Friday, October 02, 2009

On Wednesday, a Forward reporter did an email interview with me for a story that he planned on writing about the substance of the Goldstone report. He indicated that he was working on the story for the rest of the week. I don't see it published yet, and it was driving me crazy not to blog about it, and since the holiday starts tonight I couldn't hold off any longer. Here is the interview:

--Do you think there is any merit to Goldstone’s findings? If so, where do you think he got things right?

The entire process was flawed, from the time of the formation of the Commission up through the release of the report. Although I do believe that Goldstone consciously tried to extend the mandate in order to look at both sides of the story, and I do not ascribe any maliciousness to him, the framework of the Commission was faulty from the start. This is the central problem. The very framing of the report adheres to the Palestinian narrative - just looking at the table of contents, we see that he chooses to start the "military operations" section with the "blockade," not with the rocket fire that preceded it by years. Similarly, he chooses December 27th - the day Israel attacked - as the start of "military operations" and ignores Hamas' declaration of war three days beforehand altogether. It could have been framed that Israel was counterattacking, but that does not fit the narrative that Goldstone adheres to.

These are just two examples of how the framework one chooses will inevitably color the results. In these two cases, Israel is assumed to be the aggressor and the initiator. The framework does not allow any other viewpoints to be seriously considered, as they are basic assumptions from which the rest of the report flows. There are other dimensions to the flawed framework he uses, for example he chose to highlight specific heart-wrenching stories to illustrate alleged Israeli war crimes rather than look at the full context of the operation (or to mention equally heart-wrenching stories from Sderot.)

--Having looked at the report thoroughly, if you had to boil down the main methodological errors that led to his findings being lopsided what would they be?

Besides the reliance on suspect "eyewitnesses," I would say that it is his inability to imagine or believe alternate Israeli explanations for various events. The report consistently shows more skepticism for Israel's viewpoint than for the viewpoints of the Palestinian side. It is difficult to accept "even-handedness" between a democracy that has every interest in (and history of) investigating and correcting its mistakes and an organization that has every interest in twisting facts for its own gain. It is even more problematic to see how Hamas statements are treated as more reliable than Israel's. (See here.)

--Other people I’ve spoken to point to the report’s reliance on Palestinian eyewitness testimony as its central problem? Do you agree? If so, why? Is there something inherently untrustworthy about Palestinian witnesses?

At the risk of breaking rules of political correctness, the answer has to be (in general) "yes." There is a script that Palestinian Arabs are conditioned to use, and when they speak to the press for the record they almost always adhere to it. I have a number of examples here, and in context of the Gaza operation the most telling are this story from an embedded YNet reporter and this story where an anonymous farmer tells another reporter that, yes, there were actually rockets from the area that every "eyewitness" claimed had none.

--Is there any way Goldstone could have carried out his reporting differently? What steps could he have avoided to keep him from ending up with the conclusions he reached?

One can argue as to whether Israel should have cooperated with Goldstone (I think they were correct in not doing so) but Goldstone penalized Israel for its non-cooperation. If he was after the truth, he should not weight the testimony of Palestinian civilians higher than Israeli claims; on the contrary, he should have worked extra to see Israel's perspective despite its official non-cooperation. He simply did not give Israel the benefit of the doubt, while he was rarely skeptical about Palestinian Arab claims.



EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz

Loading...

comments

Speaking

follow me

Follow by Email

translate

Share on Whatsapp


E-Book

For $18 donation








Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts Ever

Hasbys!

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

Donate!

Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options


One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Tweets

Compliments

The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

Interesting Blogs

Categories

Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism apartheid arab refugees Arafat archaeology art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz book review breaking the silence Cardozo Chanukah Christians conspiracy theories Cyprus Daphne Anson Davis report DCI-P double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada EoZNews eoztv Erekat EU Euro-Mid Observer Fake Civilians 2014 Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian gunness Haaretz hamas Hamas war crimes hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC Ilan Pappe impossible peace incitement Indonesia international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Kairos Karl Vick ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Lebanon leftists Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Miftah Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco music Muslim Brotherhood Nakba Natural gas Nazi News nftp NGO NIF norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peter Beinart Petra MB poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist purimshpiel Qaradawi Qassam calendar Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shujaiyeh Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Yemen zahran zionist attack zoo Zvi

Blog Archive