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February 1, 2015 / 12 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Goldstone Report’

Schabas’s ‘Goldstone 2′ Investigation Team Denied Entry Into Israel

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

The three members of William Schabas’s UN team, mandated to investigate Israel for daring to defend itself against Hamas terrorism this past summer have not been allowed into Israel. Their entry visas have been denied, and they are currently sitting on their thumbs in Jordan since the beginning of the week.

Furthermore, Israel has declared it will not cooperate with their openly hostile UN investigation against Israel.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry officials believe the conclusions of the report have already been decided.

Schabas’s investigative committee is being likened to its predecessor, the Goldstone report, which resulted in such a skewed, factually incorrect, and anti-Israel report that even Richard Goldstone, the fact-finding mission’s head eventually renounced it, and admitted the “original mandate [for the investigation] adopted by the Human Rights Council… was skewed against Israel”.

The Schabas team needs to enter Israel if it is to get into Gaza.

Due to Hamas and Gaza’s alleged connections to the string of Sinai terror attacks against Egypt, Egypt has shut down all passage into Gaza from the Sinai.

Perhaps they’ll blame that on Israel too.

The United Nations Commission of Inquiry

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

War crimes are a serious business. Governments that commit them ought to be held responsible. The Allied forces did a good job doing that after the Holocaust, where Nazi Officials were tried for crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg trials. Many leaders of the 3rd Reich were found guilty of genocide against the Jewish people and were hanged.. That event in 1945-46 was clearly an exercise in justice.

Fast Forward to today. The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has created a panel to investigate whether there were any war crimes committed by Israel during its recent war with Hamas in Gaza. To compare in any way what the Nuremberg trials were about in 1945 with what is going on today, is a blasphemy. It is an insult to any version of ethics and morality that anyone can imagine.

During the course of the war, Israel was singled out for criticism by Navi Pillay, a U.N. human rights official. She accused Israel of deliberately defying international law and should be held accountable for possible war crimes.

From the Forward:

Israel has attacked homes, schools, hospitals, Gaza’s only power plant and U.N. premises in apparent violation of the Geneva Conventions, said Pillay, a former U.N. war crimes judge.

And then in an obvious pretense to seem even handed she said the following:

Hamas militants in Gaza have violated international humanitarian law by firing rockets indiscriminately into Israel.

Is there any doubt that this panel is anti-Israel from the get-go? The people on this must be some of the most ethically challenged individuals in the history of the UN. But the real culprit William Schabas, who by comparison makes Richard Goldstone look like a saint. Goldstone’s panel concluded that Israel deliberately targeted the citizens of Gaza in the 2009 war. A conclusion Goldstone himself retracted in 2011 (…no doubt to the chagrin of Schabas who suggested he be put on the short list of Nobel Peace Prize nominees when the Goldstone report was first issued).

I’m sure the UN purposely chose Jews like Goldstone and Schabas as a cynical ploy to show that this is not about Antisemitism.

But the fact that they are Jewish does not make them any more evenhanded about the State of Israel than the members of Neturei Karta who carry Palestinian flags as they attend anti Israel rallies with Muslim extremists and their sympathizers who join them in calling for the dismantling of the State of Israel.

How in heaven’s name can someone who has said that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and former president Shimon Peres should be indicted before the International Criminal Court be considered even handed – and chosen to investigate whether war crimes were committed?

Even after he was appointed to head that committee, a video published by UN Watch revealed him saying the following to mocking laughter by other members of the committee:

“Honestly, if I had to think of a person who is considered the greatest threat to the survival of Israel, I would probably choose to Netanyahu,”

I agree with Israel’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ron Proser, who said the following:

“Forming an investigatory committee headed by Schabas is like inviting ISIS to organize religious tolerance week at the UN…”

(I’m sure their final report will include Israel’s disproportionate response to Hamas rockets. After all – not enough Jews were killed.)

Is there any sane individual that would say that a committee composed of these individuals has any credibility at all? That the UNHRC can set this up and call it even-handed with a straight face is proof positive that they are heavily biased against the Jewish State. Espicially since UNHRC has never called for similar inquiries into some of the most evil despotic genocidal regimes that are all members in good standing of the UN.

Hamas’ Phony Statistics on Civilian Deaths

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

It’s a mystery why so many in the media accept as gospel Hamas-supplied figures on the number of civilians killed in the recent war. Hamas claims that of the more than 1800 Palestinians killed close to 90% were civilians. Israel, on the other hand, says that close to half of them were combatants. The objective facts support a number much closer to Israel’s than to Hamas’.

