The intensifying international campaign to destroy Israel
15 months since Israel’s incursion into Gaza at the turn of 2009, there has been a mounting international effort to isolate and delegitimize Israel and render it defenseless.
Richard Goldstone, avatar of global law and morality
Let us recall the basics. Israel, after foolishly withdrawing from Gaza in 2005 (the withdrawal was the deluded Ariel Sharon’s last act before his stroke, just as the deluded Yitzak Rabin’s last act before his assassination was to sing peace songs), and enduring years of incessant Hamas rocket fire from the area it had abandoned, finally sent IDF forces into Gaza in late 2008 and early 2009 to suppress Hamas. What happened next was a predictable replay of April 2002, when Israel, after enduring increasing suicide attacks for an entire year, finally entered the West Bank to uproot the terrorist infrastructure and found itself accused of war crimes and terrorism for defending itself. The Israeli government was “the mirror image of Hamas and Hezbollah,” said Patrick Buchanan, while the left and the Muslims cooked up the non-existent Jenin massacre, in which Israeli soldiers had supposedly murdered hundreds of Palestinian civilians in a refugee camp.
Similarly, with Operation Cast Lead in 2008-09, the instant result of Israel’s long-delayed act of self-defense against Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza was that it got accused of war crimes against Palestinian civilians in Gaza.
The chief accusation of war crimes came in the form of a report written by South African judge Richard Goldstone (a Jew), formerly of the International Criminal Court, and three pro-Muslim and anti-Israel colleagues under the auspices of the Muslim-dominated UN Human Rights Council. That a “fact-finding” report from such a body would be considered as having any legitimacy is beyond obscene. Yet the whole official and media world didn’t just accept the report, it has treated Goldstone as though he were possessed of some higher moral authority. When nations give up traditional morality and self-government and look to a post-national global system, “post-human” figures such as Goldstone emerge as the icons of the new order.
A good place to get some background on Goldstone’s “investigation” is Melanie Phillips’s September 2009 article, “The Goldstone show-trial,” published before the Goldstone report was issued.
For more recent developments, see Benny Avni’s February 2010 column in the New York Post (reproduced below). From Avni’s article I understand that Israel has six months (now four months) to find itself guilty of war crimes, and if it doesn’t, then it will be indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes. That issue is somewhat murky, however, due to the fact that Israel is not a signatory of the treaty that created the ICC and doesn’t fall under its jurisdiction. But rest assured. This is the age of Obama. Procedural matters will not stop the international left and the Muslims from doing what they purpose to do.
See also these more recent pieces by Melanie Phillips, who more than any writer I know of has stayed on top of the global campaign to destroy Israel, and in particular the vile anti-Israelism that dominates British politics:
Richard the lion-hearted (February 22), about former General Richard Kemp, who supports Israel
A light in the gathering darkness (March 25)
Britain’s Israel Derangement Syndrome goes viral (March 31)
The loneliest man in the world (March 31)
David Obameron bravely stands up to the victims of religious war (April 5)
What it comes down to is this: the UN, the international left, and the Muslim world are working in concert to set up a global regime in which any country they don’t like, namely Israel and the U.S., but ultimately any Western country that still foolishly believes that it possesses sovereignty and freedom, will be stripped of the ability to use force or any effective measures in its own defense, since such defense will be deemed a war crime, a crime against humanity, or a violation of international human rights, which shall be tried by an international judicial body. The aim is to do to the remaining free nations of the world what Obama is trying to do the American people—bring them under a single, unopposable, alien rule.
What is needed, then, is not just resistance to the UN/Goldstone/ICC effort to put Israel in the dock, but a rejection of the entire international leftist and Islamic program to destroy Western freedom. As long as Israel and the U.S. accept the legitimacy of the UN and other evil international bodies, they remain under their power.
Here is Avni’s New York Post article:
The Goldstone hustle
Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 08, 2010 04:53 PM | Send
By BENNY AVNI
February 5, 2010
An important battle in the global War on Terror takes place today on the East River, as the UN General Assembly resumes its hearings on knocked-together allegations that Israel committed war crimes in Gaza last winter.
