The Hamas de-facto administration in the Gaza Strip received nothing but respect from the Goldstone Committee, which never mentioned it was an Islamist, fascist, terrorist organization, that it supported the murder of the Jews in “Palestine” (by burning, according to one Hamas leader), threw rival Fatah supporters off roofs and shot them in the knee, had taken over the administrative institutions of the Gaza Strip in a military bloodbath and were currently imposing on the Gaza Strip Islamic law (the Sharia), with its binding restrictions on women and with its gross, blatant disregard for basic human rights.Originally I was giving Goldstone the benefit of the doubt, first that he really thought that he was making the mandate even-handed and then that his main problem was that he subconsciously framed the report in ways that made Israel more culpable, but as time goes on I am more convinced than ever that he was knowingly duplicitous. Between his ridiculous "legal findings" where he jumps through hoops to find only Israel guilty of bizarre interpretations of international law and the now apparent facts that he misrepresents and distinguishes between Hamas and "armed terror groups", one cannot look at Goldstone as fair-minded nor even as simply naive.
On the contrary, the Goldstone Committee viewed the Hamas de-facto administration as legitimate in every respect and made an artificial distinction between it and the “Palestinian armed groups operating in the Gaza Strip,” as if such “groups” did not kowtow to Hamas and had somehow spent eight years methodically launching rockets and mortar shells into Israel in opposition to Hamas policy.
The Goldstone Report implies and claims that the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military-terrorist wing, is not under the control and authority of the Hamas de-facto administration and its “political” leadership, and for that reason the Committee did not find Hamas responsible of the rocket and terrorist attacks against Israel. Those “responsible,” according to the report, are anonymous operatives in the field whose names are revealed only after they have died and find their way onto Hamas posters of “shahids,” and when bringing them to trial at the International Criminal Court in the Hague is no longer relevant.
Even Hamas rejects the Committee’s interpretation and does not bother to hide the fact that the “military wing” answers to the “political wing” and that the two are inextricably bound up. Ismail Haniyeh explained in an interview in 2007 (and there are many other examples) that “Hamas is the jihad wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine,” and that it was a military wing. When asked what the connection was between Hamas and its military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, he said that “the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades are part of the Hamas movement, but security considerations require the separation of politicians and military men, and that is what has happened during the past 10 years, but both the politician and the soldier (sic) have to carry out the movement’s policies.”
Moreover, the Hamas de-facto administration and its leadership boast of their responsibility for the rocket and terrorist attacks against Israel and have even documented them in a “victory album” of videotapes on their websites.
It does not seem that ignorance was responsible for the way the Goldstone Committee ignored the direct connection between Hamas and “Palestinian armed groups.” It is a fair assumption that its bias was deliberate and that the Committee’s curious methodology no less than its “ignorance” were behind the way it took statements from Palestinian “eyewitnesses” failing to ask basic questions on terrorist activities during the war.
The issue of Hamas’ invisible responsibility for war crimes, like many other claims made by the report, shows that it is a masterpiece of deception and manipulation whose only intention is to frame Israel for war crimes and exonerate Hamas. Khaled Mashaal and Ismail Haniyeh can take a vacation to The Hague without having to worry about the Goldstone Report. Unfortunately, the same is not true of Gabi Ashkenazi, Israel’s chief of staff.