It’s a little late to undo the damage his mendacious report caused.
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Israel and its few allies — it’s hard to say whether the U.S. is actually an ally under the Obama Administration — will do what they can, but it will be very difficult to un-ring this bell. As the New York Times reported on Sunday, the possibility of a September UN vote recognizing “the State of Palestine as a member whose territory includes all of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem” puts Israel in an existential political vise.
The Goldstone Report eliminated even a pretense of support for Israel from many European countries, allowing the Palestinians to feel free to refuse any Israeli peace offer. With the impending UN vote, the Palestinians believe they can have their land and eat the Jews too. Proposing any peace treaty to the Palestinians now would be a fool’s errand on the part of the Israelis. Hamas and Fatah will refuse to agree to anything, but will use a proposal as the baseline from which to begin a “negotiation” that will feel like the world versus Israel.
Thus, while opponents of Israel and their useful idiots like Judge Goldstone are calling for Israel to make a “grand gesture” of their most-generous-possible peace offer, that is exactly what Israel must not do, at least not until the issue of a UN vote on membership for a Palestinian State is settled.
This is not an ordinary negotiation, not a question of reducing travel barriers or determining whether a tariff should be 5% or 7%. This “negotiation” will be the next tactical step in the Palestinian and wider Arab desire for the destruction of the Jewish state. It will have only one honest participant, namely Israel, which is no basis for a fair or sustainable outcome.
Perhaps — just perhaps — a real negotiation might have been possible in 2009 or early 2010. But the existence of Goldstone’s “investigation” followed by his libelous “report” gave the Palestinians a sense of inevitable victory, especially when even the UK abstained from voting on the report rather than vote against it, a move that former UN Ambassador John Bolton called “simultaneously inexplicable and gutless.”
Judge Goldstone’s retraction of his report’s baseless condemnation of Israel, while welcome, is too little, too late. The judge and all who supported his pre-judgment of Israel and the moral equivalence he created between terrorists attacking civilians and a democratic nation defending itself have blood on their hands. Unfortunately, the damage they have done to the prospects for a real Mideast peace will be long lasting, perhaps permanent; they’ll be washing blood off their hands for years to come.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?