War By Other Means

When Irish Colonel Desmond Travers eagerly accepted an appointment to the Goldstone Commission, he was hell-bent on revenge against Israel based on paranoid fantasies and hard left anti-Israel propaganda.  He actually believed, as he put it in a recent interview, that “so many Irish soldiers had been killed by Israelis,” with “a significant number who were taken out deliberately and shot (in southern Lebanon.)”  This is of course complete and utter fantasy, but it was obviously part of Colonel Travers bigoted reality.

Travers came to the job having already made up his mind not to believe anything Israel said and to accept everything Hamas put forward.  For example, Israel produced hard photographic evidence that Gaza mosques were used to store rockets and other weapons.  Other photographs taken by journalists, also proved what everybody now acknowledges to be true: namely that Hamas, as its leaders frequently boasted, routinely use mosques as military munitions depots.  When confronted with this photographic evidence, Travers said “I don’t believe the photographs.”  Of course he doesn’t since they don’t comport with his politically correct and ideologically skewed world view.  This is what he had previously said about why he didn’t believe that Hamas used the mosques to store weapons:

“We also found no evidence that mosques were used to store munitions.  Those were a Hamas operative the last place I’d store munitions would be in a mosque.  It’s not secure, is very visible, and would probably be pre-targeted by Israeli surveillance.  There are a [sic] many better places to store munitions.”

But that is exactly what Hamas did, despite Travers insistence on paraphrasing Groucho Mark’s famous quip, “Who are you going to believe?  Me, or your lying eyes?”

Most disturbing, however, was Travers’ categorical rejection of Israel’s claim that it attacked Gaza only after enduring thousands of anti-personnel rockets intended to target Israeli civilians, mainly schoolchildren.  In fact, Hamas rockets hit several schools, though fortunately the teachers had dismissed the students just before the rockets would have killed dozens, perhaps hundreds, of them.  This is what Travers said about Hamas rockets.

“Hamas rockets had ceased being fired into Israel and not only that but Hamas sought a continuation of the ceasefire… and Israel said no.”

Travers then claimed that Hamas had fired no rockets at Israel in the month leading up to the Israeli invasion:

“…the number of rockets that had been fired into Israel in the month preceding their operations was something like two. The Hamas rockets had ceased being fired into Israel and not only that but Hamas sought a continuation of the ceasefire. Two had been fired from Gaza, but they are likely to have been fired by dissident groups, [i.e. groups that were violating a Hamas order not to fire rockets].”  (emphasis added).

Again, Travers’ rendition defies the historical record and tells us more about Travers than it does about what actually provoked Israel into finally taking action to protect a m il lion civilians who were in range of the thousands of Hamas rockets that had been fired at its civilians.  In fact Israel complied with the cease fire under whose terms Israel reserved the right to engage in self-defense actions such as attacking terrorists who were in the process of firing rockets at its civilians.

Just before the hostilities began, Israel offered Hamas a carrot and a stick: it reopened a checkpoint to allow humanitarian aid to enter Gaza.  It had closed the point of entry after the checkpoint had been targeted by Gazan rockets  Israel’s prime minister, Ehud Olmert, also issued a stern, final warning to Hamas that unless it stopped the rockets, there would be a full-scale military response.

This is the way Reuters reported it:

“Israel reopened border crossings with the Gaza Strip on Friday, a day after Prime Minister warned militants there to stop firing rockets or they would pay a heavy price.  Despite the movement of relief supplies, militants fired about a dozen rockets and mortar shafts from Gaza at Israel on Friday.  One accidentally struck a house in Gaza, killing two Palestinian sisters, ages 5 and 13.” (emphasis added)

Despite the opening of the crossings, the Hamas rockets continued—not none, not “something like two,” but many—and Israel kept its word, implementing a targeted air attack against Hamas facilities and combatants.

