Saturday, November 7, 2009

House Shames Itself on Goldstone Report

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

Israeli aggression.


I'm referring to the vote on Tuesday, by a lopsided

344-to-36 margin*, to condemn the Goldstone report on Gaza.


That report, by South African jurist Richard Goldstone

for the UN, showed that both Israel and Hamas had

committed war crimes in the lead-up to and during

Israel's invasion of Gaza almost a year ago. To read

the executive summary, go to


It noted that Israel deliberately attacked civilian

targets, and did not take sufficient action to minimize

civilian loss of life. For instance, it found that

Israel even refused to allow the evacuation of the

injured by ambulance.


The report also condemned Hamas for its rocket attacks

into Israel, which the report said were designed to create terror.


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 Israel can do no wrong is

morally bankrupt and exceedingly unhelpful in

resolving, in a just manner, the conflict between

Israel and Palestinians.


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

Israel, may as well be called the `Down is Up, Night is

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

legitimate investigation?


"How can we protect the people of Israel from

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 Israel to.


*Nays: Baird  Baldwin  Blumenauer  Boustany  Capps

 Carson (IN)  Clarke  Clay  Davis (KY)  Dingell

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  Lujàn  Obey  Speier  Tierney  Welch  Wu




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