Welcome Adam Horowitz, Mondoweiss.net, and Siun.

[As a courtesy to our guests, please keep comments to the book.  Please take other conversations to a previous thread. - bev]

The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict

Siun, Host:

Today’s book salon is unexpectedly timely. With this weekend’s startling Washington Post opinion piece by Judge Goldstone which seems to contradict the factual findings of the report of The United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, controversy over “The Goldstone Report” on Operation Cast Lead is in the news once again.

And that controversy makes this new book, edited by Adam Horowitz, Lizzy Ratner and Philip Weiss, even more valuable. The book offers an edited version of the report along with a broad selection of essays which provide commentary on the legal issues raised, the controversy over the report, the attacks on Judge Goldstone and both transcripts of testimony to the investigative commission and views from Gazans who lived through the attack.

The introductory essay by Naomi Klein points to how important the investigation was to those who survived the Israeli attack. As Klein describes, the people of Gaza were not only devastated by the immense violence of that attack but also by the realization that the world powers and legal institutions did nothing to demand accountability from the Israeli government:

The message sent by the paralysis of the international legal system was terrifying: Israel enjoyed complete impunity. There was no recourse.

Then, out of nowhere, a representative of law did show up. His name was Judge Richard Goldstone and he was leading a fact-finding mission for the United Nations. His mandate was to assess whether war crimes had been committed during the attack and to spur legal remedies.

Of course, no such “legal remedies” have resulted even though the report itself set a six month time limit for self-investigations and called on international bodies to take action.

As Raji Sourani notes in the essay The Right to Live in Dignity:

It is self-evident truth that if the law is to be protected, the it must be enforced. History has shown us, time and again, that as long as individuals are granted impunity, they will continue to violate the law. It is innocent civilians, the “protected persons” of international humanitarian law, who are forced to suffer the historic consequences.

And those consequences continue in Gaza where Israeli collective punishment has neither been prosecuted or halted.

One of the included essays that speaks particularly effectively to this inaction is that of Congressman Brian Baird:

During Operation Cast Lead – and I hate to call it Operation Cast Lead, it sounds so surgical and it as anything but – there was a picture of three little Palestinian boys who had been killed lying on a little rug, and the father was just grief-stricken. Those boys were about the same age as my twin boys, and I thought, those could be my kids right there.

This recognition led Baird to go to Gaza and to observe first hand the destruction of Gaza – and then to speak out in the face of the move by Congress to oppose even this factual investigative report. His words indict the his colleagues and more:

I want to make a really key distinction. It is easy and tempting to speak about our need to respond differently in Gaza, and for that matter East Jerusalem and the West Bank, solely out of nationalistic geopolitical self-interest. And it goes something like: If we don’t treat these people better they will become terrorists and they will come kill us or it will destabilize the region. I get that.

But here’s something much more fundamental than that, and that’s the golden rule. You should not do this to human beings. The golden rule needs a corollary, which is, Not only do unto others as you would have them do unto you, but do not allow to be done unto others what you would not want to be done unto yourself, and certainly don’t facilitate that. We are absolutely complicit in this … America is abetting these abuses and Israel is facilitating them on a daily basis.

Now sadly it seems that Judge Goldstone has joined in this same facilitation. Reading the essays in The Goldstone Report which speak of the ever so vicious attacks the judge has faced, perhaps it all just got to be too much for him – but his new statement claiming validity for the secret, unfinished investigations by Israel of Israel, in fact by staff from the same ministry that is also providing the defense attorneys for those accused crimes, is particularly hard to read after reading today’s featured book, for in the detailed, careful text of the report itself we have perhaps the only official humane response to the horror of Operation Cast Lead. The report at least represented some attempt on behalf of the world community to speak for the victims and for humanitarian international law.

In his weak and unconvincing editorial, Judge Goldstone not only seriously misrepresents the findings of the McGowan Davis findings which are designed to follow-up on the recommendations of the original report, as today’s guest, Adam Horowitz so well documents in his post at Mondoweiss yesterday, Goldstone too becomes an apologist for these crimes – and that is heartbreaking.

126 Responses to “FDL Book Salon Welcomes Adam Horowitz, The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict”

BevW April 3rd, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Adam, Welcome to the Lake.

Siun, Thank you for Hosting this Book Salon.

Everyone: As a courtesy to our guests, please keep comments to the book and be respectful of dissenting opinions.  Please take other conversations to a previous thread. – bev

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Hi, thanks so much for having me. Looking forward to it.

Siun April 3rd, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Welcome Adam!

What a very timely book salon this is!

And thank you Bev.

dakine01 April 3rd, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Good afternoon Adam and welcome to FDL this afternoon.

Good afternoon Siun.

Adam, why do you think Judge Goldstone seemingly repudiated the report?

