The Goldstone Report and Retraction

April 11th, 2011

“Prior to the release of the verdict of the examination Israel’s conduct during “Operation Cast Lead,” Israeli diplomats weren’t waiting with bated breath.

Unlike their stronger adversary Hezbollah, to the North in Lebanon, the attack on Hamas (who control Gaza) was almost surgically efficient.

As many rocket-launchers as possible were destroyed, terrorist leaders’ homes were bombed, and about 1400 Hamas fighters were killed. Approximately 120 Israeli soldiers and civilians died, and an Israeli frigate loaded with surveillance technology was crippled by an Iranian smart-missile.

While targeted assassinations have been one of Israel’s approaches in containing Hamas leaders, pamphlets were dropped many hours prior to the bombings of the dwellings and offices of most Hamas leaders, allowing ample time for their escape.

When looking at the “big picture” of this eternal conflict, no one has found a way to beat combatants who, while dressed as civilians and surrounded by civilians, fire shoulder-mounted rockets from communal dwellings.

Prior to the incursion, the Israeli Chief of staff commented, “Scores of rockets are being fired into our southern towns. The U.N. won’t stop them, nor will the Palestinian Authority, so after four years of restraint, this unfortunate intervention has to be carried out by the I.D.F.”

During “Operation Cast Lead,” the I.D.F. (Israeli Defense Forces) had the capacity to have killed more terrorists, since this would have necessitated more collateral damage, resulting in a Palestinian propaganda victory; the mission strategy was to avoid “overkill.”

Keeping fatalities as low as possible would provide a temporary band aid, but also limit the diplomatic consequences.

Israel knows that the world will hold them accountable for each civilian killed.

Another reason for waging a limited war was that Israel had absolutely no intention of winning the war (in the classic definition). 

To clarify, winning the war against Hamas would mean conquering Gaza! 

Since Israel had just given its most southern tract of land flanking the Mediterranean Ocean as a gift to the Palestinians, why would they now want to conquer it?

Subsequent to Israel’s surrender of Gaza, Hamas terrorists were relentlessly smuggling weapons via tunnels under the new border with Israel, blew up an Israeli security outpost (on the Israeli side), and kidnapped Gilad Shalit.

Hamas, while refusing to allow the International Red Cross to visit and examine Shalit, also continued a daily barrage of missiles into Israel’s southern towns as far as Ashdod and Ashkelon.

Destroying twenty-six synagogues and displacing ten thousand Jewish settlers (a majority of whom never reconstructed their lives) constituted a daring experiment by the Israeli government: It opened up a bleeding wound between the political right and left wings of Israeli society, and between “believers” and “non-believers.”

Furthermore, strategists with a record of being relatively nonpartisan saw the surrender of Gaza as a major strategic blunder. 

A war provoked by this gesture of appeasement was nothing less than an embarrassing vote of lack of confidence to the “good-will” logic that land concessions to terrorists leads to peace.

To add to the misery of this logistic disaster, Israel’s leaders were now being treated to the “findings” of Richard Goldstone, the Judge appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Commission, of “deliberately using inhumane and disproportionate force" during the brief incursion into Gaza.

The report had been instigated by the U.N., and was conducted by the South African “champion of human rights” reported to have found “evidence” that during the Gaza conflict, “serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law were committed by Israel.”

According to the document released by Goldstone to the U.N., the Israeli operations "were carefully planned in all their phases as a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population."

Israel also "committed actions amounting to war crimes, and possibly crimes against humanity."

The Israeli military responded that it too, following its own “quality review” policy, had carried out more than 100 investigations, as it had done following its previous war (with Lebanon). 

Israeli investigations tend to stand up to rigorous standards. For instance, the Gladstone Report following “Lebanon II” made scathing attacks on Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Tzipi Livni, and Ehud Olmert, as well as senior echelons of the Northern Command.

In contrast to the Gladstone Report, this Israeli review commission reported that twenty-three criminal investigations were still pending, and seventy-seven allegations of “war crimes” had been dismissed as "baseless."

