Justice Richard Goldstone.
A few days ago Sky News reported a couple of news mentioning the name Goldstone. The first was about an outbreak of the e-coli disease in the Goldstone pet farm ( Surrey, UK), and the second was the Goldstone commission report about the Cast Lead war between Israel and the Hamas. . I was almost temped to say: perhaps another sort of disease, breed in the Universal Human Rights laboratories specifically targeting Israel.
Well, no, the report is not a disease. Ex judge Richard Goldstone is an honorable men. His credentials as a Zionist and Israel lover are beyond doubts. He is a first rate jurist with overwhelming experience in war crimes jurisdiction.
So this Zionist Israel lover is the men accusing Israel of war crimes, putting her in the same league as the Nazi criminals in the Nirenberg Trials. He is not drawing a demarcation lines between the premeditated Wannsee plan of exterminating the Jews and in fact exterminating 6 million of them, and between Israel’s self defence war, causing 1300 war casualties mostly Hamas men.
Let me remind to myself: the Cast Lead war was only the final result of a 7 year shelling of more than 8000 qassam rockets targeting half a million of civilians living in south Israel by the Hamas ,
So where is the catch? what is going wrong?
Well to say it frankly. Nothing is going wrong, there is no catch at all. Ex judge Goldstone report is viewing and judging the today terrorist warfare trough the codex of WW2 war crimes .
He has taken a snapshot named the “Cast Lead” war, a war whose causes are fossilized deep into the report as not fitting directly in the overall schema of what he sees as war crimes . Israel’s attempt to stop the rocket launching on his southern civilian population is, in his view, well fitting in his scheme of war crimes:
…”Israel is currently fighting under, and being judged by, the laws of World War II, which are suitable for conventional wars between two or more armies in open fields, where it is easier to define proportionality.
But what do you do when terrorists hide under homes, or when they don’t wear uniforms? What do you do when the enemy high command runs its operations from under a hospital located in a crowded neighborhood, as Hamas did during Cast Lead, using the basement of Shifa Hospital as a command and control center? It is clear that the existing laws of war are incompatible with the current and evolving nature of war”…, see here.
This is a situation of incompatibilities where hypothetical soldiers will be forced to ask in the middle of battle who is a civilian and who is a terrorist and meanwhile be killed and perhaps loosing a self defense war..
Ex judge Goldstone’s report does not provide much help to solve such incompatibilities or ‘minor’ problems. But on the other hand his report is a panacea for the terrorist who can now rely on his WW2 codex jurisdiction to continue without fear, from within any civilian population, be it in Afghanistan, Iraq or any other country or European capital, and perpetuate any crimes, and if civilians may be killed in the attempt of the local forces to stop them, the blame of war crimes will fall on the defenders.
What conclusions, if any, can be drawn from the encounter of ex judge Goldstone, Hamas terrorism and Israel defending her citizens. In the short run all are shouting in one great cacophony. Right wing speakers blame the world for his hypocrisy. See Obama in Afghanistan, Putin in Tchetchenia… etc. Leftists and fringe speakers accuse Israel for all the vicissitudes of the world, see the boycotters from the UK, Toronto …etc.
But in the long run, and in our days the long run is relatively short, each of the belligerent parties will readjust himself to the new Goldstone conditions or fight them , fine tuning his intelligence capacities and improving his high-tech weaponry. The smarter will do the hack better. But if the Jihadist mentality against Israel will prevail, then de facto, nothing will radically change for both sides. Israel and the Hamas will continue their clashes.
This is the world today, a ‘Rashomon‘ movie, telling a 21 century story staged in the high-tech third millennium under the auspice of the Goldstone report as a metaphor.