Goldstone Report-Apologists defending The Indefensible

The hostile reaction by pro-Israeli lobbyists (South African Zionist Federation and SA Jewish Board of Deputies), Jewish leaders ( Benjamin Pogrund) and some rabbi’s (Rabbi Warren Goldstein) to Judge Richard Goldstone’s Report maligning him as a “modern (day) Cain”, “self-hating Jew” and other derogatory terms, is disconcerting and pathetic.

The Zionist Lobby is palpably shocked because Goldstone, an ardent Zionist, has dared to criticise the actions of Israel. This attitude is reviled by the Israeli Jerusalem Post, which reports that “It is absurd to talk about Goldstone, a lifelong Zionist and Jew and supporter of Israel, as someone with a bias against Israel.”

Dr William Cook, activist and author of the book The Rape of Palestine, asks “Why criticize the critics of Israel. Praise them. They have accepted the admonition of the real Jews, ‘Never Forget'”. People must never forget the agony the Nazis inflicted on the Jews, and never forget what the Zionist’s have inflicted on the Palestinian people.

Ethically upright leaders and Rabbi’s cannot defend the indefensible atrocities and crimes that have been committed in Gaza. They are morally bound to mobilize concern and compassion for the oppressed and the starving innocent under siege for almost two years. Instead of garnering sympathy for the homeless, they become apologists for a ruthless regime terrorizing one-and-half million captive people.

The Israeli regime acts with impunity in defiance of International Law and the resolutions of the United Nations because the lobbyists and apologists exert pressure on governments to blunt criticism of that defiance. The use of overwhelming military force, Merkava tanks, Apache helicopters, F-16 fighter jets, drones and artillery, against defenceless people, can never be justified.

Israel refused to allow Goldstone to enter and conduct the enquiry in Israel, whilst Hamas fully co-operated with the Commission, allowing them free & unfettered access to the territory. Three Israeli civilians were killed, compared to over a thousand Palestinian civilians, clearly illustrating massive violations and war crimes by the Israeli Defence force.

Some key findings of Goldstone’s report include:

  • Israel’s incursion was "a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorise a civilian population, radically diminish its local economic capacity both to work and to provide for itself and to force upon it an ever-increasing sense of dependency and vulnerability".
  • Israeli forces committed "grave breaches of the fourth Geneva convention", which gave rise to "individual criminal responsibility", meaning soldiers could face prosecution.
  • Israeli troops used Palestinian civilians as human shields, a war crime.
  • Israel’s economic blockade of Gaza in the years before the war amounted to "collective punishment intentionally inflicted by the government of Israel on the people of the Gaza Strip".
  • Israeli actions depriving Gazans of means of subsistence, employment, housing and water, and denying their freedom of movement, "could lead a competent court to find that the crime of persecution, a crime against humanity, had been committed".

Hamas, whilst disagreeing with the findings of the report in accusing “Palestinian militants” of “possible war crimes”, agreed to conduct an investigation as directed by the Goldstone Report. Israel, on the other hand, vehemently & arrogantly rejected the Report, attacking and demeaning Goldstone personally.

The Goldstone Report confirms the heinous Israeli deeds recorded by numerous NGO’s over many decades. The barbaric practice of assassinations without arrest or trial by jury, the construction of the illegal Apartheid wall, the massacres of Jenin and Rafah, policies of collective punishment and starvation, stillborn babies delivered at 600 checkpoints, and the degradation and humiliation of racist ID cards and coloured number plates, is some of the crimes inflicted on the Palestinian people.

As stated by William Cook, there are many Jews in Israel, and outside, that actively work on behalf of Palestinians, rebuilding demolished homes, teaching the truth of the Nakba (Catastrophe), participating in peaceful demonstrations with Palestinians, as at Bil’in, working in Israeli courts to seek some sort of justice for those wrongfully detained or imprisoned, and the sterling and courageous work done by the Human Rights Organisations as B’tselem and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel.

Justice Richard Goldstone is no “modern day Cain”. These wretched apologists’ defence of Israeli crimes will encourage this criminal regime to continue to act with impunity in violation of all International Laws.

The Biblical narrative describes how Cain tried but failed to hide from God, his crime of killing Abel. "Then He said, "What have you done? Your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground! So you are cursed (with alienation)”-Genesis.

As Cain’s crime of unjustified murder was eventually exposed, so has Israel’s war crimes, crimes against humanity and violations of international law been uncovered. Who are the real “modern day Cain(s)”?