Jim April 3rd, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Yes, poor Gaza, poor Hamas, poor Hezbollah, poor PLO… blame Israel. As always.

~~~Mod Note: Be respectful of dissenting opinions~~~

Siun April 3rd, 2011 at 2:03 pm

I wanted to talk a bit about the book before we head into the controversy since the book is such a valuable addition to what we have previously read.

The version of the report itself is “edited” and I was wondering if you could explain how that was done.

Jim April 3rd, 2011 at 2:04 pm

“Author of report on Israel’s Gaza offensive softens conclusions”

Jurist Richard Goldstone says he now believes that Israeli policy during the clash with Hamas two years ago was not to intentionally target civilians. He originally said both sides should be investigated for war crimes.

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 2:08 pm

I knew that would be the first question! :) I can’t speculate on Judge Goldstone’s motives for writing his article, to be honest I have no idea.

I am concerned that it will end up damaging Goldstone’s goal of “establishing and applying international law to protracted and deadly conflicts.” I think some are very much in danger of “throwing the baby out with the bathwater” as it were and taking his op-ed to discredit the entire report, when even he didn’t say that. He only commented on one small issue of the report, thus implying that he still stands behind the vast majority of the report, including the need to investigate whether there was an intentional Israeli effort to attack Gaza’s civilian infrastructure.

There are crucial issues of international law and human rights that still need to be addressed concerning Operation Cast Lead, and Goldston’e op-ed doesn’t change this.

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 2:08 pm
In response to Adam Horowitz @ 8

Sorry, that was a reply to dakine01, should have pressed reply instead of just comment.

CTuttle April 3rd, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Aloha, Adam and Siun…! Mahalo for being here today…! I see that with Judge Goldstone’s ‘recantation’, that Bibi was quick to pounce…

Netanyahu to UN: Retract Gaza War report in wake of Goldstone’s comments

Do you think the UN will do anything…? They’ve already basically ‘tabled’ the entire findings, do you think this is the final nail in the report’s coffin…?

dakine01 April 3rd, 2011 at 2:10 pm
In response to Adam Horowitz @ 8

As a technical note, there is a “Reply” button in the lower right corner of each comment. Pressing the “Reply” pre-fills the commenter name and comment number being replied to and makes it easier for folks to follow the “conversation”

Note: Some browsers do not like to let the Reply function correctly if it has been pressed before a page completes loading after a refresh.

Siun April 3rd, 2011 at 2:10 pm
In response to Jim @ 7


Have any of the other jurists involved in the investigation commented on Judge Goldstone’s Oped?

bgrothus April 3rd, 2011 at 2:11 pm

What does “Cast Lead” mean? Lob bullets?

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 2:12 pm
In response to Siun @ 6

Thanks Siun. The report was only edited for reasons of length, and I want to be sure that everyone knows you can read the entire report on the book’s website – http://goldstonereportbook.com/. We chose to cut out many of the legal discussions in the report that we thought would be confusing and inaccessible for a general audience. We do address many of these issues in the accompanying essays, which try to explain them to the general reader.

wendydavis April 3rd, 2011 at 2:13 pm
In response to bgrothus @ 13

Edward Teller left the answer on my diary about the Goldstone op-ed:

“Traditionally, dreidels are made of cast lead. “”In 1921 Asher and Feiga (Fannie) immigrated to America from Russia. Asher and Fannie opened a Jewish bookstore in the heart of the New York City ghetto… In 1925, Asher had an idea to manufacture a lead draydel. After a long search he found a tool and die maker who designed the world’s only existing draydel casting machine. Lead is heated in a steel ladel till it melts. The molten lead is then poured into the closed mold. After 15 seconds, the lead sets, at which point the mold is opened and the hot draydel is removed. A good operator like Fannie produced about 75 draydels an hour. The first year was a great success and the exultant duo sold 25,000 lead draydel at 2 cents each, for a total of $500.”

source: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/operation-cast-lead-why.htm

mcorcoran April 3rd, 2011 at 2:13 pm

How do you think the Goldstone Report compares with human rights orgs, such as HRW and Amnesty International, in critiquing Israeli human rights abuses?

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 2:13 pm
In response to Jim @ 7

Judge Goldstone’s op-ed would seem to imply that he still believes that both sides should be investigated for war crimes and possible crimes against humanity, just not the issue he addresses in the op-ed (ie Israel intentionally targeting civilians). There are many other breaches of the laws of war described in the report.

Siun April 3rd, 2011 at 2:13 pm
In response to Adam Horowitz @ 14

Having access to the full report is very valuable – and the book’s version seems quite comprehensive in the major areas.

I appreciated the various testimonies as well.

wendydavis April 3rd, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Welcome, Adam. I wonder if you might mention what Desmond Tutu had to say in your book?

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 2:16 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 10

Hi, great to be here. I think that’s an interesting question, not sure what the UN will do. It’s not true that the UN has tabled the report. Just last week the UNHRC passed a resolution that called for the General Assembly to send the report to the Security Council with a recommendation that it get sent on to the International Criminal Court (as per the UN practice and the recommendations in the report itself). Now obviously it is doubtful that the security council would send it on to the ICC as long as the US is sitting on the council, but it is a sign that the report had not been tabled, and is certainly not dead. It will be interesting to see if there is any response from the UN or not on the op-ed in particular.

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 2:18 pm
In response to Siun @ 12

I haven’t seen any responses from the others on the team that helped write the report. For those who don’t know this includes Christine Chinkin, Hina Jilani and Desmond Travers. I hope they do speak out.

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 2:19 pm
In response to wendydavis @ 15

Yes, all I’d add is that it was the Israeli military’s code name for the attack on Gaza in the winter of 2008-09, they called it Operation Cast Lead.

