Saturday, October 31, 2009

At least a dozen US politicians understand the situation. A drop of water – it helps, not much, but some.

A group of US state legislators toured Israel with a program sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislatures, meeting with our local movers and shakers. What was at the top of their agenda? The infamous Goldstone Report.

I have no doubt at all you are as sick of hearing about the Goldstone Report as I am. As a completely corrupt, false and damaging account to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, it’s without parallel -- and when you’re talking about UN activities, that’s saying something. But to accuse Israel of war crimes in last December’s Operation Cast Lead – and never to mention the eight long years of provocation by Arab terrorists, the bombs, mortars that moment by moment threatened a million people in Israel’s south -- is simply unconscionable.

The fact that the world at large seems to be taking it seriously is even worse.

I have a feeling the Goldstone Report is going to equal that other nefarious document, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, first compiled in the 1890’s, but still rears its ugly head wherever Israel or Jew haters congregate.

Nevertheless, the visiting politicians were interested in Goldstone – and at least a few saw the light.

According to one of them, Georgia State Sen. Don Balfour, the Goldstone document is misunderstood in the United States. "Yesterday we had a meeting about the Goldstone Report. The average American says, 'Hey, war crimes? [with a shocked look on his face],' but then you read it and you see almost everything we [US] do is a war crime.

"Sometimes there are civilian casualties, which are horrible. But is that a war crime? If so, that changes the way we define war," he said.

If indeed the IDF is accused of war crimes, "Every soldier is going to be a war criminal. If you bomb an al-Qaida terrorist and one of their family dies, that would be a war crime," Balfour said.

AHA! That’s what we’ve been saying for a long time – Israel comes first, as an appetizer. Then the freedom haters, the terrorists, move on to tackle the main course, the US.

Former Ambassador to the UN John Bolton made much the same point. "Israel frequently serves as a surrogate target in lieu of the US, particularly concerning the use of military force preemptively or in self-defense," Bolton wrote in the Wall Street Journal on October 19. "UN decisions on ostensibly Israel-specific issues can lay a predicate for subsequent action against, or efforts to constrain, the US. Mr. Goldstone's recommendation to convoke the International Criminal Court is like putting a loaded pistol to Israel's head - or, in the future, to America's."

Whoever arranged the itinerary for this tour did a good job – the visiting legislators were even inspired to delve into the myth of Jenin, another battle in which Israel was unjustly accused of war crimes. If fact, the IDF in that battle risked their own lives to protect Arab civilians – and what happened? The IDF was accused of a “massacre” -- which never happened at all. Nor, of course, was there any mention of the fact that Jenin had served as a terrorist base for years.

If you really want to know what happened in Jenin, find a copy of Brett Goldberg’s 2003 book, “Psalm in Jenin”, which is finally, after many years, available from Amazon. Why it took so long to get published in the US is a mystery – or else it isn’t. Take your choice.

In any event, Senator Balfour – good name, huh? -- got the point: In Jenin the IDF went door-to-door looking for terrorists rather than immediately bombing a suspected house. Get that? They risked their own lives in order to save Arab bystanders. “This was the kind of information that slipped through many media reports,” Balfour said.

He added that during the Second Lebanon War in 2006, "People will read an article and say, 'Israel bombed Lebanon?!' What they do not know, however, is Lebanon sent 10,000 bombs [to Israel]," he said, referring to mortar shells and Katyusha rockets.

The tour group even addressed such issues as defining a war crime. Balfour suggested a definition that arose from Operation Cast Lead itself.

"When they set up terror missiles next to a school, on top of a hospital, in front of a kindergarten, that ought to be a war crime," he said. "When they set up missiles on schools and hospitals, you eventually have to take those missiles out."

In US presidential elections, there used to be a saying, “As goes New Hampshire, so goes the nation”. New Hampshire traditionally held the first primary, so the US’s smallest state served as a bellwether to predict how the rest of the country would vote.

Today, what’s absolutely true is “As goes Israel, so goes the world.” Interesting that this group of touring state legislators got the point.

Kudos to whoever set their tour itinerary – please arrange more just like that. Maybe you should invite the Community Organizer and Mrs. Bubba. If a drop of water can eventually wear a hole in a rock, maybe even those two could begin to understand.

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