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The Goldstone Report
The rest of the world and most Americans opposed the Israeli strikes on Gaza last December and January that resulted in the killing of 1,400 Palestinians, with 13 Israelis also killed. And there was wide criticism of the silence not only of the Bush/Cheney administration, but also of President-elect Barack Obama.
The UN-authorized investigation by the widely respected South African jurist, Richard Goldstone, himself a Jew, pointed to war crimes by both Israel and Hamas, although the inquiry's harshest criticism landed on Israel for the staggering civilian death toll.
This finding led Israel's Likud government to activate its powerful U.S. lobby, which pressed the House of Representatives to denounce the Goldstone report, which the House did on a 344-36 vote.
In a wondrous display of pot-and-kettle, House members branded the Goldstone report "irredeemably biased." Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer called the report "unbalanced and unfair and inaccurate."
These so-called "friends of Israel" either don't know or don't care that this sort of resolution only makes matters worse regarding American attempts to defuse the explosive anger building across the Middle East. It is a gift to al-Qaeda.
This U.S. pandering to the Likud Lobby -- and the implicit suggestion that the lives of 1,400 Palestinians don't much matter -- also is bad for the people of Israel. Indeed, it may prove suicidal, by delaying the geopolitical imperative for Israel to make peace with its Arab neighbors and thus avert some future catastrophe.
Closer to home, by further identifying itself with -- and justifying -- Israeli repression of the Palestinians, the United States helps breed more Khalid Sheikh Mohammeds and Ramzi Yousefs, more young terrorists determined to make Washington and the American people pay a price.
It requires no logical leap to conclude that Likud-friendly lawmakers -- the Steny Hoyers, the Howard Bermans, the Ileana Ros-Lehtinens of this world -- could scarcely think up a better way to raise the threat level from terrorists who feed on festering sores like the calamity in Gaza.
This article first appeared at Consortiumnews.com