Archive for the ‘Hamas’ Category

Upon Gilad Shalit’s return home

October 18, 2011

[Sent to Congressman Howard Berman (D-CA)]

Dear Congressman Berman:

I read your message concerning Israeli Army Sergeant-Major Gilad Shalit’s return home after more than five years of captivity by Hamas.  Without getting into the specifics, your message presented an accurate picture of how your constituents, and indeed all believers in human rights, feel at this historic moment.  Thank you for taking this opportunity to use your position to bring light to this important topic.

G.H.
North Hollywood, CA

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UN Should Condemn Palestinian Terror

November 15, 2009

[I sent an edited version of this email to the United Nations General Assembly.]

While the Israel Defense Forces is investigating its own conduct during the conflict in Gaza earlier this year, Palestinian terrorists continues to launch rockets that land in Israel.  It is time for the United Nations to condemn Palestinian terror and demand its immediate cessation at least as forcefully as it demanded an investigation into the Israeli military’s conduct earlier this year.

Human Rights Watch Criticizes Hamas

October 25, 2009

[This email was sent to the Los Angeles office of Human Rights Watch.]

To whom it may concern:

Thank you for recently calling attention to war crimes committed by Hamas, the Palestinian terror group responsible for the murder and injury of hundreds of Israelis and Palestinians.  Human Rights Watch all too often turns a blind eye to Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups while placing a singular, obsessive focus on Israel.  Robert Bernstein, the founder of Human Rights Watch, said as much in an important, widely read editorial in the New York Times this week:

“Human Rights Watch has lost critical perspective on a conflict in which Israel has been repeatedly attacked by Hamas and Hezbollah, organizations that go after Israeli citizens and use their own people as human shields.  … Leaders of Human Rights Watch know that Hamas and Hezbollah chose to wage war from densely populated areas, deliberately transforming neighborhoods into battlefields. … And they know that this militancy continues to deprive Palestinians of any chance for the peaceful and productive life they deserve. Yet Israel, the repeated victim of aggression, faces the brunt of Human Rights Watch’s criticism.”

The call this week for Hamas to investigate war crimes is a first step in reversing the widely-held perception that Human Rights Watch is irrelevant when it comes to the topic of Israel and the Palestinians.  I hope future reports by Human Rights Watch will be written in the same spirit as this one.

Thanks,
G.H.
Los Angeles, CA

To Fareed Zakaria and the Producers of “Fareed Zakaria GPS”

October 4, 2009

You interviewed Judge Richard Goldstone on your program this week on the subject of his controversial report in which he accuses Israel of war crimes.  This week’s “Question of the Week” on your website is “Do you believe the Goldstone Report was fair? Was Judge Goldstone impartial?” This is my answer.

Whether Judge Goldstone was impartial or not is largely irrelevant.  The mandate of the investigation was to investigate Israeli war crimes in Gaza.  This puts Goldstone in the backward position of having an a priori conclusion before the investigation.  An analogy can be made to the old joke about a prosecutor who asks the defendant, “When did you last beat your wife?” Since the very thing that was being investigated was already decided ahead of time, the investigation was irrelevant and the only thing remaining to do was to condemn the “guilty party” without an impartial investigation.  Thus, by its very inception, the Goldstone Report was unfair.  It puts all reasonable methods of gathering evidence and assigning blame on its head. 

Judge Goldstone also may have misrepresented himself in his interview on your program.  Goldstone’s report said virtually nothing about the cowardly Hamas practice of blending with civilians to maximize civilian casualties nor did it say very much about the eight years of targeting Israeli civilian areas with rockets and mortar shells.  It did not mention Israel’s 2005 unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip handing over control of the area to the Palestinian Authority; a peaceful gesture which was answered with increased rocket and mortar attacks on civilian areas. 

Judge Goldstone also misrepresented his critics on your program when he said, “What saddens me is that Jews … think that because I am a Jew, I should not investigate Israel.” Nothing can be further from the truth.  One only has to pick up any Israeli newspaper any day of the year to see articles severely critical of Israel written by Jews.  One only has to go to the Israel’s military or civic courts to see investigations of and judgments on Israeli policy and alleged crimes.  Goldstone’s characterization of his critics is an obvious straw man.  According to one of his Jewish critics, chairman of the South African Board of Governors Ze’ev Krengel, Jews from Goldstone’s home country of South Africa are open to criticism of Israel, “[b]ut it has to be within reason.” They are obviously disappointed in the report’s mandate, but they are particularly angry at Goldstone himself for taking on the job of judge of a kangaroo court and sullying the his own name.