Ben Dror Yemini vs. Gideon Levy: Fireman vs. Arsonist

Two articles today exemplify the vast differences between sanity and masochism in Israeli journalism, one by Gideon Levy of Ha-aretz expressing sheer contempt for Netanyahu’s speech at the UN, another expressing sheer contempt of Richard Goldstone for being the tool of “the dark side.” I link to the beginning of Levy’s (which I don’t have the time to fisk, but welcome your suggestions), and the full text of Yemini’s which appeared originally in Hebrew in Ma’ariv.

First, the arsonist who, in his glorious ability to “self”-criticize, spews his venom where all who hate his people can come and draw sustenance:


Netanyahu’s speech / Cheapening the Holocaust

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cheapened the memory of the Holocaust in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday. He did so twice. Once, when he brandished proof of the very existence of the Holocaust, as if it needed any, and again when he compared Hamas to the Nazis.

If Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust, Netanyahu cheapens it. Is there a need of proof, 60 years later? Or, the world might think, is the denier right? A Advertisementnd it is doubtful that any historian of stature would buy the comparison the prime minister made between Hamas and the Nazis, or between the London Blitz and the Qassam rockets on Sderot. In the Blitz, 400 German bombers and 600 fighter planes killed 43,000 people and destroyed more than one million homes. Hamas’ Qassams, perhaps the most primitive weapon in the world, have killed 18 people in eight years. Yes, they sowed great terror – but a Blitz?

And if we can compare a poorly equipped terrorist organization to the horrific Nazi killing machine, why should others not compare the Nazis’ behavior to that of Israel Defense Forces soldiers? In both cases, the comparison is baseless and infuriating. Netanyahu began the speech as if he were chairman of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial – Holocaust, Holocaust, Holocaust; his family and his wife’s family…

Now the fire-fighter:

GOLDSTONE IS THE CRIMINAL
(Article by Ben-Dror Yemini, Ma’ariv, 25.9.09, p. B4-5)

Let’s start at the end. Richard Goldstone perpetrated a moral crime. Not against the State of Israel but against human rights. He turned them into a weapon for dark regimes. Goldstone was not negligent. He did this with malice.

The criticism that was made in the first days following the report was on the basis of preliminary study. But time passes. And the more that the details of this report are revealed, the more it becomes clear that it is a libel. A libel with legal cover. A libel that was prepared in advance to incriminate the State of Israel, in the service of Libya and Iran. Goldstone willingly took up the loathsome role. He supplied these countries with the goods. The claim that “the discourse of rights” has become the dark forces’ most effective tool is a familiar one. The Goldstone report is the supreme expression of this. Its legal terminology is exemplary. It gushes about international human rights treaties. But it cannot hide the result: It is a libelous indictment of the State of Israel, in the service of the axis of terrorism and evil. Yes, there is marginal – very marginal – lip service regarding criticism of Hamas. Goldstone’s ilk is a sophisticated lot. They now reiterate from every stage, and Goldstone does it well, that they were actually objective. Here, they also leveled criticism at Hamas. How enlightened of them!

Goldstone sold his soul for an endless series of lies. Even Mary Robinson, who is not known as an admirer of Israel, understood that, “This is unfortunately a practice by the [UN Human Rights] Council: adopting resolutions guided not by human rights but by politics. This is very regrettable.” She refused to take the post. Goldstone took it and carried it out with excessive enthusiasm. If international law worked as it should, if the representatives of dark regimes did not have an automatic majority in it, Goldstone would have to stand trial. But this is impossible. And therefore, not only Israel but every moral person, every person for whom human rights are important, must declare Goldstone a criminal. Here is the proof.

***

Let’s start with what is not in the report. In its almost 600 pages there is not one word – there simply isn’t! – about Hamas’s ideology. Hamas has a covenant. This covenant is the basis for the conflict between Israel and the demonic entity that has arisen in Gaza. This covenant is pure anti-Semitism. This covenant makes it clear that Hamas is no different from the Taliban. On the contrary, it is worse. The leaders of Hamas also declare – in their own voices – their solidarity with the Taliban, their desire to take over the entire free world, their hatred of Jews and their abrogation of the ceasefire with Israel. But there is not one word in the Goldstone report about this.

