U.N. Report: Israel Committed War Crimes In Gaza

200px-flag_of_the_united_nationssvg660px-flag_of_israelsvg1 The United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict will issue a report today accusing Israel of “actions amounting to war crimes, possibly crimes against humanity” during its military incursion into Gaza from December 27 to January 18. The mission headed by respected South African judge Richard Goldstone is a major development in the controversy and could put the United States in a very difficult position.


The 400-page report was written without the cooperation of Israel, which insisted that the body should have considered “the thousands of Hamas missiles attacks on civilians in southern Israel that made the Gaza Operation necessary.” There is no question that those acts are crimes themselves and are relevant to any reviewing of the cause or justification for the invasion. However, this investigation focused on how the invasion was carried out — a separate issue.

300px-P1010796.JPGGoldstone, who is Jewish, has previously indicated that the group found clear evidence of violations of international law in the invasion.

The UN found that Israel failed to minimize casualties, used white phosphorous in civilian areas, intentionally fired upon hospitals using high-explosive artillery shells, and did not effectively warn civilians of attacks. It also accused some Israeli soldiers of using civilians as human shields and attacking food supplies for civilians.

The mission does call on the Palestinians to investigate war crimes by their side and to release soldier Gilad Shalit.

In the most worrisome part for Israel, the mission calls for an investigation by the International Criminal Court for possible war crimes prosecutions. Goldstone previously denounced Hamas for war crimes.

If Israel defies such an investigation, it would be in the same position as Serbia and other rogue nations. This could further isolate the country at a time when it has allowed the controversial “natural growth” of settlements in occupied areas.

With the hardline government of Binyamin Netanyahu, there will be a considerable effort to oppose any war crimes prosecution and he will likely look to the United States to help block that effort. The government has already denounced the findings as “propaganda,” here. After dismissing the Obama Administration’s demands for a halt to the settlement construction, it will be an awkward moment for Netanyahu to demand the U.S. use its power to stop an investigation. However, there will be many in Congress who will likely assist in that effort.

Of course, Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder are already limiting any domestic investigation into war crimes committed by our government in its torture program.

For the story, click here.

232 thoughts on “U.N. Report: Israel Committed War Crimes In Gaza”

  1. Mike S.: “I didn’t make any remark about your mother or sister. You made the remarks about your mother and your sister I commented on what really was your bad taste in doing so.”

    Compare:

    Bob: “Mike, would you consider me ‘off base’ in seeing an incredible similarity between my sister and Israel?”

    Mike S.: “I would consider you being on target exactly, rather than off base, if you think differently then you are misreading me. One of the great problems the Israeli’s have is that they react the same way that your sister does and I give them no credit for it and believe it actually exascerbates their problems.”

    So Mike, I’m ‘on target’ but in ‘bad taste?’ When did it become bad taste Mike? Perhaps when you became emotionally upset later on?

    Mike S.: “You brought them into this and used them to make some point about me.”

    Wrong again Mike. You made it about you; despite my repeated objections to you doing so. Just like you kept trying to sum up the argument about being Israel’s right to exist as a state; throwing your premises and perceived biases into my arguments and attacking them along with me.

    Mike S.: “You disparaged your sister for abusing your mother.”

    Actually Mike, my sister degraded herself, morally speaking, by emotionally terrorizing my mother. That my sister has been nothing but hurtful towards my mother AND that she takes joy in hurting her by laughing (cackling) when she succeeds in making my mother sob is statement of fact Mr. Therapist.

    Speaking of therapists, what kind of ‘feeling’ therapist makes a remark like this with as little factual background as set forth on this thread:

    Mike S.: “That paragraph is a nonsensical cover up to hide the fact that you cruelly used your sister’s abuse to make a philosophic point on morality. By the way within it I hear the whine of tommy Smothers saying Mom always loved you the best.”

    My comparison between my sister and Israel (i.e. victim becoming victimizer) was not “cruel,” it was “on target” right Mike? As I stated earlier, perhaps you changed your mind when you realized the full effect of the comparison. It wasn’t the reasoning behind the comparison; you just didn’t ‘feel’ right about it anymore. But it had nothing to do with my sister; did it Mike? And when it didn’t ‘feel’ right anymore, you felt entitled to, what’s that word, it’s in the ninth amendment… oh yea, ‘disparage’ my mother with that Tommy Smothers crack? Reducing my family to a joke doesn’t constitute over-the-line ad hominem abusive? Have you no decency sir?

    Let’s review:

    I posted three observations about Israel; of which you assented to two and remained silent on the third.

    Your ‘first’ remark was an anecdote with a rhetorical effect of denying the existence of a group of people known to the world as Palestinains.

