Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Forget What's In The Goldstone Report--What Did They Leave Out?!

In a memorandum he sent to the UN Human Rights Council, Maurice Ostroff notes the evidence available to the fact-finding commission that was rejected:

1. Rejection of credible relevant evidence
The Report omits, without explanation, a great deal of highly relevant, credible information that would certainly have a bearing on the HRC's evaluation. In fact it could be considered that the Mission had a duty to at least disclose in the Report, the existence and contents of such available evidence even if it disagreed with the contents. For example

1.1. Memorandum from Australian lawyers.
A professionally prepared document submitted by a group of 15 eminent Australian lawyers earned only the briefest mention in footnote 297. See

1.2. Colonel Richard Kemp (see Appendix A)
That highly significant evidence was totally ignored, not even earning a footnote, on the grounds that "there was no reliance on Col. Kemp mainly because the Report did not deal with the issues he raised regarding the problems of conducting military operations in civilian areas and second-guessing decisions made by soldiers and their commanding officers in the fog of war. The Mission avoided having to do so in the incidents it decided to investigate". This explanation is completely unacceptable, since it is a sine qua non that investigating alleged war crimes essentially involved investigation of the military operations in civilian areas. See http://www.2nd-thoughts.org/id199.html.

1.3. Reluctant witnesses
The Mission failed to take advantage of leads to trace some critical witnesses, as well as to view video presentations in which Palestinians who had fled from Hamas described Hamas' abuse of hospitals and ambulances.
The report must be considered incomplete unless such evidence is included.

Read the whole thing.

To this list we can add Dr. Mirela Siderer:

Judge Richard Goldstone, in July you invited me to testify. I told you my story. I am known by my patients -- including many women from Gaza. For me, every human being is equal.

...Judge Goldstone, I told you all of this, in detail. I testified in good faith. You sent me this letter, saying, "Your testimony is an essential part of the Mission's fact-finding activities."

But now I see your report. I have to tell you: I am shocked.

Judge Goldstone, in a 500-page report, why did you completely ignore my story? My name appears only in passing, in brackets, in a technical context. I feel humiliated.

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