Contrary to the general impression, Israel is not Hamas’s main victim. As in other
cases where radical Islam grows, most of Hamas’s victims since Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza – have been Muslims. Hamas’s Kassam rockets, suicide terrorists, abductions and military operations do not stem from the occupation or the blockade, as the Goldstone Mission either claims or hints. All of these actions stem from an Islamo-fascist ideology that massacres mainly Muslims. Even during Operation Cast Lead, Hamas killed more Palestinians than Israelis. Goldstone and his cohorts did not hear about this.

It was one thing if Goldstone had just ignored the link between ideology and actual practice. But in addition, when he jumps to Israel, he takes the trouble to disparage the Zionist enterprise. Thus, for example, in Article 207 of the report, in a footnote, he tells about confiscated Palestinian property. Not that it has any relevance. But the sophisticated Goldstone had to provide Hamas with justifications. Historic accuracy? Certainly not. This is another product of the industry of lies. Because the property robbed and confiscated from Jewish refugees who were forced out of Arab countries was greater than Arab property left behind in Israel. But let us not confuse Goldstone by investigating the truth.

***

There is no need to go far in order to expose the lies. It is possible to start with the first paragraph. There, Goldstone says that he was granted the authority, “to investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law that might have been committed at any time in the context of the military operations that were conducted in Gaza.” Really?

At this stage, let us go to the UN Human Rights Council decision to appoint the mission. Article 14, regarding the mission’s authority, says: “To investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by the occupying Power, Israel, against the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, due to the current aggression, and calls upon Israel not to obstruct the process of investigation and to fully cooperate with the mission.”

The difference is Heaven and Earth. Goldstone, I repeat, is not stupid. He is a sophisticated jurist. He understands that the Human Rights Council decision puts him in a bind. There is no demand for an investigation. There are instructions to investigate only Israel, while fixing blame in advance. Thus Article 14 and thus others in the same document. How does Goldstone square the circle? First, he does not mention Article 14 – which is the source of his authority – throughout the entire report. And second, in cooperation with the Council President, who was authorized to appoint the mission (but not to change its responsibilities), the authorization is improved in order to present a false objectivity. You see, Goldstone will claim in fawning interviews – we were authorized to investigate both sides. He is lying and he knows that he is lying.

It is not only the lie in the first paragraph. It goes on. In order to supply the goods, Professor Christine Chinkin, an expert on international law, was recruited to the mission, for example. There is only one problem. Before being appointed to the mission, Chinkin signed a petition that determined in advance that Israel had perpetrated war crimes. Can someone who took a position in advance sit on the mission? And indeed, the mission was presented with a legal suit for her dismissal. The suit was denied. There is absolutely no difference between the “judge’s” pre-determination and the Council’s. And when dozens of jurists petitioned the mission to dismiss Chinkin, Goldstone rejected them. It is clear why. The identity between the judge and the Council was absolute.

We must tarry another moment on the Council’s decision. Any enlightened person should give deference to human rights and the international bodies dealing with them. This Council is the UN’s most important body. And indeed, it seems that 33 countries participated in the vote on establishing the mission. And the results: Not one western democracy supported the decision; most abstained. One country voted against – Canada. The third-world countries voted in favor, as did all of the Islamic countries.

Can such an automatic majority – of non-democratic countries – be taken seriously? Certainly not. The Council will not send a Libyan representative to discuss human rights The representative from Pakistan, a country which caused millions of refugees only two months ago, in the framework of a just struggle against several hundred Taliban fighters – will find it hard to talk about “collective punishment” on CNN. For the charade of accusing Israel, one needs an internationally renowned jurist. He’ll do the work. The automatic dark majority does not need to convince itself. It needs someone to publish articles in The New York Times and Ha’aretz, and appear on the BBC.

This is how to turn Israel into a pariah. This is propaganda that even Goebbels the genius didn’t dream of. He is also a Jew; he even has a “Zionist” past. There could be no casting more perfect.