Unlike the U.N. Report findings that implicated senior members of the Syrian Government in the assassination of Lebanese pro-democracy presidential candidate Harik Hurari (which have had difficulty gaining any traction), Goldstone’s findings were gathering rapid momentum.

The U.N., spearheaded by prominent European member states (Great Britain in particular), was quickly pushing for “Israel to be held accountable for its actions during the war,” a prospect which could usher these findings into the International Criminal Court

The Goldstone indictment, in order to maintain some respectability as a legal document, rather than a “manifesto,” retained some sense of balance by an admittance that, in fact, it was Hamas who triggered the war by launching rockets from Gaza into Israeli population centers. 

Since the missiles used at the time by Hamas lacked the precision to accurately strike military targets and were therefore just lobbed into residential and industrial centers, they too “breached the fundamental principle of sparing civilian lives.”

But no one amongst the Hamas military wing was charged for thousands of missiles lobbed into Israel during the four years of its own “occupancy.”

The report, once adopted by the U.N., establishes legislation whereby collateral damage inflicted against terrorists who deliberately use “human shields” becomes punishable as a “crime against humanity.”

What are the psychological implications to any country living under two continuous threats? 

  1. Being attacked daily by rockets, kidnappings, stabbings, artillery fire and mortar 
  2. Knowing that it will be punished by the international community for defending itself

From the politically left wing of the Israeli establishment, Israeli President Shimon Peres denounced the Goldstone Report: "The report essentially grants legitimacy to terrorism, premeditated shooting and killing, while ignoring the obligation and the right of every country to defend itself." 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed the gravity of the report’s impact in his December 23, 2009 address to the Knesset plenum: 

"There are three primary threats facing us today: 

  1. The nuclear threat (Iran)
  2. The missile threat (Hezbollah and Hamas) 
  3. The Goldstone threat

Netanyahu continued: “Goldstone is a code for a much broader phenomenon: the attempt to negate the legitimacy of our right to self-defense.”

As it turns out, the Gladstone report had been part of a carefully devised instrument to place Israel in a state of “learnt helplessness.”

It culminates decades of work constructing an interloculating matrix designed to undermine every aspect crucial to any country’s survival:

The “master plan” behind this strategy involves a multi-pronged attack aimed at isolating and demoralizing a Sovereign State by incrementally tarnishing its public image.

The Goldstone Report appeared (prior to its retraction) to be the “crown jewel” to measures already in place aimed at universal isolation of Israel. The methodology was simply to find a new propaganda template that would constellate sufficient latent anti-Semitism hidden in the collective unconscious that would strike the right emotional chord in the collective psyche.

However, in a dramatic turn of events, Richard Goldstone acknowledged in an op-ed piece published Friday, April 1, 2011 by The Washington Post that his conclusion appeared to have been wrong. 

"We know a lot more today about what happened in the Gaza war," Goldstone wrote. "If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document."

I will finish with the template and why it worked so well. (Carter, South Africa.)

The following are a small sample of punishments that were already in place prior to the Goldstone Report.

Mr. Netanyahu pointed attention to the “U.N. Conference on Racism” held in Durban in 2000 as being the beginning of the propaganda onslaught by the international community against Israel.

Perhaps since the U.S. had only token representatives, who left when the Israel-bashing became intolerable, little attention was paid to some of the ongoing measures that were adopted at the conference. There are also ongoing “work groups” overseeing the success of their various projects.

But what he omits is the painful source of this problem, which I will also mention at the end of this article.

