Tuesday 6 October 2009

Goldstone - Attorney for the Prosecution.

Richard Goldstone earned a reputation during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission findings in South Africa.

There is little truth and zero reconciliation in his recent adventure in heading the UN Human Rights Council campaign in Gaza. On the contrary, the result of his botched activities has relit the blaze anew in the region.

His South African Commission was charged with granting amnesty for crimes and human right violations during disturbances in his homeland.

Not only is there no amnesty in his committee's brief into the Gaza conflict. The ultimate aim, since its inception, was to brand Israel as the guilty party to the conflict.

It is enlightening to learn that Bishop Desmond Tutu, the instigator of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission, was one of the candidates who refused to head this biased committee.

It is not the purpose of this article to question the motives of why Richard Goldstone accepted the poisoned chalice. It is sufficient to examine his code of conduct and behaviour during the enquiry.

We are told to respect Goldstone as an international jurist of impeccable character. His role as head of the United Nations Mission to Gaza is clearly one of Prosecution attorney against the State of Israel. His actions, lack of desire to question and probe witness statements falls abysmally short of a neutral investigator in search of facts and the truth.

Indeed, his findings read like the case for the prosecution.

Where was the impartiality that the world expected of him? Where was the balance to counter his fellow committee members who had displayed premeditated bias against Israel leading into his commission?

On these counts he failed. Therefore, his code of conduct must be brought into question.

When his co-jurors refused to ask pointed questions of witnesses why did Goldstone not demand answers to key questions? Questions like, "Do you, or your family members, belong to a terrorist organisation?" Was your property used for the storage of weapons and explosives?" "Were you, or any member of your family active in terrorist or armed acts against Israelis, either military or civilian"? "Was there any military or terrorist activities in or near the vicinity of your property?"

Not only were these questions not asked, the committee accepted eye witnesses as being 'credible and reliable'.

When such eye witnesses are people who are proven to belong to organisations like Islamic Jihad and the Izz a-Din al-Qassam then one must query the motivation of Goldstone.

Clearly his findings portray the attorney for the prosecution.

When Goldstone reduces the background to the conflict, rejects Israeli eye witnesses, almost dismisses Hamas human rights abuses, fails to even mention repeated Hamas massacres against Palestinians it is patently obvious there is an agenda at work that is certainly not Truth or Reconciliation.

The fighting within Gaza has stopped but rockets are still being launched into Israel. Seven hundred and twenty rockets have been fired at southern Israel during 2009. Where is Goldstone's UN Human Rights Council investigation against Hamas for these international war crimes?

Israel completely withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2004. The irony for the UN HRC is that the only remaining Israeli in Gaza is being held illegally and against his will by Hamas - yet another profound human rights abuse that is worthy to bring Hamas to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Gilat Schalit is being held, with no access by any human rights NGOs or the International Red Cross and no trial for more than three years.

His case received barely a mention in the Goldstone Report. Why, if Goldstone's brief was not to be the prosecution attorney against Israel.

Highlighting the suffering of the people of Sderot, Ashkelon, Ashdod, southern Israel and, of course, the fate of Gilat Schalit would embarrass the case that the UN HRC is trying to build up against Israel.

And Goldstone played his role perfectly in downgrading these issues.

It is precisely the fate of Gilat Schalit that the UN Human Rights Council should be advocating. His rights have been horribly abused for two thousand days. His rights have been abused further by being so ignored by the 'holier-than-thou' human rights organisations who are really politically motivated and only apply human rights abuses when it suites their cause.

Goldstone would have been advised to follow the Jewish calling that 'Justice, justice, shall you pursue' and not rush to judgement based on dubious eye-witness testimony obtained in tainted circumstances.

Has Goldstone conducted a deliberate, in depth, investigation, as he was duty bound to perform, his reputation would be intact today -even if he would prove Israeli war crimes.

Instead he is complicit in a conspiracy to drag Israel, and Israel only, into the International Criminal Court.

True, he has demanded that Israel refute his allegations within six months. Again, the actions of a prosecuting lawyer.

He did so, he claims, to avoid criminal charges being brought against Israel. I ask if he is being naive, or malicious?

It is clear to everyone in Israel that Israeli military personnel and politicians will be victim to impeachment in a number of European countries as a result of his report even if Israel rebuts his report in full.

Not only did Goldstone act as the prosecuting attorney against Israel, he became the fall guy and judge, by virtue of his report, that condemns Israel to a guilty verdict obtained by stealth by the UN Human Rights Council.

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