Why I Haven’t Written About the Goldstone Report

A lot of bloggers have written posts condemning the Goldstone report. I haven’t – for a very simple reason.

It makes me happy when the UN freaks out and condemns Israel – because it means that we did something right – we defended ourselves.

I didn’t know exactly how to express this, and today I came across Sarah Honig’s article – basically saying the same thing.

There are some who claim that the various condemnations are terrible for Israeli public relations, and worry about our image. My opinion is that the people who hate Israel and/or are anti-Semitic, do so for reasons of their own. The hate comes first, and then they point to various (usually distorted or false altogether) incidents to prove why they are correct in hating us. Perhaps they were taught to be that way from childhood, inheriting their hatred from their parents. Perhaps they have had a bad experience with an Israeli or someone obviously Jewish. The answer to this is for Jews to be careful in their private behavior, always remembering that their actions are under scrutiny. But there is no reason for those in charge of our security to change their actions in fear of our “image”. (This is not to say that there is no importance at all for the IDF to publish reports and videos showing our side of the conflict. I think it is positive, but mainly in order to give us more leeway to accomplish the main goal – protect ourselves.)

I wrote similar thoughts here, and I stand by them today.

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16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Why I Haven’t Written About the Goldstone Report | JewPI
  2. Awamori
    Oct 24, 2009 @ 18:30:30

    Image of the state id very important, but lets not forget that Israel has the right to defend it’s citizens from the daily attacks of the Hamas.

  3. rooster
    Oct 25, 2009 @ 23:00:39

    i think you just can’t stand any criticism of your country, that’s all. So whenever you hear any sort of criticism, you turn to good old rethoric like “anti-semitism”, “freaks” or “they hate us” etc. BTW, it’s easy to call UN “freaks” when you don’t like their reports, but i’m pretty sure you listen to them everytime they criticize Palestinians or Iran…

  4. Shimshonit
    Oct 26, 2009 @ 07:30:46

    Rooster: The United Nations NEVER criticize Iran or the Palestinians (or Hamas or Hizbullah or any other terrorists, with or without their own state). That’s part of the problem, don’t you think?

    Westbankmama: I like this post. I have a long post about the Goldstone Report, but I liked Sarah Honig’s article too, and the perspective it offered. I hate when Israel feels it has to spend valuable time and energy defending its actions and its basic right to protect itself. We had neighbors over for Shabbat lunch a couple of weeks ago, and what they said about Jewish life in Britain goes for anywhere else too–there is little point in having “dialogue” they said, when the people who like you are going to listen to and understand you, and the people who don’t like you are going to attack you any chance they get.

  5. Jack
    Oct 26, 2009 @ 07:45:23

    i think you just can’t stand any criticism of your country

    Why not provide some specifics for us to discuss?

  6. rooster
    Oct 26, 2009 @ 12:24:25

    But the UN DO criticize Iran, Palestinians and Hezbollah, Shimshonit. It’s really not hard to find such critical reports and resolutions (google). Goldstone report criticized Hamas, too. So I don’t see any “problem” there.

  7. Jack
    Oct 26, 2009 @ 15:09:48

    Well Rooster you didn’t provide any specific examples for us to discuss.
    Robert Bernstein, the founder of the Human Rights Watch just wrote an editorial (http://tinyurl.com/yl6york) about how the group has lost perspective and is unfair in its crticism of Israel.

    Should I bother providing the number of resolutions that have been written in which Israel is condemned versus the number that condemn champions of civil rights, such as Saudi Arabia. You know, the fine people that whip elderly women for being alone with men and allow children to die in fires because they aren’t dressed appropriately. Not to mention that they permit men to marry children.

    The reality is that things are imbalanced. And if you spent some real time reading you would see that lots of people haven’t any issue with fair and balanced criticism of Israel.

    Israel like every country makes plenty of mistakes, big deal. But when the scales are so heavily weighted to one side that people make excuses for those who engage in wholesale murder of innocents all we can say to the other side is suck it.

    You want to ignore rockets that are intentionally fired at school yards, fine. All it does is prove that you haven’t any ground to stand upon.

  8. rooster
    Oct 26, 2009 @ 17:00:07

    Who talked about ignoring Hamas rockets, Jack? Not me. But that wasn’t the case anyway. Whether the things really are imbalanced or not is at least discussable. I for instance think the Goldstone and AI report are decent and respectable works. On the other hand, Israeli government and the army don’t like them, which is not surprising. You know, the government of China or Saudi Arabia (you mentioned) didn’t like the Human rights critical reports from their countries, either, but does it mean the reports were wrong?

    I was just saying that it is always easy to discredit people or reports that criticize you or your country. It is easy to say: “I’m right, they’re wrong.” But is it always right? No. One needs a little self-criticism. Yehoshafat Harkabi, the longest serving Israeli Director of Military Intelligence once wrote: “No factor endangers Israel’s future more than self-righteousness, which blinds us to reality, prevents a complex understanding of the situation, and legitimizes extreme behavior.” He’s so right.

    The blockade of humanitarian relief, the destruction of civilian infrastructure, and preventing access to basic necessities such as food and fuel, are war crimes. Of course, firing rockets by Hamas into Israel and suicide bombings are contrary to international humanitarian law too, nobody’s denying it. It’s all written in the Goldstone report. So what’s the problem?

  9. westbankmama
    Oct 27, 2009 @ 10:23:35

    rooster – Israel did not blockade humanitarian relief. During the war in Gaza the IDF let trucks in. In adddition, Gaza shares a border with Egypt. Do you criticize Egypt for closing its border with Gaza?

