Just imagine if after the post-September 11th US attack on Afghanistan the UN interviewed Taliban and al-Qaida supporters who told lots of lies about the US just to provide propaganda to de-legitimize America. What if the UN “investigators” cherry-picked the stories which made the US look like a war criminal and the terrorists as the victims. And Imagine if the UN published a report based on those tall tales, and called for the US to be punished as a war criminal.
That is what happened to Israel. After suffering years of terrorist attacks at the hands of Hamas terrorists, the United Nations sent South African Judge Richard Goldstone on a fact-finding mission examining Israel’s Operation Cast Lead against Hamas in Gaza. The Goldstone report, the mission’s 575-page report (PDF format) found that “Israel committed actions amounting to war crimes, possibly crimes against humanity.”
The Goldstone Report is not objective and is, in fact tainted by bias and politicization, both from the UN Human Rights Council and members of the mission itself. It also served Judge Goldstone’s political desire to one day become Secretary General of the UN.
This tainted report is not just a threat to Israel. The same forces in the UN that hate Israel, still hate the United States.If we allow the UN to persecute one country, it can persecute everybody. If we let the United Nations get away with trumping up charges against the IDF and Israel, they will come after the United States and our heroes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The respected Journal, The Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) has published a two-part review of the Goldstone Report. Rather than rely on emotions and hearsay, the review is a great factual look at where Judge Goldstone went wrong and why it is a danger to the western world.
There is perhaps no subject that embodies and sheds light on so many of the issues that torment the early twenty-first century, more than the Goldstone Report and its controversies. The report’s many and complex facets detail the dysfunctions of global public discourse, from the themes it explicitly addresses (universal human rights, international law of war, terrorism, asymmetrical warfare, the Arab-Israeli conflict), to its framework (politics of the UN Human Rights Council, reporting of the mainstream news media, the role of NGO research), to the dynamics of its reception in public discourse (critique, Israeli and Palestinian ambivalences, Western and UN politics, and Goldstone’s public appearances). Indeed, a close analysis of the report’s method and conclusions raises some of the fundamental cognitive issues of our time: religious and cultural discontinuities, scapegoating, cognitive egocentrism, post-modern epistemology, jihadi mentalities, antisemitism, and Jewish self-criticism. Anyone who understands the Goldstone report and its devastating ironies of content and impact gains a basic insight into how and why the very nations that have inaugurated modernity and globalization are losing a cognitive war with pre-modern forces.
….It is difficult to specify what is wrong with the Goldstone Report since its failures are so pervasive. This article will highlight four fundamental errors of this report, all of which compounded each other and literally inverted the understanding of its readers as to what happened during Operation Cast Lead. These include:
1) Failure to investigate Hamas’s use of civilian shields
2) Credulity of Palestinian sources
3) Systematic attribution of malevolent intention to Israeli forces and studied agnosticism about Palestinian intentions
4) Exceptionally judgmental conclusions for admittedly inadequate evidence.
After going over each of these items, the article reviews some of the reasons for these pervasive failures, both in terms of the previous research on what happened during Operation Cast Lead (journalism, NGO reports) and in terms of the cognitive failures that underlie this style of reporting.
This essay is not intended to question the fact that Gazans suffered from the war. What this essay does challenge is the Goldstone Report’s presentation of the cause of that suffering and the diagnosis for dealing with it.