House Shames Itself on Goldstone Report
By Matthew Rothschild,
November 4, 2009
Shame on the House of Representatives, and on the
Democratic leadership of the House, for pushing through
a resolution once again blindly taking the side of
I'm referring to the vote on Tuesday, by a lopsided
344-to-36 margin*, to condemn the Goldstone report on
That report, by South African jurist Richard Goldstone
for the UN, showed that both
committed war crimes in the lead-up to and during
the executive summary, go to http://www.scribd.com/doc/21219870/goldstone-report-executive-summary.
It noted that
targets, and did not take sufficient action to minimize
civilian loss of life. For instance, it found that
injured by ambulance.
The report also condemned Hamas for its rocket attacks
Even as the U.N. was about to consider the report, the
House measure called it "irredeemably biased and
unworthy of further consideration or legitimacy." And
it urged the Obama Administration to "strongly and
unequivocally oppose" any discussion of it at the UN.
This reflexive attitude that
morally bankrupt and exceedingly unhelpful in
resolving, in a just manner, the conflict between
Dennis Kucinich had it right when he denounced the
House majority for going along with this. His statement
is so powerful that I'm excerpting it at length here.
"Today we journey from Operation Cast Lead to Operation
Cast Doubt," he said on the House floor on Tuesday.
"Almost as serious as committing war crimes is covering
up war crimes, pretending that war crimes were never
committed and did not exist.
"Because behind every such deception is the
nullification of humanity, the destruction of human
dignity, the annihilation of the human spirit, the
triumph of Orwellian thinking, the eternal prison of
the dark heart of the totalitarian.
"The resolution before us today, which would reject all
attempts of the Goldstone Report to fix responsibility
of all parties to war crimes, including both Hamas and
Day, Wrong is Right: resolution.' . . .
"How can we ever expect there to be peace in the Middle
East if we tacitly approve of violations of
international law and international human rights, if we
look the other way, or if we close our eyes to the
heartbreak of people on both sides by white-washing a
"How can we protect the people of
existential threats if we hold no concern for the
protection of the Palestinians, for their physical
security, their right to land, their right to their own
homes, their right to water, their right to sustenance,
their right to freedom of movement, their right to
human security of jobs, education and health care?
"We will have peace only when the plight of both
Palestinians and Israelis is brought before this House
and given equal consideration in recognition of that
principle that all people on this planet have a right
to survive and thrive, and it is our responsibility,
our duty to see that no individual, no group, no people
are barred from this humble human claim."
Until most members of Congress show some respect for
international law and some humanity toward
Palestinians, there's no reason for
*Nays: Baird Baldwin Blumenauer Boustany Capps
Doggett Edwards (MD) Ellison Filner Grijalva
Hinchey Johnson, E. B. Kilpatrick Kucinich Lee
(CA) Lynch McCollum McDermott McGovern Miller
George Moran (VA) Olver Pastor (AZ) Paul
Price (NC) Rahall Snyder Stark Waters Watt Woolsey
Present: Becerra Cooper Dahlkemper DeFazio
Delahunt Duncan Eshoo Farr Heinrich Hirono
Honda Johnson (GA) Jones Kaptur Loebsack
Lofgren, Zoe LujÃ n Obey Speier Tierney Welch Wu