call for hunda, and then called if off on their own)

thats also reality

and the final sad reality is that the kassams have stopped as have most of the attacks only after the invasions....

that too is the sad reality.

the final reality, is the hamas could have take the responsibility to stop the kassams....obviously it was in their power, as they have show so clearly now....and it was their choice not to.....


responsibility for ones actions.....the Palestinians are in fact very capable of affecting their environment...gaza is further proof of that....they have both the power and responsibility



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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #43
47. Israel has not stopped the Kassams.
I've told you that before.
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shaayecanaan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Sort of like stories about buttsex-loving ayatollahs
that certain people considered "plausible".

It's a good job that some of us can distinguish fact from fiction, anyway.
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shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 10:12 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. awww, you must have me confused with someone else
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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #10
40. No, you considered that story to be plausible and here's a link to what you said...
' i'd have to look at more info. in order to take the OP more seriously
but it appears there's quite a bit of support for what's in the OP'

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

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shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #40
41. i considered part of it (the man-on-man rape) to be plausible
and that's why I posted recent articles for Shaayecanaan - who doubted that was happening.
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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 11:34 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. That post was about the OP. You considered the story plausible n/t
Edited on Fri Sep-18-09 11:35 PM by Violet_Crumble
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shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-19-09 06:04 AM
Response to Reply #42
45. thanks for telling me what i was thinking
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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-19-09 06:08 AM
Response to Reply #45
46. No, I'm telling you what you said in yr post...n/t
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Voice for Peace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:50 PM
Response to Original message
3. kickety kick
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:09 PM
Response to Original message
4. Conflict continues over Gaza
One wonders whether the prime minister and the foreign secretary noticed that on Tuesday a UN commission headed by Richard Goldstone published findings that Israel had and indeed is still committing war crimes and almost certainly crimes against humanity (Israel must investigate war crimes in Gaza UN report, 16 September). This included the collective punishment of an entire civilian population with attacks directed at the people of Gaza as a whole.

Back in January Mr Miliband told parliament that he supported such investigations, stating that allegations of war crimes must be "closely and speedily investigated" to "find out if they are true and, if they are, take appropriate action". We have yet to hear a murmur.

Hamas is already sanctioned for its actions but Israel again looks like it will walk away from yet another forensic examination of its war crimes and violations of international law with impunity.

Will Brown, Miliband and their counterparts in the other parties conduct business with Israel as usual? For example, will such detailed accounts of war crimes make them think twice before attending Friends of Israel receptions at their party conferences? I hope the Guardian reports.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/18/gaza-un-war...
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:10 PM
Response to Original message
5. Foxman blasts U.S. for Goldstone equivocation
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Anti-Defamation League's national director said he was "shocked" that the United States has not unequivocally condemned the Goldstone report on Israel's war in Gaza.

"I am shocked and distressed that the United States would not unilaterally dismiss it," Abraham Foxman said after reading the latest U.S. statement on the report from State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley.

The fact-finding mission led by Richard Goldstone, and commissioned by the U.N. Human Rights Council, said Israel had committed war crimes during its war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip last winter and may have committed crimes against humanity.

It called for international criminal procedures to be launched within six months if Israel does not initiate an investigation independent of the army. Jewish groups and Israel have blasted the report, in part because the mandate from UNHRC, a body that has criticized Israel more than any other country, focused solely on Israel; Goldstone expanded his mandate to address Hamas, which the report also condemns.

http://jta.org/news/article/2009/09/17/1007969/foxman-b...
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:11 PM
Response to Original message
6. Netanyahu demands world support vs. UN Gaza report
JERUSALEM, Sept 17 (Reuters) - World powers should disavow a U.N. report censuring Israel's Gaza war, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday, suggesting that such support might be vital for progress in peace talks with the Palestinians.

A fact-finding mission organised by the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council said on Tuesday is had found evidence of war crimes by both the Israeli army and Palestinian fighters.

Israel, which defended its December-January offensive as a response to Palestinian rocket fire, lambasted the findings as biased in favour of Gaza's Islamist Hamas rulers. Israeli pundits voiced fear the report could prompt war crimes trials.

