Goldstone and the Kids

Illustration by Carlos Latuff
Illustration by Carlos Latuff

Anything that happens in my world, now, seems just that little bit more ironic, since Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Not that I credit the institution with too much merit, considering its list of peace-fakers, but the propaganda of this ill-executed award bothers me, nevertheless. While it’s easy to discredit Obama as an initiator of peace just for the sheer amassing of dead Afghans, this year I’d like to take it to my own little corner of the world.

Politics of Human Rights

Another action against peace, which the Obama administration has taken, is the pressure it applied in the UN to bury the Goldstone report:

Unsurprisingly, an early ally in the Israeli campaign for impunity was the Obama Administration, whose UN ambassador, Susan Rice, expressed “very serious concerns” about the report and trashed Goldstone’s mandate as “unbalanced, one-sided and basically unacceptable.” (Rice was acting true to her word; in April she told the newspaper Politico that one of the main reasons the Obama Administration decided to join the UN Human Rights Council was to fight what she called “the anti-Israel crap.”) [Electronic Intifada]

Despite these actions against humanity (I dare not say “crimes” so no one will yell “libel”), the United Nations Human Rights Council has decided to reopen the debate on the Goldstone Report. You’d think this one would be a no-brainer for a Human Rights Council. The report was issued by them. It means they, at least, suspected egregious violations of international law and human rights. Still, now there’s a debate whether to even debate the report. If that isn’t bad enough, also remember that the council’s authority only lies in making recommendations. I guess we’ll have to wait for a council constructed out of people who represent human rights to prevent these kind of politics from undermining us all.

As you all know, Israel wanted nothing to do with the report to begin with. Its official stance being:

The authors of this “Fact-finding Report” had little concern with finding facts. The Report was instigated as part of a political campaign, and it represents a political assault directed against Israel and against every state forced to confront terrorist threats. Its recommendations are fully in line with its one-sided agenda and seek to harness the Security Council, the General Assembly the International Criminal Court, the Human Rights Council, and the entire international community in its political campaign. In so doing it seeks to inject these bodies with the same political poison that has so undermined the integrity of this Council.

The one stance which baffled me and many others, to no end, was that of the Palestinian representatives in the UN, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, who agreed to postpone the debate of the report by six months. Though the pressures the PLO were under are obvious, the motives weren’t clear. As Amira Hass implied, people power will be the solution to this situation, and Palestinians across the board were quick to convey anger, betrayal and disappointment. These protests may have been what put the Palestinian representatives in the UN back on to the right track:

The holding of the Special Session comes at the request of Palestine. The request is co-sponsored by the following 18 Member States of the Human Rights Council, namely Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Indonesia, Jordan, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Senegal. [UN press release]

Preemptive Disregard for the Law

There’s a saying in Hebrew that “on the head of the thief- the hat burns.” It means that one who is guilty will act in a self-incriminating manner. Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu most obviously feels the burn because he decided to open his speech at the inauguration of the Knesset’s winter session by addressing the Goldstone report with the stone-set, paranoid Zionist mantras:

This distorted report, written by this distorted committee, undermines Israel’s right to defend itself. This report encourages terrorism and threatens peace… Israel will not take risks for peace if it can’t defend itself.

But the real point of this speech was much more pragmatic:

We will not allow Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak, who sent our sons to war, to arrive at the international court in the Hague…

Funny… That’s exactly the reason I want them in the Hague…

For Our Children

Frankly, I feel redundant. For the past year I’ve written so much about Israel’s lack of ethics, its origins and its continuing dissemination that now I can’t help but ask myself what another example will help. On the other hand, what is obvious to me, may not be obvious to others; Israel’s ethos is based on occupation, and all that stems from it is to justify the occupation. I don’t want to bring children to a world where the people who send my sons to war won’t arrive at international court, so without further ado, more lessons on the ethical bankruptcy of Zionism:

Generally, the Israeli government maneuvering around the whole issue of the report stinks of guilt to high heaven. These people know they’ve done something unacceptable (as opposed to “wrong”, which they don’t believe it was), and instead of asking themselves why the world is angry, the government — like a 5 year old brat — stomps the floor and yells that the laws aren’t flexible enough for their massacre. Indeed, how unfair.

As if Netanyahu’s rerun of his UN speech at the Knesset’s winter session wasn’t enough, our Minister of Defense (not the Minister of Foreign Affairs or UN ambassador, mind you) went all the way to the UN, where instead of being hauled to the ICC, he was given center stage to repeat the Hasbara mantra:

Speaking to the foreign ministers of France, Britain, Spain and Norway, among others, ahead of a United Nations debate on the report scheduled for Thursday, Barak said that adopting the report would give terror organizations around the world an advantage.

“The democratic nations of the world must understand that adopting the report will cripple their ability to deal with terror organizations, and terror in general,” Barak said.

Omm… Right to self defense, right to self defense… Omm… Terror, terror… Omm… Democracy, democracy… Omm… Yes, I can see how this is calming to the soul!
Speaking of the aforementioned Israeli ambassador to the UN, Gabriela Shalev, what is she doing while injustice happens in her name?

An ordinary person would think that an emergency UN session would be called when Gazan and Lebanese terrorists fire missiles into Israeli territory, or because of the Iranian nuclear threat…The pretense of urgency in this session is an attempt to ‘hijack’ the council’s agenda to promote the report, a move supported by none other than Libya – a country that has only recently celebrated the return of the Lockerbie bomber…

And what what is the media doing? Here’s an example of one of those moderate, practical voices of Zionist journalism:

Two other ministers, both lawyers, met with Barak with the consent of the prime minister. They are familiar with the material and are aware that after the operation and before the publication of the report, hundreds (some say 2,000) claims by Palestinians piled up at the Justice Ministry. They know that no carpet is big enough for all the complaints to be swept under. The two discussed with Barak the possible judicial repercussions of, and the practical steps toward, setting up a panel. Their impression was that Barak would accept if the government decided to launch an inquiry and invited him to head it.

This could prove to be brilliant move. No one is better or more suitable than the country’s most senior judge [Aharon Barak], a man with an international reputation, to navigate a complicated confrontation with the results of a military operation. The decision alone would go some way toward lowering the flames ignited by Goldstone.

Now say I encourage my kids — like I was encouraged — at the age of about 13, to pick up the newspaper and read about the world around them. Do I really want my child to understand that massacres should be investigated, only to be “swept under the carpet,” or to be used to further propaganda? Wouldn’t it just be easier to tell him that no matter what he does, he just has to make sure that he doesn’t get caught, and if he does, lie through his teeth and blame his victims to avoid accountability? While I’m at it, I could also give him a gun and tell him that everyone wants to kill him!  Oh wait, too late, that’s already happening right now.

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