Not surprisingly, Travers said that he “rejected…entirely” Israel’s claim that its “attack on Gaza was based on self-defense.”  Instead, he compared Israel’s attack on Hamas to the unprovoked Fascist bombing of “Guirnica.”

Travers has repeatedly claimed that “no substantive critique of the [Goldstone] report has been received.”  This is an out and out lie.  I have read dozens of substantive critiques and have written a 49 page one myself.  The truth is that Travers has studiously ignored and refused to respond to these critiques.  And of course he blames everything on “Jewish lobbyists.”

Nor was Travers the only member of the commission with predetermined views and an anti-Israel agenda.  Christine Chinken had already declared Israel guilty of war crimes before seeing any evidence.  Hina Jilani had also condemned Israel before her appointment to the group, and then said that it would be “very cruel to not give credence to [the] voices” of the victims, apparently without regard to whether they were telling the truth.  And then there is Richard Goldstone, who told friends that he too took the job with an agenda, which he says was to help Israel!  Why any reasonable person would pay any attention to a report written by four people who had prejudged the evidence and came to their jobs with agendas and biases is beyond comprehension.

  • Stephen D.

    A very cognizant response Robert. This is what myself and others have been saying to you. STOP the automatic post responses you put forth. When you do that we scroll right past them…your WWII story included. These 2 on the other hand are well thought out and deserving of consideration. Bravo Robert. And Bravo to you Alan. The balance of the world, willing or not, should hear the truth. Keep up the good work!

  • Fred

    Mr Smart, you are not smart at all, in fact your pretty stupid. You make allegations with no proof, justr words. Sounds like you and Travers are in bed together.

    • Nomezy

      That's the most beautiful thing i ever heard . .

  • ErinSkeptic

    An Irishman accusing anyone of imitating fascists is rich considering the Irish Free State's record in WW2.

  • Gary Lee

    Th., 02/18/10 common era

    Jews worldwide are now in acute need of The Golem, especially if he makes housecalls at night. . . .

  • William Smart

    If Irish people say that Israel took Irish soldiers out and shot them, I'll believe the Irish.

    After all, Israel has murdered US soldiers and civilians and it has murdered British soldiers and civilians (and still celebrates doing so). Israel denies killing the American servicemen, but then it denied bombing US assets in Cairo. It denies murdering a US observer under a bulldozer, but has been forced to pay compensation for the last 3 Brits it killed.

    Israel has high-precision weapons, and yet it murders a far higher proportion of civilians than either Hamas or Hezbollah does with low-precision weapons.

    Then Israel lies about everything it does, latest denying that it deliberately targetted the last working flour mill in Gaza when it even warned everyone inside (3 times!) that that is what it was going to do. Four non-producing mills were left untouched.

    • Padraig

      Fantastic! So, Israel should not respond with modern weaponry because Hamas is too poor and corrupt to buy/make weapons that will kill thousands of Israelis? Tha's absolutely genius. You must work at the U.N.

    • Peachey

      Please provide evidence of your position. As to the Irish being labeled as being believable sources (to paraphrase), I do not believe that you will get any Irishman or woman to agree with you.My rationale is that most Irish are honorable and would not lie to satify the lies and insane politics of Travers or the den of vipers better known as the commission. They are too smart for that.

      Thank you Alan for your article. It is a sad but true account of the insanity of many of those in power making decisions that will evenually have disasterous results for us all.

  • USMCSniper

    Israel is not an "occupying power" in Gaza in either fact or by international law. Israel voluntarily handed over the territory to the Palestinians in 2005 — and look what they did with it. Gaza had a wonderful chance to be the building block of a new Palestinian state with millions of dollars in outside support. It could have done what the Israelis did: take a piece of land and build a model new state. It didn't happen. The citizens of Gaza elected the Hamas organization as their leadership, which in turn dedicated the territory to war and terrorism, with the only objective being the destruction of Israel. Hamas tormented the Israeli people beyond endurance with rocket attacks, ignoring repeated warnings to stop or face the consequences.____It seems to have escaped the worthy judge that Hamas is committed not just to fight Israeli soldiers, but to genocide plain, simple, and evil. And that by accepting the terms of reference imposed by the U.N. Human Rights Council, he would inevitably give Hamas a free pass for its relentless provocations and its torment of the people within range of the 8,000 rockets it launched—8,000!—every one of which was intended to kill as many people as possible. __

