Thursday, September 24, 2009

Goldstone Discredited

From the outset, I want to thank my good friend Maurice Ostroff who contributed much of the material in this blog.

The Goldstone report is now out and although one can talk about the make up of the mission and delve into personal criticism of the mission members; this is just allowing emotion to rule the head.

According to sources in Washington, a top White House official told Jewish organizational leaders in an off-the-record phone call Wednesday that the U.S. strategy was to "quickly" bring the report -- commissioned by the U.N. Human Rights Council and carried out by former South African Judge Richard Goldstone -- to its "natural conclusion" within the Human Rights Council and not to allow it to go further.

It appears that the Obama administration is ready to use the U.S. veto at the U.N. Security Council to deal with any other "difficulties" arising out of the report, the White House official said Wednesday. The administration also has made clear to the Palestinian Authority that Washington is not pleased with a P.A. petition to bring the report's allegations against Israel to the International Criminal Court.

The official said the Obama administration's view was that the report was flawed from its conception because the mandate presumed a priori that Israel had violated war crimes and that the mandate ignored Hamas' role in prompting the war through its rocket fire into Israel.

The report condemns itself in so many places that it is discrediting itself within its own report.

On the subject of Human Shields. Paragraph 475 of the report states briefly that the Mission is aware of the public statement by Mr. Fathi Hammad, a Hamas member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, "which is adduced as evidence of Hamas’ use of human shields".

It is not clear what the word "adduced" means in this context. A dictionary definition states “To cite as an example or means of proof in an argument”. One must wonder at the reluctance to state unambiguously that Mr. Hammad declared proudly that the Palestinians use human shields as he did.

Although Mr. Hammad's exact words can be heard in the video sent to the mission, the report states, "Mr. Hammad reportedly stated that the Palestinian people has developed its [methods] of death seeking. For the Palestinian people, death became an industry, at which women excel and so do all people on this land: the elderly excel, the mujahideen excel and the children excel. Accordingly, .. and here the UN report stops short.

The next sentence in the video clip which is evidently intentionally omitted in your report is the operative one. Mr Hammad went on to say. "This is why they have formed human shields of the women, the children, the elderly and the mujahideen.. "

The inference that this sentence was deliberately omitted to hide the evidence of the use of human shields by Palestinians is strengthened by Paragraph 481 which states "..While reports reviewed by the Mission credibly indicate that members of Palestinian armed groups were not always dressed in a way that distinguished them from civilians, the Mission found no evidence that Palestinian combatants mingled with the civilian population with the intention of shielding themselves from attack".

Surely the Human Rights Council must insist that the authors explain the contradiction between paragraphs 475 and 481 as well as the actual content of the video clip.

Dehumanization. During an interview on Al Jazeera TV, Goldstone emphasized that dehumanization of the other is the essential factor leading to horrific acts like genocide. It is therefore astonishing that this report ignores the daily incitement against Jews and Israel that continues unabated in PA mosques and schools, contrary to the Oslo agreements and the 2003 Roadmap and strangely refers only to supposed dehumanization of Palestinians by Israelis. It states for example "graffiti left on the walls in Gaza, the obscenities and often racist slogans all constituted an overall image of humiliation and dehumanization of the Palestinian population."

The Mission failed in its fact-finding obligation by depriving itself of important credible information in ignoring evidence from Palestinian Media Watch and Memri, two organizations that document Palestinian incitement. It ignored evidence of dehumanization of Jews that had been drawn to the attention of the Mission e.g, In the At Al Omari mosque, the imam refers to Jews as "the brothers of apes and pigs" and the video presentation in which a three year old is taught that Jews are the sons of pigs and apes as well as a school class taught to strive for martyrdom by killing as many Jews as possible. If the members of the mission were not inclined to express horror, surely they were duty bound to at least mention in the report, the likely effect of this indoctrination of children? Or do they consider the indoctrination justified?

The Mission also completely ignored a recent PA TV rebroadcast of an event in which the savage murder and mutilation of two Israelis by a frenzied mob of Palestinians was celebrated and lauded as an example of national pride and duty.

The report fails to recommend appropriate action against Hamas and the PA in terms of article 3 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which provides that incitement to commit genocide is a punishable act.

The report ignores the thesis presented to it, that the cycle of violence of which pundits speak glibly is inaccurate. The cycle is not Palestinians attack and Israel responds or vice versa. The missing element is the Palestinian INCITEMENT, which unavoidably leads to the initial violence and which must be eliminated if any peaceful solution is to be contemplated.

In the methodology of the report irresponsible speculation presented as factual. An alarming aspect of the report is the irresponsible, manner in which uninformed speculation with no foundation at all in fact, has been used as a basis for making critical recommendations that will affect the lives of millions.

