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March 30, 2015 / 10 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Goldstone Report’

Schabas Replaced — With Goldstone Investigator

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Just a day after William Schabas quit as head of the UN’s anti-Israel Gaza investigation, the UN Human Rights Council has quickly managed to replace him, and they didn’t have to search very far to find exactly who they needed.

Mary McGowan Davis, a member of the Goldstone Report team, the previous anti-Israel UN report, has been appointed to succeed Schabas.

Schabas’s anti-Israel bias was open for anyone to hear, though it was a surprise to many when Schabas revealed in his resignation letter that he had worked as a consultant for the PLO in the past. Apparently Israel had discovered and exposed that fascinating tidbit, forcing Schabas to step down.

Mary McGowan Davis is a former New York Supreme Court Judge.

Her former investigative partner Richard Goldstone, after whom the Goldstone Report was named, retracted the main accusations of his own anti-Israel report, after it was published.

McGowan Davis on the other hand, continued with her separate report based on the assumption that the report was factual, despite it’s primary author’s retraction.

McGowan Davis said, “Our mandate was to take his report as given and start from there.” – don’t confuse her with the facts.

Obviously if you begin with a false premise you’re going to likely reach false conclusions.

It will be interesting to learn what else Israel digs up on these UN “investigators”.

US Strongly Backs Israel over ICC Move to Probe Israel for War Crimes

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

The U.S. State Dept. has strongly attacked the International Criminal Court (ICC) for opening a probe of alleged Israeli war comes and left open the question whether the ICC even has the a right to conduct a probe of last year’s war with Hamas.

The State Dept. called the ICC announcement a “tragic irony,” a statement that was further bolstered by praise for the ICC decision by Hamas, which may find itself under the ICC microscope.

Jeff Rathke, director of the State Dept. press office, stated:

We strongly disagree with the ICC Prosecutor’s action today. As we have said repeatedly, we do not believe that Palestine is a state and therefore we do not believe that it is eligible to join the ICC. It is a tragic irony that Israel, which has withstood thousands of terrorist rockets fired at its civilians and its neighborhoods, is now being scrutinized by the ICC.

He told reporters at Friday’s daily press briefing:

We don’t think that the Palestinians have established a state, and we don’t think they’re eligible to join the International Criminal Court. I would highlight that many other countries share this view.

In answer to a question whether the ICC is conducting “an illegitimate preliminary examination,” Rathke responded, ” I’m not going to characterize it.,” and he declined to say one way or the other if the United States will appeal to the ICC to drop the preliminary examination.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke with Sec. of State John Kerry Friday and asked him to intervene against the ICC on behalf of Israel

Hamas was thrilled by the ICC decision and declared on Saturday, “We are ready to provide (the court) with thousands of reports and documents that confirm the Zionist enemy has committed horrible crimes against Gaza and against our people.”

“Tragic irony” is an excellent definition of the ICC decision, which is even more astonishing since it apparently follows a complaint by the Palestinian Authority, which will not be a member of the ICC until April 1.

Technically, the ICC is off the hook of overreaching its authority.

The “Rome Statute” concerning war crimes states that non-members cannot ask for an investigation of war crimes.

The ICC got around this restriction by stating it is “examining” whether an investigation should be conducted, and it obviously cannot make a decision until April 1.

But how can the ICC examine alleged war crimes dating back to last year, when the Palestinian Authority did not even apply for ICC membership.

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas presented documents to the ICC giving it authority to act retroactively.

The ICC stated it will open its examination on alleged Israeli war crimes in last summers’ war with “full independence and impartiality.”

If so, it will have a hard time ignoring Hamas war crimes, which Israel documented day by day in the war, having learned to do so after the United Nations’ scathing Goldstone Report that barely mentioned Hamas’ war crimes in the three-week Operation Cast Lead counter-terrorist campaign in late December 2008 and early January 2009.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said that the ICC announcement of a preliminary examination as based on an “outrageous request” by the Palestinian Authority.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/fresno-zionism/us-reform-jews-following-same-path-as-in-1940s/2014/04/28/

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