Thursday, October 01, 2009

Goldstone Report: Errors Of Fact

It seems that the Goldstone Commission did not check out all of their facts. Take a look at the Initial Response to Report of the Fact Finding Mission on Gaza (PDF here)

Under the category Misstatements of fact:

o The Report accuses Israel of discriminating against its non-Jewish citizens by not providing shelters to protect Arab towns and villages from the rocket attacks.
(¶ 1709, 1711(1)). In fact, the relevant decision [Govt. Decision number 2341] of the Government of Israel made no such discrimination, and provided all municipalities up to seven kilometers from the fence with a budget to cover the building of shelters. Municipalities located further away from the fence, which included non-Jewish villages as well as the Jewish cities of Be'er Sheva and Ashqelon, did not qualify for this funding.

o The Report repeatedly misrepresents historical facts, particularly in the context of 'explaining' Israel military operations. It states that Operation "Hot Winter" was launched by Israel in February 2008 following a rocket attack towards the city of Ashkelon that caused 'light injuries' (¶ 196). In fact, Roni Yihye, aged 47, a student at Sapir College, was killed after sustaining massive wounds to his chest. Similarly it states that Operation "Days of Penitence" was launched in September-October of 2004, in retaliation for the firing of rockets against the town of Sderot and Israeli settlements, but fails to mention the deaths of Yuval Abebeh (aged 4) and Dorit (Masarat) Benisian (aged 2) of Sderot, killed by a Kassam rocket fired into Gaza while playing in the street. In both cases Hamas claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Keep in mind that this is from an initial response--the fact that 2 mistakes are documented does not mean that there are not others.

As far as the Report's first mistake, the Goldstone Commission could very well blame that on the Israeli government for not cooperating with the Commission. Fair enough, but then the obvious question is just how many other errors of fact does the Report contain because of this. Even if you feel that Israel's decision not to cooperate was wrong--that does not justify validating a faulty report.

As far as the second mistake made by the Commission, if the Commission knows enough to get this information then the question is whether they got it from a reliable source and if they in fact recorded it properly. The onus is on them, unless they insist they copied correctly from a reliable source--in that case, they should make known what resources they are relying on. The distortion here is consistent with the overall slant of the report to play down Israeli casualties.

There are other kinds of flaws in the Report as well.

See also: Goldstone Report: Getting the Law Wrong
See also: Goldstone Report: Did The Commission Even Read Their Own Report?
See also: Goldstone Report: Making It Up As It Goes Along
See also: Goldstone Report: Doubts That Israel Will Carry Out Investigations Already Under Way
See also: Goldstone Report: More Under-Handed Than Even-Handed

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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