Some of the measures already in force include: 

  • The enforcement of boycotts of Israeli-manufactured goods and all locally grown products 
  • A hostile environment at university campuses throughout the world which bans the participation of Israeli scholars from the attendance of academic conferences  
  • The exclusion of Israeli professors from joining faculty at English and other European graduate schools 
  • Travel restrictions on Israeli military personnel and government officials arising from a fear of indictment for “war crimes”
  • Marginalizing the country’s most talented thinkers by limiting invitations to Israeli academics, scientists, musicians, and other performance artists
  • Curtailing freedom of travel to Israeli diplomats, including those from the intelligence community
  • Restricting attendance at world trade summits to emerging  technologies
  • Galvanizing world opinion to threaten further sanctions and boycotts

Netanyahu himself expressed frustration with actions being taken by the World Court in The Hague… “We all have a real problem here. Ehud Olmert speaks on campuses in the United States, and he’s denounced as a war criminal. Defense Minister Ehud Barak – they want to arrest him in London. And there’s a warrant out against Tzipi Livni, the Opposition leader.” 

The U.N. Commission on Human Rights secretly coordinates with (and is concealed behind) a vast array of “human rights” groups.

Their vast network traverses the Middle East, disseminating into multiple splinter-groups supported or affiliated by larger umbrella organizations such as the “New Israel Fund.”

On December 22, 2009, a letter initiated by the Coalition of Women for Peace (which is funded by the NIF) was signed by nearly 100 leftist feminist organizations.

The mail blitz, which included Israeli and Palestinian organizations spanning twenty-five countries and was formally submitted to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and to British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, demanded that British courts try all senior Israeli officials.

From the outset, the choice of Judge Goldstone by the U.N. Commission on Human Rights should have aroused suspicions:

He has documented associations with various organizations renowned for their anti-Zionist rhetoric that predate his appointment as the Judge chosen to represent the U.N., at which time his views on the subject were available to public scrutiny.

Goldstone is on the board of the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) – an organization which has repeatedly accused Israel of violations of humanitarian law such as extrajudicial executions, torture, property confiscation, and collective punishment.

While none of the claims were substantiated, Goldstone and ICTJ Chairman Alex Boraine were signatories to a document (written three months earlier) expressing outrage at Israel’s “crimes against civilians.” 

Another “human rights” group known as Palestinian Center for Human Rights recently published an article in the German newspaper Der Spiegel, announcing that it had prepared 936 suits against the IDF for war crimes. 

The organization’s website, which contains harsh accusations against Israel while bordering on ludicrous and patently fabricated, was actually incorporated and quoted in the Goldstone Report.

The NIF operates behind dozens of satellite organizations, each of which has a small number of active members involved mainly in a wide exposure to the world audience of Israel as an oppressive military regime dedicated to the persecution of its Arab minority.

Without the NIF’s fabrications, Goldstone would have had nothing on which to base most of his claims. 

The methodology uses a matrix that controlled all the variables to ensure a self-fulfilling process: the very organizations that pressed for the establishment of a commission provided the testimony.

In other words, the Goldstone commission built its claims against the IDF and Israel by using information provided by its affiliate organizations.

Some of Goldstone’s language was actually taken from the NIF Website.

NIF-related organizations boast the following accomplishments:

• Accusing the IDF of war crimes

• Calling for a boycott and economic/military sanctions against Israel

• Demanding the indictment and trial abroad of IDF officers and senior Israeli statesmen

• Encouraging draft evasion and refusal to serve in the IDF reserves

• Creating international pressure on the UN to demand a halt to Operation Cast Lead and open an international inquiry against Israel

The fund’s financial reports show that in the years 2006-2008 the organizations that contributed to the New Israel Fund totaled $7,805,226.

The entire charade surrounding the actions of the Human Rights War Tribunal is addressed in a few words in the Old Testament:

“You should not commit a perversion of Justice with false measures. Ensure that you have accurate scales and weights to measure (Leviticus-Kedoshim, 19:35).”

Our Sages explain: “The use of false weights and measures involves a greater act of deception than a regular theft. This person actually pretends to his victim that he is honest, since the weights are perceived to be used for the sake of accuracy and fairness.” 

“This act is particularly evil since it creates a veil of righteousness by using methods that are designed for accuracy as tools of corruption (Likutei Sichos vol27, p 149ff).”

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