Big answers to big lies
Date: Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 16:23:37 EST
Topic: Hebrews

Israel refutes UN's despicable Goldstone Report


Where does Israel go to get its reputation back? Surely not to the International Criminal Court.

The defamation of the Middle East's lone democracy, victim of relentless terror, by the United Nations Human Rights Council has come into ever sharper focus with Israel's response to the panel's Goldstone Report.

The document is purported to be an account of alleged war crimes committed during Israel's January 2009 offensive in Gaza, as well as an assessment of atrocities by Hamas, the terror group that provoked the war by shelling Israeli civilians with rockets and mortars for more than a year.

In actuality, investigator Richard Goldstone served up what the council craved: a wholesale denunciation of Israel that, if left to stand, would outlaw its ability to fight terrorist attacks.

Goldstone's report included this venomous assertion: "The operations were in furtherance of an overall policy aimed at punishing the Gaza population for its resilience and for its apparent support for Hamas."

Israel has now answered with a sober 46-page missive to the UN secretary general. Most news reports focused on the fact that Israel announced disciplinary action against two senior military officers. But far more significant was a thorough rebuttal of Goldstone's irresponsible narrative.

To appreciate how profoundly Goldstone distorted the record, consider Israel's findings in three of the most inflammatory cases he cited - a water facility supposedly bombed intentionally, a flour mill supposedly targeted for destruction and a home supposedly demolished as part of a deliberate attack on civilians.

Regarding destruction at the "Namar wells," the Israel Defense Forces understood the site to be a military compound, not a water facility. Additionally, standing orders forbade inflicting damage on water installations. "To the contrary, the IDF made significant efforts to ensure that the population of Gaza had a sufficient and continuous water supply," Israel reported.

Or consider what happened at the El-Bader flour mill. Goldstone alleged Israel targeted the site purposely to deprive Gaza's people of food.

Never mind, as Israel points out, that "Hamas had fortified this area with tunnels and booby-trapped houses, and deployed its forces to attack IDF troops operating there."

Never mind that "IDF issued early warnings to the residents of the area, including recorded telephone calls, urging them to evacuate. Such telephone calls were made to the flour mill as well."

Never mind that "IDF troops came under intense fire from different Hamas positions in the vicinity of the flour mill."

As for why Israel targeted the residence of Muhammed Abu-Askar, the building was used to store weapons and ammunition, including rockets, and as a launch site for rockets.

Still, "the IDF made a telephone call to Mr. Abu-Askar's house warning of the strike. ... Following this warning, all occupants immediately evacuated the premises. ... There were no civilian casualties from the strike."

If Goldstone had any honor, he would retract his libel. If the UN Human Rights Council had any integrity, the panel would abandon its obsession with Israel to take up true abuses by its own member states. And if Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hopes to preserve his standing as a world leader, he will lead the UN away from hauling Israeli soldiers and commanders before the International Criminal Court on trumped-up charges.


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