David Macilwain (VIC) responds to Freedland’s “The ugly double standard behind Goldstone Report” The Age, 9Apr11 April 10, 2011

The Age:  “The ugly double standard behind Goldstone Report” by Jonathan Freedland, 9 April 2011

The double standard that Jonathan Freedland finds behind the Goldstone Report (April 9th) is not the one that concerns defenders of democracy and human rights, and the UN bodies that try to ensure that all countries respect these principles. Yet again it seems that Israel can flout these standards, as it pursues all means to achieve its goal of an Apartheid state in all of Palestine, of which Resolution 242 of 1967 requiring it to cease occupying the West Bank is the most fundamental.

The reason the UNHRC has ‘picked on Israel’ only reflects its status as serial abuser of the rights of its indigenous population, and it is only supporters of Israel against these rights who criticise this body. Apart from the three other members of the Goldstone Inquiry who disagree with his ‘retraction’ and point out that the main conclusions remain unchanged, Amnesty international and Human Rights Watch documented the war crimes committed by Israel in Gaza in detail before the Goldstone inquiry was even set up.

Goldstone himself has been quite disingenous – the report made no claim that Israel ‘intentionally targeted civilians as a matter of policy’ – only that it showed careless disregard for their safety, and no ‘new evidence’ has emerged from Israel’s investigations.

It is to be greatly regretted that the Age should see fit to print this solidly ‘pro-Israel’ article in the current context – we have already heard enough support for Israel from other sections of the media – without the mediating effect of the Guardian’s editorial published on the same day, which explained what Freedland left out better than I have done.

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