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Goldstone & Islamic Terrorism

In Gaza, After Firing Deadly Anti-Tank Rocket At Israeli School Bus, Hamas Now Claims Terrorist Murder Of Italian Activist Is Against Its 'Morals & Traditions'

Even After Richard Goldstone's Regret Over Allegations Against Israel, There Are Those Who Have Made Up Their Minds & Refused To Be Bothered by the Facts

Hamas Itself Verified That 700 of 1200 Palestinian Fatalities During IDF's Cast Lead Operation Were Militants

Hamas Terrorist

After six days of quiet, following the recent flare-up along the Israeli- Gaza border, two more Grads were fired from Gaza at the Israeli town of Ashdod. The two missiles detonated without causing any casualties or damage, except for again terrorizing the whole town and sending its children, women and men racing for their bomb shelters on the eve of the Sabbath. This time, Hamas was not believed responsible and therefore IDF responded by hitting two unmanned Hamas targets in Gaza, where Gaza is the official government and bears responsibility for any attacks from its territory. In the wake of Judge Richard Goldstone's article of regret there are still those who have made up their mind against Israel in spite of the facts. Analyst David Essing is of the view that Israel bashing thrives on the use of doublespeak whether it was the original Goldstone Report and its aftermath or the murder of the Italian activisit In Gaza.

What is the difference between the Islamic terrorists who murdered Vitorrio Arrigoni, the pro-Palestinian activist from Italy and the Hamas launching of an anti-tank rocket at a yellow Israeli school bus traveling near the border with Gaza? Or for that matter, the years of indiscriminate Hamas rocketing of Israeli civilians? Consider this - after the murder of Arrigoni, by a splinter group linked to al Qaeda, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya issued a statement condemning the Italian's execution while adding: 'This ugly crime does not reflect our morals or traditions!' Really. So if the cold blooded murder of Arrigoni violated Hamas 'morals and traditions' just how would Haniya explain the numerous suicide bombers he sent to murder and main thousands of Israeli children, women and men? Or the school bus attacked ordered by Ahmad Jabari, the Hamas military commander? It is patently preposterous for Hamas, which threw Fetah rivals off high-rise buildings in Gaza, to talk of their 'morals and traditions'.

But on a more sophisticated level, this type of doublespeak is also conjured up for bashing Israel, when it exercises its legal right to self - defense, whilst protecting its civilians from terror attacks. Take for example 'proportionality' - the idea is when attacked one is supposed to react with a similar amount of force and proscribes 'making the civilians population or individual civilians the object of attack'. (In the case of Gaza, Hamas uses civilians as human shields from which to attack Israeli civilians. Whereas, the IDF tries not to harm Palestinian non-combatants). States in general pay no attention to proportionality as such because it would allow the aggressor to launch a 'tit for tat' war of attrition of his own choosing. However, it is usually dusted off and exploited for denouncing the Jewish state. This was the case in the original Goldstone Report that accused Israel of using disproportionate force during the Cast Lead Operation launched in Dec. 2008. But just how was Israel to halt the eight years of rocketing that terrorized Israeli civilians, other than by a ground offensive into Gaza while, according to British Col. Richard Kemp, taking unprecedented measures in the history of warfare, to protect Palestinian civilian casualties?

Richard Goldstone

Although Judge Richard Goldstone has written:' If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document' this has still not satisfied some of Israel's perennial critics. In an article in the Maariv daily, analyst Amos Giboa is of the view: 'There is a 'chronic disease among different groups in the world and also in Israel that view the state of Israel as an evil creation, a cruel conqueror and a war criminal to boot. This disease drives them to slander Israel incessantly in order to tie Israel's hands and to strip it of the right to self-defense. There are groups whose motives are ostensibly moral but they chose to ignore the basic facts facing Israel'.

As an example, Gilboa pointed to an article by Dr. Yishai Menuhin, the director of the Public Committee Against Torture In Israel, who was pleased that Goldstone had expressed regret for the censuring of Israel in his report. However, Menuhin also added: 'When so many civilians (Palestinian) were killed...more than 1400', I hope that Israel's investigatory authorities, who Goldstone has now praised, will indeed find out the truth and explain the killing'. Gilboa, a former IDF Brig.Gen. in the Intelligence branch, was astonished that Menuhin could be so blind to the reality on the ground. Even if the number of fatalities in Cast Lead were 1,400 (and not 1,200 as later verified) how could 'the distinguished Dr fantasize that they were all Palestinian civilians?' In the Washington Post, Goldstone admitted that he had erred in his estimate of Palestinian civilians and combatants that were killed and Goldstone now accepted the true number as supplied by both Israel and Hamas. In fact, Hamas Internal Minister stated on Nov.1st 2010 that 706 militants from Hamas and the other terror groups had been killed. This corresponded with an IDF estimate that 60% of the fatalities were combatants. Incidentally, in comparison with the U.S. & NATO campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq where guerrillas also exploit civilians as human shields, their percentage of civilian casualties is far higher than in Cast Lead.

IDF soldiers operating in the Gaza Strip

Moreover, Goldstone has now said the IDF did not deliberately target Palestinian civilians and those that died were killed accidentally. In other words, Israel had not committed war crimes or crimes against humanity as was alleged in the original Goldstone Report. However, this cut no ice with Dr Menuhin who continued to speak of the 'mass killing' of 1400 Palestinian civilians. Gilboa concluded the Israeli government also bore part of the responsibility for the rampant Israel bashing because it had done next to nothing toward building a professional network to supply an immediate response whenever Israel was defamed.

Doublespeak also applies to the 'humanitarian aid' flotillas bound for Gaza. UN officials have verified there is no shortage of food or other humanitarian supplies in Gaza - hundreds of trucks deliver the produce through Israeli land terminals. Israel does insist on security checks on vessels sailing to Gaza, otherwise they would soon be transporting more GRAD missiles for launching at Israeli civilians. That is why Israel is not likely to back down on this issue, whether the Turks like it or not.

David Essing

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