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Posts

Goldstone – for and against

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This posting carries some more responses to the Goldstone report. We’ve already posted a lot on this crucial report – see  here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

a. A Jewish Telegraphic Agency news item (23 September) on the Obama administration’s view that “the report was flawed from its conception”.

b. Richard Falk, Why the Goldstone Report Matters (19 September 2009), circulated on two list servs in the US and widely posted on the web, supportive of the report but critical of it for not going far enough on certain issues.

c. Richard Goldstone writes in the Jerusalem Post, Who’s Being Unfair?(21 September)

d. Daniel Levy of JStreet, writing in Comment is Free (18 September) that Israel must now heal itself: “After the Goldstone report, Israel should hold its own inquiry and end its use of disproportionate force and collective punishment”

e. Joy Wolfe of StandwithUs circulates an extraordinary attack on Goldstone by Dr. David Altman (Senior Vice-President, Netanya Academic College) and asks in relation to Goldstone: “Will any synagogue open its doors to him (on Yom Kippur)? I most sincerely hope not.”


White House: Official ‘misspoke’ on Goldstone report, JTA, September 23, 2009

extract…

Tommy Vietor, a White House spokesman, called JTA later to say… that administration policy on the Goldstone report remains as articulated last week by Susan Rice, the U.N. ambassador.

Rice described the UNHRC mandate as “unbalanced, one sided and basically unacceptable. We have very serious concerns about many of the recommendations in the report. We will expect and believe that the appropriate venue for this report to be considered is the Human Rights Council and that is our strong view.”

She did not mention what the United States would do were the report to be referred to the ICC.

The report said the U.N. fact-finding mission investigating Israel’s conduct during the January 2009 war found evidence of Israeli war crimes. Israel has denied the allegations and said the report’s mandate was biased — an opinion echoed by U.S. officials.

The Obama administration is ready to use the U.S. veto at the U.N. Security Council to deal with any other “difficulties” arising out of the report, the White House official said Wednesday. The administration also has made clear to the Palestinian Authority that Washington is not pleased with a P.A. petition to bring the report’s allegations against Israel to the International Criminal Court.

The official said the Obama administration’s view was that the report was flawed from its conception because the mandate presumed a priori that Israel had violated war crimes and that the mandate ignored Hamas’ role in prompting the war through its rocket fire into Israel.


Why the Goldstone Report Matters, 19 September 2009

Richard Falk, 20th September

So why did the Israeli government boycott the commission? The real answer is quite simple: they knew full well that the commission, any commission, would have to reach the conclusions it did reach.”

Uri Avnery (Israeli peace activist, and former Knesset member), “On the Goldstone Report” 19 Sept 2009

Richard Goldstone, former judge of South Africa’s Constitutional Court, the first prosecutor at The Hague on behalf of the International Criminal Court for Former Yugolavia, and anti-apartheid campaigner, reports that he was most reluctant to take on the job of chairing the UN fact-finding mission charged with investigating allegations of war crimes committed by Israel and Hamas during the three week Gaza War of last winter. Goldstone explains that his reluctance was due to the issue being “deeply charged and politically loaded,” and was overcome because he and his fellow commissioners were “professionals committed to an objective, fact-based investigation,” adding that “above all, I accepted because I believe deeply in the rule of law and the laws of war,” as well as the duty to protect civilians to the extent possible in combat zones. The four-person fact-finding mission was composed of widely respected and highly qualified individuals, including the distinguished international law scholar, Christine Chinkin, a professor at the London School of Economics. Undoubtedly adding complexity to Goldstone’s decision is the fact that he is Jewish, with deep emotional and family ties to Israel and Zionism, bonds solidified by his long association with several organizations active in Israel.

Despite the impeccable credentials of the commission members, and the worldwide reputation of Richard Goldstone as a person of integrity and political balance, Israel refused cooperation from the outset. It did not even allow the UN undertaking to enter Israel or the Palestinian Territories, forcing reliance on the Egyptian government to facilitate entry at Rafah to Gaza. As Uri Avnery observes, however much Israel may attack the commission report as one-sided and unfair, the only plausible explanation of its refusal to cooperate with fact-finding and taking the opportunity to tell its side of the story was that it had nothing to tell that could hope to overcome the overwhelming evidence of the Israeli failure to carry out its attacks on Gaza last winter in accordance with the international law of war. No credible international commission could reach any set of conclusions other than those reached by the Goldstone Report on the central allegations.

