Saturday, January 23, 2010
Sour Grapes for Goldstone
By Alexander Cockburn
"The Goldstone Report has been excoriated by the Israel lobby, denounced by the US Congress and cheered by the left for its unsparing condemnation of Israel’s conduct during its onslaught on Gaza a year ago. But Goldstone insisted as part of his brief that he would equate the actions of the occupied with those of the occupier. This is the premise of his report, and in our latest, subscriber-only newsletter, Jennifer Loewenstein describes the consequences of this fatal flaw.
“Operation Cast Lead,” Loewenstein writes, “is rarely characterized as an act of illegal and unjustifiable aggression. In fact, ultimately Goldstone’s depiction of Israel’s assault on Gaza as exercising its legitimate ‘right to self-defense’ is entirely consistent with what both U.S. and Israeli governmental and media spokespeople claimed from the beginning. …The 36 war crimes selected for careful review by the Goldstone Commission were but a sampling of thousands of illegal and unspeakable acts of savagery committed against the civilian population of Gaza; indeed, they defined the operation by being the rule rather than the exception. The entire operation was one monstrous war crime, but this plain fact eludes Justice Goldstone just as it is overlooked today in our memorials and analyses of what happened to an imprisoned and defenseless population, 56 per cent of whom are children. The ‘defensive’ nature of Israel’s military operation is rarely questioned or even noticed, and because Justice Richard Goldstone himself never undertook to question whether Operation Cast Lead had any legitimate basis from the start, the overall legal value of the Goldstone Report is seriously flawed.”
You’ll find Loewenstein’s full, brilliant analysis in this latest, subscriber-only newsletter....."