To the WSJ: U.N. investigator suppressed undesired evidence?
By Andre MOSES*
2009 Oct 4
The first of the WSJ's "World top stories" on 29 September, by AP, started this way: "A U.N. investigator defends a report..." - Please note that the UN investigator in question, Judge Goldstone, defends and praises not ‘a' report, but his own. Maybe it is time now to listen less to Judge Goldstone's further praise of his own report; and more to genuine, open-ended questions and factual criticism about the UN Gaza Report.
Because usually even a less crucial Report would be first submitted in Draft form to the relevant parties for comments and documented counter-arguments and only then would be completed and published. Goldstone managed his 570 page long Report about the trifle problems of Gaza without wasting time for such rights for comments, and published straight ahead his already unchallengeable Report. And there are lots of factual comments and criticism around, though not the slightest one of them has yet been accepted by Goldstone. Ours here will not be a slight but a grave criticism. We state, and are ready to prove that Judge Goldstone used the submissions he received selectively and suppressed evidence undesired to his Report.
Goldstone had said he wanted to learn the truth about the Gaza military operation; before, during and after the fights, and invited submissions from the public. But, after we, Take-A-Pen, an international volunteer grass-roots organization and network, sent two well-researched major submissions to him and to his Mission about Hamas's role in the armed conflict, and received their acknowledgements - our material was not used at all in the Goldstone report. We know also other cases of disappearing evidence.
Take-A-Pen's First Submission to the UN Mission was based, and elaborated further on our global Petition to the U.N.: "Hamas Leaders to Trial for War Crimes": http://www.petitiononline.com/tap12009/petition.html , initiated in January, 2009, in the last days of Israel's Gaza Operation.
That Petition discussed substantiated suspicions of
nine different sorts of war crimes the Hamas regime committed
before, during and after Israel's Gaza operation, and
had collected by then 80,000 endorsing signatures from 45 countries.
Our Second Submission provided supportive hard evidence, such as two detailed IDF aerial photos showing the exact locations of Hamas rocket launchers directed against Sderot and other Israeli civilian targets; and their relative locations to Protected Sites (like schools) in Gaza. (These documents and evidence are still on http://www.takeapen.org/ .) Our analysis of Palestinian rocket launcher locations swarming in and adjacent to school compounds - and non-existing in and around military camps - proves beyond doubt to anybody not intellectually blind that using PS-s as human shields has been systematic and consistent Hamas strategy.
But Goldstone didn't want to show to the world Take-A-Pen's evidence. His Report quotes tens of unsubstantiated pages of known anti-Israel oriented organizations, unchallenged, and the Report's Number #1 source is the extremely well-funded so-called Human Rights Watch organization where Goldstone himself is a senior member. But the Mission's Report does not quote, use or at least challenge one single word, fact, photo or map from Take-A-Pen's 8,000 word long two submissions. Even 80,000 people's signatures endorsing the Petition couldn't convince Judge Goldstone to use this pro-Israel hard evidence; to simply look at a map.
Now, getting rid of our hard evidence, Goldstone can conclude Chapter VIII/A; ‘Launching attacks from within civilian areas and from within or in the immediate vicinity of protected sites' (in Clause 450) this way: "the Mission has not been able to obtain any direct evidence on this question; nor do reports from other observers provide a clear answer." The world record hypocrisy is however in Clause 498, where Goldstone writes: "The Mission asked the Gaza authorities to provide information on the sites from where the Palestinian armed groups had launched attacks against Israel..." - you won't believe it: "the Gaza authorities" didn't know nothing. And all this time our detailed aerial photo maps were in the hands of the Mission and of Goldstone himself !
We'd like to believe that, somehow, Goldstone simply didn't see the maps - but he did. After the Report's publication on 15 September I wrote three personal letters to remind him, and strongly suggested, no, I begged to him that he recall the first published Report for at least the most necessary corrections, including adding our maps. He answered me twice in a calming tone. Only on 29 September, the day of the HRC Plenary Meeting I understood how badly we had been cheated. He didn't say there one word of correction, or a mere reminder to the crucial evidence which disappeared on his hands.
During the six hours debate in the Human Rights Council, where Sudan, Libya, Iran, Cuba, Syria, Saudi-Arabia protect human rights in the world, Goldstone did not utter again one word of acceptance of any little point of criticism, out of the hundreds of staggering inaccuracies, mistakes, omissions, faults and misdeeds found in the Report and communicated to him. One has to ask: Is Judge Goldstone really superhumanly infallible, or, does he have a self-confidence far too rigid for an investigating judge?
Similarly to ours several other submissions were barred from the Goldstone Report, such as the testimony of Dr Mirela Siderer, who complained about this dramatically in front of the HRC Plenary Meeting. Goldstone answered she was treated exactly like all other witnesses - but the UN Watch demonstrates he was "manifestly false".
Anybody who wants to really understand the UN Report and also the truth about Gaza has to keep in mind that Judge Goldstone had screened out and suppressed undesired evidence standing in the way of his predetermined conclusions - and great ambitions. Appropriate use of the suppressed evidence would have changed the Report's conclusions dramatically: it would conclude that the Hamas did commit grave war crimes by using human shields systematically, and, that the Palestinian civilian deaths resulted of this, in spite of unprecedented Israeli efforts like 160,000 warning phone calls, should also be placed firmly on the long list of Hamas war crimes.
*Andre Moses - Endre Mozes - is founder chairman of Take-A-Pen http://www.takeapen.org/ an international grass-roots network acting for truth about Israel