Alan Dershowitz begins his massive, detailed rebuttal of the Goldstone Report thus:
The Goldstone Report, when read in full and in context, is much worse than most of its detractors (and supporters) believe. It is far more accusatory of Israel, far less balanced in its criticism of Hamas, far less honest in its evaluation of the evidence, far less responsible in drawing its conclusion, far more biased against Israeli than Palestinian witnesses, and far more willing to draw adverse inferences of intentionality from Israeli conduct and statements than from comparable Palestinian conduct and statements. It is worse than any report previously prepared by any other United Nations agency or human rights group.
As I have mentioned before, the particularly evil aspect of the report is what Dershowitz calls the “inferences of intentionality”, that is, the conclusion drawn that Israel intentionally targeted civilian lives and property in order to inflict collective punishment on the residents of Gaza. Dershowitz writes,
At bottom the report accuses the Jewish state of having implemented a policy in Gaza that borders on genocide. It blames the civilian deaths that occurred during Operation Cast Lead not on the fog of war, not on the use of human shields by Hamas, not on the inevitability of civilian casualties when rockets are fired from densely populated urban areas, not even on the use of “disproportionate force” by Israel. Instead it blames the Palestinian civilian deaths on an explicit policy devised at the highest levels of the Israeli government and military, of killing as many Palestinian civilians as possible. It concludes that Operation Cast Lead was not designed to stop the rocket attacks on Israel’s civilians—more than eight thousand over a nine year period. Instead, the rocket attacks merely served as an excuse for the Israeli military to achieve its real purpose: namely the killing of Palestinian civilians.
What can be called the ‘Goldstone project’ is a contrivance to delegitimize Israel and preempt international support from Israel’s future attempts to defend herself against certain-to-come attacks from the Iranian-supported Hamas and Hizballah. It is part of a strategy whose goal is to eliminate the Jewish state.
The 503-page work of slander rests on two pillars. One is the elaborate edifice of illegitimate inference in which conclusions are drawn by unsound arguments; and the other is the collection of false evidence upon which those arguments are based. This material was primarily gathered by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including the usual suspects like Human Rights Watch, but also many Israeli NGO’s like the Physician’s Committee for Human Rights — Israel.
These groups laid the groundwork for the report; they are the sources that are referenced in most of the report’s footnotes and they are the ultimate source of its authority.
Now Elder of Zion has drawn our attention to a remarkable study that points out an interesting ‘coincidence': no fewer than 92% of Goldstone’s footnotes from Israeli sources that are judged to be negative toward the IDF are sourced from NGO’s supported by the American New Israel Fund (NIF).
Here is the original Hebrew text of a Ma’ariv article describing the study, done by a Zionist student group called “Im Tirtzu” [from Hertzl’s im tirtzu ain zo agada, “if you will, it is no legend”], and here is a machine translation of it. The translation is often somewhat unclear, so here is my own translation of a key paragraph:
The Goldstone report contains 1208 footnotes including 1377 references to various sources. “Im Tirtzu” checked all of these references and came to this astonishing conclusion: Close to half — 42% — of the citations in the Goldstone report from Israeli sources come from organizations supported by the New Israel Fund. When one considers only the negative ones, on which the various accusations and charges against the IDF and its officers are based, the conclusion is even more astonishing: 92% of them come from the same organizations.
The 16 Israeli NGOs listed by Im Tirtzu received a total of $7.8 million from the NIF in 2008-9. Since its founding in 1979, NIF has distributed $140 million in grants. Although some of its money comes from other foundations (it has received at least $40 million from the Ford Foundation, for ‘peace and justice’ projects), it actively solicits individual donors — even I have received literature from it.
Like J Street, the NIF (about which I’ve previously written here, here, and here) targets liberal Jews in the US, giving them the warm feeling that they can ‘help Israel’ while maintaining their commitment to ‘peace and social justice’.
It’s interesting to see how the trail starts from liberal feel-good philanthropy and ends up helping the bloody murderers of Hamas and Hizballah.
Incidentally, we’ll be hearing more about Im Tirtzu. This weekend it held a demonstration in front of the home of NIF President Naomi Chazan, which earned it a rebuke from… J Street!
Update [1951 PST]: Someone asked me “what’s with the horn?” I don’t know for sure, but the “New Israel Fund” in Hebrew is “keren hachadasha” (literally “new fund”). The word for ‘fund’ is keren [קרן], which also means ‘horn’.
Incidentally, it also means ‘ray [of light]’, and it’s said that St. Jerome’s mistranslation of this word in Ex. 34:29 where it says “keren or panav” (usually rendered “his skin was radiant”) led to the medieval belief that Moses had horns growing from his face.