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Feb-28-2010 04:01printcomments

UN Extends Goldstone Investigation of Israel for Gaza War Crimes

98 UN Nations want the war crime case against Israel to continue; the US is one of 7 that voted against the idea.

The Honorable Richard Goldstone
The Honorable Richard Goldstone
Photos/Video courtesy: Al Jazeera, UNTV and Islamic-Relief.org.uk

(NEW YORK) - The UN General Assembly voted on 26 February, to give Israel and the Palestinian Authority an additional five months to conduct independent investigations of alleged war crimes during the conflict in Gaza.

They called for 'independent, credible”' investigations by both the Israeli Government and the Palestinian side into the deadly conflict in the Gaza Strip that started in late 2008[1].

Operation ‘Cast Lead’ – the three-week military operation which Israel said it launched in response to rocket and other attacks by militants in Gaza – left over 1,400 people dead, injured 5,000 others and reduced homes, schools, hospitals and marketplaces to rubble.

Prior to the vote, Israel’s Ambassador Gabriela Shalev said that the Goldstone Report, which is based on a UN fact-finding mission on the conflict, "fails to address the threat of asymmetric warfare and terrorism that uses civilians as shields and targets."

But many today believe it is nothing less than propaganda.

The very notion of more than 1400 people, mostly civilians, who Israel massacred in Gaza, several hundred children among them, occurring because they were used as "civilian shields" borders on preposterous, according to nearly every account - other than Israel's.

At the United Nations meeting in New York, 98 Member States voted in favor of a resolution on the follow-up to the Goldstone Report, and seven voted against it, with 31 abstentions[2].

The United States is one of the few that voted against the continuing investigation into Israeli war crimes.

Representing the U.S., Alejandro Wolff said his country, "remained deeply concerned about the suffering of both Palestinians and Israelis, but the only way to end it would be to reach a negotiated permanent settlement. Both sides in the conflict should continue credible domestic investigations, he stressed, reiterating that the Goldstone Report was deeply flawed and unbalanced."

Richard Goldstone is Jewish. He was selected for the lead role on the investigation because of his excellent record in this exact thing: the investigation and prosecution of war crimes. When his investigation revealed that Israel looked like war criminals, the discrediting began[3].

Israel claims they struck civilian targets because militants used these
locations for "shields", yet this photo of workers literally mopping up the
blood of small school children killed in the Israeli attack, attended a United
Nations
school. It is one more hard reminder of how little innocence really
exists in any of Israel's military tactics, when it comes to Palestine.

It is tragic, but both the United States and Israel were instantly ready to throw this honorable man under the train. The problem is that Goldstone keeps coming back, it's like a scene from a Jackie Chan movie, but without a trace of comedy.

Wolff went on to say the report, "did not acknowledge the nature of the conflict and over-reached in its conclusions and recommendations. Today’s resolution was similarly flawed and for that reason the United States had voted against it."

Nice try, no not really. Nobody expected anything else. They could have had all of the indisputable evidence in the world, but the U.S. is in the pocket of Israeli interest and both countries would deny any crime, because they are one and the same. It is a lie and a disgrace but Israel will fight like a caged animal to duck its moral responsibility[4] to its neighbors, and to the world.

I recall a U.S. Marine in Iraq giving me his version of it: He compared Israel's mentality to, "An armed and paranoid teenager loose in the city streets, eternally threatened by what lurks in the shadows and hides under his bed, but almost never is really there".

The United States and Israel believe the Hamas rocket attacks that reportedly killed four Israelis, and ultimately led to a total loss of 14 - were worthy of a massive high tech military strike, reportedly planned for several years in advance, that killed well over 1400 people in Gaza.

These are the countries that do not want to see the United Nations investigate extremely clear and well documented evidence of war crimes against Israel:

  1. Canada
  2. Israel
  3. Federated States of Micronesia
  4. Nauru
  5. Panama
  6. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
  7. United States

Assembly resolutions like this one are non-binding. To some, it is simply more confirmation of what they already so clearly know, but this does send a strong message.

The green lights in the UN vote count panel reflect the overwhelming number of nations in the world willing to state on the record that Israel is probably guilty of serious war crimes on a massive level. They're at least willing to investigate.

The IDF has the best weapon aiming systems in the world. They can pinpoint a target from miles off and use their American made and supplied hardware to pick off a target.

Therefore the targeting of half of Gaza's hospitals and medical facilities was not a mistake as Israel claims, nor were the direct strikes on schools. The Israeli snipers who shot Gaza's ambulance drivers and paramedics who tried to tend to the injured civilians rank among the more egregious documented atrocities committed by Israel's military. Every allegation is on video, most are already posted on YouTube.

Palestinian Ambassador Riyad H. Mansour, Permanent Observer of Palestine, welcomed the resolution, saying that it will ensure "accountability and justice for the crimes committed."

Goldstone Report

The four-member fact-finding mission, led by Justice Richard Goldstone, a former UN war crimes prosecutor, found that both Israeli forces and Palestinian militants were guilty of serious human rights violations and breaches of humanitarian law during the Gaza conflict.