wendydavis April 3rd, 2011 at 2:19 pm

I’m confused, Adam; I thought I’d read during all this mess recently that the US, while believing the UNHRC is ‘biased against Israel’, that it would run for a seat anyway, figuring being on the inside was more influential than not. Was that older history I was reading? Sounds likely now.

Siun April 3rd, 2011 at 2:19 pm
In response to Adam Horowitz @ 21

It’s disappointing to see the quite ambiguous though very disappointing Goldstone essay taken as a disavowal of the entire process.

Perhaps we could talk a bit about that process?

How long to the commission hear testimony?

CTuttle April 3rd, 2011 at 2:20 pm
In response to Adam Horowitz @ 17

One thing that exasperates me about the whole ‘did Israel intentionally target civilians or not’ is the fact that having 1.5 million individuals on a tiny strip of land in itself, entails targeting ‘civilians’ anytime you lob artillery shells or launch missiles into it…! 8-(

wendydavis April 3rd, 2011 at 2:20 pm
In response to Adam Horowitz @ 22

Thanks; that’s why I was asking readers on my diary its meaning; it seemed like a portentous name for a war on Gaza. Brrr.

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 2:21 pm
In response to mcorcoran @ 16

I think it’s very complimentary and raises the same issues many human rights organizations have been raising for a long time. Here is a post that we put up on Mondoweiss that makes this point – http://mondoweiss.net/2011/04/goldstone%e2%80%99s-backtrack-some-points-to-remember.html.

The Goldstone Report was not unique in what it raised, I think what makes it so powerful is that it was issued by the UN and makes explicit calls for accountability.

RevBev April 3rd, 2011 at 2:22 pm

NPR covering this report….

emptywheel April 3rd, 2011 at 2:22 pm


Thanks for being here.

I haven’t read the latest report or the Goldstone report. But from the accounts of the Israeli self-investigations, it seems like Israel is doing precisely what the US has done on torture: claim to be investigating (with the Durham investigation) as a way to stave off other international investigations (WikiLeaks showed discussions where helpful Spaniards noted it would be easier to spike their own investigation if we could claim we had one).

Is that what the Israelis are doing too? And when did their self-investigations start?

wendydavis April 3rd, 2011 at 2:22 pm
In response to Adam Horowitz @ 27

You did a great job deconstructing Goldstone’s op-ed, IMO, so did Richard Silverstein.

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 2:25 pm
In response to wendydavis @ 19

Thanks Wendy. We were incredibly honored to have Archibishop Tutu write the forward for the book. He said he was moved to write it not only out if his interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but also his personal knowledge and admiration for Judge Goldstone.

I’m not sure how to summarize what he wrote other than to say that what we saw in Gaza was a shock to the conscience of the world, reminiscent of other shocking moments in history. Like those it is up to “the international community of conscience” to support the need for accountability. He says, “It is only through accountability, and its attendant promise, justice, that we can begin moving toward a future in which both the violence of the invaders and the violence of resistance come to an end.”

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 2:27 pm
In response to Siun @ 18

Thanks, I think the testimonies we included in the book, from Palestinians and Israelis who lived through the fighting, to be perhaps the most important part.

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 2:29 pm
In response to wendydavis @ 23

No, you’re correct. The US sits on the UNHRC and they voted against the resolution I described earlier. It’s just a vote against though, not a veto.

wendydavis April 3rd, 2011 at 2:31 pm
In response to Adam Horowitz @ 31

I know we all thank you, Archbishop Tutu and the others for your moral witnessing; and for the care you take in documenting and writing.

Tutu may be the greatest moral force on the planet today I can think of, and one of the best humans ever. You were fortunate to be in one another’s company.


CTuttle April 3rd, 2011 at 2:32 pm
In response to Adam Horowitz @ 32

Was there any testimony about the use of White Phosphorous and/or DU, Adam…?

Siun April 3rd, 2011 at 2:33 pm


I’m also interested in how you selected the various essays in this book – it’s a very interesting selection of voices and angles from which to view the report itself.

I was quite struck by Congressman Baird’s essay which is so pointed.

Were there concerns by any of the authors about being in the book or about commenting on Goldstone?

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 2:33 pm
In response to Siun @ 24

The committee heard visited Gaza and heard testimony from Israelis in Geneva over the course of several visits in the Spring of 2009. As you probably know Israel wouldn’t allow the committee into Israel, which is why Israelis had to go to Geneva. Many in Israel now consider that a strategic mistake as the Israeli narrative of events was not really able to be included in the report, other than what could be discerned from media reports.

Alongside this process, Goldstone also set up a series of open sessions where any Gazan or Israeli could come tell their story of the fighting. This was modeled on the truth and reconciliation process in South Africa, in the hope that hearing the victims’ stories would help lead the way to reconciliation. The testimonies we used the book were taken from this process, although they do not appear in the official report itself.

bgrothus April 3rd, 2011 at 2:34 pm
In response to wendydavis @ 26

Yes, the link you provided also mentions “cast lead” as the component of bullets. As well as that the Israeli offensive was launched during Hannukkah, the time when the “cast lead” dreidels are used. So, however twisted the meaning, I suppose we could take the twisted Teller’s word for it.

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 2:34 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 25

Well put

Siun April 3rd, 2011 at 2:37 pm

While we know the shameful response of the US to the report, I think many of us hoped that other countries would be more forthcoming in pressure for accountability. Certainly, as I was covering Cast Lead here, I saw a lot of quite good coverage and apparent outrage from Europe for example …

Adam, are any countries throwing their influence behind the recommendations of the report?

