The blog post below, written on Friday, revealed that the Israeli government had sent out a directive to its diplomats to smear Justice Richard Goldstone as an apologist for apartheid. Within 24 hours, Jeff Goldberg, Jonathan Chait and Alan Dershowitz weighed in. And today Commentary's Jennifer Rubin entered the fray. Watch this space for more of the MARCH OF THE PENGUINS!
The Israelis will never tire of their obsession with Judge Richard Goldstone. Because he had the temerity to write a United Nations report calling Israel's actions in Gaza "war crimes," they are utterly unhinged by the man.
Their obsession is personal because they have no way to knock down the facts about the Gaza war (1400 Palestinians killed, including 320 kids) while only 13 Israelis were killed, four by friendly fire. Not only that, the Israelis leveled Gaza and have now kept it under blockade for a year and a half.
In other words, the Israeli government cannot win any argument about the Gaza war if they deal with the facts.
So they have decided to focus on Judge Goldstone's record as a South African judge during the apartheid regime. Here is the Israeli argument in a nutshell. It is from the Yedioth Achronoth "expose" on Goldstone that appeared on Thursday.
A special Yedioth Ahronoth investigation reveals Richard Goldstone's dark side as a judge during the Apartheid era in South Africa. It turns out, the man who authored the Goldstone Report criticizing the IDF's actions during Operation Cast Lead took an active part in the racist policies of one of the cruelest regimes of the 20th century.
Here is the best part of the article.
Israeli politicians and the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday welcomed the Yedioth Ahronoth investigation, which revealed Goldstone's dark past as a cruel judge in South Africa under the Apartheid regime.
A Foreign Ministry official referred to the investigation as "explosive PR material". Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman plans to instruct his office to send the information published in the newspaper to all of Israel's representatives in the world to be used in their PR activities.
That article appeared Thursday and on Friday Jeff Goldberg in the Atlantic, Jonathan Chait in the New Republic and Alan Dershowitz immediately wrote columns bashing the judge in just the terms specified. This is all in the first 24 hours after the the alleged directive to Israeli diplomats was mentioned.
By next week, there will be many more of these columns and blogposts, all parroting the line. Ed Koch is probably banging away on his ancient Remington typewriter as I write this. And we are bound to hear from Krauthammer, Peretz, Kristol, Jonah Goldberg and maybe Elliot Abram and John Bolton.
We'll see. And thanks to the wonders of the internets, I can keep updating this column to add new names and links.The March of the Penguins!
Note: none of the people who write with such fervor about long defunct South African apartheid ever write about the only apartheid they can do anything about: it's on the West Bank. Right now. And these guys tend to flip out if you even mention it.