  • Big Elk

    Anyone with any brains left the British Isles in the 19th century. As for the parasitic limeys, they've been subjects (they are not citizens) of their blood-sucking old hag of a queen for so long that they've forgotten how to think. The drunken irish, drunken scots, and the drunken limeys have always been anti-Semitic. As for the irish: is there anything more pitiful than the drunken irish, they live with their witch-like mother until their in their 40's and then they marry some oither drunk and give birth to syphlittic idiots.

  • winkywright

    Linda Rivera. Excellent and well written post. The world judges Israel and Jews by a double standard condemning the Jewish state and anything Jews do while forgiving and overlooking every Muslim atrocity and real genocides like the ones taking place in Darfur (Sudan), Ethiopia, Somalia the Congo or various other wars raging in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Of all the wars raging in the world today almost all of them involve Muslims and only one involves Jews, but you will never have a shortage of Jew haters condemning the Jews while their silence about the atrocities committed in the name of Allah go completely forgiven!

  • SCUMBUCKET

    Let's bear in minde that Netanyahu and Ehud Barak are both murderers.

  • Edip Yuksel

    Evangelical Christians are supporting Israel without condition. Anything Israel does they will support, since according to their End Time scenario Jesus would not come unless there are rivers of blood in the region.

    As for Zionist fascists, they will too will justify all the atrocities committed by Israel. Recently they justified the killing of 1500 civilians in Gaza, 600 of them being children, as a sefl-defence against 1500 rockets thrown by Hamas, which somehow managed to kill and Israeli citizen. Yes, 1500 rockets and one Israeli citizen died of heart attack, justifying the massacre of people whose land is stolen, whose freedom is stolen… People who are in open concentration camp, called Gaza.

    Israel is the Goliath acting like a poor victim. It is shame to see these Nazionists defending Israel in the name of Jews. You are the real enemies of Jews, since Israel is the number one enemies of Jews. Your power of manipulating of right-wing ignorant Americans will end one day. Or, Evangelical Christians will one day give up supporting you. Then, Israel will get justice that it is denying Palestinians.

    • Peachey

      Your knowledge of End Times is woefully lacking. Please educate yourself by speaking with an Evangelical pastor. We do not support Israel just to anger the Arabs or anyone else for that matter. We support israel because it is commanded by G_d.The Bible is very clear when it comes to the support and love of Israel. Those that are the enemies of Israel, are the enemies of G_d.As for the weapons and the use of force by both sides. The arabs can easily go home to Egypt and Jordan where they are originally from and then claim land for their particular tribe. That entire area of the middle-East is called Judea for a reason. Delve into the history of the world before displaying the open contempt for Israel. If someone were firing rockets into your neighborhood, you would take an action with a deadly response. Be real about this. Please provide evidence of massacres and stolen freedoms. Please be careful invoking the Nazi,Zionist and fascist monikers. It is an open admission of self-loathing and a hate-based life.

  • chuck

    Reading these comments – ? My child was taught not to fight back until in second grade when a kindergartner tormented him because he would not fight back. Finally I told him that he should warn the kid three different times and if he refused to listen, hit him in the nose as hard as he could. Problem solved. Happened again in fourth grade with the class bully. Problem solved. The teachers had been watching this and he didn't even get a scolding. The Hamas should be thankful that Israel did as little as they did. In wars of old entire cities wiped clean. No man woman or child survived. I think it very foolish to provoke somebody that can hurt and destroy you at will.

  • nightowl

    Brava, Linda Rivera. You are absolutely correct and your postings are beautifully written.

