Monday, October 12, 2009

The Goldstone Report

[Ismail Haniyeh]
So Hamas bombarded southern Israel cities intermittently for years and constantly for months. With their usual indifference for the lives of children and contempt for truth, the rocket launchers were set up in hospitals and schools. The Israelis used the best high-accuracy small explosive rockets to kill the rocket launcher crews without harming the schools and hospitals.

This is now described in the UN's Goldstone Report as Israeli war crimes. In order to avoid looking ridiculous even to their UN friends, the Goldstone Report reported the Hamas bombardment of Israeli schools, homes, and hospitals, from which no one was shooting anything, as also war crimes.

The UN's Goldstone Report claimed there was a moral equivalence between Hamas bombarding civilian targets and Israel bombarding rocket launchers shooting at their civilians. Benjamin Netanyahu today spoke before the Knesset saying, no Israeli would stand trial for these "crimes".

None of that is news or surprising.

Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the PA and Fatah, initially pressed to have the Goldstone Report forwarded to the General Assembly and Security Council for action. That made sense - he is the enemy of both Israel and of Hamas and the report condemned both.

It is also not surprising that the US, the EU, and Israel, according to the claim of Hamas, all pressured Abbas not to proceed. He succumbed to their pressure (they pay his bills and he knows it) which is also not surprising.

What is surprising is Hamas' response.

From Haaretz -
Hamas leaders at the special legislative session held in Gaza City accused Abbas of committing "national treason."

Hamas official Mahmoud Zahar said that as such, Abbas could no longer be
considered a Palestinian and demanded that he be stripped of his citizenship.

Hundreds of protesters in the West Bank condemned the Palestinian Authority on Monday for Abbas' decision.

"Ignoring the Goldstone report is ignoring the blood of the martyrs" one banner held by participants said.

Syrian officials, meanwhile, have postponed a scheduled Abbas in apparent protest at his backing of a delay on the vote, local media reported Monday.

"The Syrian leadership decided to cancel the visit by the head of the Palestinian Authority (PA) which was scheduled tonight in respect of the blood of the martyrs of Gaza which Israel raided for 23 days," the Al-Watan semi-official newspaper quoted an unnamed diplomatic source as saying.
It seems strange that Hamas would so fiercely denounce Abbas for consenting to shelve a report which condemned Hamas as war criminals. One explanation would be that since the report was shelved they were out of danger and could be as cynical as they liked, pretending the report denounced only Israel.

Another explanation, one I sadly find more believable, is that they are deaf to reason. That they simply were unable to visualize criticism of themselves and simply didn't hear it. This inability to fairly consider criticism would be reinforced by their quickness to violence and censorship against their critics. It is likely the section of the report condemning Hamas as war criminals did not circulate in Gaza at all. Which means that the majority of the denouncers of Abbas did not know what they were talking about.

Which is somewhat charming in a way. Abbas and the PA are for the moment on the receiving end of their own Big Lie tactic.

The Syrian government of course knows exactly what is in the Goldstone Report and their reaction is purely cynical.

No comments:

Post a Comment