Goldstonerapporten om krigsforbrydelser begået under den seneste konflikt i Gaza har stillet Israel i et lille dilemma. Fra Jerusalem Post
Cotler [Canadas tidligere justitsminister; red.] said that although he has opposed the report, which he regarded as “tainted,” he could not help but note that the creation of an independent inquiry presented a unique opportunity for Israel and international law.
He cautioned that he was not telling Israel what to do, but rather he was suggesting that the situation presented them with an opportunity.
“I know of no other democracy that has engaged in a review of its warfare and its involvement in hostilities that has gone beyond its military’s own internal review. Israel could set a model internationally.”
“It would be making an important and maybe enduring contribution to the development of international human rights and humanitarian law. That is not something that should be marginalized,” said Cotler.
In the face of such an inquiry, he said, it would be hard to continue to single out Israel, “When it is clear that Israel has gone further than any other democracy” in investigating its own actions.
He added, however, that alongside its exploration into allegations against individual Israelis he would also like to see such an inquiry panel investigate the Goldstone Report and the actions of the Human Rights Council in setting up the four-person fact finding mission led by South African jurist Richard Goldstone.
Cotler said that to avert this possibility, he recommended that such a panel also investigate “the illegitimacy of the process that established the Goldstone commission.” Friedmann, however, said he believed that “the Goldstone commission is so distorted and so unacceptable” that it should not be justified through an independent investigation.
“What has happened here is that for no justifiable reason Israel was singled out at the UN,” he added.
Og man kan roligt tage fat på Goldstone-kommisionen, som Camera beskriver som “…widely faulted for its lack of objectivity, duplicitous methodology and biased mandate predetermining its conclusions.”, hvorefter de metodisk demostrerer dette.
Goldstones objektivitet er blevet belastet af at han er tidlige bestyrelsesmedlem af Human Rights Watch, hvor han blandt andet har hygget sig med samleren af “nazi-memorabilia” Joe Stork og HRWs stifter nu tager afstand fra sin tidligere organisation ifølge Jerusalem Post
In a New York Times opinion piece, Robert L. Bernstein, who served as Human Rights Watch chairman from 1978 to 1998 and is now its founding chairman emeritus, wrote that with increasing frequency, the watchdog casts aside its important distinction between open and closed societies.
“Nowhere is this more evident than in its work in the Middle East,” he said. “The region is populated by authoritarian regimes with appalling human rights records. Yet in recent years Human Rights Watch has written far more condemnations of Israel for violations of international law than of any other country in the region.”
He said Israel was home to at least 80 human rights organizations, a vibrant free press, a democratically elected government, a judiciary that frequently rules against the government, a politically active academia, multiple political parties and probably more journalists per capita than any other country in the world.
On the other hand, he said, the Iranian regime, and most Arab regimes, remained “brutal, closed and autocratic, permitting little or no internal dissent.”
He said Human Rights Watch’s Middle East division could be greatly beneficial to citizens of those countries, but they were instead being ignored as “report after report on Israel” was compiled.
He said the group had “lost critical perspective on a conflict in which Israel has been repeatedly attacked by Hamas and Hizbullah, organizations that go after Israeli citizens and use their own people as human shields.”
Bernstein stressed that those terror groups were backed by Iran, which has called for the annihilation of Israel and the Jews, and said such incitement to genocide was a violation of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
“Leaders of Human Rights Watch know that Hamas and Hizbullah chose to wage war from densely populated areas, deliberately transforming neighborhoods into battlefields,” he wrote. “They know that more and better arms are flowing into both Gaza and Lebanon and are poised to strike again. And they know that this militancy continues to deprive Palestinians of any chance for the peaceful and productive life they deserve. Yet Israel, the repeated victim of aggression, faces the brunt of Human Rights Watch’s criticism.”
Published days after the Human Rights Council endorsed the Goldstone Commission report that accused Israel of committing war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during last winter’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, the opinion piece notably points out that there was a difference between wrongs committed in self-defense and those carried out intentionally.
“In Gaza and elsewhere where there is no access to the battlefield or to the military and political leaders who make strategic decisions, it is extremely difficult to make definitive judgments about war crimes,” Bernstein went on to say. “Reporting often relies on witnesses whose stories cannot be verified and who may testify for political advantage or because they fear retaliation from their own rulers.
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