Although Judge Richard Goldstone has written:’ If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document’ this has still not satisfied some of Israel’s perennial critics. In an article in the Maariv daily, analyst Amos Giboa is of the view: ‘There is a ‘chronic disease among different groups in the world and also in Israel that view the state of Israel as an evil creation, a cruel conqueror and a war criminal to boot. This disease drives them to slander Israel incessantly in order to tie Israel’s hands and to strip it of the right to self-defense. There are groups whose motives are ostensibly moral but they chose to ignore the basic facts facing Israel’.
As an example, Gilboa pointed to an article by Dr. Yishai Menuhin, the director of the Public Committee Against Torture In Israel, who was pleased that Goldstone had expressed regret for the censuring of Israel in his report. However, Menuhin also added: ‘When so many civilians (Palestinian) were killed…more than 1400′, I hope that Israel’s investigatory authorities, who Goldstone has now praised, will indeed find out the truth and explain the killing’. Gilboa, a former IDF Brig.Gen. in the Intelligence branch, was astonished that Menuhin could be so blind to the reality on the ground. Even if the number of fatalities in Cast Lead were 1,400 (and not 1,200 as later verified) how could ‘the distinguished Dr fantasize that they were all Palestinian civilians?’ In the Washington Post, Goldstone admitted that he had erred in his estimate of Palestinian civilians and combatants that were killed and Goldstone now accepted the true number as supplied by both Israel and Hamas. In fact, Hamas Internal Minister stated on Nov.1st 2010 that 706 militants from Hamas and the other terror groups had been killed. This corresponded with an IDF estimate that 60% of the fatalities were combatants. Incidentally, in comparison with the U.S. & NATO campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq where guerrillas also exploit civilians as human shields, their percentage of civilian casualties is far higher than in Cast Lead.
Moreover, Goldstone has now said the IDF did not deliberately target Palestinian civilians and those that died were killed accidentally. In other words, Israel had not committed war crimes or crimes against humanity as was alleged in the original Goldstone Report. However, this cut no ice with Dr Menuhin who continued to speak of the ‘mass killing’ of 1400 Palestinian civilians. Gilboa concluded the Israeli government also bore part of the responsibility for the rampant Israel bashing because it had done next to nothing toward building a professional network to supply an immediate response whenever Israel was defamed.
Doublespeak also applies to the ‘humanitarian aid’ flotillas bound for Gaza. UN officials have verified there is no shortage of food or other humanitarian supplies in Gaza – hundreds of trucks deliver the produce through Israeli land terminals. Israel does insist on security checks on vessels sailing to Gaza, otherwise they would soon be transporting more GRAD missiles for launching at Israeli civilians. That is why Israel is not likely to back down on this issue, whether the Turks like it or not.