A Screaming Disgrace

The following letter was published in an edited form, by the Australian Jewish News on 1 October 2009.
Is the front page screaming “Disgrace”, along with the usual hasbarah
and the twists and turns about human shields offered by Alan Dershowitz,
the best the AJN commentators can do in response to the Goldstone
report which highlights the disproportionate killing of civilians by

Israel was offered the opportunity to submit testimony in its defense,
and actively participate in this report. Did it? To quote the report
summary, “the decision to hear participants from Israel and the West
Bank in Geneva rather than in situ was taken after Israel denied the
Mission access to both locations. Israel also failed to respond to a
comprehensive list of questions posed to it by the Mission.”
Was the investigation random? No. In the case of Israel, it did not
look at what happened in battle where accounts are disputable, but
situations where Israel carried out deliberate, and documented attacks
on specific targets. The conclusion: “taking into account the ability
to plan, the means to execute plans with the most developed technology
available, and statements by the Israeli military that almost no errors
occurred, the Mission finds that the incidents and patterns of events
considered in the report are the result of deliberate planning and
policy decisions”
And again, to quote the UN: ” Palestinian armed groups committed war
crimes, as well as possibly crimes against humanity, in their repeated
launching of rockets and mortars into Southern Israel.” The treatment
of Galid Shalit was also condemned.
Friends of Israel and Palestine should see the report as a cause for
serious reflection and should be urging their respective leaders to
abandon their failed approach to the conflict. It further demonstrates
that only international intervention and compromise, not war, can
provide a way out of the conflict.
And we quote your own editorial “The Israeli government must keep its
emotions in check and take this report very seriously -– refute what it
can refute, and continue to work towards vigorously prosecuting the
rest”. We assume that prosecuting means the most vigorous of public
inquiries into what the army does.
Larry Stillman, Les Rosenblatt Australian Jewish Democratic Society

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