Paragraph 1680 rejects the Israeli Government's assertion that the Cast Lead operation was essentially a response to rocket attacks in the exercise of its right to self defense and the Mission speculates without any effort at substantiation that the plan was directed, at least in part, at a different target: the people of Gaza as a whole.

This statement is reckless slander in the extreme, in view of the more than 10,000 rockets that rained almost daily on Sderot and the western Negev, fired from heavily populated civilian centers and deliberately aimed at civilian areas (a double war crime) over the past eight years.

The Mission was shown video clips of schoolchildren rushing to take shelter whenever the red alert sounded giving only 15 seconds warning.

The Sderot Media Center presented evidence in Geneva about the tragic sufferings of the population and yet you do not accept that this was the reason for Cast Lead.

The rockets were often deliberately fired at times of day when schoolkids were gathering so as to achieve maximum casualties and it is only by good luck or divine providence that they claimed only 28 lives, over 600 injured and thousands psychologically traumatized.

In these circumstances, denying that the Cast Lead operation was aimed at ending the rocket fire is equivalent to claiming that the earth is flat. The irresponsible weighty recommendations that will have long-term, even existential effects based on preconceived opinions supported by pure speculation with no attempt at substantiation, reflects egregiously on the entire methodology adopted in preparing the report. The flaw is so serious that on this count alone, the report must be either rejected or returned for serious revision.

This report would not qualify for a pass grade in any academic institution; it should be withdrawn or rewritten.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

UM Schmum

Such do many Israelis describe the United Nations which is held in low esteem by the average man in the street.

The overwhelming majority of Muslim countries are able to vote that black is white in almost every case.

The latest UN report of the Goldstone Mission is yet another example of assumed guilt irrespective of the facts on the ground.

Israel's government did not feel able to cooperate with the Fact Finding Mission because its mandate was clearly one-sided and ignored the thousands of Hamas missile attacks on civilians in southern Israel that made the Gaza Operation necessary. Both the mandate of the Mission, the members of the mission and the resolution establishing it prejudged the outcome of any investigation, gave legitimacy to the Hamas terrorist organization and disregarded the deliberate Hamas strategy of using Palestinian civilians as cover for launching terrorist attacks.

The unbalanced nature of the resolution establishing the Mission was the reason that so many States on the Council, including all member states of the European Union, Switzerland, Canada, Korea and Japan, did not support it, and why many distinguished individuals, including former High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, refused invitations to head the Mission.
Notwithstanding its reservations, Israel has undertaken to read the Report carefully - as it does with all reports prepared by international and national organizations. Israel is committed to acting fully in accordance with international law and to examining any allegations of wrongdoing by its own forces. To date, the IDF has opened investigations into over 100 allegations regarding the conduct of its forces during the Gaza Operation. While most of these investigations were closed because the allegations were found baseless, 23 criminal investigations were opened and are still pending.

There are so many distortions of what actually happened that Israel’s foreign ministry has launched a special website ( provides factual information addressing the legal and political context of the conflict in Gaza, the issue of Gaza war crimes, the issue of human rights and the investigations into the Israeli military conduct during combat.

The website discusses various issues relating to the Israeli military operation undertaken by the Israel Defense Force (IDF), better known as "Operation Cast Lead" or "The Gaza Operation" in December 2008-January 2009.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Story that won’t be told in the World's Media

I received this story via a friend from someone called, let's just say Amy. Having witnessed the incident below, she felt it important to record the incident, because as she says "which media around the world would publish this story?"

I hope readers, you will pass this on in order to show the human face of Israel and Israelis. The accusations of Aparthteid are just so far from reality

Last weekend, I went with family to the beach in Caesarea. Caesarea is surrounded by Roman ruins and ancient aqueducts, plus beautiful scenery with the Mediterranean Sea in the background.

On entering the beach we saw an ambulance and thought to ourselves, this spells bad news.

We went about our own business, swimming in the water, watching the fish swim by. Later as we went for a walk along the beach, we noticed a helicopter hovering above, the ambulance we had seen earlier was on the beach and boats with search lights were all around the area. It was already sunset.

Later we found out what had happened. A young man of 20 years old from an Arab village by Kfar Saba was drowning. He was swimming in an area with no lifeguards. There were warnings on the radio that on this day, it was dangerous for swimming. The young man’s father jumped in the water to try to save his and found himself drowning.

On the beach stood a man a little over 40 yrs old from Binyamina (my neighboring town). He serves in the Marines and knows how to swim well. Out of instinct he jumped in the Sea to save the two men, only to find his own life in danger..

Unfortunately there is no happy ending to this story, the sea can be very unforgiving, and the 3 men lost their lives out at sea.

This is just a little insight to an event that happens often in Israel. Jewish people saving Arabs lives and Arabs saving Jewish lives.