mcorcoran April 3rd, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Thanks for your answer. Here is a question. How was the coverage of the Goldstone Report in elite publications in the US (namely, the Times)? How is the coverage, so far, of the “reappraisal”? I am generally aware how the coverage usually plays out — see this, or this — but have not done a measurement of Goldstone specifically.

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 2:39 pm
In response to emptywheel @ 29

Thanks for having me. I think that’s a great reading of what Israeli is attempting to do. I’m not totally sure when Israel began it’s own investigation, but this seems to indicate it was in Nov. 2009, so about two months after the Goldstone report came out.

I think it’s important to keep in mind the issue that was raised in Goldstone and subsequently by the UN that Israel’s self-investigation mechanism does not meet international standards because the military office that is responsible for the investigation is the same office that would be responsible for defending military officials from charges stemming from the investigation (confusing, right?). This is a point that was raised in the latest UN report which I quote on Mondoweiss here – http://mondoweiss.net/2011/04/goldstone-op-ed-praises-israeli-investigation-of-gaza-war-crimes-but-un-committee-paints-a-different-picture.html.

Gitcheegumee April 3rd, 2011 at 2:42 pm

The Lybian intervention was deemed justified on humanitarian grounds,that innocentes were being slaughtered.

Why is this yardstick not applied toward the David vs. Goliath situation involving Israel and the Palestininans?

Do any of the essays address this selective enforcement?
Thank you in advance for any input.

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 2:42 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 35

The section of the Goldstone Report that deals with white phosphorus and DU is in Chapter 12, which in our book is pages 140-145. We didn’t include any testimonies on this, I’m not sure off the top of my head if any were collected.

wendydavis April 3rd, 2011 at 2:44 pm
In response to bgrothus @ 38

No snark tag? Whassup? Well, not the place or time, maybe.

Phoenix Woman April 3rd, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Hello, Adam! Welcome to the Lake.

What I find interesting is that Goldstone’s capitulation — erm, editorial — doesn’t actually directly challenge, much less overturn, any of the findings in the report. Instead, he tries to change the subject from IDF crimes to rocket attacks launched from Gaza. It almost reads as if someone from the IDF’s hasbara unit was standing over his shoulder, telling him how to write about the Israeli victims of the rocket attacks so as to make it as heart-tugging as possible.

Phoenix Woman April 3rd, 2011 at 2:45 pm
In response to Gitcheegumee @ 43


Simple Answers to Simple Questions.

CTuttle April 3rd, 2011 at 2:48 pm

…the same office that would be responsible for defending military officials from charges stemming from the investigation (confusing, right?).

Along the same lines, didn’t Bibi, or the Knesset?, just instruct that very office, that they were no longer required to investigate every IOF/IDF confrontation with the Palestinans in the OPT, like they’d been required to previously…?

Gitcheegumee April 3rd, 2011 at 2:48 pm
In response to Phoenix Woman @ 47

Thanks PW.

I like to use the KISS method…(.keep it simple,stupid. :)

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 2:48 pm
In response to Siun @ 36

We knew there were several angles that we wanted to be sure to cover in the essays. First we wanted to set the context to understand the report in and Rashid Khalidi and Henry Siegman really accomplish this. Like I said before we wanted to be sure to explain the legal issues from the report for the lay reader, and I think Jules Lobel does a great job at doing this. We also wanted to be sure to include voices from Gaza and Israel itself and I feel that Raji Sourani, Noam Sheizaf and Laila El-Haddad’s chapters are the strongest in the book. We also felt it was important to acknowledge the critics of the report, and we reprinted Moshe Habertal’s essay from the New Republic that seemed to be the most level headed and respectful criticism of the report we could find. Finally, we wanted to highlight the role the report has played in the grassroots and Naomi Klein and Ali Abunimah’s chapters do this. There are other essays as well. Of course there are other issues that we could focused on as well, like what the report meant for the UN system and it’s role in ending conflict, but there was only so much room.

CTuttle April 3rd, 2011 at 2:49 pm
In response to Adam Horowitz @ 44

Ma’an and WAFA and others had some pretty chilling coverage of it during Cast Lead…! 8-(

wendydavis April 3rd, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Adam, did anyone speak about the de facto Dahiya doctrine Israel used from Lebanon forward? It seems that many believe that sort of intended disproportionality would naturally kill more noncombatants.

from the link:

“Beyond these sound-bites, Gadi Eisenkot, the head of Israel’s northern command, clarified in October the practical aspects of the strategy: “What happened in the Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006 will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on. We will apply disproportionate force on it and cause great damage and destruction there. From our standpoint, these are not civilian villages, they are military bases. This is not a recommendation. This is a plan.”

In the interview, Gen Eisenkot was discussing the next round of hostilities with Hizballah. However, the doctrine was intended for use in Gaza, too.”

Siun April 3rd, 2011 at 2:51 pm
In response to Adam Horowitz @ 50

It’s an impressive selection and makes the book a great resource.

I have to say that I found Laila El-Haddad’s essay the one that spoke to my heart.

TarheelDem April 3rd, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Let me get this timing straight. Last week the UNHRC referred the report to the General Assembly, a forum that operates without vetoes.

And voila, Judge Goldstone weighs in about some reconsideration that he made of the the conclusions of the report.

What is Goldstone trying to tell the ambassadors to the UN? Or better said, what audience is he writing to?

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 2:53 pm
In response to Siun @ 40

This is a complicated question, and it’s difficult to tell. Within the UN here is roll call on the UN resolution I mentioned earlier in support of moving the report forward:

In favour (27): Angola, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Ecuador, Gabon, Ghana, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Mauritius, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Thailand, Uganda, and Uruguay.
Against (3): Slovakia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and United States of America.
