web analytics
April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Israel’s Reply To Goldstone Takes Conciliatory Tone


Share Button


WASHINGTON – The Goldstone wars continue, but beneath the shouting a diplomatic track has emerged.


The Israeli government last week published a reply to the UN Human Rights Council’s report on the conduct of last winter’s Gaza war with Hamas, insisting that Israel Defense Forces investigations into possible Israeli wrongdoing in Gaza were not principally motivated by last autumn’s UN report.


Nonetheless, the reply repeatedly refers to the UN report – known as the Goldstone report for its principal author, retired South African judge Richard Goldstone – and was delivered within the six-month deadline that Goldstone recommended to avoid international prosecution.


Moreover, the bulk of Israel’s reply is dedicated to establishing the independence of military investigators and prosecutors, which would satisfy Goldstone’s requirement that any investigation should not be a matter of the alleged perpetrators investigating themselves.


The Israeli document notes that two senior IDF officers were disciplined for firing rocket shells into a populated area of Gaza where the field office of the UN Relief and Works Agency, the principal group administering relief to Palestinian refugees, was situated.


More striking is the conciliatory tone taken by the Israeli government toward Goldstone and the human rights groups from which he drew in writing his report – acknowledging that Goldstone and the groups played a critical role in helping the IDF examine its actions.


An Israeli army spokesman said that while the army relied primarily on its own resources to identify deviations from policy, the human rights groups helped spur along the process.


“We take a look at ourselves and where we were right and where mistakes were made,” Capt. Barak Raz told JTA. “It’s important that a commander can go home at the end of the operation and look his family in the eye, and that the soldiers 20 years from now can look in their children’s eyes.”


Nonetheless, he added, “I can’t deny that these reports also contributed to our ability to be made aware.”


The civil tone does not mean the rhetorical wars engendered by Goldstone, a human rights icon with a pro-Israel history, are over.


Top Israeli officials, up to Prime Minister Netanyahu, continue to cast the report as inimical to Israel’s interests as Iran and its putative nuclear weapons program.


Non-governmental defenders of Israel continue to demonize Goldstone. Most recently, Alan Dershowitz likened him to a moser, a Jewish traitor deemed in some interpretations as worthy of a death sentence.


In the meantime, left-wing and pro-Palestinian groups continue to call for war crimes investigations of Israel and have inhibited travel by Israeli officials to Europe lest they face arrest warrants.


Against the noise, the government’s description of the Israeli army’s cooperation with the same groups was telling.


Noting that 150 separate investigations arose from Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s name for the Gaza War, the government reply says that a portion was initiated by the army and “others were opened in response to complaints and reports from Palestinian civilians, local and international non-governmental organizations, and UN and media reports.”


Of the 150 probes, 36 have resulted in criminal prosecutions – 19 of these involved shooting toward civilians, and 17 involved using civilians as human shields, mistreating detainees and theft.


Between 1,000 and 1,500 Palestinians died in the war. Human rights groups say the majority were civilians, while Israel says the majority were fighters.


Israel launched the operation after Hamas stepped up its rocket attacks on southern Israel. Such attacks had been an almost daily occurrence since the terrorist group took over the strip in 2006, and dated back more than eight years.


Of the 34 incidents outlined in the Goldstone report, the Israeli government says the army was investigating 22 before the report was published – it admits Goldstone’s research led to the other 12 inquiries. (The two officers reprimanded for shelling the UNRWA compound are not among them.)


Additionally, the government reply says, the Military Police Criminal Investigation Division “has sought assistance from non-governmental organizations (such as the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem) to help locate Palestinian complainants and witnesses, and to coordinate their arrival at the Erez crossing point to Gaza, to allow interviews and questioning.”


Despite its conciliatory tone, the government’s reply said the Goldstone report reflects “many misunderstandings and fundamental mistakes with regard to the Gaza Operation, its purposes, and Israel’s legal system.”

(JTA)

Share Button

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Israel’s Reply To Goldstone Takes Conciliatory Tone”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Unit 9900 is an intelligence unit that utilizes the unique capabilities of soldiers on the autism spectrum.
Autism in the IDF: Uniquely Talented Soldiers
Latest News Stories
South Florida teen stabbed in high school gym.

Teen stabbed in South Florida high school.

Birkat Cohanim 2014

The Kotel Plaza, the stairs, the Kotel entrance, the roads, everything was packed for Birkat Cohanim – the Priestly Blessing of the People – now imagine if this had been held on top of Har HaBayit, the Temple Mount!

Arab road terrorists often use huge boulders to create obstacle courses in the road to slow down drivers -- and then hurl huge rocks at their hapless victims in the hope of murdering them.

Four Israeli citizens were hurt Thursday in a road terror attack near Tekoa in Gush Etzion.

Arab rioters hurl objects at Israeli security personnel who use pepper spray to quell the violence emanating from the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount.

Israel Police closed access to the Temple Mount to Jews and other non-Muslims on Thursday due to Arab violence.

Jews in Donetsk, Ukraine this week were ordered to “register” themselves and their assets.

U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East Martin Indyk is on his way back to the region to revive talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Hebron is proving to be a popular family tourist site during the Passover Holiday.

Hundreds attended the funeral of Police Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrachi, who was slain by terrorists on Passover eve.

A local Jewish merchant was stabbed Monday on the island of Djerba.

The Israeli hi-tech company Matrix has announced it is opening a “massive training center” in Nanjing, China.

Rabbis have been busy with preparations for the traditional Birkat Kohanim, Priestly Blessing, set for Thursday.

The suspect charged in the pre-Passover shooting deaths of three people outside two Kansas Jewish centers is a known white supremacist.

More than 400 people sat down at the first seder this year at the Chabad House of Bangkok, Thailand.

The following is President Obama’s statement on Passover (April 14, 2014). As he has in the past, the President held an official Passover Seder at the White House. Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Passover in the United States, in Israel, and around the world. On Tuesday, just as we […]

PM Binyamin Netanyahu blamed Palestinian Authority incitement for the terrorist murder of a police officer on Passover eve.

More Articles from Ron Kampeas

But Israel’s stance is not sufficiently consequential to set off a fight between friends, neoconservative scholars said.

Russian-Army-031414

Tensions between Russia and the West are mounting over the Russian military takeover of the Crimean Peninsula, with the United States and European countries threatening to impose sanctions.

Expansive outreach, of course, is nothing new for AIPAC. But in the wake of battles over Iran sanctions legislation that pitted the pro-Israel lobbying powerhouse against the White House, many congressional Democrats and liberals more generally, AIPAC’s traditional emphasis on Israel as a bipartisan issue has taken on added urgency.

Administration officials and Jewish groups sympathetic to Kerry’s initiative say there is a longer-term agenda in preempting attacks on the framework peace agreement the Obama administration is expected to propose soon.

“As we have since the beginning of the process, we continue to support Secretary Kerry’s diplomatic efforts to achieve a secure and lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” AIPAC spokesman Marshall Wittman said in a statement to JTA.

WASHINGTON – Until recently, the rule of thumb in the pro-Israel community was that the bigger the academic group, the less likely it was to consider a boycott of Israeli colleagues.

WASHINGTON – Amid simmering tensions over Iran policy, the Obama and Netanyahu governments appear to have quietly forged common ground in recent weeks on Israeli-Palestinian talks, with the United States accepting that a possible “framework” agreement might not address every outstanding issue in the negotiations.

WASHINGTON – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is hoping the enemy of one’s enemy truly does become a friend.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israels-reply-to-goldstone-takes-conciliatory-tone-2/2010/02/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: