The Métropolitain

LA PERFIDIE! The UN and the Goldstone libel

Par Beryl Wajsman le 4 novembre 2009

“Every day at the U.N., on every side, we are assailed because we are a democracy. In the U.N. today there are in the range of several dozen democracies left; totalitarian regimes and assorted ancient and modern despotisms make up all the rest. Nothing so unites these nations as the conviction that their success ultimately depends on our failure. Most of the new states have ended up as enemies of freedom." Those words were not expressed yesterday. They were spoken over thirty years ago by Daniel Patrick Moynihan while serving as US Ambassador to the UN. They are as true today as they were then.

C'est dans le contexte des « ennemis de la liberté » que nous pouvons le mieux comprendre la perfidie des actions de l'ONU. Particulièrement, celles de son Conseil des droits de l'homme. S'il y jamais eu un libellé contradictoire, c'est bien celui-là. Au cours des dernières années, le Conseil a été présidé et guidé par de tels champions des droits de l'homme comme la Libye, Cuba et la Chine. 

UnitedNations.jpgThis past Friday the Council endorsed a report that accused Israel of war crimes in Gaza, passing a resolution that singled it out for censure without referring to wrongdoing by Palestinian hard-liners Hamas. A coalition of Arab, Muslim and leftist-run Latin American countries in the 47-member Council were responsible for its passage. No European democracies supported the draft, and the United States, the Ukraine and four EU members opposed it. The author of the report, South African lawyer Richard Goldstone, criticized the Council's resolution as being one-sided. "This draft resolution saddens me as it includes only allegations against Israel," he told the Swiss newspaper Le Temps. "There is not a single phrase condemning Hamas as we have done in the report. I hope that the Council can modify the text."

Pauvre Richard. Il est attristé. Pauvre lui. C’est à se demander si quelqu’un qui vit dans ce monde dangereux a un droit à une telle naïveté dangereuse. C’était intrinsèque dans le processus de sa propre commission que les résultats seraient prédéterminés. Son rapport de 574 pages, qui se concentre est en grande partie sur l'Israël, suggère dans ses conclusions que l'Israël et le Hamas enquêtent sur les allégations de crimes de guerre contre leurs côtés respectifs. Même ce petit signe d’équité fut rejeté par le plein Conseil dans son vote de vendredi. 

And what did Goldstone think when he undertook his mandate, that the Council would suddenly change its anti-Israel bias? The Human Rights Council, which replaced the discredited Human Rights Commission several years ago, is still dominated by dictatorships and theocratic tyrannies. It is obsessed with denouncing democratic Israel. It has targeted some 80% of its resolutions at one member state, Israel, while the major human rights violators enjoy, what Irwin Cotler has called, “ exculpatory immunity.” The Council has had more emergency “Special Sessions” directed against Israel than against all the other countries of the world combined. The Council hearing last week was the sixth “Special Session” on Israel in the last three years alone. And the Council excludes only one country – Israel – from membership in any regional grouping, thereby denying it international due process.

But Richard Goldstone himself must also shoulder much of the blame for the predictably biased outcome. The Commission was replete with anti-Israel prejudice . First, it’s very terms of reference drew an equivalence between the actions of Israel in self-defence and those of Hamas in blatant aggression seeking to destroy it. Goldstone had the temerity to call the 12,000 Hamas rocket attacks “reprisals”. Second, the Commission was imbalanced focusing as it did on Israel’s faults with no consideration for its right under international customary and statutory law to self-defense and self-help. Third, the Commission failed to consider the intolerant and psychotic pan-Islamic ideology that drives Hamas and chose to treat it like any other state party. In so doing it legitimated, by inference, Hamas practices including the use of civilians as human shields. Fourth, Goldstone failed to act against London School of Economics professor Christine Chinkin’s presence on the Commission after she declared Israel guilty of “aggression” and “war crimes” in an interview with a London newspaper. Her statement was made prior to seeing any evidence. Finally, the Report spent only two pages on the thousands of Israeli victims of years of Hamas bombings.

The Goldstone Commission’s perfidious libel against Israel went even deeper in its central foundational principle. It colored with moral relativism and no distinction Israel’s thousands of cell phone calls warning Gaza civilians; Israel’s thousands of texts warning civilians; Israel’s hundreds of thousands of leaflets in Arabic dropped warning civilians; Israel’s medical facilities set up on the edge of Gaza to treat civilians.; Israel’s delivery of food to feed civilians with Hamas hiding in civilian areas; firing from the cover of Gazan civilians against Israeli civilians in Sderot and Ashkelon; Hamas use of ambulances for military purposes; Hamas’ use of mosques as armament depots and rocket launching pads; Hamas shootings of the legs of Gazan civilians refusing to help or aid in the targeting of Israel.