    Your ‘second’ remark was a comment about the legality of the existence of Israel; a topic which I never brought up and no matter how many times I objected, you continually came back to.

    In your third point, you delved into the ‘it’s not as easy as it looks history’ diatribe; shifting focus away from a legal analysis of the acts at issue.

    In your seventh point, you admitted your inability to approach the topic as a ‘detached and neutral magistrate’ by saying “If the fascist shit ever hits the fan in America and it well might, where does a Jew like me and his family go?”

    AS someone who’s been keeping an eye on where and how the Constitution has been getting trampled on since December 9, 2000, and who still can’t use a 13th century term in this country without looking over his shoulder for the PC police, I admitted and apologized for having an extremely hard time empathizing with your fear; much less deeming it an excuse for the dearth of rationality in your later posts.

    Fear is no license to argue the way you did. Fear is no license to attack me, Kant, Philosophy in general in lieu of addressing my arguments. Fear is no license for you to argue against reason itself by claiming your argument is valid because it ‘feels’ right. You may ‘feel’ you have the right to insert your premises into my argument and attack them, and me, as if they were my own. You may ‘feel’ like you’re entitled to formulate ‘moral’ & ‘legal’ arguments based on your ‘gut feelings’ about the subject.

    But there are ‘reasons’ why we reject the musings and actions of people like Charles Bronson in “Death Wish,” people who ‘feel’ they ‘know’ who the guilty ones are. Philosophers, founding fathers, legal scholars & procedural architects have designed systems of government and law to keep people from acting on their feelings with law in check; so the law is never reduced to ‘it’s right because I just feel it in my gut.’

    If I sound pompous to you Mike, it’s because, unlike you in your arguments, I have more respect for law, legal and moral principles than my ‘feelings.’

  2. Mike Spindell wrote:

    “I regret at this point about my having identified myself as being Jewish…”
    _________________________________

    Mike, there is certainly no reason to regret your informing us that you are Jewish. I have learned information I would have never known had you not provided us with your Jewish heritage and perspectives.

    Thanks from an atheistic, conservative Republican.

  3. “You didn’t even have enough honor to apologize for that remark about my mother and my sister.”

    Bob,
    I didn’t make any remark about your mother or sister. You made the remarks about your mother and your sister I commented on what really was your bad taste in doing so. You brought them into this and used them to make some point about me. You disparaged your sister for abusing your mother. Stop projecting on to me Bob, when you must clearly understand that I criticized you for bringing them into the discussion and if anything sympathized with them, but at the same time noted that it must have been painful for you.

    The statement above is your attempt to turn this all around away from the bad behavior that you exhibited. The problem is that there is a full record of all the remarks we both made and if you can show me an instance where I disparaged your mother and sister I’ll be happy to apologize for it sincerely, but I don’t believe you can.

    As far as apologies though, I think you owe me an apology for playing these silly games with me, for trying to trap me into some esoteric point you were making, for patronizing me, for mocking me, for painting me as an Israeli zealot and for implying that my real fears of this country returning to being anti-Jewish, especially given the raucous fascist minority in the streets and on the air, are delusional. The apology should also reflect the fact that when I honorably tried to withdraw from this specious debate, you drew me back in by trying to play the injured party for the audience.

    You dish it out pretty viciously Bob, but when it comes back at you via the same techniques you use constantly, you cry foul and play the injured party. Now you’re a good person Bob and the stupid fact about this argument is we have many views in common. I respect you and have enjoyed your various sensibilities, many of which we have in common. However, I’ve also found you difficult at times, as I suspect others have. You tend to turn on people, even when they agree with you, as I did here initially. You also, for someone with a 60’s sensibility tend to become overly pompous.

    Now some people on this site have personally wondered if I had suddenly changed due to physical or other problems. I haven’t changed and am fine in all respects. What I’ve never tolerated from anyone in my life, sometimes to my career detriment, is being patronized and treated in the fashion you initiated in dealing with me. While I much prefer making nice to people, I am far from anybody’s patsy.

    I regret at this point about my having identified myself as being Jewish, but that came about in a much, much earlier Israel discussion and I felt full disclosure was fair. I shouldn’t have to regret being known as a Jew. I’ve never used the fact of my being Jewish as a crutch, to guilt trip anyone who posted here regularly, or to claim they were anti-Jewish because they disagreed with me. The exception to that was bdaman and that was because his Christ Killer remark had gone way across the line and was clearly bigoted. Throughout this whole argument, it can’t be dignified by calling it a debate, you have more than implied differently about me and have tried to hold me accountable for those actions by certain right wing Jews, who behave as victims. Mess with them if you will, I have and you can’t imagine the intra-faith arguments I’ve had sometimes with close friends.

