Wednesday, November 18, 2009


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.

Stewart Mills

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?


ABM said...

Interesting how context is an issue when thousands of rockets are fired at a civilian population, yet when a sovereign nation moves to protects its own people, no context or or reason would suffice for those who are morally bankrupt and way too blinded by their twisted logic to see the truth. It is truly scary that so many of these people are (supposedly) educated and living in Oz.

Anonymous said...

The Israelis should finish off building the security barrier higher and longer and let the barbarians fight amongst them selves!


Stewart Mills said...

Context is an essential part in ensuring people have the necessary background to form a fair and reasonable opinion - from all sides.

That is why Richard Goldstone personally changed the original mandate to ensure he could look at the rockets and mortars that were fired onto Sderot and Ashkelon.

Mr Goldstone as the letter stated unequicovacly supports Israel's right (and duty) to self defence that is why he wanted to provide a context by ensuring he would only lead the UN team if he could investigate the rocket attacks.

It is easy to determine who has failed to take even a glancing look at Goldstone's report by people who state his report was biased because it purportedly did not look at the rocket attacks. Our own Michael Danby made such an obvious oversight in the Parliament in mid September . And yet Chapter 24 of Goldstone's report is devoted to exclusively providing such a context; a decision that was fair and sensible.

I am saddened that people who read my letter are quick to assert some malevolence on my part because I have stated a perspective that is different from your own.

My hope is that there may be means found where all human beings (regardless of background) in this region may find peace, security, justice and meaning.

To do this it is essential that the Jewish community's story of struggle is told; of acknowledgment of the tragedy of the Shoah of the importance of 'Never again' of the deep historical and spiritual connection of the Jewish community to the land.

However, this is balanced by an acknowledgement of the peace, security, justice and meaning needs of the Palestinian people who also share a historic heritage in the land and a story of dislocation and dispossession.

I do not for a moment suspect that what I am saying now will have any effect. You are who you are.

It takes years to trust someone and get to know them. Maybe over the years you will see I am not the person you initially thought I was. I look for a bright future for both Palestinian and Jewish-Israeli people. If there is ever to be such a time we need to acknowledge each others story.


[My apologies if I don't reply in the short term - peace be with you]

Anonymous said...

What a poor attempt to justify your apologetics for Hamas murderers Mr. Mills.

Truly pathetic!