Gold vs. Goldstone: a test case for free speech
October 31st, 2009
Richard Goldstone, author of the infamous Goldstone Commission report, which accuses Israel of war crimes in Gaza, will debate Dore Gold, former Israeli Ambassador to the UN, at Brandeis University on November 5. The proceedings will be streamed live to the internet from the site.
The Goldstone report is full of inaccuracies and falsehoods (see also here as well as here), as well as making the very serious and completely unsubstantiated claim that the IDF intentionally caused civilian casualties and damage as a form of collective punishment — when of course the opposite was true.
The UN mandate of the commission was only to investigate Israel. Goldstone himself announced that it would be broadened to include anything that anyone did in the context of the war, and the report did contain a statement that Hamas “may have” committed war crimes by firing rockets at Israeli civilians — something that was ignored by the UN Human Rights Council in the wholly anti-Israel resolution by which it adopted the report.
The methods used by the commission were so biased as to be laughable: evidence and testimony were chosen selectively. Pro-Israel testimony was discredited Even when the same person presented testimony that included anti- and pro-Israel components, the pro-Israel ones were discarded. Accusations made by Hamas or Hamas-linked groups were accepted as fact, while IDF rebuttals were deemed non-credible. Much of it was simply copied from reports published by highly anti-Israel NGOs like Human Rights Watch.
Richard Goldstone has said that “ours wasn’t an investigation, it was a fact-finding mission,” and “if this was a court of law, there would have been nothing proven.” However, at the same time he defends the process, and calls for a more ‘investigations‘ to give further prominence to the libelous charges in his report.
Dore Gold is a smart guy, and a good speaker. He will be prepared.
What should happen is that Goldstone will apologize to Gold, the state of Israel and the Jewish people, and then ceremonially disembowel himself. This is unlikely.
What will happen if it is a fair fight is that Gold will cut Goldstone to ribbons.
Caroline Glick thinks that it will not be a fair fight:
In an e-mail to a campus list-serve, Brandeis student and anti-Israel activist Jonathan Sussman called on his fellow anti-Zionists to disrupt the event that will pit the “neutral” Goldstone against Gold with his “wildly pro-Zionist message.” Sussman invited his list-serve members to join him at a meeting to “discuss a possible response.”
As the young community organizer sees it, “Possibilities include inviting Palestinian speakers to come participate, seeding the audience with people who can disrupt the Zionist narrative, protest and direct action.” He closed his missive with a plaintive call to arms: “F**k the occupation.”
The problem is that Sussman’s planned “direct action” against Gold is not an isolated incident. On college campuses throughout the US, Israelis and supporters of Israel are regularly denied the right to speak by leftist activists claiming to act on behalf of Israel’s “victims,” or in the cause of “peace.” In the name of the Palestinians or peace these radicals seek to coerce their fellow students into following their lead by demonizing and brutally silencing all voices of dissent.
I’m with Glick. Having personally experienced the tactics of the Zionophobic alliance of radical Muslims and left-wing extremists, I think that no effort will be spared to prevent this debate from taking place, and if it does to shout down or in some way silence Dore Gold.
This event will be a test case for the proposition that the constitutional guarantee of free speech is still upheld in the United States of America.
-- Vic Rosenthal