Judge Richard Goldstone wrote, in his NY Times op-ed last week, that
Unfortunately, both Israel and Hamas have dismal records of investigating their own forces. I am unaware of any case where a Hamas fighter was punished for deliberately shooting a rocket into a civilian area in Israel — on the contrary, Hamas leaders repeatedly praise such acts. While Israel has begun investigations into alleged violations by its forces in the Gaza conflict, they are unlikely to be serious and objective.
Why unlikely? There are plenty of examples of IDF soldiers disciplined for mistreating Palestinians. And the comparison to Hamas… why did he even mention Hamas in this context when he clearly understands that Hamas exists to commit war crimes?
I am not going to try to search for too much fairness, logic or consistency in the utterances of Goldstone, who fell asleep when testimony about the bombardment of Sderot was presented. But yesterday he suggested that an Israeli investigation would indeed be worthwhile:
In an exclusive interview with Channel 2 on Monday, Goldstone said IDF soldiers who committed the violations, as well as the commanders who failed to reprimand them, must stand trial for their offenses. The former judge also said that Israel should have taken the opportunity for an internal investigation of the IDF’s conduct during the offensive. — Ha’aretz
Apparently, the idea is that IDF investigations can’t possibly be objective, but that Israel should set up an ‘independent commission’ to beat up on the IDF. There is nothing that makes the Israel-haters happier than the spectacle of Israelis themselves doing the dirty work.
I’m certain that it would be easy to find plenty of anti-Zionist academics like Neve Gordon who would be happy to be party to it. It’s reminiscent of the Nazis ordering Jews to dig their own graves before shooting them, isn’t it?
In any event, look who else thinks a self-flagellation commission would be a good idea:
J Street has reviewed the Goldstone report in its entirety over the past several days…
We urge the Israeli government to establish an independent state commission of inquiry to investigate the accusations, something Israel has done on several occasions in the past.
J Street strongly condemns Hamas for its actions both before and during the Gaza war – actions which the report says may amount to crimes against humanity. [my emphasis]
It’s wonderful that they actually tack on a condemnation of Hamas, but they can’t even say “we condemn Hamas for crimes against humanity” — only that the report says that they may amount to such! Such exquisite care to give the fanatic butchers of Hamas the benefit of the doubt.
There is very little difference between calling for an investigation of the allegations in the Goldstone report and those in the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, which accused the IDF of stealing organs from dead Palestinians. Both documents base their accusations primarily on the accounts of Palestinian ‘witnesses’ — indeed, the Goldstone report includes language almost identical to that in the wholly tendentious product of Human Rights Watch and other biased sources (NGO Monitor called it a “cut-and-paste job“).
In either case, the result of the investigation would be to give currency to the absurd charges. Leave it to J Street to take the Zionophobic tack every time.