Even human rights group antagonistic to Israel acknowledge, according to a New York Times report, that Hamas probably counts among the “civilians killed by Israel” the following groups: Palestinians killed by Hamas as collaborators; Palestinians killed through domestic violence; Palestinians killed by errant Hamas rockets or mortars; and Palestinians who died naturally during the conflict. I wonder if Hamas also included the reported 162 children who died while performing child slave labor in building their terror tunnels. Hamas also defines combatants to include only armed fighters who were killed while fighting Israelis. They exclude Hamas supporters who build tunnels, who allow their homes to be used to store and fire rockets, Hamas policemen, members of the Hamas political wing and others who work hand in hand with the armed terrorists.

Several years ago I came up with a concept which I call, the “continuum of civilianality”—an inelegant phrase that is intended to convey the reality that who is a civilian and who is a combatant is often a matter of degree. Clearly every child below the age in which he or she is capable of assisting Hamas is a civilian. Clearly every Hamas fighter who fires rockets, bears arms, or operates in the tunnels is a combatant. Between these extremes lie a wide range of people, some of whom are closer to the civilian end, many of whom who are closer to the combatant end. The law of war has not established a clear line between combatants and civilians, especially in the context of urban warfare where people carry guns at night and bake bread during the day, or fire rockets during the day and go back home to sleep with their families at night. (Interestingly the Israeli Supreme Court has tried to devise a functional definition of combatants in the murky context of urban guerrilla warfare.)

Data published by the New York Times strongly suggest that a very large number—perhaps a majority—of those killed are closer to the combatant end of the continuum than to the civilian end. First of all, the vast majority of those killed have been male rather than female. In an Islamic society, males are far more likely to be combatants than females. Second, most of those killed are within the age range (15-40) that are likely to be combatants. The vast majority of these are male as well. The number of people over 60 who have been killed is infinitesimal. The number of children below the age of 15 is also relatively small, although their pictures have been shown more frequently than others. In other words, the genders and ages of those killed are not representative of the general population of Gaza. It is far more representative of the genders and ages of combatants. These data strongly suggest that a very large percentage of Palestinians killed are on the combatant side of the continuum.

They also prove, as if any proof were necessary to unbiased eyes, that Israel did not target civilians randomly. If it had, the dead would be representative of the Gaza population in general, rather than of the subgroups most closely identified with combatants.

The media should immediately stop using Hamas-approved statistics, which in the past have proved to be extremely unreliable. Instead, they should try to document, independently, the nature of each person killed and describe their age, gender, occupation, affiliation with Hamas and other objective factors relevant to their status as a combatant, non-combatant or someone in the middle. It is lazy and dangerous for the media to rely on Hamas-approved propaganda figures. In fact, when the infamous Goldstone Report falsely stated that the vast majority of people killed in Operation Cast Lead were civilians and not Hamas fighters, many in Gaza complained to Hamas. They accused Hamas of cowardice for allowing so many civilians to be killed while protecting their own fighters. As a result of these complaints, Hamas was forced to tell the truth: namely that many more of those killed were actually Hamas fighters or armed policemen. It is likely that Hamas will make a similar “correction” with regard to this conflict. But that correction will not be covered by the media, as the prior correction was not.

The Celebrate Parade and the ‘Boycott Israel Fund’

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

On June 1, the 50th annual Zionist parade, the “Celebrate Israel Parade” will take place in Manhattan. It is one of the most important, visible and widely attended  pro-Israel events for the American Jewish community, a community which impacts Israel’s future almost as much as the people in Israel.

The hallmark of the parade has always been an unabashed pride and love of Israel, both from its  hundreds  of participating organizations and its hundreds of thousands of viewers.

Strange then that this year, there will also be a participating organization which is perceived by millions of Jews around the world as not only a complete stranger to the essence of Zionism, but also as one of its most significant opponents – the New Israel Fund (NIF).

In truth the NIF is like the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing.  Despite exhausting public relations contortions to convince Jews that they are Zionistic supporters of Israel, their actions consistently demonstrate the exact opposite posture.

Whether it has been their past relationship with the notoriously anti-Semitic Ford Foundation, or their close involvement of the organizations which filled the infamous Goldstone Report with accusations of IDF war crimes, or the statement by their former Vice-CEO, Hedva Radovanitz, that “If Israel were to disappear, it wouldn’t be a tragedy” it is inescapable that the NIF is out to undermine Israel as a strong Jewish State.

