Not all Anti-Semites are Anti-Israel, not all people who are Anti-Israel are Anti-Semites. But for many, hatred of Israel is just a politically correct way displaying hatred of Jews. For those spewers of hate there is no difference between the two. They use updated versions of the old European Shylock-type stereotypes to portray Israelis, create new tales about the IDF that mirror the blood libel slanders in the Protocols of the learned Elders of Zion to cast aspersions on Israel. They even use a modern libel,the “Jewish Lobby” controls US foreign policy. The Jewish Lobby I know of is in my Synagogue and it just got a new paint job–TWO COATS .
Even the US State Department recognizes that sometimes the two are connected:
The collective effect of unremitting criticism of Israel, coupled with a failure to pay attention to regimes that are demonstrably guilty of grave violations, has the effect of reinforcing the notion that the Jewish state is one of the sources, if not the greatest source, of abuse of the rights of others, and thus intentionally or not encourages anti-Semitism
In interviews since the Goldstone Report was released, Desmond Travers, one of the four members of the commission that released the report, has proved to be the kind of person described above. Someone who uses his hatred of Israel to mask his Antisemitism.
After suffering over 4,000 missiles launched towards the towns and villages in the Negev, and years of terrorist attacks at the hands of Hamas terrorists, Israel launched operation Cast Lead against the Hamas forces in Gaza.
After cease-fire, the United Nations sent South African Judge Richard Goldstone and his team on a fact-finding mission examining Israel’s and Hamas operations. 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 report was created for the sole purpose of de-legitimizing Israel by bashing it with phony claims of “war crimes.” during the Gaza War. The report is full of Hamas-led testimony masking propaganda against Israel; and taken as the truth by Goldstone, his investigators, the United Nations, and many governments across the world. Little verifiable evidence was presented, and almost nothing was said about Hamas terrorist activities.
Yesterday, head of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Dore Gold held a Press conference in Jerusalem press conference to discuss Desmond Travers’ contribution to the report, as well as the comments to the media which revealed his bias.
Gold laid out the evidence showing that Travers was unprofessional, “fundamentally biased” against the IDF and that some of his statements had “anti-Semitic overtones.” Travers’ participation raises additional questions about the report especially the reliability of its military analysis.
…..As the only former officer who belonged to Justice Richard Goldstone’s team, he[Desmond Travers} was the senior figure responsible for the military analysis that provided the basis for condemning Israel for war crimes.
After following his repeated public appearances with the other mission members in July 2009, and especially in light of his most recent interviews, serious flaws have now become evident in the methodology he followed, in his collection and processing of data, and in the conclusions he draws. In the past, the flaws in the Goldstone report, and especially its lack of balance, have been criticized by the London Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the Economist, but the fundamental problems of its military analysis have not been fully addressed. In the material presented here, this becomes evident in four specific ways:
- Blood Libel: A Fundamental Bias against the Israel Defense Forces
During the Mission’s collection of testimonies from Palestinian psychologists in the Gaza Strip, Travers asked them straight out to explain how Israeli soldiers could kill Palestinian children in front of their parents. In an interview with Middle East Monitor, on February 2, 2010, he asserted that in the past Israeli soldiers had “taken out and deliberately shot” Irish peacekeeping forces in Southern Lebanon. Both of these statements by Travers are completely false. It should be stressed that one of the most vicious and unsubstantiated conclusions in the Goldstone Report is the suggestion that Israel deliberately killed Palestinian civilians.
While Travers assumes the worst of intentions on the part of the Israel Defense Forces, he praises Hamas for their cooperation with the Mission. When he was asked about Hamas intimidation that affected the Mission’s inquiries, he replied that that there was “none whatsoever.” Yet the Goldstone Report itself noted in Paragraph 440 that those interviewed in Gaza appeared reluctant to speak about the presence of Palestinian armed groups because of a “fear of reprisals.” He rejects the notion that Hamas shielded its forces in the civilian population and does not accept the idea that Israel faced asymmetric warfare.
