Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Goldstone Report: More Errors Coming Out

It cannot be stressed enough that the flaws of the Goldstone Commission Report extend far beyond the anti-Israel bias behind the creation of the report and the anti-Israel slant throughout the Report itself.

The fact is that the Goldstone Commission Report itself is filled with errors--with conclusions reached by the Report that are clearly and decisively contradicted by outside sources, especially the media.

The latest list of mistakes in the Goldstone Report comes from CAMERA: The Goldstone Report: A Study in Duplicity, which breaks down the flaws in the Report into categories:

1. Gaza Falsehood List
2. Double Standards List
3. Gaza Falsehoods Details
4. Gaza Double Standards Details
5. Other Errors and Issues
6. Links
Here are 3 examples from "Gaza Falsehoods Details":

REPORT: Paragraphs 493 and 1750 assert:

The Mission ... found no evidence that members of Palestinian armed groups engaged in combat in civilian dress.

FACT: Numerous journalists in Gaza and Palestinian eyewitnesses described seeing Palestinian fighters in civilian dress. This information was relayed by some of the world's largest media organizations (emphasis added throughout):

New York Times, "Warnings Not Enough for Gaza Families," 1/6/09:

Hamada Al-Samouni, 28, who was lightly wounded by the Israeli rocket and was clearly still in shock, said this was all happening ''because of the rockets'' fired by Hamas.

He said he had seen the bodies of eight Hamas fighters dressed in civilian clothing lying in the streets around Zeitoun.

New York Times, "A Gaza War Full of Traps And Trickery," 1/11/09:

Unwilling to take Israel's bait and come into the open, Hamas militants are fighting in civilian clothes; even the police have been ordered to take off their uniforms.

Times (London), "Gaza's tunnels, traps and martyrs: the Hamas strategy to defeat Israel," 1/12/09:

[Hamas figher Muhammed] said the fighters constantly changed their locations and tactics. They never attacked from the same place twice. They had secret means of communication, and spread disinformation to confuse the Israelis when speaking on their radios. They wore civilian clothes, concealed their weapons, and no longer walked around in groups.

Los Angeles Times, "Battered by Israel, Hamas faces tough choices," 1/12/09:

As the Israeli incursion rumbles into a 17th day, witnesses in Gaza and analysts portray the Islamic militant group as battered but defiant. Its walkie-talkie networks bleep and scratch through alleys, and its fighters, many in civilian clothes, move with the stealth of urban guerrillas, booby-trapping neighborhoods, communicating through e-mails, text messages and whispers in marketplaces.

Associated Press, "Hamas fighters seek to restore order in Gaza Strip," 1/20/09:

The high visibility of uniformed Hamas police [after the war] stood in contrast to the furtive movements of Hamas fighters in civilian clothing who confronted or tried to evade the Israeli onslaught that began Dec. 27.

REPORT: Paragraphs 35, 492 and 1750 assert (with slightly varying language):

The Mission found no evidence to suggest that Palestinian armed groups either directed civilians to areas where attacks were being launched or that they forced civilians to remain within the vicinity of the attacks.

FACT: A witness quoted in the New York Times and videos recorded by Israel reveal that Palestinians militants did indeed direct civilians to areas from which attacks were being launched. One report in the New York Times noted that

A young witness from Jabaliya, Ibrahim Amen, 16, said a man had come to the mosque Tuesday and asked for volunteers to pile sand around the camp [near the Fakhura school] "to help protect the fighters." Ibrahim went to help with his brother, Iyad, 20, who was wounded by the Israeli mortar fire.

Ibrahim said that a commander of the military wing of Hamas, Abu Khaled Abu Asker, was in the area at the time and had been killed on the spot. ("Israeli mortars kill 40 Palestinian refugees," 1/6/09)

Witnesses quoted by the New York Times, Associated Press and the British Channel 4 television channel note that Palestinians were firing at the time from the area to which the Amen brothers were called. The Times noted:

Witnesses, including Hanan Abu Khajib, 39, said that Hamas fired just outside the school compound, probably from the secluded courtyard of a house across the street, 25 yards from the school. Israeli return fire, some minutes later, also landed outside the school, along the southwest wall, killing two Hamas fighters. ("Weighing Crimes and Ethics in the Fog of Urban Warfare," 1/17/09)

AP reported:

An Israeli military statement said it received intelligence that the dead at the girls school included Hamas operatives, among them members of a rocket-launching squad. It identified two of them as Imad Abu Askar and Hassan Abu Askar. Two residents who spoke to an AP reporter by phone said the two brothers were known to be low-level Hamas militants. They said a group of militants -- one of them said four -- were firing mortar shells from near the school. (AP, "Gaza truce proposed after Israeli shell kills 30," 1/7/09)

And Channel 4 reporter Jonathan Miller stated on Feb. 5, "Local residents in the street told me that militants had been firing rockets — as the IDF claimed — and having been targeted in retaliatory fire by the IDF, they ran down the street past the school."
Indeed, the Goldstone Report itself hesitantly accepts the possibility that "some firing may have occurred that gave rise to the Israeli armed forces' response."
Additionally, video evidence shows children being beckoned to shield a Palestinian who had just fired a rocket at Israel, and a fighter entering a home full of civilians after planting an improvised explosive device

REPORT: Paragraph 485 asserts:
On the basis of the investigations it has conducted, the Mission did not find any evidence to support the allegations that hospital facilities were used by the Gaza authorities or by Palestinian armed groups to shield military activities and that ambulances were used to transport combatants or for other military purposes.
FACT: Although the Report acknowledges that Talal Safadi, a Palestinian who lives near the hospital, told Newsweek that "resistance fighters were firing from positions all around the [al Quds] hospital," the commission dismisses this testimony, saying that it does not necessarily show that fighters were inside the hospital. What the report does not mention — and appears to actively conceal — is that another news report does indicate Hamas fighters misused the hospital and ambulances. Palestinian witness Magah al Rachmah asserted that

The men of Hamas took refuge mainly in the building that houses the administrative offices of al Quds. They used the ambulances and forced ambulance drivers and nurses to take off their uniforms with the paramedic symbols, so they could blend in better and elude Israeli snipers. (Corriere della Sera, "Così i ragazzini di Hamas ci hanno utilizzato come bersagli," 1/21/09, qtd. in The Operation in Gaza: Factual and Legal Aspects)

The Mission also admits that it did not even bother looking into whether Hamas leaders and fighters used Gaza's al Shifa hospital as a base, despite the determination by Israeli intelligence that this had happened. Nor did the Mission draw any relevant conclusions from testimony it received about "seemingly extrajudicial or summary executions" of escaped Palestinian political prisoners "seeking medical assistance in hospitals," or testimony by more than one Palestinian that "members of the security services" in Shifa Hospital prevented various patients from getting treatment.

Read CAMERA's entire report.

The Goldstone Commission must answer for the sloppiness in their methodology and their slipshod results.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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