Abstentions (16): Belgium, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, France, Guatemala, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Republic of Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Zambia.

You can find this here – http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.nsf/47D4E277B48D9D3685256DDC00612265/C26D97752A2E5E858525786100720710.

There is a separate issue of which countries courts are entertaining cases around the report using universal jursidiction, which was one of the recommendations of the report. There have been several reports of Israeli officials almost being arrested for war crimes associated with Goldstone in the UK, and there was this reference in the NY Times today on an article about Goldstone’s op-ed:

Gen. Avi Benayahu, the Israeli military’s chief spokesman, said on Israel Radio that he would like to invite Mr. Goldstone to Israel, show him around and enlist him in the state’s future public relations needs.

“If there is another Lebanon war, something that cannot be dismissed out of hand, and if we are required to face another military conflict and challenge in Gaza, we will meet the same reality,” he said.

General Benayahu recently revealed that he traveled to London in 2010 under an assumed identity because of fear of attracting anti-Israel protests outside his hotel and of being arrested for alleged war crimes.

Siun April 3rd, 2011 at 2:55 pm
In response to Phoenix Woman @ 47

I have to say that this is not simply a question of AIPAC and it’s confreres but instead an issue for all of our foreign policy.

Sometimes I think that our focus on AIPAC allows us to ignore how well aligned AIPAC is with our broader policies, so we see AIPAC as the issue rather than our global stance.

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 2:56 pm
In response to mcorcoran @ 41

The Times generally ignored the Goldstone Report and its implications. They just published a piece on the reappraisal which is pretty bad – http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/04/world/middleeast/04goldstone.html?_r=1&hp. Like I said earlier I don’t view the op-ed as a renunciation, but that’s how they’re covering it.

CTuttle April 3rd, 2011 at 2:59 pm
In response to Adam Horowitz @ 55

…under an assumed identity because of fear of attracting anti-Israel protests outside his hotel and of being arrested for alleged war crimes.

Tis a shame that the UK Parliament is about to repeal their ‘Universal Jurisdiction’ status at the behest of Israel…! 8-(

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 3:00 pm
In response to Gitcheegumee @ 43

I’m not sure if I totally understand your question, but clearly there are strong political considerations on which situations receive international intervention. I wrote a post for Mondoweiss on the double standard here – http://mondoweiss.net/2011/03/cairo-2-part-ii.html

Gitcheegumee April 3rd, 2011 at 3:01 pm
In response to Siun @ 56

At times it would seem that AIPAC creates the global policy,rather than merely aligning-more like designing=at least as far as the last few administrations here.

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 3:01 pm
In response to Siun @ 36

Oh sorry Siun, I didn’t answer the second part of your question earlier. No, folks did not have reservations commenting on Goldstone and Gaza, everyone felt very strongly about it.

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 3:02 pm
In response to Phoenix Woman @ 46

I think the point that the op-ed doesn’t overturn the findings of the report to be a really important one. Thanks for making it.

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 3:03 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 48

Interesting, do you have a link/citation for that? I hadn’t heard that.

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 3:05 pm
In response to wendydavis @ 52

Hi Wendy, yes, that’s one of the most important parts of the Goldstone Report itself. I published that section of the report on Mondoweiss here – http://mondoweiss.net/2010/01/goldstone-found-that-israels-collective-punishment-policy-in-lebanon-served-as-a-model-for-gaza.html.

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 3:06 pm
In response to Siun @ 53

Laila’s chapter is my absolute favorite. I strongly recommend that everyone follow her work at gazamom.com.

CTuttle April 3rd, 2011 at 3:06 pm
In response to Gitcheegumee @ 60

Having ex-AIPACer Dennis Ross dictating FP directly into O’bomber’s ear could lead one to agree with ya…! ;-)

Gitcheegumee April 3rd, 2011 at 3:07 pm
In response to Adam Horowitz @ 59

Its really very simple-human suffering is human suffering.

Politically, it is apparent that not all despots and tyrants will be treated equally…especially in the Middle East.

Siun April 3rd, 2011 at 3:07 pm
In response to Adam Horowitz @ 64

And Israel’s actions in Lebanon are clearly the model for US actions in Iraq and Afghanistan … at times so close as to be stunning.

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 3:07 pm
In response to TarheelDem @ 54

Good questions. The report is not supposed to come up until the next general assembly, but it’s quite possible that he was responding the to UNHRC vote. We won’t know until he says some more.

Sharkbabe April 3rd, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Hi Adam and all, just lurking and listening. But a couple comments.

- to me it doesn’t matter if G’s op-ed only putatively addresses some lesser detail. we all know the game, and we know this isn’t the effect of such statements. swear to god i don’t know how the Israeli regime does it, with turning every high-profile critic to apologetic jelly, but it’s numbingly familiar and exceedingly creepy.

- “cast lead” always evoked to me heaviness, poison, made solid and forever. a mindset that certainly doesn’t even care to trouble itself with madison-avenue “freedom/goodness/blah blah blah” stylings. the words “cast lead” chilled me to the bone even before they started the thing.

CTuttle April 3rd, 2011 at 3:08 pm
In response to Adam Horowitz @ 63

I think MEMO had it recently… I’ll look for it after the Salon and post it on one of your threads at Mondoweiss for ya, Adam…! ;-)

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 3:09 pm
In response to Siun @ 68

Good point

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 3:10 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 71


Gitcheegumee April 3rd, 2011 at 3:10 pm
In response to Siun @ 68

That Doctrine used in Lebanon sure sounded a lot like Shock and Awe to me.

wendydavis April 3rd, 2011 at 3:11 pm
In response to Adam Horowitz @ 64

Sorry to say I haven’t actually read it; just commentary.

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 3:12 pm
In response to Sharkbabe @ 70