In substantive respects the Goldstone Report adds nothing new. Its main contribution is to confirm widely reported and analyzed Israeli military practices during the Gaza War. There had been several reliable reports already issued, condemning Israel’s tactics as violations of the laws of war and international humanitarian law, including by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and a variety of respected Israeli human rights groups. Journalists and senior United Nations civil servants had reached similar conclusions. Perhaps, most damning of all the material available before the Goldstone Report was the publication of a document entitled “Breaking the Silence,” containing commentaries by thirty members of the Israel Defense Forces who had taken part in Operation Cast Lead (the Israeli official name for the Gaza War).  These soldiers spoke movingly about the loose rules of engagement issued by their commanders that explains why so little care was taken to avoid civilian casualties. The sense emerges from these IDF soldiers who were in no sense critical of Israel or even of the Gaza War as such, that Israeli policy emerged out of a combination of efforts ‘to teach the people of Gaza a lesson for their support of Hamas’ and to keep IDF casualties as close to zero as possible even if meant massive death and destruction for innocent Palestinians.

Given this background of a prior international consensus on the unlawfulness of Operation Cast Lead, we must first wonder why this massive report of 575 pages has been greeted with such alarm by Israel and given so much attention in the world media. It added little to what was previously known. Arguably, it was more sensitive to Israel’s contentions that Hamas was guilty of war crimes by firing rockets into its territory than earlier reports had been. And in many ways the Goldstone Report endorses the misleading main line of the Israeli narrative by assuming that Israel was acting in self-defense against a terrorist adversary. The report focuses its criticism on Israel’s excessive and indiscriminate uses of force. It does this by examining the evidence surrounding a series of incidents involving attacks on civilians and non-military targets. The report also does draw attention to the unlawful blockade that has restricted the flow of food, fuel, and medical supplies to subsistence levels in Gaza before, during, and since Operation Cast Lead. Such a blockade is a flagrant instance of collective punishment, explicitly prohibited by Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention setting forth the legal duties of an occupying power.

All along Israel had rejected international criticism of its conduct of military operations in the Gaza War, claiming that the IDF was the most moral fighting force on the face of the earth. The IDF conducted some nominal investigations of alleged unlawful behavior that consistently vindicated the military tactics relied upon and steadfastly promised to protect any Israeli military officer or political leader internationally accused of war crimes. In view of this extensive background of confirmed allegation and angry Israeli rejection, why has the Goldstone Report been treated in Tel Aviv as a bombshell that is deeply threatening to Israel’s stature as a sovereign state? Israel’s president, Shimon Peres, calling the report “a mockery of history” that “fails to distinguish the aggressor and a state exercising the right of self-defense,” insisting that it “legitimizes terrorist activity, the pursuit of murder and death.” More commonly Israel’s zealous defenders condemned the report as one-sided, biased, reaching foregone conclusions, and emanating from the supposed bastion of anti-Israeli attitudes at the UN’s Human Rights Council. This line of response to any criticism of Israel’s behavior in occupied Palestine, especially if it comes from the UN or human rights NGOs is to cry “foul play!” and avoid any real look at the substance of the charges. It is an example of what I call ‘the politics of deflection,’ attempting to shift the attention of an audience away from the message to the messenger. The more damning the criticism, the more ferocious the response. From this perspective, the Goldstone Report obviously hit the bullseye!

Considered more carefully, there are some good reasons for Israel’s panicked reaction to this damning report. First, it does come with the backing of an eminent international personality who cannot credibly be accused of anti-Israel bias, making it harder to deflect attention from the findings no matter how loud the screaming of ‘foul play.’ Any fair reading of the report would show that it was balanced, was eminently mindful of Israel’s arguments relating to security, and indeed gave Israel the benefit of the doubt on some key issues. Secondly, the unsurprising findings are coupled with strong recommendations that do go well beyond previous reports. Two are likely causing the Israeli leadership great worry: the report recommends strongly that if Israel and Hamas do not themselves within six months engage in an investigation and followup action meeting international standards of objectivity with respect to these violations of the law of war, then the Security Council should be brought into the picture, being encouraged to consider referring the whole issue of Israeli and Hamas accountability to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Even if Israel is spared this indignity by the diplomatic muscle of the United States, and possibly some European governments, the negative public relations implications of a failure to abide by this report could be severe.

