Bradley Burston; 16/10/09; (3 Items)
I put off reading the Goldstone report the same way I put off scheduling a colonoscopy. I now realize it was for many of the same reasons. You know it’s going to be tremendously uncomfortable, you don’t want to know what they’re going to find, and the consequences could be life-threatening. I know that I am not alone. Despite the many people who have made strident declarations about the report, few have actually read it, end to end. It’s a tough slog, the hundreds of pages of the UN-sponsored report on allegations of war crimes in Gaza. The material is infuriating at times, the content inconsistent, the methodology slapdash. But for anyone who cares about the future of this place, and for anyone who has paid close attention to the hyperbole and factual errors of Israeli leaders in condemning it, the read is more than worthwhile – if only for the key element of its surprise ending: A marked degree of fairness.
Israel needs legitimacy to wage war and peace
Ari Shavit; 16/10/09
t seems as if everything is fine. Israel’s borders are quiet, the state is stable, the economy is recovering. Hezbollah and Hamas have been deterred, real estate prices are skyrocketing, and chemist Ada Yonath is on her way to Stockholm to pick up the Nobel Prize. Even Ra’ad Salah’s attempt to ignite Jerusalem has thus far not succeeded: Palestinian sanity and Israeli discretion are still maintaining order. So it is not surprising that according to a recent comparative survey, Israel is one of the 30 countries in the world in which life is just fine. With a strong shekel, relative security and temporary calm, life here really is good. Corruption and cynicism have both been hit hard, and today’s Israel is cruising on still waters. Without major achievements and without major failings, without peace and without war, it seems as if things are all right. Not great, but all right. But things are not all right – they really are not. Why? Because underneath those still waters on which Israel’s ship is sailing lurks an iceberg. The Goldstone report marked the iceberg’s first appearance. Turkey turning its back on Israel was the second. Attempts by European courts to try Israel Defense Forces officers were the third; the boycott of Israeli products and companies in various places round the world was the fourth; and global indifference to the nuclearization of a regional power that threatens to wipe Israel off the map is the fifth. Every week, almost every day, the iceberg peeks above the surface. And when one takes a good look over the railing of this pleasure cruise, one can see exactly what it is: The iceberg is the loss of the State of Israel’s legitimacy.
The Golda wars
Gideon Levy; 16/11/09
Those who are to blame for everything have been found: the “Goldstoners.” Not the occupation, the settlements, Israeli aggressiveness or brutality; just Goldstone. According to Ari Shavit (Haaretz, October 8), the spirit of Judge Richard Goldstone will bring the next war upon us, and it will be called the Goldstone War. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week reiterated that sentiment in amazingly similar terms this week in his speech to the Knesset. Not since Golda Meir said she would never forgive the Arabs for making us kill their children have such self-righteous, infuriating and damaging statements been made. It is fairly certain that the next war will break out at a time and place of Israel’s choosing. That is the way it has been in all the wars since 1973. We have embarked on three unnecessary wars on Israel’s initiative because of the “Golda spirit” of Shavit and those like him, who see war as a legitimate and even desirable weapon.