Today in 2009: Israel accused of war crimes in Gaza
15 September 2017
The United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict – known as the Goldstone Report because it was headed by South African jurist Richard Goldstone – produced a 579-page report on the three-week war in 2008-9 between Israel and Hamas known in Israel as “Operation Cast Lead.” The report held both Israel and Hamas responsible for war crimes and possible crimes against humanity, and called for each side to open investigations. The accusations against Israel included “grave breaches” of the fourth Geneva Convention and of a number of war crimes including for targeting civilians and for using Palestinians as human shields during the fighting. The report also found that Palestinian rocket and mortar fire were war crimes and “may amount to crimes against humanity.” Israel officially refused to cooperate with the inquiry and began an orchestrated campaign along with Jewish groups against Goldstone, a Jew, which led him in April 2011 to ultimately retract his accusation that Israel had intentionally targeted Palestinian civilians.
The report included references to reporting by Israeli human rights organizations, and shortly after its release, the vitriolic attacks against them began. The first wave included Im Tirzu’s famous campaign against the New Israel Fund depicting former Deputy Knesset Speaker Naomi Chazan with a horn on her head, playing on the fact that the Hebrew word “keren” is both horn and fund. This era marks a shift in the relationship between the state and civil society organizations – once toted as the sign of a healthy Democracy – from then on depicted as traitors and enemies of the State.
Learn the history of the occupation so that we can overcome it, because #50isEnough.
The occupation has gone on for 50 years. It’s a problem that must be addressed for Israel’s sake and for the Palestinians. Over 5 decades and in every month of the year, Israelis, Palestinians, Americans and others have made their mark on reality. Telling these stories is part of how our movement grows stronger. This series marks the watershed moments we all need to know about.