***

A precise study of the report reveals how the libel was perpetrated. This is no cheap, old-fashioned libel. This is a much more sophisticated libel. Now it is called a “narrative.” The Goldstone mission builds the narrative one stage after another. Does libel start with the Kassams that began to fall in 2001? No way. Does the Executive Summary say anything about the thousands of Kassams that have been fired since and have turned the lives of the residents of southern Israel into hell? Not with Goldstone. After the clauses regarding the appointment of the mission members, relevant international law, methodology and Israel’s non-cooperation, the mission gets down to business. The findings. The factual determinations and the verdict.

***

And indeed, the narrative begins with Article 27 (of the Executive Summary), entitled “The Blockade.” According to the article, Israel imposed a blockade. Why? What happened? How did it start? Were there thousands of rockets? Did Hamas take military control of the Strip, while massacring dozens – maybe hundreds – of Palestinians? There is not a word in the opening account. Neither is there any mention of Hamas’s internal terrorism against innocent Palestinians.

And this isn’t all. If there is a blockade, it is not only Israel’s responsibility. The Hamas regime has a long border with Egypt. It seems that this border is completely open. Hundreds of tunnels operate there on a regular basis and deliver everything the Hamas regime wants. The mission’s Executive Summary makes no mention of the tunnels, the open border with Egypt or the smuggling. And what does the report say about the blockade? “Gaza’s economy is further severely effected by the reduction of the fishing zone open to Palestinian fishermen.”

This is an amazing example of the mission’s being recruited for the industry of lies. And the Palestinians established industries before the “blockade”? See, there is free movement of materials, through the tunnels. The problem is that Hamas has chosen only one raw material. Explosives. And there is also a flourishing industry. The production of rockets. “For the Palestinian people,” claimed Fathi Hamad, a Hamas member of Parliament, “death became an industry.” This even appears in Article 475.

But Goldstone, the Devil’s advocate, insists on blaming Israel. The same Fathi, in the same speech, admits with his own voice that Hamas, ” created a human shield of women, children, [and] the elderly.” This is also cited in the report. But Goldstone, ” does not consider it to constitute evidence.” (Article 476) Certainly. When the result has been pre-determined, even the explicit, filmed and recorded admission of a senior Hamas official, like the video footage of the use of children, will not change the conviction. Is it possible to call such work by Goldstone “negligence”, or is it a crime, in the service of a terrorist regime?

Article 28 simplistically determines that Israel is the occupying power. Why? Because. Only in Article 88 does the mission see fit to mention the disengagement. As if it had no bearing on the story. As if Israel had not proven that it had no interest in the Strip. As if Israel had not fulfilled all of its obligations. As if Israel had not left the Palestinians to their fate, so that they could govern themselves, without a single soldier or settler.

Article 29 says that Israel embarked on Operation Cast Lead. Were there barrages of rockets beforehand? They appear later on but not in the Executive Summary. Apparently, they are not relevant. This is how one constructs a lie. Start with a blockade. Then a criminal assault. That’s the Executive Summary.

The mission’s lie repeats itself when it presents a false picture of permanent Israeli aggression. In exactly the same way, the mission says, in Article 193, that Israel began Operation Defensive Shield and caused the killing of hundreds of Palestinians. There is not even one word about the series of terrorist attacks on cafes, restaurants and buses. There is not one word about the Passover massacre at the Park Hotel in Netanya, in which 30 Israelis were murdered – a massacre which broke Israel’s long restraint.

Article 30 deals with the number of casualties but ignores – of course – any study which proves that most of the Palestinian casualties were Hamas personnel. In order to strengthen the impression, the report presents the number of Palestinian dead as opposed to the number of Israelis. The proportionality creates the result. So many Palestinians were killed. So few Israelis. According to this logic, NATO perpetrated war crimes in bombing Yugoslavia in 1999, because the results were similar to those in Gaza: Over 1,000 Yugoslav dead (mostly civilians) and zero casualties among the NATO forces. Thus in Afghanistan as well. Far more Afghans, civilians and fighters, have been killed than NATO soldiers. Does this turn the NATO countries and soldiers into war criminals? And there will yet be proportionality issues. Pakistan sought to get rid of the vexing problem caused by several hundred Taliban fighters. It caused thousands of dead and millions of refugees. Thus also in Lebanon, when it was obliged to fight a few hundred Fatah al-Islam fighters. Their refugee camp, Nahr al-Bared, was destroyed. Hundreds were killed and tens of thousands became refugees.

