THE BLOG
12/01/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Glaring Omissions in Goldstone Report

There has been much discussion lately about the United Nations Human Rights Council's Goldstone Report on Gaza, which claims to have "found evidence that both Israeli forces and Palestinian militants committed serious war crimes."

Throughout the United States and abroad, the report has been denounced as one-sided and charged with pre-conceived conclusions. Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., recently expressed "very serious concern with the mandate that was given by the Human Rights Council ... which we viewed as unbalanced, one-sided and basically unacceptable."

And so it was with great disappointment that I read Rabbi Brant Rosen's op-ed in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday that gives credence to the spurious conclusions of the Goldstone Report, omits significant details and is another excuse to vilify Israel.

Where is the recognition of Israel's right to self-defense when it is bombarded by thousands of rockets and mortars aimed at its civilians? Twelve thousand rockets have struck Israeli towns over the past eight years! When I was in Israel last summer, we learned of the severe trauma associated with the frequent "color red" loud speaker announcements that give children and families 10 seconds to take shelter when a rocket has been fired. Who in the United States would tolerate even two enemy rockets being fired at their homes, threatening their loved ones?

Where is the rebuke over Hamas' deliberate strategy to turn its own civilian areas into battlefields? Hamas has exploited the Palestinians in Gaza by the launching of rockets from populated areas, the use of civilian homes for arms and explosives manufacturing and the use of civilians as human shields against anticipated air strikes.

Where is the repudiation of Hamas' refusal to recognize the State of Israel? How can Israel negotiate for a two-state solution when one Palestinian partner is bent on its destruction?

The report mockingly calls on both sides to conduct "internal investigations" into war crimes. How can there be moral equivalence between a democracy protecting its citizens and the terrorists who target them? Israel has already opened more than 100 investigations into specific soldier actions, some of which have indeed led to prosecutions. That is the very definition of democratic responsibility. Can anyone say Hamas did the same?

The U.N.'s Goldstone Report belongs in a larger context, exposed just last week: Hamas is trained and armed by Iran, now driving toward nuclear weapons at breakneck speed. The discovery of another nuclear plant in Iran, deliberately hidden from inspectors, is but the latest in a long line of Iranian deception and there can be no doubt as to its intentions.

A nuclear Iran is the single greatest threat not just to Israel's security but to global stability. Crippling sanctions need to be the starting point. I helped lead a 2007 initiative in the Illinois General Assembly to require our state pension funds to divest holdings from those who invest in Iran's energy sector, and to date roughly $133 million has been stripped from Tehran's coffers.

We must all petition our elected leaders in Washington to arm the administration with the economic and diplomatic arsenal it needs to ensure that Iran never acquires a nuclear weapon.

State Representative Julie Hamos (D-Wilmette) is a candidate for Congress for Illinois' 10th district.