Thanks for the points. I agree, regardless of what it actually says, the op-ed will be damaging and most definitely set back the work that Judge Goldstone himself says he’s working for.

chetnolian April 3rd, 2011 at 3:12 pm
In response to Adam Horowitz @ 57

I don’t altogether understand your denial that the op-ed is a renunciation at least of part of the Report. To say the Report “would have been a different document” surely does just that.

Goldstone also ignores the possibility that the investigations are designed precisely to prove the Report wrong and should be suspect for that reason. He says one incident “apparently” resulted from a targeting error. Surely that doesn’t meet any judicial test? Do you have any idea why he has done it?

Siun April 3rd, 2011 at 3:13 pm
In response to wendydavis @ 75

I’d really suggest getting a copy of Adam’s book and giving it a read … the report is crucial for it’s documentation of what happened.

CTuttle April 3rd, 2011 at 3:14 pm
In response to Adam Horowitz @ 73

No problemo, I read ya almost daily over there…! Don’t comment much tho…! Witty tends to sap all the oxygen outta the place at times…! ;-)

wendydavis April 3rd, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Jeffrey Goldberg’s column in the Atlantic went several bridges farther than even Bibi and Barak’s responses, IMO.

He said:

“Well, I’m glad he’s cleared that up. Unfortunately, it is somewhat difficult to retract a blood libel, once it has been broadcast across the world.”

Siun April 3rd, 2011 at 3:16 pm


It looks like things are getting worse again in Gaza – and that Israel is gearing up for another attack. Do you think this is true?

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 3:18 pm
In response to chetnolian @ 77

No, as I said earlier, I have no idea what Judge Goldstone was hoping to accomplish by writing the article, only he can answer that.

As far as your first point. Goldstone has been saying all along that the report would have looked differently if he had access to Israel. This is really just a common sense point. My point earlier was that the op-ed is not a total renunciation of the report, as is being reported. He just comments on one relatively small part. So yes I would agree that he has reconsidered one charge in the report, but there is much more to deal with.

wendydavis April 3rd, 2011 at 3:19 pm
In response to Siun @ 78

My pocketbook doesn’t come close to allowing it, Siun, but I think Adam said we can read it at the book’s website, no?

We feel glad that we can still afford our internet connection; more than many can do these days. ;o)

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 3:21 pm
In response to Siun @ 81

Well, it certainly looks that way. This article from Haaretz today is chilling. It deals with the Israeli assassination of three Hamas leaders yesterday in Gaza. I think there is a very legitimate concern that the more the Goldstone Report appears to be discredited in the eyes of Israeli decision makers, the more likely it is that there will be a “Cast Lead II” as their impunity appears in tact.

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 3:22 pm
In response to wendydavis @ 83

The Goldstone Report itself is available for free on the books website, but you gotta pay for the essays ;)

Siun April 3rd, 2011 at 3:23 pm
In response to wendydavis @ 83

A good reason to ask your local library to order a copy or get one for you on interlibrary loan. It’s a great way to help get word to more people too when the book is available in libraries.

wendydavis April 3rd, 2011 at 3:24 pm
In response to Adam Horowitz @ 85

Thanks, Adam.

bgrothus April 3rd, 2011 at 3:24 pm
In response to wendydavis @ 83

Sorry upthread to cause confusion WRT: Edward Teller. I was referring to the pro-nuke physicist Edward Teller, not the ET of FDL, who (I presume) gave you the info.

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 3:25 pm
In response to Siun @ 86

Yes, thanks!

wendydavis April 3rd, 2011 at 3:25 pm
In response to Siun @ 86

Both good ideas, Siun.

Siun April 3rd, 2011 at 3:28 pm


What’s the response been to the book? I’m hoping it is getting a good reception since we have so few books that provide this much info but also this very good context.

bgrothus April 3rd, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Adam, in my reading of Goldstone’s editorial, he seems to imply that the Israelis were more responsive than Hammas, but at the same time, it appears that the Israelis have been obfuscatory as much as “cooperative.” I don’t really understand the distinction he is making.

wendydavis April 3rd, 2011 at 3:29 pm
In response to bgrothus @ 88

LOL! Well, you did in fact knock me for a loop, I admit! Edward T writes often on Israeli/Palestinian issues, and while I know it’s a fraught subject (and sometimes Verboten), it didn’t seem likely that you were a Teller Concern Troll or anything! ;o)

hackworth1 April 3rd, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Adam H, thanks for your good work. Are you familiar with the letter to President Obama from 80 or more US Senators that scoldingly told the President to dial back any unfriendly rhetoric vis a vis our key ally and Best Friend whom which we are inextricably linked forever, Israel? Some say it was penned by AIPAC and our 80 plus Senators simply signed off on it.

If you are familair with it, what are your thoughts re: America’s Senate body that states that it is beholden to a foreign country? Are we thus tied at the hip to other countries? Which ones? If we are Israel’s key ally what makes that so?

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 3:31 pm
In response to Siun @ 91

The response to the book so far has been very positive, including strong reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus. We’re still hoping that it will be reviewed more broadly, but so far we’ve received great feedback and we’re really hoping that the book will be a resource for a long time to come.

CTuttle April 3rd, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Adam, what are your thoughts on the current push for Palestinian Unity…? It seems Abu Mazen is serious about it, finally, and, even plans to visit Gaza for the first time since the ’06 elections…! Tho, Hamas is tepid, they also seem to be interested…!

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 3:35 pm
In response to bgrothus @ 92

I think it’s a small distinction, but the point is that while Hamas has not conducted an investigation, Israel has conducted a flawed one that ignored many of the key points of the report.

In line with the comparison earlier to similar US investigations, Israel has taken a “bad apples” approach that has looked at the actions of a few individual soliders (ie using credit cards stolen from Palestinian homes), while ignoring the more important issues of what the Israeli policy was towards the war and if there was an intentional effort to target Gaza’s civilian infrastructure.

