The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. vowed to continue fighting the Goldstone Report which condemned Israel’s war crimes in the Gaza Massacre.
Ambassador Susan Rice “promised that the United States will continue to stand by Israel as a loyal friend in the fight against the Goldstone Report”, Johnathan Lis reports at Ha’aretz. The watered-down 575-page report found Israel “terrorized” Palestinians during the Gaza Massacre earlier this year.
“The U.N. Human Rights Council formally endorsed the report last week, with the U.S. one of the few nations to vote in opposition to it,” Jason Ditz, news editor at AntiWar.com, adds. “It has been referred to the Security Council [U.N.S.C.], but the U.S. is expected to use its veto power to prevent it from going any farther.”
Two of the other five permanent members of the U.N.S.C. with veto power, Russia and China, endorsed the Goldstone Report at the Human Rights Council, but are opposing further discussion, Mr. Lis reports.
The Goldstone Report found Israel and Hamas violated international law. Israel “used disproportionate force, deliberately targeted civilians and used Palestinian civilians as human shields”, the fact-finding mission concluded and recommended Israel and Hamas launch investigations within six months of recommendations would be sent to the International Criminal Court at The Hague.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office released a statement pushing for a “worldwide campaign” to—instead—change the international laws of war, al Jazeera reports, adding the prime minister “has promised a lengthy fight to ‘delegitimize’ the findings by the U.N. commission” which concedes the current laws of war do not legitimize the terror inflicted by Israel on Gaza.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (H.R.W.) are among the many non-governmental organizations which have compiled studies condemning Israel’s criminal conduct of ‘wanton destruction’ during its massacre of 1,200 Palestinian civilians—including police officers and hundreds of children—in Gaza over three weeks last December and January that left thousands homeless.
What the Israeli government termed, “Operation Cast Lead,” was condemned by Amnesty as “22 days of death and destruction”, finding:
The scale and intensity of the attacks on Gaza were unprecedented. Some 300 children and hundreds of other unarmed civilians who took no part in the conflict were among the 1,400 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces.
Most were killed with high-precision weapons, relying on surveillance drones which have exceptionally good optics, allowing those observing to see their targets in detail. Others were killed with imprecise weapons, including artillery shells carrying white phosphorus – not previously used in Gaza – which should never be used in densely populated areas.
Most were killed with high-precision weapons, relying on surveillance drones which have exceptionally good optics, allowing those observing to see their targets in detail. Others were killed with imprecise weapons, including artillery shells carrying white phosphorus – not previously used in Gaza – which should never be used in densely populated areas….
More than 3,000 homes were destroyed and some 20,000 damaged in Israeli attacks which reduced entire neighbourhoods of Gaza to rubble and left an already dire economic situation in ruins. Much of the destruction was wanton and could not be justified on grounds of “military necessity”.
H.R.W. reported of numerous unlawful abuses of white phosphorus and drones on the Gazan people. “The failure of the United States and European Union governments to endorse the report of the Gaza fact-finding mission sends a message that serious laws-of-war violations will be treated with kid gloves when committed by an ally,” H.R.W. said in a September press release.
The white phosphorus and drones illegally used are as manufactured in Israel as Israel’s F-16’s and Apache’s; they aren’t. Israel’s war machine is a direct product of U.S. welfare to the regime. Voting against a House Resolution supporting Israel during Operation Cast lead, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) said on the floor of Congress: “I am concerned that the weapons currently being used by Israel against the Palestinians in Gaza are made in America and paid for by American taxpayers…. What moral responsibility do we have for the violence in Israel and Gaza after having provided so much military support to one side?… Many innocent children are among the dead…. Such collective punishment is immoral. At the very least, the U.S. Congress should not be loudly proclaiming its support for the Israeli government’s actions in Gaza.”
al Jazeera and H.R.W. did a program on the “human cost of white phosphorus” looking into this, its unlawful usage during the Gaza Massacre and its lasting effects that will cause the civilian death toll to continue rising—especially among children.
Judge Richard Goldstone, the self-proclaimed Zionist who headed the U.N. fact-finding mission, is facing hatred from Likudnik sociopaths. Professor Norman Finkelstein, a Palestine-Israel scholar of Jewish heritage, discussed the Goldstone Report at Democracy Now!, but it’s more fitting to repost his interview at Russia Today from last February on the criticism he faces from Jews, what ended the Gaza Massacre and what motivates the Obama Administration to collaborate with Israel’s crimes (11:49):
Covering up this “Satanic client-state’s” crimes is another action on the long list of America’s history of rejectionism in—what Professor Noam Chomsky calls—its “mafia relationship” with Israel. Then-President-elect Obama asserted his rejectionist stance during the Gaza Massacre, asserting only “Israel’s right to defend itself” as a justification for its crimes against humanity.