  10. rooster
    Oct 28, 2009 @ 16:59:28

    I’m afraid the reports don’t confirm your words, westbankmama. As for Egypt, I don’t really criticize it, because it wasn’t Egypt who attacked Gaza.

  11. Shimshonit
    Oct 29, 2009 @ 19:52:58

    And will Hamas leaders be tried for war crimes by the International Criminal Court as a result of their firing rockets and mortars on Israeli civilians for eight years? Or for using their own people as human shields? Or for violating the Geneva Conventions in a dozen different ways? Or for crossing the border into Israel to kidnap Gilad Shalit, and keeping him hidden without any access to visits from the Red Cross or contact with his family? Or for killing dozens, if not hundreds, of democratically elected Fatah operatives in their bloody takeover of Gaza in 2007? “The blockade of humanitarian relief, the destruction of civilian infrastructure, and preventing access to basic necessities such as food and fuel” are only accurate observations if one is pointing the finger at Hamas. The war was the direct result of Hamas’s unprovoked attacks against Israel. If they’d been more interested in providing decent government for their people than attacking Israeli civilians, Operation Cast Lead would never have happened. If you want to prosecute anyone for war crimes, it should be Hamas, not Israel.

    But I can see that rooster’s mind is made up, and the facts have no bearing on that kind of thinking. Don’t worry, rooster. Go back to sleep.

  12. rooster
    Nov 01, 2009 @ 14:17:10

    I won’t worry, shimmy. Just a little advice: try to look on BOTH sides, not just one. While I said both sides comitted war crimes, you only criticize Hamas. You cleary don’t see there’s an occupation. Look how do Palestinians live… Hamas and other radical groups wouldn’t need to attack israel if there was no occupation, to start with it. And by the way, Operation Cast Lead was not a self-defence, it was an agression (just look how many civiliand have been killed!).

  13. Shimshonit
    Nov 03, 2009 @ 18:29:43

    Can you name one (just ONE) international law that was broken by Israel during Operation Cast Lead? Go ahead. Take your time.

    The Palestinian Arab leadership has turned down three VERY generous offers of a state in the last 10 years. Why? They’re more interested in trying to eradicate Israel than living in a state of their own. Not wise, but it’s what they’ve chosen.

    I do see both sides of the issue. Do you live near Arabs under “occupation”? I do. I see them every day, and how hard they work to make a living, just like everyone else. If they had a government that was willing to give them a state of their own, that was willing to build an economy they could make a living in (instead of relying on Israel’s economy to support themselves) they might be happy. Then again, many of them ARE satisfied living under the current “occupation,” because it means that while they have a completely incompetent government that embarrasses them in front of the rest of the world, they can still feed their families. And I can assure you, West Bank Arabs have no desire to be taken over by Hamas and watch their lives be destroyed in the filth and poverty that have been visited on Gazans by Hamas.

    The number of civilians killed bears no relation to what is “aggression” and what is “self-defense.” When the US saturation-bombed Dresden, was that “aggression” or “self-defense”? Israel and Hamas are at war. Hamas chooses to hide behind civilians because they do not value human life, even their own. Were Israel to refrain from fighting Hamas, the alternative would be to keep getting shot at by Hamas. That’s clearly your preference. Forgive me if, as an Israeli, I don’t share your preference. We Jews are a little sick of being slaughtered by those who hate us.

  14. Alex - Israeli Uncensored News
    Nov 03, 2009 @ 21:30:17

    Yours is a correct attitude. With UN, the worse is the better. Perhaps one day we would leave that barbarian conference

  15. rooster
    Nov 04, 2009 @ 14:09:01

    If you’re interested in connection between Operation Cast Lead and possible war crimes, please read any of the reports from AI, B’Ts, UN, Goldstone, HRW etc.

    I don’t live live near Arabs under occupation. But I’m watching TV and reading newspapers. It’s not hard to see who’s the victim and who’s the agressor. You said: “If they had a government that was willing to give them a state of their own, that was willing to build an economy…”. You think their government(s) doesn’t want a state and stronger economy? Don’t you see that Israeli occupation is preventing the Palestinians from getting a state? Don’t you see that Israel has a very strong influence on Palestinian (especially Gaza’s) economy? Gaza’s economy depends on Israel. That’s the problem. I’m not saying that Palestinian leaders are perfect or that they’re doing all they can, because they’re NOT. I’m just sayin that Israel is playing an important role, too.

    “West Bank Arabs have no desire to be taken over by Hamas and watch their lives be destroyed in the filth and poverty that have been visited on Gazans by Hamas.” — I believe you, but don’t you think it would be fair to say that both – Israel and Hamas are responsible for the miserable situation in Gaza? As soon as Hamas won the election there, Israel and Bush pressed the world to ignore and isolate them. No wonder Gazans are living in a terrible conditions.

    “Were Israel to refrain from fighting Hamas, the alternative would be to keep getting shot at by Hamas. That’s clearly your preference. Forgive me if, as an Israeli, I don’t share your preference. We Jews are a little sick of being slaughtered by those who hate us. ” — … Hate us… There you go… Criticizing your state (government, army) does NOT mean hating your people. For instance, I criticized Sri Lanka for killing hundrets of civilians in their fight against Tamil Tigers; does it mean I hate all the Sri Lankas? BTW, you sound like Israel had no choice but to kill 1000 of Palestinians and destroy their schools. Like they’re not humans. Do you imagine what would happen it some nation/group killed, say, 100 Americans or Israelis in one week?

  16. Trackback: On bleeding hearts « Shimshonit

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