    As for Yuksel, you should know that there are a great many of us atheists who, because we are NOT ignorant, are able to tell the difference between the good–that which supports human life and the vaues that make it possible–and evil, which tortures, maims, and murders for pleasure and power. To defend oneself is to defend one's values, and vice-versa; and that is why knowledgeable Americans respect Israel and understand that she is our ally. Israel is the only country in the ME that truly honors human life; that is why she goes to such extraordinary lengths not to injure people who may be non-combatants even when the active enemy attacks from within a crowd of them. That is why her hospitals treat the enemy's fighters with the same diligence they show their own.

    Linda's facts are accurate, as are USMCSniper's (as usual) and winkywright's. Read them, and learn.

  • Nomezy

    well done chuck, not quite a linda rivera style report, however you've got my vote

  • badaboo

    ,,,so if you dont like Jews or Israel , SO WHAT ? who cares ! Israel certainly does not . Israel will do what it must to survive , just as it has done for the past 6 decades , in spite of all of your ilk , persons and nations .

    God Bless the Jews and Long Live Israel , and those who don't like it can go to hell .

  • badaboo

    You know for all the blather expectorated by S===bucket , Edip Yulsel and Mr bigot ,oh I mean William Smart , one fact remains , and it eats a hole in your gut everyday , Israel Stands [Goldstone [slander]Report notwithstanding .
    Sop no matter what anti-semites , jew haters , religious muslims , bigoted Turks , and ignorant Irishmen and Americans may say , Israel will listen , flush your tripe down the toilet where it belongs , and continue ahead , as it has always done , for survival is a serious game , and one neither played nor unbderstood by the peanut gallery of Jew Haters and Israel Haters .
    So choke on the foam coming out of your mouths , the US will continue to support Israel , regardless of "commissions , stupid books by anti-semite Turks , uninformed Americans like s-bucket and william Smart , because IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO . When you're all in your graves , Israel will still be standing .

  • http://www.jcpa.com debka

    New Revelations About the UN Goldstone Report that Seriously Undermine its Credibility / Dore Gold and Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi

    Col. (ret.) Desmond Travers, the Goldstone commission’s military expert, displayed a fundamental bias against the Israel Defense Forces, reported false information about IDF weapons systems, claimed that Hamas fired only two rockets at Israel prior to last winter’s conflict, and displayed a clear lack of professionalism in conducting his investigations.
    For the entire article please see: http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp?D
    For Dore Gold’s video on the matter please see: http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/showpage.asp?D

  • http://www.islamicreform.org Edip Yuksel

    Those who defend Zionist polices are worshiping power and are racists. A god (which somehow its letter O replaced by a hyphen, a ritual indicating a special god favoring the bully) favoring Israel against other nations, even if Israel kills babies and destroy people's home is the zenith of delusion and arrogance.

    As we learned from history, those who live by sword die by sword. Israel will lose big time and you will also lose, like Hitler, Stalin and their supporters lost. Those who are intoxicated with power cannot be enlightened by reason.

    Many Jews do not support today's Zionist attrocities against Palestinians. They know that Palestinian people have equal rights to freedom, land and security like any one else.

  • Mark

    Mr Yuksel,
    Do you think, as you compare the Jewish state of Israel to a state of nazis, that the nazis sent leaflets to their Jewish victims before killing them, so that their civilians would be able to flee the war zone? Do you think that if cell phones had existed the nazis would be busy phoning one hundred thousand calls to Jewish civilians prior to attacks, to excercise their humanity vis a vis their declared enemies? Do you think that if the nazis had the advantage of power as that possessed by Israel over its' declared (and genocidal) enemies, that they would go to the limits of their ingenuity to winnow out the combatants from civilians as they did? …. and if you say they did not, then why did Israel not simply just bomb them to kingdom come, as they most certainly could have in about a day or so—slaughter them wholesale, and armies have done for most of human history when they knew that they could?
    You need to reconsider your conviction that Jews and Israelis are the villains you say that they are.