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On the "harshness" of the Goldstone report - Amanda Mueller
Published Monday 19/10/2009 (updated) 23/10/2009 16:45
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Israel's victims in a Gaza mortuary [MaanImages]
Disappointment is the only word that can be used to describe the emotions the United States invoked with their passive stand on the Goldstone Report. The disappointment is particularly directed towards President Barak Obama because he was elected on a platform of change. However, the favoritism still shown towards Israel and its misdeeds continues, following the Bush Administration's look-the-other-way mantra when dealing with Israel.

The Unites States stated that the Goldstone report, written by Zionist and South African Judge Richard Goldstone, was “harsh” and biased against Israel. Operation Cast Lead was harsh. During military operations, over 1,400 Palestinians were killed, the majority being civilians. Over 300 of those civilians were children. Homes, buildings and families were destroyed. Current and former soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces have come out and spoken against their actions during Operation Cast Lead, an operation that led Israel to ban foreign media from reporting.

The Goldstone Report pointed out the violations of international law by Hamas and other armed groups, citing the firing of hundreds of Qassam and Grad rockets into Israeli civilian territory and firing such weapons from densely populated civilian areas in Gaza constitute war crimes. Also mentioned is the imprisoning of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who is held captive by Hamas' military arm, the Al-Qassam Brigades.

The Goldstone Report documents Israel's use of firing white phosphorus munitions into civilian territories, shooting civilian targets waving white flags, destroying civilian property, and targeting civilians with drone-led missiles. Also in the Goldstone report are details of excessive force, detainment and harassment used by the Israeli military and their various branched towards civilians in the West Bank.

To the United States, the Goldstone report appears biased, detailing many violations of human rights, international law, and commitment of war crimes done by Israeli forces. The Goldstone report looks biased because the conflict in Israel and is itself one-sided, creating a system in which one ethnicity becomes the oppressed and the persecuted - unable to defend itself in territories where military law creates a system that is not only legally discriminatory, but socially and economically discriminatory as well.

The world has dealt with this type of persecution and oppression before. It led to a World War and millions of deaths. If the situation is not carefully watched and fair resolutions and actions taken, that history is likely to repeat itself again - the once persecuted becoming those who persecute others.
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