Of course, this is not how they present themselves in their frequent well-funded marketing campaigns.

In the toxic arena of Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), the New Israel Fund is particularly disingenuous. It declares on the one hand that it will not support organizations calling for a boycott of Israel, or activities encouraging a boycott. However, as recently as April 11 the Fund’s spokesperson, Naomi Paiss, told the Ma’ariv newspaper that “since it [the NIF] objects to the occupation and the settlement project… it will not avoid supporting organizations that encourage not consuming or buying products manufactured in the settlements…”

Huh?

The difference between organizations encouraging a “boycott” against Israel and organizations encouraging “not consuming” Israeli products, is similar to the distinction made between a terror organization and an organization that kills innocent people for political gains.

It is a distinction without a difference.

And so, the NIF openly supports organizations such as the “Social Television”, which promotes the use of the “Buycott” [a combination of the words “buy” and “boycott”] app to identify and boycott Israeli products, and Adalah, whose Negev branch head, Dr. Thabet Abu Rass, admitted following an assignment to Brussels that he wanted “To encourage policy designers to increase diplomatic pressure on Israel.” And there are more of the same

Increasingly, people in Israel are waking up to the insidious nature of the New Israel Fund. They are not fooled by semantics where not consuming products made in Israel is somehow not a boycott. It is time for American Jews to see the NIF clearly for what it is, and to shun it.

Having the NIF march in the Israel Day Parade is to turn support for Israel on its head. Having a big tent of various organizations is one thing; willingly welcoming those who seek your destruction is another thing.

The NIF is way too smart to forthrightly express their true destructive anti-Zionist beliefs and intentions. But the consequences of their many activities would lead to the same disastrous results.

The sooner American Jews reject the New Israel Fund, the better. The Celebrate Israel Parade is a great place to start.

This article was reprinted with permission of the author.

US Reform Jews Following Same Path as in 1940s

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom haShoah. Although I agree with those who say that preservation of the historical record is a necessary part of preventing its repetition, I am very uncomfortable with its use to produce an emotional catharsis, which often stands in the way of facing the real threats against the Jewish people today. The same people who cry over the dead Jews of the 1940s often have no problem taking anti-Zionist positions today — or supporting politicians like Barack Obama, whose policies are inimical to the continued existence of the Jewish state, and therefore the Jewish people.

The Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) as seems not to have noticed Yom haShoah this year — at least, I can’t find anything on its website. Individual congregations, like the one in our town, are holding commemorative events. Possibly they have decided to deemphasize the observance.

But the URJ’s drift in the direction of anti-Zionist politics hasn’t stopped. Under the leadership of its President Rabbi Richard ‘Rick’ Jacobs, we find the URJ supporting the phony ‘pro-Israel’ organization J Street in its bid to join the Council of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. J Street — which called for a cease-fire on the first day of Operation Cast Lead in 2009, which supported an anti-Israel resolution in the UN Security council (which the US vetoed), which consistently opposed sanctions on Iran, which supported the conclusions of the Goldstone Report (later repudiated by its author) that accused the IDF of war crimes in Gaza and introduced Goldstone to members of Congress, which has invited viciously anti-Zionist and pro-BDS speakers like Mustafa Barghouti, Rebecca Vilkomerson and James Zogby to its annual conferences, but which refused to allow liberal Zionist Alan Dershowitz to speak — is anything but pro-Israel. It is, however, very pro-Obama.

It is ironic, then that the liberal wing of the Jewish establishment in the US is following the same path as it did in the 1940s, when, out of loyalty to a liberal president and his party, it worked against the true interests of the Jewish people. The danger is not as immediate today as it was in the dark days of WWII, although the Iranian nuclear project, which is being facilitated by the policy of the Obama Administration, could very quickly change this.

I am therefore taking this occasion to republish the following, which I wrote several years ago. It is even more timely today.

—————————————————————

The failure of the liberal Jewish establishment, then and now

by Vic Rosenthal, 8/7/2011

400 mostly Orthodox rabbis march to the White House on October 6, 1943. Roosevelt avoided meeting with them.

It’s well-known that the Roosevelt Administration did little to help European Jews during the Holocaust. Unfortunately, part of the blame falls on American Jewry, which was sharply divided about how to respond — a fact which caused good men in the government to hesitate, while it gave antisemites an excuse to resist taking action.

