Sunday, April 03, 2011

goldstone fallout

the israeli government's reaction to the partial retraction of the goldstone report by judge goldstone is a little puzzling.

when goldstone was first commissioned to investigate possible war crimes in the gaza war, he asked both hamas and israel to cooperate with the investigation. hamas (mostly) cooperated, but israel refused. as a result most of what goldstone got was only from one side got of the story, so he issued a report using the best information he had, concluded that both sides probably committed war crimes and ended by advising both sides to launch their own investigation.

then the israeli political establishment lost their fucking minds. after refusing to present their side of the story they were outraged that goldstone had not considered their side of the story. so they loudly denounced the report, rejecting goldstone's conclusion that they had anything to investigate, and then the IDF went ahead and did those investigations that he asked for anyway.

so now years later goldstone has the benefits of those investigations and is using that further information, information that the israelis adamantly refused to provide him when he asked for it before, has decided that he would not have come to the same conclusions in his report if he knew then what he knows now.

somehow the israelis are viewing goldstone's new statements as evidence that they were right all along. actually what it shows is that they were acting like a bunch of idiotic buffoons: that goldstone was never an anti-israeli zealot that they kept trying to paint him as, and that the whole reason that his report ended up being so critical of them is because they stupidly wouldn't cooperate. the horrible "damage to israel's reputation" that they claimed the goldstone report inflicted upon israel was actually completely self-inflicted.

so now the israelis are going further and demanding that the UN retract the entire goldstone report. except that goldstone didn't retract the entire report, just some of the allegations.1 it seems like they've totally missed the point of all of this, which is that refusing to cooperate with the investigation was dumb and counterproductive.

1-plus there's an argument (quite a strong one in my mind) that a military's investigation of its own behavior is not actually all that reliable. so just because goldstone is satisfied with the IDF's investigations doesn't mean that everyone else has to be.