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The stone the builders rejected and the Goldstone report

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The Stone the Builders Rejected
and the Goldstone Report

by Richard Landes and Maurice Ostroff | November 9th, 2009

The UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict refuses to publish the submissions that contradict its findings. 

The stone the builders rejected became the cornerstone (Psalm 118:22 – King James Version). So too, the evidence that the Goldstone Fact-finding mission to Gaza (FFM) rejected, may well become the defining element in evaluating the Mission's report.

In response to a call for submissions from NGO's and the public, the FFM received a number of serious submissions containing highly credible evidence that directly contradicts the findings of the Report. These include memoranda from a group of fifteen Australian lawyers, Dr. Elihu Richter, whose expertise includes participation in investigations by human rights groups, NGO Monitor, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the multilingual website Take-a-Pen, Australian lawyer Ian Lacey, an acknowledged expert on International Law and the Arab-Israel Conflict, and video evidence submitted by Maurice Ostroff of the use of human shields by Palestinians and the use of mosques for militant purposes.

Sadly, the members of the FFM turned a blind eye to these memoranda. They not only failed to address the inconvenient evidence, they didn't even make the contents of the memoranda available for perusal by the UNHRC, the body to whom they reported.

To his credit, Judge Goldstone strongly supported a call for all submissions received by the FFM to be made available on the Mission's website, but despite this call by the Mission leader, his own secretariat has refused to comply, citing the reason, "some of the submissions include names of individuals who are indicated as sources of some of the information provided, without indication of their consent to be named publicly."  They have yet to respond to a request for an explanation about how this contradicts their initial call for submissions: "Unless otherwise indicated by the author, the Mission will assume that submissions can be made public."

Among its many flaws, the Mission failed to investigate three fundamental issues about Hamas which undermine both the conclusions and the judgments of the Report: 1) teaching of hatred, 2) use of human shields, and 3) intimidation of Palestinian dissidents. 

A massive body of evidence – which one has to actively ignore in order to miss — indicates that Hamas is in daily, flagrant violation of Article 3 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which provides that incitement to commit genocide is a punishable act. 

Judge Goldstone even emphasized in an interview on Al Jazeera TV, that dehumanization of the other is the essential factor leading to horrific acts like genocide. But the mission ignored all this substantial evidence, especially those memoranda which strongly recommended consulting the accurate translations provided by Palestinian Media Watch and MEMRI.  There the panel could have viewed example after example of Imams calling for a genocidal slaughter of the Jews, small children taught that Jews are the sons of pigs and apes, and school classes taught to strive for martyrdom by killing as many Jews as possible.

If the members of the Mission were not inclined to express horror, surely they were duty bound to at least mention in the report the prevalence of this abusive indoctrination of children. On the contrary, they did two things that literally reversed the message such incitement communicates.

First they reiterated the "cycle of violence" argument, as if the whole problem is Israeli-Palestinian tit-for-tat. The cycle is not Palestinian attacks and Israeli responses or vice-versa. The missing element is the Palestinian INCITEMENT, which produces the initial violence – whether suicide bombing, or Qassam rockets aimed at civilians – that must be eliminated if any peaceful solution is to be contemplated.

Then, believing whatever their witnesses told them about peaceful Gazan civilians murdered in cold blood by Israeli soldiers, the Mission's members invited a Palestinian psychologist to project this hate-mongering onto the Israelis.

The other two problems – Hamas using human shields and intimidating any witness that might denounce them for it – go to the very heart of what makes the Goldstone report a travesty of justice.

Because the aforementioned undisclosed evidence must undoubtedly and substantially influence any honest evaluation of the report, it is imperative in the interests of justice, that these documents be made available to open-minded members of the public, politicians and the media.

As a consequence of the Mission's refusal to publish these memoranda on its website, the website of "Understanding the Goldstone report" invites all who submitted memoranda to the fact-finding mission to re-submit their documents for publication on its site, including submissions that were unfavorable to Israel. The initiators of the site believe that sunlight is the best disinfectant.

The previously undisclosed memoranda may be viewed at http://www.goldstonereport.org/procedural-flaws/concealed-evidence and submissions should be sent to Richard Landes at rl.seconddraft.

Labels: Foreign Affairs: Israel-Palestine, Foreign Affairs: United Nations, National Sovereignty

Richard Landes is a professor of Medieval History at Boston University, documentary maker (Pallywood, Icon of Hatred), and maintains three websites on News media coverage of the Middle East conflict, http://www.seconddraft.org/, http://www.theaugeanstables.com/ (blog) and http://www.goldstonereport.org/. Maurice Ostroff is a widely read commentator on current affairs. His web site www.2nd-thoughts.org is known as a source of credible information countering media bias and misinformation. mo1926@gmail.com
Visit their website at: http://www.goldstonereport.org/procedural-flaws/concealed-evidence

Read more articles by  Maurice Ostroff on IntellectualConservative.com

 

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