Reading the report is difficult. It’s in English and it’s replete with tiring details. The story line isn’t the best (again, we are forced to resolve a complex problem with a hammer; this causes plenty of regrettable but unavoidable “peripheral damage.”) It also lacks the kind of ending we like so much (the great and overwhelming victory by the good guys, and the subsequent cheers by a world stunned by an army that is so efficient and at the same time the most moral in the world.)
We could have told you in advance that the Israeli audience won’t like it. It would have been better to read something by Paulo Coelho.
On the other hand, writing about the report isn’t difficult. We feel that it’s wrong and inaccurate even without having read it. What hasn’t been said about the Goldstone Report? That it’s an anti-Semitic document (a fact that required a psychological analysis of its Jewish author’s soul,) that it’s a hypocritical manifesto against the State’s right to act in self-defense in the face of terror, and that it’s a sophisticated attempted to bring about the State of Israel’s destruction.
A mouthpiece for Defense Minister Barak in the media even argued that the report will prompt the next war, which he immediately dubbed “The Goldstone War.”
According to that writer, the problem does not lie with Israeli foolishness, the trouble on the horizon, the complete absence of a realistic plan for resolving the conflict, the conceptual impasse that is gradually taking over, and not even the legitimate Israeli tendency to “use force every few years.” Goldstone is at fault for everything. The blood of the innocents who will be killed in the future is Goldstone’s fault. Nobody will be able to claim we didn’t warn them.
Remember Winograd Report?
What particularly infuriates us is the unpleasant feeling that this report doesn’t want to be forgotten immediately, like its local counterparts. For example, think of the Brodet Committee report, which looked into the defense budget. It didn’t happen that long ago, in 2007.
The report pointed to lack of transparency, lack of planning, and disregard for the needs of the economy and society. It also pointed to an entire system that protects the defense establishment against civilian intervention and monitoring. Huge sums of money are being spent under the guise of the immense fig leaf knows as security needs.
The wastefulness, selfishness, and irresponsibility revealed by the recent Defense Ministry’s delegation to Paris are merely the tip of the security iceberg, which the State of Israel somehow tries to maneuver around. As is customary, the IDF quickly adopted the committee’s recommendation to boost its budget, but rejected all the other demands that marked the conditions for boosting the budget. So we had a report. Well, it’s gone by now.
And how about the Winograd Report in the wake of the Second Lebanon War? Remember it? The report recommended radical change in all decision-making processes in the State of Israel. Just like other reports, it pointed to the absence of civilian monitoring of the defense establishment and on the grave results of this flaw. Well? The report is gone.
Is it any wonder then that the State of Israel is stunned by the fact that the Goldstone Report (which is potentially almost as dangerous as the Brodet Report) refuses to disappear quickly? It’s an outrage. Israel’s policy finds it easier to make reports disappear than to take care of the problems they point to. Unfortunately, the world hasn’t grasped this yet.