When I have first looked at the site that carries on its masthead a proud statement "Goldstone facts", after browsing its main page and several links I became uncomfortable. I was unable to dispose of a feeling that someone went to great length to perpetrate a hoax that will further undermine the flimsy foundations of the Goldstone report. It took me some considerable time to make sure that it's not so and that this site is quite serious and indeed supports the report, albeit in a way that leaves the report in shambles.
They say that it's impolite and generally politically incorrect to attack the messenger - one should concentrate on the message itself, proving or disproving its contents. The case at hand, however, is too glaringly absurd to follow that maxim. I am confident that this is a case where the messengers themselves are a message, loud and clear at that.
I offer you a snapshot of the front page of the report, with a video clip as its centerpiece, played and stopped at a point where I have ended up laughing my head off. Click on the picture below to see the details.
So who are the messengers? Lets' start with the "sideboard". Amira Hass and Gideon Levy - two Haaretz scribes that lost their last shreds of respect and credibility so long ago that no one (aside of the worst Israel bashers) would use their articles for anything having to do with facts. Norman Finkelstein - a pathetic individual that carries out some deep psychological trauma, expunged by academic community and living of the Holocaust memories in his own perverted way. Uri Avnery - a truly comical figure that passed into obscurity years ago, after his career in a yellow tabloid, friendship with late Yasser A. and other shenanigans. And these are the token Jews chosen to laud the Goldstone report? Pathetic.
Now to the principals:
Factual Findings narrated by Ross VachonCannot say that I have been familiar with the name, but these two links: one to Vachon's opus SEMITISM GONE WILD The Psychopathology Of Neo-Conservatism: A Clinical History and one to a person being harassed by Vachon: My Nasty Mailers, should suffice for everyone. And now: the crown jewel:
Factual and Legal findings narrated by Noam ChomskyMastermind of the Century, no less and no more... Well, Noam C. with his well known strict adherence to facts... no, it sounds sarcastic, and sarcasm doesn't play well with this case of an unsmiling, pompous, self-important luminary. If you need someone to play loose with facts and to manipulate history to customize the results to your own ends, you can't do better than recruiting Noam. Let's say it shorter: the man is a liar. But now, I see, he is also credited with being a legal expert - will the wonders ever cease?
So this is the pair chosen to present the "factual and legal findings" of Goldstone report. Were these findings presented by Baron Munchausen and Hodja Nasreddin, we would have been at least entertained by the presentation, but no such luck.
And now to the centerpiece: the clip. As you can see, the hapless creators of the clip have used the famous crudely photoshopped Joozilla the Super Dozer, without any, no matter how feeble, attempt to check the veracity of the story. Here comes a better picture:
Of course, the picture of the whole sordid affair wouldn't be complete without mentioning the three members of Mr Goldstone mission: Ms Hina Jilani - a Pakistani (sic!) judge who signed an open letter, published 16 March 2009, condemning Israel before the Goldstone committee was convened; a law professor Ms Christine Chinkin, who is “categorically rejecting” Israel’s right to self-defence against Hamas rocket attacks; and the last but not the least, quite an odious character, Desmond Travers, a retired Irish army colonel, who rejected out of hand any evidence presented by IDF, is concerned with the devious Jewish lobby and claims that Israeli soldiers had "taken out and deliberately shot" Irish peacekeeping forces in southern Lebanon. Mr. Travers should become famous (but probably wouldn't) for the following quote alone:
"Gaza is the only gulag in the Western hemisphere; maintained by democracies; closed-off from food, water, air" says Colonel Desmond Travers, co-author of the Goldstone report, in an exclusive MEMO interview.I guess that Mr Goldstone didn't check with Mr. Travers in advance in what hemisphere (or, indeed, on what planet) the good colonel thinks he (and Gaza) is located. Obviously, checking the mental state of his fellow committee members wasn't in Goldstone's brief. Too bad.
And this is how the history is made these days, ladies and gentlemen.
Afterword: about my own opinion on the Goldstone report and its aftermath. I still belong to the minority (I haven't any statistical data, though) that considers it necessary to set up our own commission of inquiry. I think that it was a mistake to disregard the Goldstone mission to start with and that now we are paying the price. I am sure that the civilian casualties were inevitable in an urban combat situation when the enemy has done their considerable best to increase the number of such casualties. But if the commission of inquiry would have found cases where the casualties were a result of willful action by IDF, the guilty should have been punished. And no, I've no hope that the results of an Israeli commission of inquiry, had such commission been set up, would have been accepted by UN - I am not that naive about the automatically anti-Israeli setup of this august outfit. Still, there is some hope yet.
Hat tip: Laurence.
Cross-posted on Yourish.com