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 3:38 pm
In response to hackworth1 @ 94

I believe I’m familiar with the letter you refer to, and besides, there are many other examples like it. To answer your last question I think it’s simply a case of domestic politics helping determine congressional foreign policy. There is nothing I can say that would improve upon Walt and Mearsheimer’s work on the Israel lobby, so just check that out.

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 3:42 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 96

I think the push for Palestinian unity is great, and needed. Not sure I trust Abu Mazen as much as you do, but I’d like to be proven wrong. I think the best suggestion at this point is for broad elections to form a new democratic leadership rather than try to reconcile the current heads in Gaza and the PA. Regardless though, the push for Palestinian unity doesn’t change the priority to end the Israeli occupation (and the US government’s support for it) and work for equal rights for all people in Israel/Palestine. Palestinian unity will help this to happen, but is not a prerequisite.

wendydavis April 3rd, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Goldstone mentioned pointedly that he modified the UN mandate given his committee since it was too ‘anti-Israel’, was the term I think he used.

I’ve seen comments like that and this one on a blogsite at which I was discussing Goldstone’s alleged ‘recanting’ of the initial report with a man who is a great guy in so many respects; a labor leader, tender about his family…but an ardent Zionist. We traded links and comments over the course of a couple days, in fact, very civilly, but didn’t budge our opinions. He said:

“Consider that the UN Human Rights Council includes Israel as a permanent agenda item and no other nation in the world. Ponder that. How is that not anything other than a special hatred demonstrated by the nations of the world?”

Is it so, and is there any way that you see the HRC as unduly biased?

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Also, not to change the topic, but this was just sent to me and thought it was worth sharing:

“West Bank Home Demolitions Hit Record High”

On the record quote (not statement) by Chris Gunness, UNRWA Spokesman

“The number of Palestinian buildings in the West Bank demolished by the Israeli authorities has hit a record high for the third consecutive month. Latest UNRWA figures show that in March 76 homes or structures were demolished compared with 29 in January and 70 in February. The number of people forcibly displaced by these demolitions has also hit a record monthly high with 158 people forcibly displaced in March by demolitions, including 64 children. In January 70 people were displaced by demolitions, including 47 children. In February 105 people were displaced, including 43 children.”

“So far this year the Israeli authorities have demolished 175 Palestinian buildings and displaced 333 people of which 175 were children. This is having a devastating impact, particularly on women and children, whose lives are being destroyed along with their homes. I am not saying this is classic ethnic cleansing, but the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has condemned this discrimination and make no mistake, it is discrimination against one ethnic group.”

“We now have a situation where the demolition of Palestinian homes has hit a record high and the number of Jewish homes built in contravention of international law on Palestinian land is rising to record highs. These contrasting figures should alarm the policy makers whose peace making efforts are being demolished with virtual impunity. The West Bank is where the future Palestinian state is meant to be situated. Its viability is being further eroded with each demolition. UNRWA calls on the peace makers to bring the necessary influences to bear on Israel to end these discriminatory practices. As the High Commissioner for Human Rights said recently, “This culture of impunity leads to more abuses, stimulates anger and resentment on all sides, and impedes the peace process.”

“Yesterday was Land Day. I name today Demolition Day. Homes, families, lives and the peace process are being demolished.”

CTuttle April 3rd, 2011 at 3:46 pm
In response to Adam Horowitz @ 98

…Walt and Mearsheimer’s work on the Israel lobby

*heh* And ya think that Goldstone had a rough run of it…! I really do feel for Stephen and John…! ;-)

Siun April 3rd, 2011 at 3:49 pm
In response to Adam Horowitz @ 101

Thank you for raising this Adam. The Israeli actions against all Palestinians are so atrocious … and our country’s support and complicity so shameful.

BevW April 3rd, 2011 at 3:52 pm

As we come to the end of this Book Salon,

Adam, Thank you for stopping by the Lake and spending the afternoon with us discussing The Goldstone Report.

Siun, Thank you very much for Hosting this important Book Salon.

Everyone, if you would like more information:

Adam’s website and book

Siun’s website

Thanks all,
Have a great week!

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 3:52 pm
In response to wendydavis @ 100

This is a point you hear often, and to a certain degree I think it’s fair. The UNHRC has not looked at all conflicts equally, and this is certainly a shortcoming. That being said, I don’t think this then discredits the actions the UNHRC does take, including the Goldstone Report.

Naomi Klein addresses this point in the introduction to the book. She writes:

“One of the most remarkable responses to the report came in January, 2010, when a coalition of eleven leading Palestinian human rights groups called on Hamas and the Palestinian Authority to investigate Goldstone’s allegations that they were complicit in war crimes—despite the fact that the Israeli government refused to launch an investigation of the far more serious allegations leveled against it in the report. Theirs was a deeply courageous position, one that points to what may prove to be the Goldstone Report’s most enduring legacy. While most of us profess to believe in universal human rights and oppose all crimes of war, for too long, those principles have been applied in ways that are far from universal. Too often we make apologies for the crimes of “our” side; too often our empathy is selectively deployed. To cite just one relevant example, the United Nations Human Rights Council has frequently failed to live up to its duty to investigate all major human rights abuses, regardless of their state origins. So while the Council boldly created the Goldstone mission to investigate crimes in Gaza, it stayed scandalously silent in the face of massacres and mass incarcerations of Tamils in Sri Lanka that were alleged to have taken place within months of the Gaza attack. 