- Lies About Israeli Weapons Systems
Travers comes up with a story that the IDF had unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) that could obtain a “thermal signature” on a Gaza house and detect that there were large numbers of people inside. Incredibly, he then suggests that with this information that certain houses were “packed with people,” the Israeli military would then deliberately order a missile strike on these populated homes. The primary technical problem with his theory is that Israel does not have UAV’s that can see though houses and pick up a thermal signature. More importantly, Israel used UAV’s to monitor that Palestinian civilians left houses that had received multiple warnings, precisely because Israel sought to minimize civilian casualties, a fact that Travers could not fathom, because of his own clear biases.
- Completely Inaccurate Data: There Were Only “something like two” rockets that fell on Israel.
Travers rejects that Israel began military operations against the Gaza Strip on December 27, 2008 as an act of self-defense in response to Hamas rockets. He bases this idea on a “fact” that he presents that in the month prior to start of the war, there were only “something like two” rockets that fell on Israel. Israeli military sources found that there were in fact 32 rockets fired from Gaza at Israel over three days alone–between December 16 and 18, 2008. He adds to his analysis that at this time Hamas sought to extend the tahdiya, or lull arrangement–which he called a cease-fire. Yet the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades of Hamas announced on December 17 that the lull would come to an end two days later and would not be renewed. The head of the Hamas political bureau in Damascus, Khaled Mashaal, announced the end of the lull on December 14. To say that Hamas wanted to continue the lull is a complete distortion of events.
In his Middle East Monitor interview, Travers states that he “only came across two incidents of where there was an actual combat situation” – the exchange of fire between Israel and Hamas. Because he minimizes the possibility that Israel was engaged in real combat in the Gaza Strip, it follows that he naturally conclude that Israel was essentially attacking non-combatants during Operation Cast Lead.
- Lack of Professionalism in Conducting Thorough Investigations: Damn The Truth I will not believe Facts!
Travers relies on his own prejudices when he looks into the question of whether Gazan Mosques had been militarized by Hamas and turned into weapons depots. In an interview with Harpers, published on October 29, 2009, Travers makes a sweeping generalization: “We found no evidence that mosques were used to store munitions.” He then dismissed those who suggested that was the case by saying: “Those charges reflect Western perceptions in some quarters that Islam is a violent religion.” How many mosques did Travers investigate? He admits that the Mission only checked two mosques.
Of course, Israel produced photographic proof that large amounts of weapons were stored in mosques, like the Zaytun Mosque. In a subsequent interview, Travers rejected the Israeli proof: “I do not believe the photographs.” He described the photographs as “spurious.” Travers appears to be bothered by proof that contradicts the conclusions he reaches on the basis of a very limited investigation. In early 2010, Colonel Tim Collins, a British veteran of the Iraq War, visited Gaza for BBC Newsnight and inspected the ruins of a mosque that Israel had destroyed because it had been a weapons depot. He found that there was evidence of secondary explosions cause by explosives stored in the mosque cellar. Travers clearly did not make the effort that Collins made.
In his questioning of Palestinian witnesses in the Gaza Strip, Travers does not ask the questions that a military advisor should raise. He did not ask those giving testimony if they were member of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam units of Hamas and were combatants. He also failed to ask them straight out if their homes had been used to store munitions, like Grad rockets. Instead, his questions reflected his ideological bias.
Travers most recent interview also had a disturbing additional element. When addressing the role of British officers in defending Israel’s claims, Travers suddenly adds: “Britain’s foreign policy interests in the Middle East seem to be influenced strongly by Jewish lobbyists.” Travers implies that British Jews have interests that differ from Britain’s own national interests and that Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s government is influenced by these considerations. This statement, unless corrected, places Travers is a position in which his views are suspect of being motivated by anti-Semitic prejudices. Even without this last statement, he clearly emerges as an individual who is not qualified to take part in any serious fact-finding mission and the U.N. should not seek his services in the future. Given his statements, Justice Richard Goldstone should repudiate Col. Travers and completely reject the conclusions that he reached as a result of his work.
Thank you Mr Travers, for finally revealing to the world what you are, a bigot.