Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Why Do Obama And Richard Goldstone Have The Oddest Friends?

Just a few days ago, we found out that the man Obama wants to return to power in Honduras--Manuel Zelaya--thinks Israel is secretly torturing him with high levels of radiation:

It's been 89 days since Manuel Zelaya was booted from power. He's sleeping on chairs, and he claims his throat is sore from toxic gases and "Israeli mercenaries'' are torturing him with high-frequency radiation.

"We are being threatened with death,'' he said in an interview with The Miami Herald, adding that mercenaries were likely to storm the embassy where he has been holed up since Monday and assassinate him.

Now, it turns out that one of Judge Richard Goldstone's witnesses in his controversial report accusing Israel of war crimes thinks that Israel is up to something even more insidious in Gaza.

Gazan police spokesperson Islam Shahwan accuses Israel of smuggling gum into Gaza that increases the sex drive:

Is Israel targeting the Palestinian population in Gaza by distributing libido-increasing chewing gum in the Strip? A Hamas police spokesman in the Gaza Strip Islam Shahwan claimed Monday that Israeli intelligence operatives are attempting to "destroy" the young generation by distributing such materials in the coastal enclave.

Shahwan said that the police got their hands on gum that increases sexual desire that, according to him, reaches merchants in the Strip by way of the border crossings. According to him, a Palestinian drug dealer admitted that he sold products that increase sex drive. The dealer said that he received the materials from Israeli sources by way of the Karni crossing.

This is the same Islam Shahwan whose testimony is accepted at face value in the Goldstone Commission Report, despite being contradicted by Commission's own findings. In paragraph 414 of the report, the report confirms that on January 1st, Shahwan informed the media how Hamas would counter a ground invasion from Israel:

an action plan has been put forward, and we have conducted an assessment of the situation and a general alert has been declared by the police and among the security forces in case of any emergency or a ground invasion. Police officers received clear orders from the leadership to face the enemy, if the Gaza Strip were to be invaded. [emphasis added]

This would seem to clearly prove that the Palestinian 'police' were much more than just police--unless you are a member of the Goldstone Commission, in which case you take at face value Shahwan's explanation:

Confirming to the Mission that he had been correctly quoted, Mr. Shahwan stated that the instructions given at that meeting were to the effect that in the event of a ground invasion, and particularly if the Israeli armed forces were to enter urban settlements in Gaza, the police was to continue its work of ensuring that basic food stuffs reached the population, of directing the population to safe places, and of upholding public order in the face of the invasion. Mr. Shahwan further stated that not a single policeman had been killed in combat during the armed operations, proving that the instructions had been strictly obeyed by the policemen. [emphasis added]

So police who "received clear orders from the leadership to face the enemy" were actually actually working on crowd control? Must be, because the Goldstone Commission buys it.

Also, the Commission apparently has no problem with Shahwan's claim that no policemen were killed in combat--despite the fact that this claim is clearly contradicted in the very next paragraph (415) of the report:

On the basis of the information provided by the Gaza authorities and of the above-mentioned study of the Orient Research Group Ltd., it would appear that 75 per cent of its members killed in the course of the military operations died as a result of the air strikes carried out during the first minutes of the Israeli attack. These men had not engaged in combat with the Israeli armed forces.
If 75% were killed during the initial strike, then 25% were killed in combat--yet this contradiction to Shahwan's testimony is not even accounted for.

What a mess.

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