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From Goldstone to Uribe

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Headlined to H3 8/13/10

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From Goldstone to Uribe - by Stephen Lendman

Despite a credible start, the fix is in. Expect justice again to be denied. After the Gaza War (Operation Cast Lead), the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) appointed Justice Richard Goldstone to lead an independent four-person fact-finding Commission to investigate human rights and humanitarian law violations committed on both sides, Israel doing everything possible to obstruct him in vain.

The Commission conducted 188 interviews, got over 300 reports, submissions and other documents, comprising more than 10,000 pages, 30 videos, and 1,200 photographs, much of it gathered first-hand. Secondary sources added corroboration, in total providing clear evidence of Israel crimes.

On September 15, 2009, the Commission concluded that:

"there is evidence indicating serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law were committed by Israel during the Gaza conflict, and that Israel committed actions amounting to war crimes, and possibly crimes against humanity."

"While the Israeli Government has sought to portray its operations as essentially a response to rocket attacks in the exercise of its right of self-defense, the Mission considers the plan to have been directed, at least in part, at a different target: the people of Gaza as a whole."

Rocket attacks were a pretext for well-planned naked aggression. The Commission's findings were conclusively damning despite Israeli war criminals not punished, justice still denied but not forever.

Daily, Israel commits crimes against humanity through targeted assassinations, street violence, mass arrests, torture, regular incursions, land theft, dispossessions, and other law violations, including suffocating Gazans under siege, then attacking humanitarian missions breaking it, most recently on May 31 against Freedom Flotilla participants, murdering targeted activists in cold-blood in international waters, claiming self-defense, a clear bald-faced lie, the evidence overwhelming, conclusive, and damning.

Two UN Commissions Investigating the Flotilla Massacre

On June 2, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) approved formation of an international commission comprised of lawyers and international law and human rights experts, its findings to be presented in September during the Council's three week Geneva session.

Its members include:

-- Desmond de Silva, a UK lawyer and former chief prosecutor for the Sierra Leone Special Court investigation into widespread killings there;

-- Karl Hudson-Phillips, a former International Criminal Court (ICC) judge and former Trinidad and Tobago attorney general and parliament member; and

-- Malaysia's Mary Shanthi Dairiam, active in gender equality issues, including on the UN Development Program's gender equity task force.

In emergency session, the HRC criticized Israel's "outrageous attack on aid ships attempting to breach a blockade on the Gaza Strip," calling it "piracy, (an) act of aggression, (a) brutal massacre, (an) act of terrorism, (a) war crime, (a) crime against humanity - unprovoked, unwarranted, atrocious, (and) brutal," calling activists onboard "peaceful, innocent, noble, unarmed, (and) defenseless, setting a hopeful tone for a Goldstone Commission-like investigation and conclusions.

However, on August 2, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon named his own commission, unsurprisingly showing obvious bias toward Israel after earlier criticizing the HRC for "picking on Israel," a Reuters June 7 report quoting him saying:

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.
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