April 22, 2011

Voting Down H.R.1501 - Upholding International Law and the Goldstone Report

by Diane V. McLoughlin, April 22, 2011

To Members of Congress,

I would like to thank you for not co-sponsoring *H.R.1501, which seeks to withhold U.S. dues from
the UN until it retracts the findings of the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict. I urge you to
continue to not support, or vote for, this resolution.

I would share with you that the crimes committed by Israel in 'Operation Cast Lead' were not
incidental. State-employed rabbis distributed leaflets to soldiers that enjoined them to show no mercy. [1]

The IDF, as well as the government of Israel herself, hold to something called the 'Dahiya Doctrine' -
overwhelming violence against civilians in the belief that this in some way provides deterrence from
attack against themselves. This military philosophy is contrary to international law. The Goldstone
Report confirmed that the Dahiya Doctrine was in force during Israel's 2008 attack and demolition of
Gaza, otherwise known as Operation Cast Lead. [2]

Thus, it should come as no surprise that the IDF committed atrocities. What does it mean when an
invading force deliberately destroys a third of a region's cropland? It's water and sewage treatment
facilities, which is a form of biological warfare? Schools? Food depots?

Youtube: One shocking scenario detailed by a representative from the International Red Cross
where the IDF impeded access to the dead and wounded. Rescued babies were found starving
beside their dead mothers

Results of IDF investigations to-date? An IDF soldier punished with seven months imprisonment - for stealing a credit card. Three other soldiers, who used a nine year-old boy to open bags the soldiers suspected were booby trapped, receive three-month suspended sentences. These, out of 490 incidents reported to the IDF's military prosecutor. [2a]

Americans should be told the real story. The people in Gaza are war refugees who were driven out in IDF military trucks at the point of guns out of their homes during the massive organized ethnic cleansing operation of 1948. Sderot used to be called Najd by its rightful Palestinian inhabitants now languishing in Gaza under illegal Israeli military siege. 1.5 million men, women, children have been held captive there for years now, while the world debates the definition of deprivation. The children's growth is stunted. Do we really need to know more?

Israel broke the ceasefire with Hamas in launching the Cast Lead assault, preparing for months during the ceasefire to betray this confidence-building calm, and we provided the weapons of Gaza's ruination. The more Hamas reaches out, the more Israel's right-wing elements react with extreme violence. Land or peace, they choose continued theft of Palestinian land.

Even though South African Judge Richard Goldstone, the chair of the commission, reconsidered his personal opinion on one of the 36 incidents documented in the 575-page report, the other commission members have noted correctly that:

“There is no justification for any demand or expectation for reconsideration of the report as nothing of substance has appeared that would in any way change the context, findings or conclusions of that report with respect to any of the parties to the Gaza conflict. Indeed, there is no UN procedure or precedent to that effect.”

But what would cause Goldstone, without consultation with the other members of the commission, to make conciliatory noises in his Washington Post op-ed? The pressure that has been applied against an honest accounting in the Report has been immense - pressure I feel certain we will never know to its fullest dimensions. However, we do know that South African Jewish leadership threatened to ruin, with a public protest, Goldstone's grandson's bar mitzvah if he refused to meet to discuss (influence?) the report into the Gaza assault.

Prominent Jews are on record as calling Goldstone everything from an anti-Semite (Israeli cabinet ministers), to a 'despicable human being' (Dershowitz.) [3]

So, again, to Members of Congress, I thank you and I urge you to continue to uphold the principle that human rights and international law apply to everyone - including Israel.

The shrillest howls of protest are heard when it is suggested that peace will flower in Israel-Palestine when they are brought together in one secular state with equal rights and the vote for both Jewish and Palestinian inhabitants. I cannot envision anything that would make them more strong and free. I wish I could find the words to impart to both sides this bright hope.


Diane V. McLoughlin


*To write your Member of Congress regarding H.R. 1501, click here. [Text of H.R. 1501, entitled, 'To withhold United States contributions to the United Nations until the United Nations formally retracts the final report of the ‘United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict’; April 12th, 2011; http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h112-1501 ];

[1] Article, 'Army rabbi 'gave out hate leaflet to troops'; by Ben Lynfield in Jerusalem; 27/01/09; The Independent; http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/army-rabbi-gave-out-hate-leaflet-to-troops-1516805.html ;

[2] 'Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict' - (otherwise referred to as The Goldstone Report); Sept. 15, 2009; see, for example, pg. 21 of 575 pgs. of the Advance Edited Version; http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/specialsession/9/docs/UNFFMGC_Report.PDF ;

[2a] Document, 'Amnesty International's updated assessment of Israeli and Palestinian investigations into the Gaza conflict'; Mar. 18, 2011; noting Amnesty International's call, that it, '...urges the General Assembly to call on the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Gaza to the International Criminal Court (ICC)'; http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE15/018/2011/en/d7e260da-008a-461b-be03-85c223634a90/mde150182011en.html ;

[3] Article, 'Goldstone family drawn into row over Gaza report'; Chris McGreal; 30/04/10; The Guardian; http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/apr/30/richard-goldstone-south-africa-jews

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