Thirdly, whatever happens in the UN System, and at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, the weight of the report will be felt by world public opinion. Ever since the Gaza War the solidity of Jewish support for Israel has been fraying at the edges, and this will likely now fray much further. More globally, a very robust boycott and divestment movement was gaining momentum ever since the Gaza War, and the Goldstone Report can only lend added support to such initiatives. There is a growing sense around the world that the only chance for the Palestinians to achieve some kind of just peace depends on the outcome over the symbols of legitimacy, what I have called the Legitimacy War. Increasingly, the Palestinians have been winning this second non-military war. Such a war fought on a global political battlefield is what eventually and unexpectedly undermined the apartheid regime in South Africa, and has become much more threatening to the Israeli sense of security than has armed Palestinian resistance.

A fourth reason for Israeli worry stemming from the report, is the green light given to national courts throughout the world to enforce international criminal law against Israeli suspects should they travel abroad and be detained for prosecution or extradition in some third country. Such individuals could be charged with war crimes arising from their involvement in the Gaza War. The report in this way encourages somewhat controversial reliance on what is known among lawyers as ‘universal jurisdiction,’ that is, the authority of courts in any country to detain for extradition or to prosecute individuals for violations of international criminal law regardless of where the alleged offenses took place. Reaction in the Israeli media reveals that Israeli citizens are already anxious about being apprehended during foreign travel. As one law commentator put it in the Israeli press, “From now on, not only soldiers should be careful when they travel abroad, but also ministers and legal advisers.” It is well to recall that Article 1 of the Geneva Conventions calls on states throughout the world “to respect and ensure respect” for international humanitarian law “in all circumstances.” Remembering the efforts in 1998 of several European courts to prosecute Augusto Pinochet for crimes committed while he was head of state in Chile, is a reminder that national courts can be used to prosecute political and military leaders for crimes committed elsewhere than in the territory of the prosecuting state.

Of course, Israel will fight back. It has already launched a media and diplomatic blitz designed to portray the report as so one-sided as to be unworthy of serious attention. The United States Government has already disappointingly appeared to endorse this view, and repudiate the central recommendation in the Goldstone Report that the Security Council be assigned the task of implementing its findings. The American Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, evidently told a closed session of the Security Council on September 16, just a day after the report was issued, that “[w]e have serious concerns about many recommendations in the report.” Elaborating on this, Ambassador Rice indicated that the UN Human Rights Council, which has no implementing authority, is the only proper venue for any action to be taken on the basis of the report.  The initial struggle will likely be whether to follow the recommendation of the report to have the Security Council refer the issues of accountability to the International Criminal Court, which could be blocked by a veto from the United States or other permanent members.

There are reasons to applaud the forthrightness and comprehensiveness of the report, its care, and scrupulous willingness to conclude that both Israel and Hamas seem responsible for behavior that appears to constitute war crimes, if not crimes against humanity. Although Israel has succeeded in having the issue of one-sidedness focus on fairness to Israel, there are also some reasons to insist that the report falls short of Palestinian hopes. For one thing, the report takes for granted the dubious proposition that Israel was entitled to act against Gaza in self-defense, thereby excluding inquiry into whether crimes against the peace in the form of aggression had taken place by the launching of the attack. In this respect, the report takes no notice of the temporary ceasefire that had cut the rocket fire directed at Israel practically to zero in the months preceding the attacks, nor of Hamas’ repeated efforts to extend the ceasefire indefinitely provided Israel lifted its unlawful blockade of Gaza.  Further it was Israel that had seemed to provoke the breakdown of the ceasefire when it launched a lethal attack on Hamas militants in Gaza on November 4, 2008. Israel disregarded this seemingly available diplomatic alternative to war to achieve security on its borders. Recourse to war, even if the facts justify self-defense, is, according to international law, a last resort. By ignoring Israel’s initiation of a one-sided war the Goldstone Report accepts the dubious central premise of Operation Cast Lead, and avoids making a finding of aggression.

