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'Goldstone Report Makes A Mockery Of History'

President Shimon Peres Condemns Goldstone Report On IDF Gaza Operation Calling it a 'Mockery of History'

Report Accuses Israel Of 'Crimes Against Humanity' For Acting To Suppress Eight Years Of Palestinian Rocketing From Gaza

Defense Minister Ehud Barak: 'Goldstone Report Not Only Rewards Terror, It Also Encourages It. Israel Is Taking Appropriate Legal & Diplomatic Steps To Render Report Invalid'.

President Shimon Peres

 Israel has reacted angrily to the Goldstone Report into the IDF Operation 'Cast Lead' launched last December to suppress more than eight years of Palestinian rocketing of Israeli civilians from Gaza. The enquiry, commissioned by the U.N. Commission on Human Rights with headquarters in Geneva, is controlled by Arab delegates and focuses almost exclusively on bashing the Jewish state. The Isracast assessment: It's little better than a 'kangaroo-court' in the eyes of Israeli officials and public opinion at large. President Shimon Peres, as usual, has summarized Israel's reaction in a nutshell.

 'The Goldstone Report makes a mockery of history' - that was the reaction of Israel's state President Shimon Peres. After the Palestinians in Gaza had launched thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians, the UN enquiry has accused Israel of being guilty of 'crimes against humanity'. In light of this, Peres went on to say the report made no distinction between aggressor and defender. 'If its composer, had lived in Sderot (Israeli town targeted repeatedly by Palestinian rockets) and if his children were exposed to the terror of the rockets, Goldstone would not have written such a report. It was the aggressor who was the criminal and the defender had no alternative but to defend himself. The President added that Hamas had started the war and perpetrated terrible crimes.

Richard Goldstone

Peres recalled that for years Hamas had launched thousands of rockets at children in Israeli towns and murdered civilians, yet the Goldstone Report lent Hamas legitimacy and ignored Israel's right to defend herself. Moreover, Israel had totally evacuated all her troops and civilians from Gaza and had aided in Gaza's rehabilitation. The Israeli presence had ended in Gaza (in 2005) but a murderous terror organization then took control. Israel had tried everything to halt the Palestinian rocketing through various diplomatic channels, but Hamas continued to launch the rockets and to exploit Palestinian children and women as human shields. Hamas terrorists had opened fire from inside kindergartens and schools and had booby-trapped civilian neighborhoods with explosives.

The reaction of Shimon Peres. And what of Judge Richard Goldstone, the South African Jew who chaired the one-sided enquiry, something that will obviously be highlighted by Israel's enemies. Professor Asa Kasher, a Tel Aviv University philosophy philosopher who played a dominant role in writing the IDF's code of ethics, has said that 'a decent person would not have agreed to participate in such a UN enquiry that was known to be rigged against Israel from the outset'.

But was it a mistake for Israel not to try and put her case before a pro-Palestinian forum? The UN body had first commissioned the enquiry to catelog solely Israeli 'violations' during the Cast Lead operation and, it was only after later criticism, that Judge Golstone agreed to investigate Hamas. He did refer to the terrorists' relentless terrorizing of Israeli civilians but that appears more as a side-bar. Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said it was now abundantly clear that not a word would have been altered if Israeli officials had testified before the Goldstone enquiry. Israel would not have received a fair hearing.

IDF soldiers operating in the Gaza Strip

In any case, the Goldstone findings, have been based mainly on Palestinian allegations and the often slanted media reporting. ( Even last month, CNN had the audacity to report on how U.S. troops were busy trying to win the Afghanistan war with ' books not bombs' while focusing on the destruction inflictd by the IDF on Gaza during Cast Lead. For some reason or other, correspondent Christiane Amanpour ignored the fact that Gaza has been relatively quiet since the IDF operation, while American warplanes are still bombing the hell out of Afghan civilians, who are also being exploited as human shields by the Taliban. Both situations, Gaza and Afghanistan illustrate how current international law and the Geneva convention, that apply to convention warfare, are incapable of ruling on the tactics employed in combating terrorism.

What happens now? Defense Minister Ehud Barak (a potential war criminal?)has issued this statement:' The comparison between those who pursue terror and terror victims is inconceivable...this not only rewards terror it also encourages it. Israel's defense establishment is preparing to give legal counsel to IDF officers and the appropriate legal and diplomatic steps are already underway in order to render this report invalid'.

The bottom line is that Israeli officials and public opinion at large view the Goldstone enquiry and its findings as little better than a 'kangaroo court', even if it was under the guise of that august body, the UN. (apologies to the kangaroos).

David Essing

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