    I’m no ones victim and Jews in general are not a people who play the victim. Whether you like Israel or not is a matter of your own perspective, but I refuse to be used as the target of your particular frustrations.

  4. Mike,

    You didn’t even have enough honor to apologize for that remark about my mother and my sister.

    Good day sir.

  5. Dr. Love,
    I’ve lived fast, am trying not to die young and I think my corpse will be good looking. Two out of three ain’t bad.

  6. “you’re engaged in contextomy.”

    Ah Bob,
    A light bulb goes on over your head, the only problem is you are unable to fully follow through the thought because you seem barely capable of recognizing your own foibles. Bob, since you initiated this whole attack mode with your comments towards me, I originally tried to honestly respond to you point by point, laboriously contextualizing my responses and pointing out to you where we differ.

    However, it then became apparent that you wouldn’t bother to respond to much of the context and history I was providing, adopting instead the position that it was irrelevant and constantly implying that I “wasn’t my old self” which was a more
    genteel way of saying I was aberrational.

    You also the tried to turn the discussion into being carried on in your Kantian ballpark and in philosophical terms, knowing this was an area where you had greater knowledge than me. It also allowed you to pretend to assume the “moral high ground” and even twisted the debate into the fact that you wanted to show why I despite anything I write was just a typical zealot Jew, when it came to Israel. Re-reading your constant assaults and retrenchments is an exercise in being in Wonderland, rather than then being in the sights of a moral philosopher and logician.

    “The comparison stands Mike; whether or not they fit in with your thin skinned whiny appeals to emotion, pity and special pleadings regarding your Jewish heritage made above.”

    Are you really so far entrapped in self deception that you really are unaware of what you are saying here? Bob, you specifically called me out because of my Jewish heritage and said so clearly. Now I’ve already stated that I don’t believe you to be bigoted and/or anti-Jewish. I clearly think the problem is you are so entrenched in the smugness and moral certitude of your own mind, that you really don’t understand the import of things you say.

    Which returns us to the issue of context. Once I saw, halfway through, that for whatever foibles you have you were clearly incapable of carrying on an honest dialog on this issue and were determined also to besmirch both my intellect and moral compass, you left me with no choice.

    I began to treat you exactly in the same manner you treated me and watched as you began to sputter figuratively, because you were being given doses of your own medicine and it didn’t go down well. Don’t like the way my attacks feel Bob, well maybe then you can have some empathy for those you treat in the same manner with your more moral than thou debating style performed according to the Gospel of St. Immanuel. Dosages of your own medicine and being hoisted on your own petard doesn’t feel too good does it?

    “Someone who bears enmity towards another gives them a kidney? What did I miss here?”

    It actually happens all the time. look at the news, one act does not logically follow from another. I based what I said on only your own words Bob and I’m sorry if you feel choked by them.

    “Make up your mind; do I lack empathy, bear emnity or lack empathy only within the context of your clarification?”

    Based on your own words I would say that you lack empathy and bear enmity, not mutually exclusive feelings.

    “Apparently CCD got the point”

    So now you look for allies in this Bob? Too late in the game and I’m not biting. CCD may not agree with me and neither does Buddha for that matter, but neither of them started this out by denigrating and attacking me, you did, chose to continue it after I tried to withdraw and now you seem bothered by the heat.
    I think it’s known as a guilty conscience Bob and I never said you were bereft of one, it just get hidden sometimes in the fog of your own self-justification.

    “I confess, I’m guilty of appealing to ridicule and ad hominem abusive as well.”

    A little progress Bob and seeing this perhaps a wedge for you to see into the games that you play, but don’t like being played back to you.

    Do unto others……..

  7. Bob: “You have no idea how off base and insulting this comment is do you? My sister had been targeting my mother for abuse and blame LONG before the incident Mike.”

    Mike S.: “Your original statement clearly placed the beginning of your sister’s abuse as set off by the abuse incident.”

    Key concept was her feeling ENTITLED to treat others badly. My comment was in reply to your abusive, insulting & sweeping generalizations about me, my sister and my mother that I found particularly disgusting coming from a “therapist” who gloats about his powers of empathy & civility.

    Mike S.: “The later quote below then changes that original formulation”

    Bob: “Why, well to make another public confession, I wanted to know why people like my sister grow up happy as happy children and then suddenly turn into monsters who laugh, dare I say cackle, as they emotionally terrorize my mother with the most cruelest harmful things to say.”

    Mike S.: “Now you change your story once again and you are insulted?”