Also disappointing was the failure of the report to comment upon the Israeli denial of a refugee option to the civilian population trapped in the tiny, crowded combat zone that constitutes the Gaza Strip. Israel closed all crossings during the period of the Gaza War, allowing only Gaza residents with foreign passports to leave. It is rare in modern warfare that civilians are not given the option to become refugees. Although there is no specific provision of the laws of war requiring a state at war to allow civilians to leave the combat zone, it seems like an elementary humanitarian requirement, and should at least have been mentioned either as part of customary international law or as a gap in the law that should be filled. The importance of this issue is reinforced by many accounts of the widespread post-traumatic stress experienced by the civilians in Gaza, especially children that comprise 53% of the population. One might also notice that the report accords considerable attention to Gilad Shalit, the one IDF prisoner held by Hamas in Gaza, recommending his release on humanitarian grounds, while making no comparable suggestion to Israel although it is holding thousands of Palestinians under conditions of harsh detention.

In the end, the Goldstone Report is unlikely to break the inter-governmental refusal to challenge the Israeli blockade of Gaza or to induce the United Nations to challenge Israeli impunity in any meaningful way. Depending on backroom diplomacy, the United States may or may not be able to avoid playing a public role of shielding Israel from accountability for its behavior during the Gaza War or its continuing refusal to abide by international humanitarian law by lifting the blockade that continues to impinge daily upon the health of the entire population of Gaza.

Despite these limitations, the report is an historic contribution to the Palestinian struggle for justice, an impeccable documentation of a crucial chapter in their victimization under occupation. Its impact will be felt most impressively on the growing civil society movement throughout the world to impose cultural, sporting, and academic boycotts, as well as to discourage investment, trade, and tourism with Israel. It may yet be the case that as in the anti-apartheid struggle the shift in the relation of forces in the Palestinian favor will occur not through diplomacy or as a result of armed resistance, but on the symbolic battlefield of legitimacy that has become global in scope, what might be described as the new political relevance of moral and legal globalization.



Who’s being unfair

Richard Goldstone, The Jerusalem Post, 21/22 September 2009

The responses from the government of Israel to the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Gaza have been deeply disappointing. The mission’s mandate enabled Israel to bring its concerns and facts relating to Operation Cast Lead publicly before a UN inquiry. It could have been used by Israel to encourage the UN and especially the Human Rights Council to move in a new direction beneficial to the interests of Israel. I repeatedly requested the government of Israel to do that, and to meet with me in Jerusalem to discuss how the Fact-Finding Mission should approach its mandate.

Even after that approach was rejected, the mission sent a substantial list of questions to the government requesting information on issues in respect of which we proposed to report. We did not wish to make findings adverse to Israel public without having the benefit of the facts and its views on them. That request for information also fell on deaf ears.

So it is hardly fair for Israel to accuse the mission of “getting its facts wrong.” In short, the benefits of an even-handed mandate from the Human Rights Council were squandered by Israel.

I am also surprised and disappointed that some critics of the Report have dismissed its criticisms of Hamas and other armed groups in Gaza, who have committed serious war crimes against the civilian population of southern Israel. These have been fully documented and the terror they have caused to so many has been comprehensively described and condemned. There has been criticism of the Report on the basis that it devotes disproportionate attention to the conduct of Israel. That was unavoidable considering the many incidents the mission was obliged to investigate in Gaza. The factual inquiries we were called upon to make relating to a severe three-week military operation from the air, sea and land were far more complex than the comparatively unsophisticated launch of thousands of rockets into Israel as acts of terror.

IN ITS report on Operation Cast Lead, the government of Israel acknowledges in unequivocal terms that it considers itself bound by the norms of international humanitarian law. In particular, it recognizes the crucial principle of distinction – the legal requirement to protect civilians consistent with military necessity.

It cannot, I suggest, interpret that requirement of proportionality to mean that all members of Hamas are combatants. In that context, the government of Israel has not provided any explanation for the bombing of food factories, egg-producing chicken farms and what was the sole flour factory in Gaza. It has not explained why it destroyed or severely damaged thousands of homes. And it has not explained why the bombing on the first day of the military operations of densely populated civilian areas was timed for the busiest time on a weekday when the streets were full of people going about their business.

These and the other serious issues raised in the report call for responses and evaluation. I would add that there appears to be no issue as to the intention of the Israel Defense Forces. They bombed targets that were carefully and deliberately chosen. The sophistication of their weaponry and their careful planning admits of no other conclusion.

I still nurture the hope that in the coming days, people of goodwill in Israel and the occupied territories do some soul-searching and come to realize that unaccountability for serious violations of international law creates a barrier to peace.