The chosen tool of the world Israel-bashing lobby is South African Judge Richard Goldstone, whose now-infamous report made an overstated and poorly substantiated case against the Israel Defense Force. He also charted a careful road map for taking the job of prosecution away from Israel’s unbiased, independent and long-admired justice system and handing it to the Hague-based International Criminal Court.
The ICC, set up just eight years ago, has yet to prove its judicial merits. More important, it clearly lacks jurisdiction here.
To start with, the 1998 Rome Statute (which created the ICC) plainly allows the court to step in only when national courts are unable or unwilling to try war crimes. In fact, Israeli courts have long done so. Second, the ICC has no power over countries that haven’t joined it—such as Israel and the United States.
To override all this international law, Goldstone has asked every UN body that might listen to sit in judgment over whether Israel’s own investigations are “independent, credible and in conformity with international standards.” If, after a period of six months, the United Nations deems that Israel has failed, it would refer the matter to The Hague. (Goldstone isn’t picky: He’s also called on European national courts to take up the supposed Israeli war crimes.)
Why would the United Nations have any standing here? Goldstone’s report also ginned up a narrative claiming that Israel’s true aim in Operation Cast Lead wasn’t to end Hamas’ daily barrage of rockets at civilians but was instead part of a grand strategy to beat Gazans into submission. A country intent on such evil, Goldstone claimed, can’t be trusted to investigate its own crimes.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is due to report today to the General Assembly on how Israel has responded; he will likely pass along a letter Israel has written to him without judging its merits. Next week, the Assembly will decide how to proceed.
This process, which allows UN members to put one country’s war tactics in the dock, is highly volatile, to put it mildly. Most UN member states have never had their own independent judiciaries. They cast their UN votes on the basis of the self-interest of their rulers, with only the barest effort to justify the decision on higher moral grounds. And animosity toward Israel is the rule in the General Assembly chamber.
In its letter to Ban, Israel’s foreign ministry easily disposes of the notion that its army “can’t investigate itself”—describing how the IDF’s advocate general is institutionally independent of the military chain of command and is ultimately answerable to the country’s highly esteemed Supreme Court.
The letter also details how, as an initial result of 150 ongoing investigations into allegations of wrongdoings in Gaza, two top army commanders were reprimanded for employing too much firepower in civilian areas.
But as international pressure grows, Israeli politicians are divided on how to continue. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is pushing to establish an independent investigative body of acclaimed Israeli jurists to counter Goldstone. But Defense Minister Ehud Barak warns that once you open that door, Israeli soldiers would drag with them a personal lawyer to the next battlefield to protect them from future international prosecution.
America has heroically stood by Israel at the United Nations so far, letting everyone know that it would veto any Security Council attempt to send Goldstone’s allegations to the ICC. But the Obama administration has also reportedly used the case as a club to beat Israel into yielding on such issues as settlements and reopening the Gaza border—telling Jerusalem officials, Our fight against Goldstone would be much easier if …
Such an approach is clearly wrongheaded. Israel has always been the enemy’s first target in the War on Terror.
From plane hijackings to suicide bombings, every terrorist tactic was created and perfected by anti-Israel terrorists before migrating to American and European shores. (The latest innovation: Gaza fishermen this week floated explosive-filled barrels to shore, forcing Israeli surfers and swimmers to abandon beautiful winter beaches.) Similarly, the Palestinian terrorists’ use of Palestinian civilians’ suffering to enrage world opinion was quickly copied in other theaters of war.
If Goldstone’s tactics succeed, future imitators will surely build cases for “war crimes” in Iraq, Afghanistan or Yemen. Indeed, the ICC’s top prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, has already expressed interest in trying allegations against NATO troops, including Americans, operating against al Qaeda in Afghanistan.
The United States should protect Israel in this case as if it were protecting itself—because it is.