The world understands that these are the proportions of dealing with terrorists, who hide among civilians. But when Goldstone comes to Israel – he refuses to understand even though Hamas’s threat to Israel is greater than the Taliban’s threat to Europe or Fatah al Islam’s to Lebanon. Goldstone knows the new battlefields. But he ignores because the goal was to demonize Israel. And therefore, he must lie and mislead.

Article 32 deals with Israel’s bombing of Palestinian Authority buildings, rejects the Israeli claim that these were part of the, “Hamas terrorist infrastructure,” and determines that these were, “deliberate attacks on civilian objects in violation of the rule of customary international humanitarian law.” Certainly. If they ignore the fact that Hamas is a terrorist entity that uses terrorism mainly against innocent Palestinians as well – the result is that this is a legitimate political body. Maybe even a charitable organization. Now it is possible to understand why the mission ignores the Hamas Covenant. It is no coincidence. It is easier to square the circle that way.

***

How is Hamas absolved of responsibility for serious crimes? The Goldstone report cites hundreds of inquiries that were carried out by various groups. One of the groups cited is, of course, Amnesty International, which has provided countless hostile reports against Israel. These are cited extensively. But there was another Amnesty report, issued on 21.2.09. This surprising report reviews a series of incidents in which Hamas eliminated dozens of Fatah members, during the time of Operation Cast Lead, in Gaza. And here’s the surprise: Of all the reports, it is this one which is not mentioned in the Goldstone report. There is mention of attacks on Fatah personnel (in Article 80, for example), but with exaggerated effort to minimize the significance of the matter.

The general impression is that Goldstone is much more critical towards Fatah than towards Hamas. For example, Goldstone blames Fatah for the “refusal to cede control of the security institutions” in favor of the Hamas (Article 190), causing the confrontation between the factions. Hamas, according to the whole report, is a completely legitimate body that should control the security institutions. Goldstone stubbornly refuses to see the very anti-Semitic and terrorist nature of Hamas, an entity whose very existence is a crime against humanity.

***

It is possible to continue, article after article, in order to expose the construction of the deceptions and the lies. The mission details 36 factual events that prove, as it were, that Israel perpetrated war crimes. In their reduced framework below, let us examine the attack on the Abd Rabbo family. This event became one of the most prominent symbols of Operation Cast Lead, received widespread coverage and was mentioned in many reports. The Goldstone report devotes ten articles (768-777) to this incident. The mission repeated the claim that family members waived a white flag and that its daughters were murdered in cold blood by Israel. This claim is not only negligent, it is also a malicious lie. Thorough checks have shown that family members agave different and contradictory versions. One of the claims was that this was cold-blooded murder because there were no Hamas personnel in the area. It seems that this claim has also been refuted, by contradictory testimony, even by Time magazine, to the effect that there were indeed Hamas personnel in the area. Moreover, it seems that Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reports that, “”The Abd Rabbo family kept quiet while Hamas fighters turned their farm in the Gaza strip into a fortress.” The testimony is contradictory and the Time and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reports were supposed to be before the mission. But there is not even a hint of them in the Goldstone report, which publishes a libel, even though it has already been contradicted. The objective has been marked. The facts will not confuse the mission.

***

The foregoing is only the tip of the iceberg. Space is too short to detail the parade of lies known as “the Goldstone Report.” We have presented here only isolated examples about the method. Goldstone, who chose to collaborate with the dark majority, supplied the goods. The report deserves a much closer study. The State of Israel must establish a commission of inquiry, led by top-notch jurists, in cooperation with their colleagues from around the world, in order to examine article after article, claim after claim, and refute the libel. The deeper one digs into the report, the more it becomes clear that Goldstone is a criminal hiding under the umbrella of human rights. On behalf of human rights, he and his lies must be exposed. The truth must come to light.

Links to translated articles

9 Responses to Ben Dror Yemini vs. Gideon Levy: Fireman vs. Arsonist

  1. Adam Hacohen says:

    Ben-Dror Yemini is the most prominent journalist in Israel, his articles are masterpiece of original thinking, based on researches and comparative studies.

  2. JD says:

    “Goldstone sold his soul for an endless series of lies.”