The recognition of the humanity of all people – the recognition of Israel by Hamas and the recognition of the Palestinian right to self-determination – are both pre-requisites for peace. And I still nurture the hope that the facts contained in the Report of the Fact-Finding Mission will assist, even in a small way, to finding a peaceful way forward in the Middle East.

The people of the region have waited all too long for that.

The writer leads the UN-mandated Gaza Fact-Finding Mission established to investigate alleged crimes committed during Operation Cast lead earlier this year. The Mission released its 575-page report last week.



Israel must now heal itself, Guardian, Comment is Free, 18 September 2009

After the Goldstone report, Israel should hold its own inquiry and end its use of disproportionate force and collective punishment

The report of the UN fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict is outrageous, a disgrace. The mission’s head, Richard Goldstone, was the chair of the Friends of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, chair of the World ORT education organisation with more than 150 schools in Israel and a self-declared friend of Israel whose daughter made aliyah – Zionist emigration to Israel – and she told Israeli army radio this week, “Israel is more important to me than anything.”

Wait a moment, that doesn’t sound right. Ah, here it is – the report of the UN fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict is outrageous, a disgrace. The UN Human Rights Council is composed of non-democratic, Israel-hating, human rights-violating nations and the mission was born in sin to delegitimise Israel and excuse terrorism.

That second narrative has been pushed harder since the report’s publication, but they are equally ridiculous. Indeed there exist two extreme poles of response to a report such as this: one, of the reflexive Israel-haters for whom this is a gotcha moment extraordinaire, and they gleefully wave the latest proof that Israel is a world pariah without parallel. Their mirror image is the pavlovian and delusional Israel-can-do-no-wrong crowd, for whom behind any serious critique of Israel lays the nefarious machinations of age-old antisemitism, singling out the Jewish state and to hell with the facts.

But for the vast majority of non- or only mildly partisan individuals with a capacity for cognitive reflection, the Goldstone report should be treated seriously and even perhaps as a wake-up call…

Full article


A flavour of the hysterical Israel can do no wrong opposition to Goldstone

Dear Dr. Altman

I am overwhelmed with emotion as I read this powerful, beautifully crafted piece.

I am hopeful that because this enquiry has produced such a biased, unsubstantiated and lying report that others will follow America’s example in sidelining and disregarding it.

Where will this odious man find a place to hide. Where will he be on Yom Kippur when his sins should overwhelm him?
Will any synagogue open its doors to him?
I most sincerely hope not.
How can he live with his conscience for disregarding every bit of evidence presented to him that stated Israel’s indisputable innocence and Hamas’s indisputable guilt? Or for being willing to have a member of the enquiry team who had declared Israel’s guilt before the first word of ‘evidence’ (I use that word loosely) had been taken?
How can any credibility be given to a report that by its own admission is based on unsubstantiated evidence given by unreliable sources with a proven anti Israel record?

I wish you a Shana Tovah and an easy fast and I offer my hand in a virtual handshake.
Joy Wolfe
StandWithUs UK