Israel's closest ally, the United States, said it had "very serious concerns" about the report. Its U.N. ambassador, Susan Rice, said the mandate given by the Human Rights Council was "unbalanced, one-side and basically unacceptable".

http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSLH24879...
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 12:58 AM
Response to Original message
19. Netanyahu to Russia: Reject Goldstone Gaza report
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested the aid of Russian President Dimity Medvedev on Thursday in rejecting a United Nations report alleging Israeli war crimes during its three week offensive in Gaza last winter.

Netanyahu, speaking on the phone to the Russian president, added that he felt the UN report and its conclusions could also hurt Russia's own ability to act on terror.

The conversation with Medvedez came after Netanyahu rejected the report earlier THursday, warning world leaders that they and their anti-terror forces could be targets for similar charges.

Netanyahu made the remarks while speaking to Israeli TV stations on the occasion of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, which begins Friday.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1115633.html
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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 03:21 AM
Response to Original message
21. Good article.
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shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 07:44 AM
Response to Reply #21
23. what's so good about it, LB?
the Goldstone report is a disaster for human rights and peace. To support the report's findings is to encourage Hamas' warmongering ways.

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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 05:00 AM
Response to Original message
22. This is an excellent article by Derfner
the echo chamber protests against the Goldstones commission and the personal attacks on Judge Goldstone are shameful and dishonor that country in whose name they are being made
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ArabInIsrael Donating Member (30 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-19-09 03:06 AM
Response to Original message
44. Lefties love derfner, A critical analysis of a horrible journalist
Edited on Sat Sep-19-09 03:11 AM by ArabInIsrael
Derfner is always ready to tow the line of whoever attacks Israel.

Perhaps it would be better if posters actually read the report instead of dismissing the criticisms as typical-knee jerk Israel activism.

There are several intellectually things wrong with Derfner's post, but for now I'll just post a couple of them:

The context of the war - the full context - was that we had blockaded Gaza by air, sea and to a great extent by land, we were racking up a kill ratio of nearly 50 to 1 - then we invaded the country, destroyed thousands upon thousands of homes and public buildings and bumped up the ratio to more than 100-to-1.

Yeah, this is pretty much an explanation for every war in history. Not particularly telling. It is rather suspect he would not mention why the blockade was put in place - and it was not like the Berlin Blockade or the British Blockade of Germany during WWI that killed 800,000 Germans.

No, this was a blockade rooted in protecting lives. Israel pulled out of Gaza at a cost of 2.5 billion, uprooted 10,000 Jewish citizen that turned desert into garden, and handed it over to the Palestinians.

Bush demands an election to flex democracy, while Fatah and Israel told the US Hamas will win in a landslide. Palestinians voted Hamas in because Fatah turned out to be a complete utter and moral failure.

And we don't see that we did anything wrong. Somebody's got to tell us. Lots of people have tried, including Amnesty International, the Red Cross, Human Rights Watch and, last but definitely not least, dozens of our own soldiers.

Wrong, many Israel's see something wrong with that, which is why Israel launched probes into its own conflict. Never has Russia, China, the USA, or any of the Arab despots done so much in such a short amount of time to investigate a military's action in war. AI was discredited from the beginning, HRW also discredited, and "dozens" of our own soldiers is not a solid survey. Breaking the Silence was funded by a foreign hostile government whose agenda was to expose crimes. Anonymous soldiers made claims, you know the drill.

Derfner failed to acknowledged a team of soldiers, hundreds, responded to the Breaking the Silence report with a counter-demonstration, which of course was completely ignored by world media.

Regardless, mistakes do occur, some more brutal than others, and no soldier will deny this. IDF is a professional Western military whose sole goal is the protection of Israeli citizens. They don't camp in homes in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, they don't build a wall of children when they fight infantry, and they certainly wear uniforms at all times - unlike the enemy.

There really isn't anything to blockade by air since Gaza does not have an airport, the sea port has been open for commercial shipping but is very restricted. What is laughable is that Derfner fails to include WHO is doing the blockade. Egypt is also blockading the southern end of Gaza and only opens the crossing twice a day, meanwhile Israel is stuck escorting aid into Gaza - over 90% of it - which it has no legal obligation to do. Seems rather silly Derfner would leave such a crucial point that an allied Arab state did less for the Palestinians than the Israelis. A team of Cyprus, Egyptian, and some European ships patrol the waters of boats heading to Gaza. Every month a ship is seized that is loaded with weapons destined for Hamas.

