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Friday, February 05, 2010

Goldstone and TAWTHEQ

I have previously mentioned the disturbing fact that the Goldstone Report relied in a large part on a Hamas organization called TAWTHEQ as a source on basic facts in Operation Cast Lead. The organization's entire purpose is to document alleged Israeli "war crimes."

Jonathan Dahoah Halevi has revealed that Hamas' legal defense of its actions during the war were written by the exact same people who head TAWTHEQ. Their legal arguments rest on assumptions such as Hamas has the legal right to shoot rockets to Israel; that all of Israel is "occupied territory;" that Israel has no legal right to defend itself; that Hamas rockets were not aimed at civilians; that Sderot and other towns near Gaza are "occupied" because it was supposed to be part of the Arab state in the 1947 partition that Arabs rejected; and that there are legally no legitimate targets in Gaza.

As Halevi concludes,
A declared terrorist organization, which adheres to the Islamic law (sharia) as the only source of legitimacy and promotes ideology of genocide, receives legal support from human rights organizations and internationally respected jurists in its lawfare waged against a democratic state. Even more peculiar is Judge Richard Goldstone’s decision to rely without reservations on Tawtheeq and its experts in preparing its report, while they publicly make a travesty of the international law and argue that Israel violated the Palestinians’ rights to kill Israelis in the armed struggle for the liberation of the land of Palestine and to destroy Israel.
Let's look into more detail as to what TAWTHEQ data Goldstone relied upon or quoted uncritically:

- The number of fatalities and the number of women and children killed (TAWTHEQ's numbers are higher than PCHR and Al Mezan; Goldstone gives them equal weight. Also, TAWTHEQ does not even attempt to distinguish between militant and civilian in its list of victims.)

- The number of "police stations" targeted by Israel (would TAWTHEQ define Al Qassam Brigades buildings as "police stations?)

- The size of material damage in various strikes, in dollar amounts;

- Most damningly, a large amount of "evidence" that supported the flawed testimony of witnesses to the commission, often the only corroborating evidence Goldstone cites (para. 788, 823)

Goldstone did not show the least amount of skepticism in reviewing the information given to him by an organization whose entire existence is based on bias and not on researching the truth.

And now, we see that Goldstone accepted "evidence" from people who believe, a priori, that Hamas can do no wrong and Israel is inherently evil.