War Crimes In Gaza, Ctd


DiA makes many good points while explaining the significance of the UN report released yesterday:

Israel refused to cooperate with the investigation. That, as Aluf Benn writes in Ha'aretz, was dumb: it means the report can include no Israeli response to the allegations. We have no idea what the tank commanders thought they saw, or whether the destruction of the flour mill was an excusable mistake. With such damning evidence from Palestinian accusers, and no exculpatory evidence from Israeli soldiers, it's hard to see how America can avoid calling on Israel to investigate.

Israel's response has been to launch a campaign to discredit the report as "biased". Few, apart from Israelis themselves, are likely to be convinced. The report credits allegations of war crimes by Hamas as well, including charges that Hamas militants failed to exercise their Geneva Conventions responsibilty to keep away from the civilian population, which is precisely the charge Israel levels at them. Hamas, meanwhile, issued similar accusations of bias. As Juan Cole, a Middle East expert, points out, this suggests the report is probably on target. And Israel simply lacks the credibility to accuse a panel headed by Judge Goldstone, a hero of the anti-apartheid movement, of bias.

Demonizing Goldstone, given his record, seems wrong to me. That war was a moral disgrace; it lost Israel friends and support; and its achievements are minimal.

(Photo: a child victim of the Gaza attack, by Thair Hasani/Getty.)