Sunday, May 1, 2011

Victor Kattan: Yes, Gaza conflict was a travesty

Please write your letter to the editor today in response to Victor Kattan's op-ed below from Saturday's Providence Journal. It provides important reminders about the Goldstone report and Israel's 2008-09 invasion of the Gaza Strip, which, according to the Goldstone report:
"…was a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population, radically diminish its local economic capacity both to work and provide for itself, and to force upon it an ever increasing sense of dependency and vulnerability."
Letters to the Providence Journal must carry the writer's name, address and daytime phone number. The newspaper strongly favors letters of 250 words or fewer. Letters can be emailed to letters@projo.com. Please be sure to write at some point in the letter that you are referring to "Victor Kattan: Yes, Gaza conflict was a travesty" (April 30 opinion page).

Yes, Gaza conflict was a travesty

By Victor Kattan
Saturday, April 30, 2011

The United Nations Fact-Finding Mission into the Gaza conflict in 2008-9, chaired by former South African Judge Richard Goldstone, which produced "the Goldstone Report," has attracted so much opprobrium that one must wonder whether it would have attracted any attention at all had Israel and its supporters not embarked on a campaign to discredit it.

For those who have not read the 575-page report, it concluded that "what occurred in just over three weeks at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 was a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population, radically diminish its local economic capacity both to work and provide for itself, and to force upon it an ever increasing sense of dependency and vulnerability."

Three weeks ago Goldstone published an op-ed in The Washington Post asserting that the Goldstone report would have been a different document "had I known then what I know now." But as John Dugard, a fellow South African lawyer, and close friend of Goldstone, noted in an article he published in The New Statesman, Goldstone failed to disclose any information in his op-ed that seriously challenged the findings of the U.N. report that bears his name. For this reason, Dugard described Goldstone’s op-ed as making "strange reading."

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