I just want you to know that we live in a very humane country although it is hard to see that from the World media. One cannot believe everything you see on TV, hear on the radio or read in the newspapers.

This is a true story but unfortunately it won’t be printed in any of the world’s media, so therefore I wanted to tell it.

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Swedish Irresponsibility

So Swedish Foreign minister Bildt is canceling his trip to Israel. Good, the hypocrisy of the Swedish government is there for all to see but, of course, the world remains silent.

At the time of the protests against the Danish cartoons of Muhammad, the Swedish government shut down web sites that were publishing them, so just where is this “freedom of expression” that they currently so vehemently support.

This latest blood libel is just another in a long series in our recent history, and I mean recent, which then cause many, many deaths of Jews by one action or another.

After the accusations of “stealing organs” had been printed, the author Bostrum said on Israel radio on 19th August “I have no idea if it is true” and Jalal Ghaneen wrote in the Jerusalem Post on 24th August “there is no evidence to support the claims”.

A doctor friend of mine told me that there is a whole procedure for selecting suitable organs for transplant. All sorts of tests have to be carried out prior to a transplant and organs cannot be stored for any length of time. Thus the “random collection” from Palestinians who are claimed to have had organs removed is not just unlikely but totally impractical.

So we have yet another Pallywood production given coverage by the gullible media.

Let’s just look at some of these over the last few years:-
- “Israel is persuading Palestinian kids to become drug addicts”
- “Israel is handing out drug laced bubble gum to Palestinian kids”
- “Israel is slowly killing the Palestinians by flooding the market with

cacogenic foods”
- “Israel is marketing computer games that bean radio active rays”
- “Israeli is sending HIV positive prostitutes to spread AIDS amongst the

And let’s not forget the “major” productions of Pallywood; the Mohammad Al Durah case, the family “killed” on the Gaza beach by an Israeli shell fired from a boat at sea and of course the Jenin “massacres”.

It is about time the press started acting responsibly, alternatively their circulation, already in a downward spiral, will accelerate. As Khaled Abu Tomeh wrote in the Jerusalem Post today “it is sometimes embarrassing to admit to being a reporter”

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sheikh Jarrah was a Jewish Neighbourhood

The recent protests in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem against the eviction of two Palestinian families from a house has brought international condemnation of Israel has come from a variety of sources, including the UN. But the events in Sheikh Jarrah are part of a larger history that the international community never seems to take into account. So reports Seth Frantzman, see link at the end of the blog

What is today called Sheikh Jarrah in the 19th century included two Jewish neighborhoods known as Nahalat Shimon and Shimon HaTzadiq. Sheikh Jarrah was primarily a Jewish neighborhood from 1876 onwards and remained so up until 1948.

ACCORDING TO research carried out by Prof. Ruth Kark of the Hebrew University the Jewish housing developments were bordered by villas constructed by Jerusalem's leading Arab families that began building in Sheikh Jarrah in the 1870s. By 1918 the total number of Muslim houses in the neighborhood had grown to thirty.

In December of 1947 fighting broke out between Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem. Initially the leading Muslim families asked Arab fighters from outside the city to leave their neighborhood, and the Jews there, in peace. By March 1948, however, Arabs from a unit called "al Shabab" [The Youth] invaded the neighborhood and set the Jewish synagogues and houses on fire, causing the residents to flee.

Sheikh Jarrah was not the only Jewish neighborhood in east Jerusalem destroyed in the war. Silwan, where Yemenite Jews had settled in 1882 was also taken over along with the Old city's Jewish quarter which was razed.

After 1948 East Jerusalem passed into Jordanian control and in this period the city's Christian population declined from around 30,000 before 1948 to some 11,000 in 1967.

THE UN was involved in settling Palestinian refugees in East Jerusalem. The disputed houses in Sheikh Jarrah were actually handed over to the Hannoun and Gawi families in 1956 under the auspices of UNWRA. The Jewish community which actually owned the properties was not consulted. Neither was the Jewish community consulted when graves on the Mount of Olives were destroyed beginning in 1956.

Many of the disputes about East Jerusalem have their origins in what happened between 1948 and 1967, a period so often ignored by historians, governments and activists. The UN was NEVER given authority to resettle Palestinians in Jewish property, yet this is what they did. Before condemning Israel, the UN should first apologize for their theft of Jewish property without compensation. The Jewish properties in question might well have been left in ruins, like part of Nahalat Shimon and the grave of Simon the Just was. In fact none of the rampant destruction of Jewish sites in Jerusalem was condemned by the UN during the period of Jordanian rule.

Had the international community cared then as much as it does now perhaps the disputes would not have come about. If people understood more about the period of Jordanian rule one might better understand the actual history of the city, rather than focusing merely on Israeli actions and Palestinian victimization.

For more on this read