Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Is the Goldstone Report being used merely as a weapon of continued conflict by extremists on both sides?

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Many are arguing that Palestinians who fail to denounce Israel for its conduct in Gaza, as cited by the Goldstone Report, is an indication of failed leadership and they are using the Goldstone Report not as a review of Israeli war crimes (and Hamas war crimes, too) but rather as a political weapon to attack Israel and moderate Palestinian leaders who support two-states. It is the typical manner in which extremists exploit Palestinian suffering, not to end the suffering but to continue the conflict to an end they seek but that is impossible to reach.

The Goldstone Report is an unprecedented action in Arab-Israeli history, meticulously detailing the war crimes committed by Israeli soldiers in Gaza during the War Israel started in November 2008. But it also details war crimes committed by the Hamas terrorist organization, which is no different than the settler terrorist organization which is slowly choking moderates out of Israel's government.

But the Goldstone Report is not the real priority for Palestinians and the blame game, which Palestinians and Israelis play well through years of experience, is an exercise in futility when it comes to achieving justice.
The only answer to the tragedies, war crimes and violence is peace, peace based on two-states and peace based on non-violence by both sides.

As Palestinians and Arabs, we can continue to scream at Israeli atrocities to no avail, or, we can work towards a genuine peace based on compromise. Any other goal besides compromise is not possible and only prolongs the conflict and prolongs the suffering mainly for Palestinians.

Supporters of the One-State agenda, a nightmare plan for the continued mental occupation of the Palestinian people embracing an impossible goal, argue that only Israel should be criticized because they killed more Palestinians than Hamas killed Israelis.

How can we Palestinians have fallen so low morally to make that argument when every life is worth fighting for in a moral and principled world. Crime and criminals should be punished through the court of law not through vigilante justice nor through emotional screaming that feeds irrational rejectionism.

If we achieve peace then the tragedies and sufferings will end. The Goldstone Report and the terrorism of the Israeli military and the Hamas fanatics are a symptom of the failure to achieve peace, a result that has been played over and over during the past 61 years. The history of Palestinian and Israeli relations are pock marked by repeated tragedies of similar circumstances and those tragedies will continue.

Rejectionists and one-staters insist that the PLO and the Palestine National Authority have failed to prosecute the case for the Goldstone Report, saying they are not leaders.

But the truth is that those fanatics are using the Goldstone Report not to achieve justice for the victims but as a weapon in their continued efforts to block peace and provoke more conflict. The rejectionists and fanatics want more violence and they want more atrocities so they can point a finger at the enemy -- Israelis and Palestinians -- and blame someone to score political points. It makes them popular among the emotion-distraught Palestinian population and public. Screaming hate is always the easy road to leadership. But real leadership is to recognize the reality of the Goldstone Report, argue for its adjudication through a process of the Rule of Law, but not use it to prevent peace. Real leadership comes from those Palestinians who stand up to the fanatics in our community and who demand that we have a two-state solution and an end to the conflict.

The real failures are among the fanatics and extremists and Hamas terrorists who use violence and suffering to keep the cauldron of tragedy stirring so they can artificially lift themselves up to self-proclaimed positions of leadership while allowing our people to sink into a lifetime of tragic hell.

Their dream of continued conflict is a nightmare for the Palestinians that we continue to live, exploited and fueled by Israeli extremists and settler terrorists, but one that we help to make happen through rejection.

Two-states and peace are the only real answer to the atrocities committed in the Gaza Strip by Israel's military and by the settler fanatics.

Ray Hanania

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