A reasonable attempt to produce a balanced opinion piece (albeit that it contained some errors) on the Goldstone Report in the Sydney Morning Herald has been trashed by hate peddlars in its comments column. You can read them yourself at the end of Israel feels tarnished as critics apply apartheid tag.
Compounding the hartred was this letter
Context would give a more balanced view
November 18, 2009
Peter Hartcher's reflection on the Goldstone report fails on a number of counts (''Israel feels tarnished as critics apply apartheid tag'', November 17).
Hartcher repeats the spin of the Israeli Government that vilifies the United Nations, calling it an "international resolution factory". Second, he fails to give any context for why the rockets were fired. He does not mention the decades-long struggle of the Palestinian people; the thousands of Palestinians in Israeli jails or who have lost loved ones due to 60 years of war; or the lack of resolution for the refugees of the 1948 and 1967 wars.
Hartcher fails to acknowledge Richard Goldstone's personal journey of discovery during his fact-finding mission. Goldstone cannot be faulted for his unquestioning support for Israel's security and legitimate right (and moral obligation) to self-defence.
But by visiting Gaza and interviewing Israelis by phone and in Geneva (he was denied permission to enter Israel) he concluded each of the 36 incidents they identified demanded formal investigation by Israel and Hamas.
They included an attack on a mosque that killed 21 people, the demolition of the American School in Gaza (a centre of anti-Hamas teaching) and the attack on the United Nations Relief and Works Agency with white phosphorus. He concluded that the collective punishment of Palestinians by bulldozing greenhouses, farms and destroying sewage treatment works had no military advantage - it was purely punitive.
Hartcher also misrepresents Izzat Abdulhadi, the head of the Palestinian delegation to Australia. Such was my disbelief at what Hartcher said that I called the Palestinian delegation to find out for myself. Mr Abdulhadi told me the Palestinian delegation was disappointed with Australia's stance on Israel and its rejection of the Goldstone report (not satisfied, as Hartcher says).
Let's hope Herald journalists can go on trips to Gaza and the West Bank as well as Israel in future, to help present a balanced perspective of this conflict.
Apart from being a mischievous peddler of untruths, this cold hearted bastard found a way to justify the firing of rockets at schools and kindergartens - at children in the context of a letter purportedly about human rights.
How low can you get?