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Feb-28-2010 04:01TweetFollow @OregonNews
UN Extends Goldstone Investigation of Israel for Gaza War CrimesTim King Salem-News.com
98 UN Nations want the war crime case against Israel to continue; the US is one of 7 that voted against the idea.
(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.
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.
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.
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 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:
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."
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.
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.
 Oct-05-2009: Jewish Appeal to Support the Goldstone Report - 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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