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From: Prof. David Altman, Netanya Academic College
daltman@netanya.ac.il
September 17, 2009
To
The Honourable Justice Richard Goldstone
Honour,
Through your conduct you remind all of us of the divine words in the book of Genesis, when God says to Cain, “The blood of Abel thy brother crieth unto Me from the ground.”
Haunted by hatred and eaten up by a sense of inferiority, Cain put an end to Abel’s life because of jealousy and resentment. He was convinced that this action would avenge his sense of being spurned and forgotten. But then he hears a voice reverberating, a voice that henceforth he will always hear, wherever he goes, saying: “The blood of Abel thy brother crieth from the ground.”
What was in your mind, Justice Goldstone, when you became the emissary of the world’s most intractable states? What were you thinking of when you became the representative of Sudan, Syria and Libya? Sudan – a country that on a daily basis commits genocide as the world stands by, silent. Libya – a country that has no democracy and no human rights, a country that sentences innocent people to death on trumped-up charges, that sends terrorists to blow up a plane carrying hundreds of passengers, that sends terrorist ships to attack cities and innocent people in Israel. And Syria, where people have been butchered extra-judicially and without trial, a state that supports terror and the murder of individuals, joins these two in an unholy alliance.
What was in your mind, when there is a deafening silence in the face of the slaughter in Darfur, in the face of the deaths of hundreds of thousands in Sri Lanka, in the face of those killing their brothers in Afghanistan and Iraq, without any reaction from the world? What were you thinking of when they gave you a remit to investigate crimes committed by a life-affirming democratic state?
What we wish to say to you, sir, is that you are a rebellious son of a great people. We are a life-affirming nation. We are a people that loves peace and hates war. We are a people that has proven that it is ready to do much for the sake of peace and to pay a heavy price, unlike all those who surround us and desire war.
Wars have always been imposed upon us, and when we have taken up arms, it has always been with tears in our eyes and out of concern for ourselves and our fellow man.
We respect the rules of war – both those that have been laid down by mankind, and those that have been dictated to us by the Creator.
Who is it that we are confronting? A Jihadist terrorist organization, that sanctifies death, that calls for the destruction of your brothers’ homeland, that massacres us, that fires its bombs at our homes and targets our children, our wives and our elderly, and celebrates when its bombs hit their targets.
Whom are you defending, Your Honour, when you point a falsely accusing finger at us, when an army goes out to defend homes and towns, and informs and asks its neighbours to move away, in order to prevent loss and anguish? We do not make use of human rights for public and international propaganda purposes. We believe in human rights and democracy.
Your job – to destroy the image of the State of Israel and each and every one of us – resembles those who collaborated with the Nazis, because they believed the Nazi propaganda that the Jews are guilty and hence must be dealt with through the Final Solution.
We despise you, Your Honour. Not because of your repudiation of your people, of your homeland and of your father’s home, but because of the evil and the absence of justice that you are serving beneath your judicial robes, when you lend a hand to baseless and unfounded blood libels.
This selfsame State of Israel, which withdrew at a heavy, heart-rending price from every single square inch of the Gaza area, which has no border disputes with this terrorist entity, an entity that has disengaged itself from its brothers in the West Bank and killed its opponents from its own ranks in cold blood – this selfsame authority has openly committed the war crime of abducting a soldier and isolating him from international institutions and his family. Not only do you defend these people – you have become their official spokesman and try to present us, who are fighting for our lives, in a light of evil and wickedness – completely unjustified in fact and in truth.
You were chosen to do a cover-up job, in order to prove that even one of our own sees our actions and our defence as a crime.
I must say: you are not one of our own. Go and graze in foreign pastures, join those ultra-Orthodox extremists who have joined forces with Ahmadinejad, who has declared a jihad on Israel and the Jewish people and needs such partners, who in the past were called kapos.
You are far from us, you do not belong to us, and you are not welcome among us. The blood of our brothers, who died because they fought with clean hands, who died because they were not prepared to put innocents at risk, the blood of my relatives who died when they turned their back on a woman who was breastfeeding, behind whom terrorists were hiding, who took them out as they used the woman and her baby as cover – the blood of these people cries out to you from the ground and calls you a modern Cain.
I am a proud Israeli, I love my homeland, and I long for peace.
The only democratic country in the Middle East – a country that is called Israel – represents our national collective. We believe in justice, in human rights, in humaneness, in love of one’s fellow man, and in the Jewish belief that says: every individual that was created in His image is important.
We are not killers, we are not blood-thirsty murderers, we do not wish to punish those who hate us, but to extend to them our hands in peace, in friendship, and in understanding.
You did not hear such words in the Hamas countries. They are not even prepared to recognize us. They desire our destruction. These people, who fire from inside schools, mosques, and ambulances, they need you in order to prove that we are harming their human rights.
I was a partner to devoted their lives during the operation to working in the humanitarian operations room which was involved with saving lives, providing food and fuel, caring for the other, and dealing with any breach, even an inadvertent one, of any human right, the sort of thing that can take place during wartime. Regrettably, our foes do not have such an operations room.
But you knowingly and deliberately ignored this, and became part of the well-oiled machinery that is designed to deprive us of any legitimacy. Some of this well-oiled machinery seeks to portray us as monsters, out of a desire ultimately to make possible the destruction of us and the State of Israel.
Cain is cursed, and those who follow his path shall be cursed, since their crime reverberates ad infinitum, and because of them the blood of Abel their brother continues to cry out from the ground.
And I – from this beloved country, I cry out like this blood, and as I cry out, so I say, “Cry, the beloved country, cry out against the traitors, who have pounced on you like birds of prey and desecrated your honour.”

Sincerely, but not with kind regards,

Dr. David Altman
Senior Vice-President
Netanya Academic College


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