Second, the blockade was perfectly legal in every way. Hamas declared war on Israel, called for it to be replaced with an Islamic Palestine, and actively dismantled every accomplishment in the region to serve the needs of the Hamas collective. Then they started lobbying rockets into Southern Israel, not in response to the blockade - but because they were Jews. This is a war rooted in hate, and hate is a state of mind. Statements like, "The Holocaust is a lie invented by the Zionists" doesn't make one feel very comfortable with such a neighbor.

Gaza was not being starved, even under Hamas the Palestinians received more money per capita than Congo, Darfur, and Somalia combined. That's on top of the 100 million a month Hamas earns from price-fixing goods.

As far as the kill-ratio goes, completely irrelevant. Casualties mean nothing without variables. Israel's narrow goal was to end Hamas rockets. That required destroying Hamas' capacity to launch rockets into Israel. Launchers were located in densely populated areas, and after Israel gave plenty warning of an attack, Hamas made active decisions to put civilians in harms way.

They even admitted it in the Goldstone report which Derfner obviously did not read:

Hamas leader Fathi Hamma is quoted saying:

"For the Palestinian people, death has become an industry, at which women excel, and so do all the people living on this land. The elderly excel at this, and so do the mujahideen and the children. This is why they have formed humans shields of the women, the children, the elderly, and the mujahideen, in order to challenge the Zionist bombing machine. It is as if they were saying to the Zionist enemy: 'We desire death like you desire life."

Do you progressives out there express solidarity with such teachings? Also, Goldstone dubiously says this does not demonstrate a systematic Hamas policy. Literally, he says that in his UN report.

Way to be a dupe Goldy.


We've become so numb, so brainwashed, that we really believe that that's all that happened before we started the war, that that's the entire context. We don't see what the rest of the world saw - that those thousands and thousands of rockets on Sderot caused a tiny fraction of the death and destruction we caused in Gaza at the same time.

Oh yes, so brainwashed. Compared to Hamas who believes the Zionists own the World? Yeah, okay Derfner.

The reality is Israel took active precaution to keep civilians safe. It spend hundreds of millions of dollars fortifying homes, building early-warning radars, laser-interceptors designed to eliminate Qassams and Katyusha rockets. Then they build checkpoints, fences, walls to deter suicide bombings and infantry-based attacks.

Does the Palestinian leadership take similar precautions in defending the lives of its citizens? No. It earns over a billion a year simply from weapons dealing and foreign donation, certainly it could spend some money building bomb shelters for Palestinians, fortifying schools, and developing strategies to protect civilians by moving them out of the battle zone.

But no, it does not. Hamas makes deliberate steps to maximize civilian casualties in Gaza because they know people like Derfner will blame Israel exclusively. With the parades, rabbis getting stabbed in Paris, boycotts, protesters....400 civilians is an easy sacrifice. Remember, Hamas is taking orders from Iran, so they same "struggle" and "life is cheap" mentality is institutionalized in Gaza.

though I imagine living thousands of miles away from the nearest warzone makes it pretty easy to assess Israel in such a cruel and partial way. Maybe we should start dumping rockets on the door steps of Derfner's posh apartment in America, see how fast he runs.

Israel, unlike Hamas, took deliberate steps to minimize civilian casualties on both sides, even compromising the tactical advantage of having the capacity to bulldoze Hamas in 6 seconds.

Derfner's reliance on stats is dubious at best, though for the untrained progressive it might be hard to notice. The Iraq War has killed 4,500 American soldiers..opposed to 300,000-1,000,000 Iraqis. Iraq has been laid to waist, destroyed, while the US lives on with its Walmarts and movie theaters.

What does this suggest? Absolutely nothing. American soldiers have ROE, as Israel does, and like the US military Israel makes mistakes - but they do not deliberately target civilians, or promote anti-Hamas terrorist activities within Gaza (which it could easily do), bankroll suicide bombers, or put its own civilians at risk. Or worse, us its weapons against its own civilians - like Hamas does.

Derfner ignores all of these things, he probably read some editorial from the Nation and felt self-important enough to tell the people of Southern Israel how great they have it compared to the terrorist-run Gaza.

Way to tell em' Derfner, fight the Evil Israelis!

Oh, btw, Hamas is still shooting mortars and rockets...so clearly Israel's actions were not disproportionate tactically-speaking.

I suggest Israel do what the rest of the World does in their wars and ignore the UN. And ignore Derfner, he doesn't even deserve a response.



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