Sunday, April 24, 2011

The 'Goldstone' wars begin

A word of introduction to the postings for this week and last week: when I posted last week’s essay (Connect the dots…), I was responding to that week’s news report about a court case in Tel Aviv. Today, I respond to another, separate news report that occurred one week later, this past week.
The two news reports appear to me to be related. So as I wrote this week’s post, I have done four things: (1) I repeat a portion of last week’s essay, to remind the reader of that court case; (2) I add some new details; (3) I discuss the newer news story; and (4), I tie together the two stories.

The battle plan to attack Israel using international law as arranged and organized  by the UN Goldstone Report has officially begun.
In case you missed it, Goldstone is an ideal legal weapon. Our enemies are using it to attack--and Israel doesn’t seem to have a clue that a tsunami is about to hit.
The front of this tidal wave is here now, in two places: a District Court in Tel Aviv, and a West Bank Arab village.
First, Tel Aviv: as I discussed last week, a leftist request for the disclosure of classified documents unfolds in the courtroom of Judge Ruth Ronen, whose husband has close ties to the petitioner—perhaps too close for legal propriety.
What’s this about?  Food.
This is a stealth case because the government and the press, except for one Hebrew-speaking journalist, don’t seem to understand –or care about--what’s going on.  This case is not about food—or protecting sensitive documents, as some suggest; it’s about gathering evidence for war crimes charges against Israel.
A Leftist group called Gisha seeks documents from the Ministry of Defense about food supplies to Gaza, and the Judge, whose husband is on the Board of the New Israel Fund (a Leftist organization supporting Gisha), has approved their request; the Judge also allows the release of the report’s  authors' names.
The fulcrum of this case is the Goldstone Report, which documents the results of a UN Fact Finding Mission into Israel’s military offensive into Gaza in 2008-2009. This report reads like a legal instruction manual for war crimes charges against Israel. The Report has it all: what specific crimes to charge, what language to use in accusations, what codes and laws to cite, and what remedies to seek—including reparations.
This legal ‘playbook’ is thorough, clear and very specific. It is a one-stop source for legal attacks against Israel—and serves as an obvious basis for the stories here—the Tel Aviv courtroom, and the West Bank Arab village.
In Tel Aviv, that food document request is instructive, because Goldstone makes it perfectly clear that Israel is duty-bound by multiple codes , conventions and laws to supply ‘adequate’ food to the Gazans. If Israel does not do so, it has committed potentially prosecutable war crimes.
Why are the report’s authors important? Because, as Goldstone suggests, the authors of any State report might be prosecutable-- in the International Criminal Court (ICC), or elsewhere-- as war criminals.
So any leftist group that gets that food report and its authors’ names has the potential to create war crimes charges against both Israel and individual State employees.
The second story, in the West Bank, involves an Arab head of Village Council, Kais Awad.
Mr  Awad demonstrates the use of another Goldstone legal tactic: collective punishment of a civilian population.  On the very day that Israel announced that police had arrested suspects in the brutal murder of the Fogel family of Itamar, Mr Awad, apparently head of an Arab Village council, immediately declared that the Israeli police had used ‘collective punishment’ in the pursuit of the suspects; on this basis (collective punishment is, we learn in Goldstone, a war crime) Mr Awad called for an international investigation of Israel.

You may call this declaration absurd; but Goldstone pointedly teaches both the definition of 'collective punishment' and its seriousness as a crime.
Clearly, Mr Awad has learned his 'Goldstone'.
Our Prime Minister will soon travel to the US, to speak before Congress , and there are rumors about what he might give away for ‘peace’. I have a suggestion: he should announce that before he gives anything away, these investigations and court actions for war crimes, crimes against humanity, human rights violations and violations of International  humanitarian laws must stop. They are abusive.  If he does not address this issue, Israel could be inundated with lawsuits—thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of them; and, according to Goldstone, these cases might be prosecuted in any court, including Palestinian courts, once statehood is declared.
Between Mr Awad’s use of the accusation, ‘collective punishment’, and the call for that food report in Tel Aviv, the enemies of Israel project an intent to attack Israel using Goldstone as their legal guidebook.
The legal tsunami begins: arrest Arabs, and Israel automatically provokes a ‘Goldstone’ attack— calls for an international investigation (or, as we are destined to see in other cases, accusations of rights violations); reveal State documents involving Gaza or the ‘territories’, and every State employee who signs any report might  be accused of war crimes.
This must stop. These international codes have a purpose, but that purpose is not to rape Israel’s reputation or treasury.
If Abbas is an honest peace partner, this is how his friends act?
There will be no peace with an anti-Israel war in the courtroom. Netanyahu must make that clear.

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