The NY Times has published a piece by Isabel Kershner that may bring more attention to the shameful stupidity of the Jewish establishment during that period:

The Bergson group formed in 1940 when about 10 young Jews from Palestine and Europe came to the United States to open a fund-raising and propaganda operation for the Irgun, the right-wing Zionist militia. The group was organized by Hillel Kook, a charismatic Irgun leader who adopted the pseudonym Peter H. Bergson. [Samuel] Merlin was his right-hand man.

Women of the Wall Leadership Linked to Anti-Israel Groups

Sunday, November 10th, 2013

While Women of the Wall has built up a name for themselves as a feminist organization promoting women’s rights in Israel, their leadership in fact have links to anti-Israel groups that not many people know about.

In Israel, Women of the Wall is often presented as a feminist organization seeking to conduct egalitarian prayer services with women wearing tallits at the Western Wall, the last remnant of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, the holiest site within the Jewish faith. Regardless of whether one views their actions as provocative publicity stunts that disturb the peace at the Western Wall or as noble deeds designed to promote women’s rights within the Jewish religion, the Israeli public is generally not aware that the Women of the Wall leadership possesses links to anti-Israel groups.

The Jewish Press has learned that Women of the Wall Vice Chair Batya Kallus serves as an adviser to Sikkuy. This NGO is a signatory to the Haifa Declaration, which calls for the abolishing of the State of Israel, praises violent resistance, and accuses Israel of manipulating the memory of the Holocaust for political purposes.

Furthermore, Kallus has facilitated funding for anti-Israel groups Adalah, Ir Amin, Yesh Din, and Mossawa, as part of her position as programs officer for the Moria Fund. Though outwardly presented as human rights groups, these organizations contribute towards the delegitimization of Israel in the world.

Adalah is opposed to Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, views Israel to be a colonial state, and has participated in anti-Israel activism via Israel Apartheid Weeks and the Goldstone Report, which until its arguments were retracted by its main author caused Israel significant diplomatic damage. Adalah is mentioned by name 38 times in the Goldstone Report.

Ir Amim supports the division of Jerusalem, has asserted that Israel’s archaeological digs within the city are a “tool in the fight for control” over the city, that Israeli governmental powers are being handed over to “settler organizations,” and that the Security Barrier is not motivated primarily by security concerns. They run highly politicized anti-Israel tours of the holy city, which indoctrinate internationals into holding anti-Israel views. In the Huffington Post, Ir Amim appealed to the US Government to “threaten Israel with severing diplomatic ties. Threaten us with cutting back on, or even cutting off, the annual support package. Bludgeon us over the head and force us to wise up.”

Yesh Din views Israel to be an apartheid state and demonstrated support for Turkey after the Gaza Flotilla incident, even though the Turkish sailors on board the Mavi Marmara ship chanted jihadi slogans and attacked IDF soldiers. They routinely indoctrinate foreign diplomats to hold anti-Israel views, petition the Israeli Supreme Court to rule more in favor of the Palestinian side, and encourage Palestinians to demand more from Israel.

Mossawa is based on the premise that “the State of Israel was established on the ruins of the Palestinian people, for whom the event was a national tragedy – the Nakba.” Mossawa, like Adalah, explicitly has stated that they refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. They publish an annual racism report that makes outrageous claims, such as labeling an indictment against Hadash Chairman MK Muhammad Barakeh for assaulting a police officer as a violation of the Arab MK’s political freedom. This listing just represents a sample of the types of organizations that Kallus facilitated funding for.

Woman of the Wall Chair Anat Hoffman also happens to be the chair of the Domari Society of Gypsies in Jerusalem. Her association partners include Yonathan Mizrahi and Dafna Strauss from the Emek Shaveh organization, which calls for an international committee to investigate Israeli archaeological work in Jerusalem and runs archaeology-based anti-Israel tours of the city.

The Domari Society of Gypsies is also part of Al Aqsa Grassroots, an anti-Israel network that supports “resistance to the occupation” and is against the “Judaization of Jerusalem,” in addition to supporting the Palestinian right of return to Israel proper.

