Editorial : Bid to exonerate Israel - Friday 8th April 2011

THE UN has done well to pre-empt any move to modify, much less nullify, the Goldstone report that accused Israel of war crimes in Gaza in 2008-09. More than a year and a half after the report that bore his name was published, Richard Goldstone wrote in a newspaper article recently he regretted certain aspects of the findings because it did not contain the Israeli version. A spokesman for the UN Human Rights Council said the world body would not review the report on the basis of a newspaper article. While the two other members of the four-person commission have not yet reacted, Hina Jilani, Pakistan`s HR activist who was on the panel, said nothing could invalidate the report. “If it does happen”, she said “it would be seen as a suspect move”.
As remarked by Dawn in its editorial of Sept 17, 2009, the Goldstone report did not break any new ground because even while the war was going on, Human Rights Watch reported that Israeli artillery was using a white phosphorus incendiary agent which burns the human skin, and its firing was indiscriminate, hitting civilian targets, including a mosque. That a revision of the findings would be “a suspect move” became crystal clear when an Israeli spokesman remarked that Mr Goldstone understood well “the Jewish people`s suffering” and said the South African judge, a Jew himself, wanted the report to be nullified. The issue here is not the Jewish people`s suffering, which should not be made an excuse for inflicting suffering on the Palestinian people; the issue is whether the Israeli forces committed war crimes in the Gaza Strip. The HRW observations and the Goldstone report agree that they did indeed. What is needed is not the revision of the UN report but to mete out justice to war criminals.

Source : http://www.dawn.com/2011/04/08/bid-to-exonerate-israel.html

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