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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Goldstone extortion? US: Israel must ease pressure on Hamas to fix Goldstone problem

The US has offered to "do Israel a favor" - because of the famous unbreakable bond. But the favor supposedly requires that Israel do a favor. That's how certain types of favors work. Confused? To explain the nature of this relationship, we need to tell a little story.
An honest guy is running a toxic waste disposal business in New Jersey. It's not likely, but it is possible. A not-too-honest person whom we will call Tony Soprano wants to put this man out of business. One day the poor fellow finds himself in court on 500 trumped up federal violations. He can't understand it.
Soprano's friend calls him and says, "Look, if you clear out of Newark and Bayonne and Jersey City and let Soprano take those areas, I can clear the federal raps for you." 
"How is that?"
"Well, you know, paisan, I have friends. And the friends - they have friends. Sometimes I do favors for my friends. And they do favors for their friends. So their friends owe favors to my friends, and my friends owe me favors, so they return the favors. And I'm also asking you for a favor. Of course you want to do a favor for a friend. On the other hand, some people are not so friendly and don't do favors when I ask them. Accidents can happen to those people, or to their families, heaven forbid.  That's how we get things done. You understand? You capisce?"  
It is extortion and corruption of course. 
The Goldstone report has made very serious accusations against Israel. We are war criminals - deliberate murderers of babies in their cribs, destroyers of vital installations for no reason, defilers of mosques.  Either the allegations are true and people should be punished, or they are not true. That is how real justice would work. But the US government explained to Israeli officials how it is really going to work:
The United States has suggested to Israel that easing the Gaza blockade would help counter the fallout from the Goldstone report on alleged war crimes during Operation Cast Lead a year ago....
A main message of the U.S. officials was that the humanitarian situation in Gaza was directly linked to the ability of Israel's critics to push the Goldstone report forward and the ability to block the report's consequences.
In other words, the US is saying, "we have friends, and the friends owe us favors..." Probably, the officials who made this proposal cannot see any moral blemish in it or any problem of justice. That's the way they always do business. Unbreakable bond - that's family matters. But this is business. Business is Business. No hard feelings, right? 
But the Goldstone report has no teeth unless it is adopted by a UN Security Council resolution. The US has a veto in the Security Council and does not need any friends. The US knows that the Gaza blockade prevents Hamas from getting cement to build bunkers. It knows that the blockade is intended to motivate Hamas to return kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.  It knows that Hamas took power illegally and that the blockade is intended to weaken an illegitimate and tyrannical government. If they believe the allegations of the Goldstone report, regardless of what Israel does about the Gaza blockade, the US must vote to support it in the Security Council. The US must then be prepared to face similar charges over its own "war crimes" - on a much larger scale - in Iraq and Afghanistan. If they don't believe the allegations and vote to punish Israel anyhow, it is extortion and corruption, isn't it? Since the US doesn't need any "friends" to quash the Goldstone report, the US officials are less honest than a New Jersey gangster.
Do you still think the Goldstone report is about "justice?"

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