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September 23, 2009

The Goldstone Report: The Truth That Refuses To Be Covered Up

Dr. Mohamed Bakr

Mohamed BakrYou should not blame yourself if you have not heard about the Goldstone Report, which was released few days ago.

The vast majority of our free and unbiased media ignored it.

I personally did not find a single reference to this report in the Canadian media that I follow. Some writers, though, criticized the report based on false and unfounded accusations without bothering to inform their readers about its contents.

I learned of the report by accident while browsing the website of the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz. It was an article by Israeli peace activist Gideon Levy that made me research the subject more to find out why our media is not informing us about this story.

So, who is Justice Richard Goldstone and what is his report all about?

Goldstone is a zionist Jew from South Africa and a strong lifelong supporter of Israel. Because of his excellent reputation as a judge, he was selected to lead important judicial committees in post-Apartheid South Africa. His daughter Nicole is also an enthusiastic zionist who immigrated to Israel and lived there for a long time. She speaks Hebrew fluently and currently lives in Canada.

Despite his obvious ties with Israel, Goldstone was selected by the UN to head a commission to investigate human rights violations by both sides during Israel’s recent attack on Gaza.

Given his background, one would have expected the report to be in Israel’s favor. I believe that this is what the people who chose Justice Goldstone aimed at.

He, however, stunned the Israeli government and pro-Israel lobbies worldwide by issuing a relatively fair and balanced report with strong findings!

In his report, Goldstone said that Israel indeed committed war crimes against the Palestinian population in Gaza.

As part of a long list of crimes against humanity, he cited: executions of Palestinian women and children carrying white flags; the use of prohibited weapons in heavily populated areas; and the intentional destruction of places of worship and schools. He also condemned Hamas’s firing of artillery on Israeli settlements during the conflict.

After he issued his report, he was subjected to an organized campaign of smear and character assassination in which some Canadian media actively participated.

He was even accused of the silly accusation of being an anti-Semite or of being a tool of anti-Semites!

Nicole Goldstone, in an attempt to calm the vicious attacks on her father, said that he actually diluted the report. This means that the true findings could have carried harsher condemnation of Israeli crimes in Gaza. She was quoted as saying: “It was not easy for him. My father did not expect to see what he saw or hear what he heard.”

Now, why is this report so important?

It is the first time that a zionist Jew admitted, and gave evidence about, war crimes committed by Israel against Palestinian civilians.

According to Israel human rights activist Uri Avneri, the Israel government refused to cooperate with the investigation because it knew that any committee must reach the same conclusion as Goldstone did.

These findings will now be referred to the Security Council. If it applies the same rules as in the case of Darfur, it would have no choice but to refer the Israeli leaders at the time of the Gaza attack to The Hague to stand trial for crimes against humanity.

People who have little trust in the international justice like myself suspect that the whole file will be closed under heavy pressures from the U.S.

Our Canadian government, as usual, has pretended that nothing happened—not even a statement of concern about the findings of the report.

If this report addressed human rights violations by Iran or Syria, you would have heard a frenzy of statements by our ministers demanding justice for the victims and condemning the crimes committed against innocent people.

Unfortunately, when it comes to Israel, our government follows the old adage: Hear no evil; see no evil; and definitely speak no evil! Principled foreign policy, eh?

As one my Jewish friends said, the story of Justice Goldstone is an example for all humanity. When you see overwhelming evidence that contradicts everything that you were told and used to believe, you have to accept the truth and defend it regardless of the consequences.

His example is something that we should all think about carefully.

Dr. Mohamed Bakr is a freelance writer based in Burlington, Ontario.

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