Rare is the high-school sophomore whose endurance isn’t severely tested by a
smartalecky teacher harping mercilessly on that standard philosophical tease
about the tree in the forest falling without anyone around. Does it produce
noise? Don’t sounds require receptors to be more than pulses of energy? Or is it
anthropocentric arrogance to ascribe value only to what reaches human
consciousness? No. It’s plain news-sense. What you don’t know doesn’t bother you
or shape your opinions. It’s a non-event even if it happened, even if it’s
appalling, even if it merits notoriety.
Given issues can be magnified –
often artificially – into full-blown controversies, while genuinely scandalous
developments might never arouse minimal unease. Objective importance is hardly
what matters most. It’s all a function of how many folks have heard about
And who determines who hears about what? Sanctimonious publishers
and editors – whose politics and expedient preferences are amplified by their
servile scribblers and obliging talking heads. These useful mouthpieces profess
to be genuinely outraged about what they want us outraged about, and they
simultaneously feign disinterest in what they judge is against their interest to
get us interested in. They boost their agenda and suppress what conflicts with
Their line becomes self-evident conventional wisdom. If our truth
clashes with their purposes, it’s simply ignored – like Israel’s ever-frustrated
attempts to convince the world that we’re not the monsters that decent and
reputable folks in most countries are led to believe we are. It really has
nothing to do with what we do or how we explain ourselves.
IT’S VITAL to
note that when pondering the partial retraction of the Goldstone Report’s
excoriation of Israel by its author, Richard Goldstone.
take exceptional naiveté to assume that it had never occurred to Goldstone
previously that Israel was attacked and exercised its fundamental right of
Surely Goldstone was no tabula rasa when he took up his
mission from the UN’s infamous Human Rights Council. Neither we nor Goldstone
were born yesterday.
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All things considered, there’s no escaping the
conclusion that Goldstone sold his soul to the international community’s Princes
of Darkness and, for whatever personal reasons, now somewhat backtracks from his
initial unconscionable choice. He was never a babe in the woods. He knew with
whom he went to bed. It couldn’t have escaped the erudite judge’s attention that
the UNHRC was led by the liberal likes of Libya under the tutelage of the only
belatedly ostracized Muammar Gaddafi.
Goldstone did Gaddafi’s bidding and
that of other no-less-dishonorable players.
It’s better that Goldstone
now appears semi-repentant for his colossal transgression. Better that than to
recant none of the falsehoods at all.
But we ought to note that he
doesn’t exactly, and certainly not fully, accept culpability. Goldstone still
manages to blame us for his role in collaborating with the forces of injustice.
Had we only cooperated with his commission, says he with the wisdom of
disingenuous hindsight, his findings might have been different.
all the hallmarks of a judge in kangaroo court reproaching the hapless defendant
for not striving harder to overturn the verdict which was already stamped and
sealed way before the pseudo-trial ever got under way.
willingly Goldstone agreed to chair the farce. He provided the respectable
veneer for sham legal trappings. The charade’s purpose was to convict by going
through the manipulated motions of due process. In reality, the outcome was
predetermined well in advance, allowing no true defense.
Moreover, in a
fair international environment, the proceeding that Goldstone opted to oversee
would never have been staged at all. Israel should never have been accused in
the first place. All that followed merely added massive insult to undeserved
injury. The very focus on “Israel’s crimes” was tantamount to a priori
And, indeed, all that remains of Goldstone’s skewed
“investigation” is the verdict he was hired to deliver.
retraction by the complicit Goldstone at this point is pointless because it
simply doesn’t count. No one now listens to him. No one cares after the fact.
The damage has been done, to the satisfaction of those who orchestrated the mock
probe in order to expedite the castigation of reviled Israel. Whatever Goldstone
may now mumble, Israel remains smeared as a result of his part in the pretense
that bears his name.
THE LACK of resonance abroad with his regrets
perhaps most effectively underscores why Israel was so right not to play along
and assist in its own defamation. Whatever evidence and testimonies Israel would
have brought before Goldstone’s elaborately scripted event would have received
as much of an impartial hearing as Goldstone’s remorse now does: none
We were expected to plead much like the defendants in Stalin’s
show trials. The only difference is that Stalin’s victims were deemed to be the
enemies of the people, while we are damned as the enemies of
Our truth is unwelcome out there in the inimical world. Word
now is that Goldstone sought to peddle his rueful op-ed to The New York Times
but that the editor he approached rejected him outright. For its part, the Times
counters that Goldstone never submitted any copy, but then again, why would he
after being told that it wouldn’t be used? That, in a nutshell, is what Israel
faces in the court of world opinion.
Anything that may reveal our
situation in a light that eclipses the prevalent anti-Israel propaganda is
regarded as heresy. When Goldstone attempted to pull back from the blanket
vilification of Israel, he discovered that his corrections, disdained as
undesirable, packed remarkably little impact. The UN may have turned on Gaddafi,
but that didn’t bleach any of the blackness from the UNHRC’s heart.
only place where there’s eager excitement and lots of palaver about Goldstone’s
seeming reversal is inside maligned little Israel. Elsewhere selective apathy
reigns. Goldstone’s second thoughts were greeted with the same sort of
indifferent silence as greeted the horrific photos of the blood-soaked little
bodies of the butchered Fogel children in Itamar, the attack on pupils in a
yellow school bus in the Negev, the barraging of southern Israel by long-range
Gazan rockets, the bus-stop bombing in Jerusalem or the apprehension of
Victoria, the gunrunning ship which ferried game-changing Iranian missiles to
In the PC dictionary of international relations, our sea blockade
of Gaza remains the evil that must be eradicated and the free movement of
terrorists remains a basic human right that must be facilitated.
we’re wowed by our own locally generated noise, it’d do us well to recall that
our homespun chatter and incessant commentary are insular. Abundant ulterior
motives exist overseas to render what consumes us as significant a topic of
discourse as the tree that falls out of human earshot.
What does world
hardheartedness impart? Perhaps that we should return to David Ben-Gurion’s
recommendation of yesteryear and not care about “what the goyim [the nations]
say, but what the Jews do.”
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