Friday, October 02, 2009

The Goldstone Report: A real turning point?

Insights from Philip Weiss in Gaza and now Goldstone, expose rift between American Jews and Israel


The hugeness of the Goldstone commission report has a lot to do with Goldstone’s Jewishness. Besides destroying hundreds of Palestinian children, Gaza unsettled the liberal American Jewish community nine months ago, and now Goldstone’s report is reopening the wound. Israeli leaders call the report a "mockery of history" and a "kangaroo court," but I don’t think American Jews will be so dismissive.

Here is Dan Fleshler, deeply disturbed by the report to the point of labeling himself a "self-hating Jew" out of solidarity with Goldstone, "my kind of Jew." ... : "I do know that Israel will have a difficult time discrediting the report by citing the UN’s past transgressions, or insisting that Israel went out of its way to avoid civilian casualties, or explaining how the report neglected to include the 'context' for Israel’s actions. White phosphorus provides its own context."

Norman Finkelstein sounds similar themes on Amy Goodman today ... : "What’s significant about the report, in my opinion, and what’s significant about what happened in Gaza, I think it marks a major turning point. It’s like the Sharpville massacre in South Africa. Now, Sharpville is not Soweto, but Sharpville was a turning point. Richard Goldstone is a liberal. Richard Goldstone is very supportive of Israel. And it’s now marking the breakup of liberal Jewish support for Israel." ...

And here’s Ilene Cohen predicting that hasbara will not be able to counter the rift this report will cause between American Jews and Israeli Jews: "I think the Israeli propaganda blitz will yield very little for Israel. Yes, there will be a lot of noise, but the damage to Israel was already done, in the form of the many people around the world, including in the US and including in the American Jewish community, by the horrors that people saw." ...

Jeff Blankfort likes to say that the Israel lobby’s efforts are aimed chiefly at American Jews, to rally them to the cause of Israel. Well, maybe that ain’t working any more.

Read entire article here.

See also The War of Ideas in the Middle East (Weiss's take on Zionism)

See also Palestinians Cave to U.S. Pressure

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