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The Twelve Days of Christmas and an Open Letter to The House

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Headlined to H4 12/23/09
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Recently I and other concerned Americans petitioned our representatives in the House of Congress to vote NO on HR 867, a resolution that called for President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton to oppose the United Nations consideration of the Goldstone Report.

My Congressperson Ginny Brown-Waite co-sponsored the resolution and on November 3, 2009, 344 House congressional reps voted to kill the Goldstone Report.

In response to my plea, Congressperson Ginny Brown-Waite wrote to me:

"The Council's appointment of Richard Goldstone, a well-respected judge who is himself Jewish, to oversee the report gave some hope that the report would be fair. The Israeli Government, however, refused to cooperate with the mission. The Israeli Government concluded that any report emanating from the Human Rights Council, even with Goldstone's leadership, would be hopelessly biased. This is a shame because the Israeli Government may have been able to better explain its version of events and thereby prevent Hamas' side of the story from dominating the narrative of the report.

"The Goldstone Report does raise some serious questions about the Israeli invasion of Gaza. The report includes in Section XIV credible allegations that some Israeli soldiers used Palestinian civilians as human shields that were sent first into houses and properties where fighters were hiding. The report also found instances where civilians known not to pose a military threat were killed in cold blood. When pressed about these serious human rights violations the Israeli Government insisted that it is conducting an internal investigation and that if it concludes Israeli soldiers did not follow the rules of engagement they will be held accountable.

"While the Goldstone Report did raise serious questions about Israeli actions, it went too far when it concluded that Israeli policy in Gaza was designed "to deliberately and systematically inflict suffering on civilians.' This is unfair and untrue" As Ehud Barak wrote in The Wall Street Journal, "After enduring eight years of ongoing rocket fire, and after all diplomatic efforts to stop this barrage failed it was my duty as defense minister to do something about it. It's as simple and self-evident as the right to self-defense. While such logic eluded Mr. Goldstone and his team, it was crystal clear to the thousands of Israeli children living in southern Israel who had to study, play, eat and sleep while being preoccupied about the distance to the nearest bomb shelter."

"Israel must never be denied its right to defend itself." Goldstone's report is fundamentally biased and flawed and for this reason I have urged the President to oppose further consideration of the report and supported passage of H.Res. 867."

I respond:

On April 3, 2009 the President of the United Nations Human Rights Council commissioned a fact-finding mission "to investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law that might have been committed at any time in the context of the military operations that were conducted in Gaza during the period from 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009, whether before, during or after."

The Council appointed the Jewish Justice Richard Goldstone, a South African Constitutional Court judge and the former chief prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.

Justice Goldstone issued the 575-page report on September 29, 2009 and the Goldstone Report accused both Israel and Hamas of war crimes perpetuated during the 23 days of assault on Gaza which began two days after last Christmas day, when the Israeli military launched Operation Cast Lead; a full-scale attack on Gaza that killed 13 Israelis and 1,400 Palestinians.

Over 5,000 Palestinians were injured, 400,000 were left without running water, 4,000 homes were destroyed, rendering tens of thousands who are still homeless because of Israel's targeted attacks upon them, their schools, hospitals, streets, water wells, sewage system, farms, police stations and UN buildings.

The 23 days of Israel's attack on the people of Gaza was enabled by US-supplied weapons paid for with US tax dollars and we the people of the US who pay taxes provide over $30 billion annually to Israel, although Israel has consistently misused U.S. weapons in violation of America's Arms Export Control and Foreign Assistance Acts.

America is the world's largest arms supplier to Israel and under a Bush negotiated deal with Israel, we the people who pay taxes in America will also provide another $30 billion in military aid to Israel over the next decade.

During the 23 days of Israeli assault on Gaza, "Washington provided F-16 fighter planes, Apache helicopters, tactical missiles, and a wide array of munitions, including white phosphorus and DIME. The weapons required for the Israeli assault was decided upon in June 2008, and the transfer of 1,000 bunker-buster GPS-guided Small Diameter Guided Bomb Units 39 (GBU-39) were approved by Congress in September. The GBU 39 bombs were delivered to Israel in November (prior to any claims of Hamas cease fire violation!) for use in the initial air raids on Gaza. [1]

In a 71-page report released March 25, 2009, by Human Rights Watch, Israel's repeated firing of US-made white phosphorus shells over densely populated areas of Gaza was indiscriminate and is evidence of war crimes.

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Eileen Fleming,is a Citizen of CONSCIENCE for US House of Representatives 2012 Founder of Staff Member of, A Feature Correspondent for Producer "30 Minutes with Vanunu" and "13 Minutes with Vanunu" (more...)
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