They wouldn’t accept that the casualties of this war were disproportionate
By Robert Fisk
"I met Judge Richard Goldstone at The Hague at the height of the Bosnian war, a small, dapper man whose belief in the righteousness of justice shone through his every word.........He was Jewish – and not afraid to talk of his hatred of apartheid in his native South Africa – and I thought he was a fine man.
So would he be pissed on by the Israelis when he investigated the crimes of the winter war in Gaza? Or would Israel – just this once – desist from its usual venom for all critics......
For not long before the Gaza war, Gadi Eisenkot, the Israeli army northern commander, defined his doctrine very carefully. "We will wield disproportionate power against every village from which shots are fired on Israel, and cause immense damage and destruction... This isn't a suggestion. This is a plan that has already been authorised." No wonder the world watches, amazed, at Israel's response to Goldstone's conclusions. And the United States – which, of course, once defined Hiroshima as "a military base" – was either silent or took Israel's side. Barack Obama's UN ambassador, Susan Rice, condemned the Goldstone investigation with the pathetic (and, again, typical) remark that "our view is that we have to remain focused on the future".
But these things come by the bucketful. Take the Toronto Film Festival that ended this week....... ....Naomi Klein, one of the most brilliant of North America's journalists, was abused in Canada's National Post ("the strange, enduring rage of Naomi Klein"), thus cementing the paper's role as Canada's version of the Jerusalem Post.
But there was just one little hiccup for the protesters and their letter. I noticed Jane Fonda's name among them.......But I went back to my files (paper, of course) and discovered that doughty Jane turned up in Lebanon in 1982 when Israel was besieging Beirut – with plenty of white phosphorous shells falling among civilians, of course – to entertain the Israeli soldiers whose war was to claim 17,000 lives. According to Yediot Ahronot (4 July 1982, if readers want to check it out), she "expressed her identification with Israel's struggle against Palestinian terror...", later announcing her "unqualified support for Israel", attributing protests at the invasion to "anti-Semitism". (Please read Al-Hamishmar of 5 December 1982.)
Years later, she turned up in Egypt to marvel at the temples of Luxor, but refused to take questions from me on her enthusiasm for the 1982 Israeli invaders. But then, bingo, up she pops in Toronto. Until last week, when she said she'd signed the letter "without reading it carefully enough... some of the words in the protest letter did not come from my heart... Many (Israeli) citizens now suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder..." The letter did not "hear the narratives of both sides" and could be "inflammatory".
Ye gods! With Jane as a friend, you don't need enemies. But given her previous behaviour and now this grovelling backtrack, you have to admit that the Toronto protesters must have some right on their side. Like Judge Richard Goldstone."