Its findings, contained in the so-called Goldstone Report, were endorsed by the Assembly in November[5].

When this attack with the ultimate sickening and warmongerish name 'Operation Cast Lead' began, Israel made the open and conscious decision to rain white phosphorous, totally illegal to use in civilian areas under International Law, onto the roofs of Palestinian homes, burning women and men and small children, babies in terrible agonizing pain. These are not people who struck out at Israel. This is why the Goldstone Report is so unpopular, because it reveals the ugly and illegal truth about Israel's military tactics.

It seemed like the Goldstone Report was going to mean little, but the fact that a five month investigation is being launched is proof that the majority of good and decent nations in this world still have what it takes to stand up and say what is right, even if the U.S.A. isn't among them.

References:

[1] Feb-26-2010: United Nations General Assembly: Resolution Adopted by Recorded Vote of 98 in Favour, 7 Against, 31 Abstentions

[2] Dec-06-2009: USA-IPA-Congress: Yes to Gravestones, No to Goldstone's - By Mohamed Khodr Special to Salem-News.com

[3] Oct-05-2009: Jewish Appeal to Support the Goldstone Report - Salem-News.com

[4] Oct-25-2009: Goldstone Report & The Struggle of the Palestinian People - By Ronnie Kasrils Special to Salem-News.com

[5] Oct-20-2009: The First Step: Israel Into The Dock - By Dr. Alan Sabrosky Salem-News.com

___________________________________

Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. You can send Tim an email at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com




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STOP THE INSANITY February 28, 2010 2:28 pm (Pacific time)

Hats off to Salem News for speaking the truth! The nations that voted not to investigate should all be investigated to see what crimes THEY are covering up...i'm sure we would find collusion, arms deals, drugs, incest, money laundering, war mongering etc...it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that Israel is guilty of war crimes and genocide. The international community is starting to wake up though and see them for what they are. Americans and Christians need to wake up to the fact that they are not our friends. they ACT like it cuz we are stupid enough to send them money. How can we as a nation, and how can christians reconcile with the fact that because of our monetary help and our unholy alliance with Israel that we too, are accomplices to genocide? I hardly doubt that is what the good book teaches. However, some clever semanticist bastardized the words to mean that it's ok and the sheeple believe it because the book says so...there is NO good reason for war. period. and there is NO good reason for man's inhumanity to man. and to do it in the name of 'security' or in the name of God makes it disgustingly reprehensible. There is no race of people, no government, no religion that is superior to ANY man, woman or child. Any race, government, or religion which advocates crimes such as this are not only the real criminal terrorists, but also should be quarantined just as were the lepers of old and left to die. The American people have been duped, the Christians have been duped, the Israeli's have been brainwashed. Israel has NO RIGHT to do what they are doing to the palestinians. Everytime I see the members of the Knesset of Israel speak I get the creeps. They are sniveling liars, yet they do it with such unmitigated audacity. They BELIEVE their lies and expect the rest of the world to do so as well simply because they have stated their mind with authority. Well, for those of us that DON'T believe their lies, and CAN see through them their day is drawing nigh, for the world is taking note. they shall be the CREATORS of their OWN DESTRUCTION.


hiwaycruzer February 28, 2010 9:38 am (Pacific time)

No surprise the USA voted with Israel against the Goldstone report. We have a Zionist Occupied Government, obvious to all but the most brainwashed and ignorant amongst us.


marge February 28, 2010 9:08 am (Pacific time)

For the life of me, i don't understand why the US continues to support Israel's atrocities and crimes against the Palestinians when it hurts US interest in the Middle East and world. Anyway, much gratitude to Salem News for writing this article with objectivity and truth. It is very rare for the US News Media to be objective and truthful when writing about Israel. So thank you.


Jeff Kaye~ February 28, 2010 8:31 am (Pacific time)

As usual, Salem-News tells it like it is -- and it isn't good. Israel's ruling party and military planners responsible for past and ongoing humanitarian atrocities, most of which qualify as war crimes in the eyes of any credible world body, (US has blinders on, thus excluding itself) need to be held accountable. These atrocities need to stop, and American tax dollars need to stop enabling them. What will it take? What could constitute a "binding" resolution by the UN? Anything? The evidence is overwhelming and irrefutable that Israel is conducting genocidal programs of extreme racially and ideologically discriminatory persecution of millions of generally peaceable and tolerant peoples just trying to exist. To live their lives in relative comfort, without threat of constant harassment by IDF soldiers with no reasonable excuse or rationale for their repugnant treatment of rightful residents of the region Zionists proclaim as their exclusive domain. Time for the world to stand up to these belligerent bullies without a conscience. It seems to me that war crimes tribunals and reparations, repatriations and restorations of rights illegally stripped of innocent peoples -- is a start. I don't mind sending my tax dollars for these latter purposes, but for Israel's continued racist purgative programs? I think not.

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