    He may be in a cult, the cult of Western European (and some American and South African Reds) cocktail party lefty zionologists still hanging on to the Soviet anti-Zionism campaign that brain damaged a generation. They think it is being “smart,” and serves older prejudices too. In Western Europe their are left wing mass hysterias in the press anytime Israel is in open conflict. He will have many happy meetings in the West with lefties, though I think left wing anti-semitism on a mass scale has been declining since the 2002 mass panicky street protests in Europe over Israel.

    Say this for the communists, the ones in the East never fell for the anti-zionist party line, knew it was propaganda from the beginning. It only remains a residual virus in the West. As does the ideal of state socialism.

    The key weakness about Goldstone is his acceptance of the British lady as a judge on the panel. She expressed beforehand that she thought the Israelis were guilty of war crimes. The open prejudice of a judge is fundamentally a fact for exclusion in any culture. Ponder it, if a US Supreme Court judge said “so and so is guilty” before hearing the case, that judge would be excused. Even if Goldstone had it in for Israel, any normal judge would have got rid of the woman and stuck in another ringer without a public record of prejudgement. That he did not do that simple thing perhaps shows something even darker going on.

    Levy is one of those lefty Israelis who came to anti-zionism, they call it post-zionism, late, taking it on as a seeming leftist correct-thinking passion. Being Israeli not understanding, not having a feeling, of living in a culture with anti-semitism. Ironically, types like Levy, and Haaretz in general, are used as the “good Jews” whose voices, due to ingrained cultural anti-semitism of collective guilt which disdains debate and nuance, are highlighted as conclusive, shut-your-mouth truth of the evil of Israeli ways.

    Again, the fact that Goldstone did not dump the Brit is disturbing.

  3. E.G. says:

    G. Levy’s niche is the provocative and the morbid. He won’t shy from a false analogy or a fallacious comparison just to make another deceitful argument. His real public is not in Israel, but in all Palestine-worshipping associations-committees etc. around the world.

    For those who haven’t had the opportunity to make their own minds about Netanyahu’s speech, here’s a balancing view:
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3781973,00.html

    I wouldn’t characterise Yemini as a Fire-fighter (well, maybe in this context). He’s more a lie detector.

  4. Eliyahu says:

    Yemini’s article is very good. As to Levy, he doesn’t know enough about WW2, particularly about the use of missiles by Germany, to which PM Netanyahu was referring.

    He was not referring to the Blitz which was in 1940 or 41, as I recall. The Germans did not start to use missiles, the V1 and V2, until 1944, as I recall [and thanks to Werner von Braun, who was too valuable a missile specialist to be tried as a war criminal. Instead the US made him a top dog in the US missile development program]. These misslies did kill several thousand people in Britain, especially London, I believe. Of course, Levy doesn’t consider Hamas’ intent which was to slaughter many more Jews than they succeeded in killing, as their citation in Article 7 of the Hamas charter of the medieval hadith about killing the Jews at the End of Days, proves.

  5. Lorenz Gude says:

    Looking at the Goldstone report as a non Jew I think it shows how, once again, Israel is going through the same process as the larger West – and serves as an advanced warning of what lies ahead. That said I think the quote from Orwell from 1941 a few posts back that talked about understanding people like Goldstone in order to predict what they will do next is critically important. Orwell also termed such people ‘unteachable’ in the same quote and I think that is correct. I believe his is right that they are not going to change. What does change and is changing is the extent people like Goldstone are believed. As I understand it they are less influential in Israel (hence the political weakness of the Israeli left) and that mostly Goldstone is useful for controlling the narrative at outlets like the BBC, Guardian and NY Times. When the West gets it that they can’t appease the Islamic fanatics and stops encouraging them, work for people like Goldstone will be harder to come by because their audience will shrink. There is a touch of the desperate in a Jewish lawyer, like Goldstone, taking a job beating up on Israel that a non Jewish leftist like Mary Robinson turned down.

  6. ValeriusS. says:

    There is an interesting commentary about the Goldstone report in an Israeli blog: http://samsonblinded.org/news/palestinians-undeterred-by-obama-13838 .It is about how Palestinians are going to use the Goldstone report for making political capital.

  7. Ray in Seattle says:

    ValeriusS, now there’s an interesting website,

    http://samsonblinded.org/

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