“This kind of selectivity is a gift to defiantly lawless governments like Israel’s, since it allows states to hide behind their critics’ hypocrisy. (“They should call us the day the Human Rights Council decides on a human rights inquiry on some other place around the globe,” Israeli spokesman Yigal Palmor said, explaining away his government’s refusal to cooperate with Goldstone). But now a new standard has been set. The Goldstone Report, with its uncompromising moral consistency, has revived the old-fashioned principle of universal human rights and international law—a system which, flawed as it is, remains our best protection against barbarism. When we rally around Goldstone, insisting that this report be read and acted upon, it is this system that we are defending. When Israel responds to Goldstone by waging war on international law itself, characterizing any possible legal challenge as “lawfare,” it is doing nothing less than recklessly endangering the human rights architecture that was forged in the fires of the Holocaust.”

EdwardTeller April 3rd, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Sorry I’ve had to miss most of this book salon, Adam, Siun – long power outage at our Wasilla neighborhood until fifteen minutes ago. Going back through the comments.

Thanks for all that you do, Adam.

ET – Philip Munger

Siun April 3rd, 2011 at 3:53 pm

We are heading towards the end of today’s book salon and I really want to thank Adam for the discussion and thank him and his colleagues for this superb book. Providing us all with both the Goldstone Report and such a good selection of essays that provide significant context is quite a gift to everyone who cares, not only about Gaza or Palestinian issues, but about humanitarian international law.

And a particular thank you for providing us with the voices of people from Gaza who are too rarely heard.

Again, I’d like to encourage everyone to buy a copy of the book – or to request it at your library – and share what you learn from it.

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 3:53 pm
In response to BevW @ 104

Thanks so much for having me. I knew FDL’s readers would be an informed bunch, and you didn’t disappoint. Thanks for the great questions!

Siun April 3rd, 2011 at 3:54 pm

And Bev – your wonderful selection of books for us is brilliant. Thank you!

wendydavis April 3rd, 2011 at 3:54 pm
In response to Adam Horowitz @ 105

Many, many thanks, Adam. And stay strong on the great work you do! Peace.

Adam Horowitz April 3rd, 2011 at 3:56 pm
In response to Siun @ 107

Thanks Siun. If anyone has other questions or issues they’d like the discuss about the book, I can be reached at adamh2@gmail.com. And of course you’re always welcomed over at Mondoweiss!

April 3rd, 2011 at 3:56 pm
In response to Siun @ 109

I just lurked on this Salon, but I do have to say; Bev Has The Touch.

Somehow, these are booked quite in advance but manage to have a particularly timely and piquant relevancy almost too often as to be by accident.

CTuttle April 3rd, 2011 at 3:56 pm
In response to Adam Horowitz @ 99

I don’t trust Abu Mazen any further than I could throw him…! ;-)

I agree that it is a very positive step forward, but, I fear that it would bring on Cast Lead II with a vengeful Bibi lashing out…! 8-(

Siun April 3rd, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Thanks Adam!

CTuttle April 3rd, 2011 at 3:58 pm
In response to EdwardTeller @ 106

Oh snap…! That totally sux, ET…! I was wondering why you weren’t around…! 8-(

Siun April 3rd, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Yep – Bev lined this up ages ago … I was excited to get to host … and then astonished when the news appeared.

I should say I hope the book gets noticed not just for the Goldstone controversy but more for the very good work it is.

CTuttle April 3rd, 2011 at 4:00 pm
In response to Adam Horowitz @ 111

Much Mahalo, Adam, for all your endeavors…! *g*

EdwardTeller April 3rd, 2011 at 4:02 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 115

That’s all right. Not much I might have added, looking back. Less trollish than I had feared, and Adam was quite informative, quick to reply. good book salon.

CTuttle April 3rd, 2011 at 4:03 pm
In response to Siun @ 116

Any chance we could get Barghouti’s book scheduled, Siun…?

Btw, I’m looking forward to Jim Carrol’s Salon…! ;-)

EternalVigilance April 3rd, 2011 at 4:03 pm

“If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.” – Goldstone

“Eppur si muove.” – Galileo

PeasantParty April 3rd, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Siun, I’ve been lurking. Thank you so much for hosting and adding your thoughts on the book. I’m afraid that if I commented it would not be nice towards Israel, but I am just as frank about our country.

Mr. Horowitz, a very special thanks to you and for being at the FDL book salon!

ralphbon April 3rd, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Indeed. For the moment, “eppur si muove” resides in the uncharacteristic ambiguity of Goldstone’s editorial and will, I hope, take shape further in clarifications that back away from his seeming backtracking.

Comprehension and acknowlegment of Israel’s criminality constitute the political heliocentrism of our time.

TarheelDem April 3rd, 2011 at 4:51 pm

Thanks, Siun, for such a good selection of book and guest. Very informative.

Siun April 3rd, 2011 at 5:45 pm
In response to TarheelDem @ 123

The wonderful Bev picks our books – and boy does she do a brilliant job!

orionATL April 3rd, 2011 at 9:43 pm
In response to Adam Horowitz @ 8

goldstone’s retraction was politically artful and, i am confident, forced upon him. that he acceded is not a credit to his reputation.

what goldstone’s retraction said was that israel had not done …… “AS A MATTER OF POLICY”.

in other words, what goldstone initially learned and he reported to be the case in the israeli mistreatment was merely


that does not mean it was not done, was not malicious, was not damaging to the personal well-being of the palestineans who lost houses, and chickens, and cars, etc.

so goldstone’s retraction was really a diplomatic artifice.

jrdkidd April 4th, 2011 at 6:34 am

Professor Goldstone’s report on his official fact-finding mission to Gaza regarding Israel’s invasion in December 2008, is essentially valid. Hundreds of children under the age of 16 were confirmed killed by heavily armed Israeli forces using tanks, planes, missiles and chemical weaponry against a predominately unarmed, civilian population.

Gaza is still now a territory under Israeli occupation, and Israel’s economic sanctions against the Hamas government are an unlawful form of collective punishment. Many Israelis are dehumanized, dehumanizing and paranoid.

Sorry but the comments are closed on this post