Secondly, the sub-heading “Concept of innocent civilians largely wiped from Israel’s public consciousness,
conscience” is meaningless and bears no resemblance to reality.
Thirdly, none of the three members of the UN
fact-finding mission, who “turned on’ Judge Goldstone is a judge as described by the writer. Nor as claimed by
Ms. Bechar, did they rebut or refute anything in Judge Goldstone’s now famous oped in the Washington Post. They did
not even make a pretence of addressing his reasoning. They merely stated categorically that their minds are made up and that
they don't wish to be bothered by any new developments or evidence may influence them to re-evaluate their opinions.
the writer’s claim that more than half of the approximately 1,400 Palestinians killed during Operation Cast Lead were
not combatants has been contradicted by none other than Hamas interior minister Fathi Hammad who publicly admitted that the
number of combatant casualties was very close to the 709 announced by the IDF,
leading to the conclusion that the IDF statistics were more reliable than those provided by various NGO’s.
view of Mr. Hammad’s
admission, there is no reason, other than prejudice, to avoid quoting, in addition to those claimed by others, the numbers
reported by the IDF. According to the Goldstone Report the IDF reported a total of 1,166 killed of whom 709 were identified
as Hamas terror operatives, 295 as uninvolved Palestinians and162 not yet been attributed to any organization. Of the 295
“uninvolved” 89 were children under the age of 16 and 49 women. According to these figures, at least 60 per cent,
and possibly as many as three out of four, of those killed were combatants.
Ms. Becher’s description of the term
“uninvolved persons” as “shameful” is incomprehensible. In fact it is a far more suitable term than
“innocent” to describe non-combatants, since describing them as “innocents” implies that combatants
on both sides are guilty and one may well ask “innocent of what and guilty of what”.
The claim that the
police casualties were civilians is obviously incorrect since the Gaza police incorporates the Executive Force which is acknowledged
in the Goldstone Report itself to consist of some estimated 6,800 members of the armed wings of Hamas and the Popular Resistance
The statement, with no attempt at substantiation, that there was wanton disregard for human life by the
IDF is a malicious damaging accusation that serves no purpose other than to feed the unjustified widespread hatred of Israel
and to hinder the search for a peaceful solution to the conflict.
Ms. Bechar appears to indicate that the stealing
of secret military documents by journalist Anat Kam is excusable because they reportedly exposed illegal targeted killings
of Palestinian militants. It is therefore fair to ask how she knows that if indeed targeted killings were mentioned, that
these proposed killings were illegal. Tomes have been written by legal and military experts on the legality of targeted killings.
According to Haaretz of December 14
, 2006, the Israel High court ruled that International law does not forbid targeted killings and Harvard national Security
journal published an in depth paper
on the subject in June 2010
According to the Washington Post
, of February 14, 2010, the Obama administration has authorized such attacks more frequently than the George W. Bush administration
did in its final years.
In the circumstances permit me to be skeptical about Ms. Becher’s qualifications to
decide and publicly allege that “illegal” targeted killings were proposed in the documents stolen by Ms. Kamm,
that Ms. Becher presumably has not even seen.
With great respect, I suggest to the Meretz party, that it encourage
its senior members to divert their energies from destructive baseless criticism, to contributing positive feasible suggestions
for attaining peaceful coexistence with our Arab neighbors.