Additionally, prior to the 1993 Oslo Accords, Hoffman was the chairwoman of Women in Black, a group that advocates giving all of Judea and Samaria, as well as East Jerusalem which includes the area of the Kotel, to the Palestinian Authority. Interestingly, the Women of the Wall organization do not deny these accusations in regards to their leadership. Women of the Wall spokeswoman Shira Pruce stated, “Our participants and supporters come from all walks of life, political opinions, and Jewish denominations.”

The ‘Merely Wounded’ In Terror Attacks

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Back in 2009, the now infamous Goldstone Report was first released by the UN’s Human Rights Council. Regrettably, it took an unreasonably one-sided look at Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, originally choosing to ignore vital aspects of antecedent anti-Israel terrorism. Most conspicuously disregarded by Judge Goldstone was this principal fact: Israel’s purposefully limited military operation had represented an essential self-defense action, one that had also been supported by longstanding codified and customary international law.

In essence, thoroughly unreported was the information that Cast Lead had been initiated reluctantly by Israel, and solely to ward off unending and still-escalating acts of Palestinian terrorism.

To recall the pertinent details even more fully, by the end of December 2008 nothing had been working to safeguard Israel from relentless terror attacks. All attempts at diplomacy had already failed in the face of a hideously recalcitrant enemy, one that was literally and lasciviously intoxicated by opportunities to inflict terror violence. At that time, could Jerusalem have chosen to rely more heavily for protection on the “international community”? The question itself is preposterous, a prima facie expression of an absurdly otherworldly naiveté.

On December 27, 2008, Israel commenced Operation Cast Lead. It was a long-delayed and substantially limited response to eight years of continuously barbarous Hamas terror. Ultimately, the entire operation was over in less than a month. True to established IDF doctrine, the conflict was designed and executed as an inherently short operation.

Most IDF activity had been directed toward destroying the thousands of still-remaining Hamas rockets, and to slowing the massive smuggling of arms from Egypt into Gaza. At the same time, Cast Lead had sought to reduce the incidence of future terror attacks upon Israelis, including so-called martyrdom attacks, not just those randomly inflicted assaults that were being launched, at a conveniently safe distance, by Palestinian mortars and Kassams.

Oddly, even today, the legally unsupportable idea of terror bombing as “resistance” is widely accepted throughout the world as permissible. At times, especially when it is a “suicide bombing,” this tactic is celebrated as “heroic.” What all such plainly romanticized views ignore is not merely the flagrant and incontestable violations of law, particularly violations of the basic or “peremptory” principle of discrimination or distinction (between combatants and noncombatants), but also the core medical and human horror of what these terrorists actually unleash.

For Boston, in the wake of the Marathon attack, and indeed for America, Israel may be a microcosm. Israel has suffered thousands of terror attacks since the start of the misconceived Oslo “Peace” Accords in 1993. Whether perpetrated by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, or the Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, these attacks have intentionally killed and maimed large numbers of unprotected civilians, usually women and children.

Typically, post-attack casualty counts refer to those maimed victims as “merely wounded,” but this is a notably grave misrepresentation of what is genuinely being suffered.

What, exactly, does it mean to be merely wounded in an Arab “martyrdom” or more long distance terror-bombing attack?

Today, the authoritative answer to this question may apply equally to the recent victims of the Boston Marathon bombing here in the United States.

By looking back systematically at Israeli terror victims, we can learn more about what actually happened to recent terror victims in Boston, and what could still happen elsewhere in the uncertain American future.

Sometimes, the human impact of terrorist bombings can be made at least partially evident on radiographic images. X-rays of terror bombing victims in Israel have shown hundreds of metallic fragments, ranging in size from millimeters to whole nails, embedded in the victims’ bodies – literally, from head to foot. What had been created originally by civilized human beings for constructive purposes is now being transformed by both anti-Israel and anti-U.S. terrorists into the cruelest of aimless projectiles.

In Boston as in Tel Aviv, nails, screws, nuts, and ball-bearings were included by the bombers to maximize lethal effects and also, of course, to inflict gratuitous pain and suffering on victims’ bodies. These objects, sometimes after being dipped in rat poison, or other available toxins, are deliberately propelled into skin, flesh, and bone with the ballistic force of bullets.

There is more. Usually, the nails fly head first, presenting themselves in a strangely surreal yet also orderly arrangement within the victims’ bodies. Many are embedded “only” to the depth of their entrance sites. Others burrow their way in more deeply, and lodge palpably under the skin, where the examining physician can touch and feel their alien presence.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/louis-bene-beres/the-merely-wounded-in-terror-attacks/2013/06/06/

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