Sunday, October 25, 2009

Watch This

OK. If you have been too lazy or too daunted to read the full Goldstone report, then just watch this interview of Judge Goldstone by Bill Moyers. (Even if you have read the report, you should watch it.) You get the gist of the report, and you get to see for yourself if you think Goldstone is an antisemite or a dupe, as has been charged. Goldstone shines, in my opinion: clear thinking, courageous and honourable.

And by the way, Moyers asks some tough questions.

In one exchange, after Goldstone says that bombing the Palestinian legislative offices is a prima facea war crime, because civilian targets are not legitimate targets in war time, Moyers retorts that "we bombed the Bundestag in WWII - not to mention Hiroshima and Nagasaki ..." Goldstone calmly replies that international law of war has evolved since WWII. That the Geneva Conventions of 1949 where put in place - and signed by every member state of the UN - precisely to prevent the horrors and immorality of WWII from occurring again.

For me that was an important insight. Something that had not been written in the report.

The interview ends with the following exchange.

BILL MOYERS: So you have Israel saying that your report is an impediment to peace, and you say that it is essential to peace. Why do you think a report like this is essential to the peace process?

RICHARD GOLDSTONE: Well, because certainly, it's been my experience in the countries in which I've been involved and many in which I haven't been involved, that in the aftermath of serious human rights violations, you cannot get enduring peace if you leave rancor and calls for revenge in the victim population. What victims need is acknowledgement. They need official acknowledgement of their victimization. And whether that's done by Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, as we did in South Africa, or through domestic prosecutions or international prosecutions, that official truth-telling is an essential building brick to lasting peace.

My esteem for Goldstone only increases: perhaps one of this generations lamed-valniks.

This is a fascinating interview. You can see the first half of the interview here, and the second half here.


Anonymous Eric said...

We are all Goldstones just as we are all German Jews

9:44 pm  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home