    This is misrepresentation; the story wasn’t changed; you’re engaged in contextomy. The word “also” as in “I also wanted to know why people like my sister…” is clearly implied within the context of this thread. Or “maybe the therapist might toss me an insight or two as to why my sister acts the way she does.” But, seeing how your intuitive powers match those of Homer Simpson as Homer Thompson

    FBI agent: “Now when I press down on your foot and say ‘Hello Mr. Thompson, you smile and nod.”
    Homer Simpson: No problem
    FBI Agent: “Hello Mr. Thompson”
    Homer Simpson: (loud whisper to man seated next to him) “I think he’s talking to you.”

    I was a fool to expect anything more.

    Mike S.: “Bob are you really so unaware of what you’re doing with this? How is it that you take your mis-definitions of what I say, which I then correct you on and you respond with demanding that I accept the meaning of your original mis-quote?”

    The comparison stands Mike; whether or not they fit in with your thin skinned whiny appeals to emotion, pity and special pleadings regarding your Jewish heritage made above.

    Bob: “And you don’t think I have enough empathy for her that I still conclude I’d give her a kidney if she needed one even after all the intentionally cruel things she’s done and said?”

    Mike S.: “Again, you mis-quote my meaning.

    Did I?

    Mike S.: “I won’t take lessons in intellectually pristine morality from someone who still bears enmity towards someone he knows who has been abused.”

    Someone who bears enmity towards another gives them a kidney? What did I miss here?

    Mike S.: “To me your lack of empathy comes from even using your sister and exposing your anger at her, to make your larger philosophical point and from the obvious rage that your hold towards her.”

    Make up your mind; do I lack empathy, bear emnity or lack empathy only within the context of your clarification?

    Apparently CCD got the point

    http://jonathanturley.org/2009/09/29/u-n-report-israel-committed-war-crimes-in-gaza/#comment-84696

    And since CCD so succinctly summarized the comparison between my sister and Israel, i.e. “the victim cannot become the victimizer,” agreeing with a similar point you made earlier when you said I was “on target,” perhaps you can inform me as to how your change of heart regarding this comparison came about. When did I “cross the line” Mike?

    Could it be that you’re suffering from a form of the ‘psychologist’s fallacy’ in your emotionally charged special pleadings for Israel as ‘a Jew with feelings who doesn’t turn the other cheek?’ I ask because I don’t know.

    And by the way, I refer to your posts as irrational because you’ve been continually engaging in the following:

    appeal to pity; appeal to ridicule; irrelevant conclusion; proof by verbosity; appeal to emotion; argument from ignorance; argument from personal incredulity; ad hominem abusive; psychologist’s fallacy; ad hominem circumstantial; moving the goalposts; and lest we forget Special pleading.

  8. “You have no idea how off base and insulting this comment is do you? My sister had been targeting my mother for abuse and blame LONG before the incident Mike.”

    Bob,
    There you go again. Your original statement clearly placed the beginning of your sister’s abuse as set off by the abuse incident. The later quote below then changes that original formulation:

    “Why, well to make another public confession, I wanted to know why people like my sister grow up happy as happy children and then suddenly turn into monsters who laugh, dare I say cackle, as they emotionally terrorize my mother with the most cruelest harmful things to say.”

    Now you change your story once again and you are insulted? Bob are you really so unaware of what you’re doing with this? How is it that you take your mis-definitions of what I say, which I then correct you on and you respond with demanding that I accept the meaning of your original mis-quote?

    “And you don’t think I have enough empathy for her that I still conclude I’d give her a kidney if she needed one even after all the intentionally cruel things she’s done and said?”

    Again, you mis-quote my meaning. To me your lack of empathy comes from even using your sister and exposing your anger at her, to make your larger philosophical point and from the obvious rage that your hold towards her. This is not a diagnosis, merely a clear reading of your own words. However,
    for your own good I would look up the definition of “reaction formation,” a psychological defense mechanism which I think has broken down in you to your detriment.

    “So Mike, we’ll mark this one off as yet another gutter-born ill-considered personal attack. Okay Mike?”

    Nice hyperbole Bob, if only I could have been as “innocent” as you in the mudslinging. Bob, I’m not the one who has over and again lauded his grounding in a philosophy that encompasses all.
    It would seem to me that one of the original postulates of any philosophy should be “Know Thyself.” As you natter on it becomes clearer and clearer that you lack that capacity as exhibited by your inability to even be aware of your own culpability and vile actions in this name calling. I’m at least being out front about what I’m doing. you keep cloaking yourself in the “Olympian Mantel” of higher philosophy and morality, which in your case is merely a crock.

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