[tweetmeme] We have already looked at the Israeli attempt to counter the Goldstone report. Reportedly, Israel is setting up a commission of Israeli and international jurists (including Alan Dershowitz who recently wrote an op-ed entitled “The Case Against the Goldstone Report” – nothing like impartiality) to review the original investigation (completed by members of the IDF), but the jurists will have limited authority to review testimony and the review will not be subject to a complete independent investigation. The whole commission is a pretty lame attempt to protect Israel from the accusations of the Goldstone report. At least Israel pretended to investigate the war crimes allegations; Hamas didn’t do anything!
But wait! Not to be outdone, Hamas has apparently conducted its own theatrical rebuttal to the Goldstone Report and – surprise – Hamas did nothing wrong! In the report, Hamas claims that it “struck military targets and avoided civilian targets, and any accusations related to this concern errant fire.” The Hamas report, which was speedily concluded nine days after a group of Palestinian human rights groups petitioned the Islamic group to investigate, was immediately disregarded as fluff by Human Rights Watch.
The Goldstone report was equally critical of Hamas and Israel and accused both sides of war crimes. It also recommended that the UN forward the results of the report to the International Criminal Court if both sides did not conduct “credible and independent” investigations. Considering that both the Hamas and Israeli reports that will be given to the UN are so artificial and self-serving that they probably include stage notes and character descriptions, it is hard to believe that the international community will take them seriously.
The Gaza War of 2008/2009 was a terrible tragedy that resulted in the loss of over 1400 Palestinian (the amount of Palestinian militants killed is debatable) lives in a little more than 3 weeks. Understandably Israel and the US decried the Goldstone report as bias and anti-semitic, but it is the only credible investigation into the destruction of thousands of lives in Gaza. The investigations by Israel and Hamas were complete farces that mock the international system and the entire notion of human rights. Both sides should be strongly condemned for their actions in the war and the case should be referred to the ICC. Unfortunately, there is no chance that the US agrees to send Israel to the ICC to face prosecution (the US will undoubtedly veto anything in the UN condemning Israel). If the Hamas investigation – which was absurd – gets referred to the ICC and Israel does not, it will be a huge injustice and one that will force the Arab world to feel more animosity towards Israel and further reject the US as a just actor in the peace process.
Due to the mockery of both internal investigations, there is no way that justice for the massacres and crimes – by both Israel and Hamas – will be delivered.