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It’s been more than 2 years since Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, a massive surprise air strike against the Gaza Strip. In its aftermath, researchers began to unearth and document evidence of war crimes and human rights violations. Among those investigations was the Goldstone Report, officially titled the Report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict. The report is based on a course of investigations that include 188 interviews, the review of 10,000 pages of documents and the inspection of 1,200 photographs. While most war crimes reports fade into the night, the Goldstone Report is kept alive in a recent book titled The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict.
The authors Lizzy Ratner, Adam Horowitz and Philip Weiss have reprinted the central findings of the report and include 11 essays chronicling the report’s ongoing impact. The introduction is written by author Naomi Klein with a forward by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
The Goldstone Report:
- LR: Operation Cast Lead: I remember thinking, can this just happen? Is there some kind of law that says this can’t happen? Judge Goldstone is South African, he was a member of the Constitutional Court in South Africa. He is seen as someone who really advanced international law.
- He’s a big Zionist. He’s a committed Zionist. In Israel, they loved him before this report.
- He was fast friends with the head of the Supreme Court in Israel.
- He goes to Gaza in 2009. It’s interesting, he remarked that thought that he would be kidnapped by Hamas. I think what happened, he went and he saw what life was like in Gaza, and had a bit of a conversion.
- This is not somebody you would expect to come out and issue a report like this.
- Our mission was there’s this report out there, it’s controversial, thunderous, it’s convulsive. Not many people have read it. Once we read it, it became clear its contents were extraordinary.
- It lays out the events in Gaza in minute and devastating detail. We wanted to abridge the report and that really forms the core of the book.
- We have a series of 11 different essays. Each take on the Goldstone Report with a different perspective.
- PW: The first and last essays are from Gazans.
- It’s explained in very vivid terms what it’s like to be under assault, to see white phosphorous raining down on this strip, which is tiny, it’s the size of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket put together. 1.5 million people.
- Rogi’s thesis just itemizing this assault on Palestinian dignity, saying this is a basic human right, to live in dignity.
- Goldstone: Lack of discrimination between civilians and combatants. A deliberate attack on the civilian infrastructure on the means of life. Israel had several recourses before it launched an all out assault on civilian infrastructure.
- The Goldstone Report contradicts what Israel tends to say. One of things the report makes clear is there had been a ceasefire for 6 months before the attack.
- United States – We’re not going to stop you, Israel, when you inflict collective punishment on 1.5 million people.
- This book really helps give a window into the current perception of the Israel, Palestinian conflict as a whole and how that perception is changing.
- AH: The anti-Goldstone-Report speeches were very uninformed. They treated him like a witch and ex-communicated him from the Jewish community.
- The criminality, the complete selfishness, the utter indifference to other peoples lives.
- I realize how much I was made to hate Arab people and Palestinian people and to think that they were lesser.
- Everything you’ve heard was wrong about them.
- At the heart of it, the Goldstone Report tells the story of people who had to live through a horribly traumatic event. You won’t be able to dismiss 1,300 people being killed as people that should have died.
- LR: Stop it, Jewish people, you’re doing the wrong thing, you’re behaving in an immoral, unethical way and its wrong. Any human should be offended from what happens in Gaza and what still happens there.
Guests – Lizzy Ratner, Adam Horowitz and Philip Weiss
Lizzy Ratner is a journalist here in New York City. Her articles appear in many publications, including The Nation and AlterNet.
Adam Horowitz is an editor and journalist covering American foreign policy in the Middle East. He co-edits the blog Mondoweiss and is a founding member of Jews Against the Occupation.
Phil Weiss, founder of the blog Mondoweiss, is a longtime journalist and regular contributor to The Nation and a fellow at the Nation Institute. He’s the author of two books: a political novel, Cock-A-Doodle-Doo, and American Taboo, an investigative account of a 1976 murder in the Peace Corps in the Kingdom of Tonga.