“During the murderous assault, Obama remained silent apart from a few platitudes, because, he said, there is only one president—a fact that did not silence him on many other issues,” Prof Chomsky wrote, days after the president’s inagu-coronation. “His campaign did, however, repeat his statement that ‘if missiles were falling where my two daughters sleep, I would do everything in order to stop that’. He was referring to Israeli children, not the hundreds of Palestinian children being butchered by U.S. arms, about whom he could not speak, because there was only one president.”
Mr. Obama never mentioned Israel’s use of U.S. arms “in violation not only of international, but also U.S. law. Or Washington’s shipment of new arms to Israel right at the peak of the U.S.-Israeli attack, surely not unknown to Obama’s Middle East advisers.”
The torture did not stop in January. Israel continues a forceful blockade on Gaza under the guise of preventing arms smuggling. The truth is that Israel is enhancing the policy recommendation laid out in 1967 by its then-defence minister, Moshe Dayan—directed at the Palestinians: “You shall continue to live like dogs, and whoever wishes may leave, and we will see where this process leads.”
The Gazans can’t even leave now. A minute, insignificant number of people, journalists, food, medicine or other aid can get in and out because the American guns of Israel say so. “It’s a prison by the sea,” Scott Horton, host of AntiWar Radio says.
On the House floor that January day, Dr. Paul also expressed he was “appalled by the long-standing Israeli blockade of Gaza—a cruel act of war” with “the tremendous loss of life that has resulted from the latest Israeli attack that started last month”.
Mel Fryberg of Inter Press Service is one of the leading journalists on the blockade and reported in June: Forty international aid agencies and non-governmental organizations released a joint statement in condemnation of the blockade that are a result of “indiscriminate sanctions are affecting the entire 1.5 million population of Gaza, and ordinary women, children and the elderly are the first victims”, the statement says.
“Most food products and other goods, including construction material desperately needed to rebuild Gaza’s infrastructure devastated by Israeli bombing during the war in January, are forbidden,” Mr. Frykberg adds.
“The situation is desperate, devastating and unbearable. Each day that passes brings more misery and suffering,” John Ging, head of Gaza’s U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), told Mr. Frykberg. When asked about the statement, he added: “We will not give up telling the truth. We have a responsibility to innocent civilians.
“We are convinced that if the policy and decision makers behind the blockade could witness the situation in Gaza first-hand, they would change their minds. Those who don’t believe what we are saying, we invite them to come to Gaza and see the situation for themselves first hand.”
The U.N. reports nearly a quarter of the humanitarian goods are able to get through the blockade compared to before, in 2007. Since then, Israel’s assaults have also exponentially increased the need.
UNRWA officials told Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) during his visit to Israel in February that pasta was on the list of banned items to enter the Gaza Strip with nuts, coffee, clothing, school textbooks, agricultural products—including seedlings, fertilizer and piping. “Fuel supplies and spare parts for Gaza’s sewage and water treatment plants and hospitals have also been severely restricted. This has forced tonnes of untreated sewage to be pumped into the sea on a daily basis thereby threatening Gaza’s underground drinking water supply,” Mr. Frykberg added.
Of the “critical water situation in Gaza“, he reported:
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says 150,000 Gazans still remain affected by inadequate and unsafe water supply. Of these, about 50,000 remain without any water, while the remainder receive water only every five to six days.
The OCHA adds that approximately 28,000 children in the Gaza Strip have no access to piped water. An additional 56,000 children have access to water only every week or so.
Gaza’s Coast Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU), which handles water and sewage treatment, says the water crisis will continue until Israel allows sufficient spare parts and repair materials into Gaza.
Israel’s continuing blockade of the strip means that construction material, most spare parts and repair materials have been prevented from entering. This has made it impossible to rebuild the thousands of destroyed and damaged buildings. It has also severely restricted repair of vital infrastructure such as waste and water treatment plants.
Continual electricity blackouts have further limited the treatment plants’ operating capacity, while severe restrictions on the import of fuel have limited the ability of emergency generators.
The CMWU has been forced to pump tons of untreated sewage directly into the sea, which then seeps back into Gaza’s underground water supply, further threatening safe drinking water supplies.
Recent water tests indicate that piped water in Gaza is not safe for human consumption. Forty-five of 248 water samples tested were found to be contaminated, primarily in the North Gaza and Gaza City districts.
Israel shelled Gaza’s biggest wastewater treatment plant in Sheikh Ajleen, southeast of Gaza City, which usually treats raw sewage from approximately 400,000 people. The torrent of raw, untreated sewage flowing into residential areas, agricultural land, and the sea was visible from outer space, according to satellite images released by the UN….
The fishing sector was estimated to have suffered direct and indirect losses of $2.2 million, due to destruction of fishing boats and related materials. And even those who are employed and earning are struggling. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Israeli restrictions on the entry of cash into Gaza has affected the livelihoods of up to half a million Gazans, in a population of 1.5 million.
The Obama and Netanyahu Administrations are now collaborating to take this ‘prison by the sea’ closer to being Hell on Earth. “Loyal friend” is taking on a new meaning.