Richard Goldstone est devant l'histoire. Il a reconnu que son mandat était « une résolution biaisée et inégale du Conseil des droits de l'homme de l'ONU » mais avait cru qu'il avait reçu un mandat renforcé et équitable du président du Conseil. Il a reconnu que le mandat n'a pas été soutenu par les principaux membres démocratiques du Conseil de droits de l'homme - l'Union européenne, le Japon, le Canada, et la Suisse. Il a reconnu que les résultats de la Commission « ne tiendraient pas la route dans une cour. » Pourtant, il a continué avec ce travail malfaisant. 

The Council was not moved by truth or objective witness. Col. Richard Kemp, a former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, told the council that war crimes accusations against the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) were misplaced. "The IDF faces a challenge that we British do not have to face to the same extent. It is the automatic, Pavlovian presumption by many in the international media, and international human rights groups, that the IDF are in the wrong." He argued Israeli forces took "extraordinary measures" to give civilians in Gaza notice of targeted areas, including dropping two million leaflets and making 100,000 phone calls. "Despite all of this, of course innocent civilians were killed. War is chaos and full of mistakes. There have been mistakes by the British, American and other forces in Afghanistan and in Iraq, many of which can be put down to human error. But mistakes are not war crimes," Col. Kemp said.

No indictment could be as searing as the words written to Goldstone by his old friend from South Africa Brenda Press Fix. She wrote to him in a letter that, “I am bewildered by the direction you have taken as part of the United Nations Human Rights Council. This rogue Council has been tainted by a membership that does not condemn Iranian tyranny, Chinese oppression, African despotism but spends their time condemning one country unjustly, Israel. The Goldstone Commission bears your name. One would expect the mandate of any report to be objective so that your name could be respected and a legacy ensured. Instead your committee ignored the facts, embraced bias and rendered the report bearing your name, illegitimate.” This report did not arise from ignorance or naiveté. I am trying so hard to resist the conclusion that your role and report might represent a self-serving desire to ingratiate yourself for a more senior position in the kangaroo court called the United Nations. But if true-and one hopes that this is not the case-at what price? Association with the infamous U.N. garners no respect so why would anyone seek to be head inmate at the U.N. Asylum?”

So egregious has been the Goldstone process, that it may have actually achieved a new low in the decades long assault by the United Nationsl against Israel, the frontline nation in the family of the free defying the onslaught of Islamism. One can understand why the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism (ICCA), co-founded by Mount-Royal MP Irwin Cotler and British MP John Mann, expressed “shock at the absence of any mention in the Goldstone Report of the anti Jewish incitement in the Hamas Charter which the London Declaration obliges Parliamentarians to expose and unmask. The Founding Conference of ICCA adopted the London Declaration to Combat Anti-Semitism which in Section 6 resolves that ‘never again will the institutions of the international community and the dialogue of nation states be abused to try to establish any legitimacy for anti-Semitism, including the singling out of Israel for discriminatory treatment in the international arena.’ The consideration of the Goldstone Report under a Special Agenda Item of the UN Human Rights Council singling out Israeli human rights violations – and now holding a ‘Special Session’ on such violations – constitutes a flagrant double abuse of UN institutions. “

Les questions soulevées par la Coalition inter-parlementaire de lutte contre l’antisémitisme (ICCA) sont préoccupantes et sombres. Quelle est le rôle exact que joue l’antisémitisme à l'ONU est un sujet pour un autre article. Mais un parallèle peut être établi. L'antisémitisme nie l'égalité des droits à l'expression individuelle juive dans une société particulière. L'antisionisme nie l'égalité des droits à l'expression collective juive au sein de la grande communauté des nations. Le premier nie aux juifs la particularité légitime, le second nie aux juifs la souveraineté légitime. Les deux sont des manifestations d'exclusivité et d'intolérance. Elles représentent le message et la métaphore du mépris. Le langage figuré en est un de haine. 

Tristement aujourd'hui, le profil de Moynihan de l'ONU tient encore. Les tyrannies continuent à monopoliser l'ordre du jour de l'ONU avec des saccages et des harangues anti-occidentales; pas parce que l'Occident agit incorrectement, mais plutôt parce qu'il agit correctement. Vivre en liberté. Ces tyrans théocratiques et ces petits despotes ne peuvent pas concurrencer sur le champ de bataille de la liberté. Ils n’osent pas exposer leurs peuples à la brillante lumière de la liberté. Et aujourd'hui, comme il y a longtemps, leur succès dépend ultimement sur l’écrasement de l’Occident; parce que c’est seulement comme ça qu’ils peuvent ainsi continuer à piller, moralement et matériellement, leurs peuples emprisonnés.