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Haaretz (Israel)

The Golda Wars

Those who are to blame for everything have been found: the "Goldstoners." Not the occupation, the settlements, Israeli aggressiveness or brutality; just Goldstone. According to Ari Shavit (Haaretz, October 8), the spirit of Judge Richard Goldstone will bring the next war upon us, and it will be called the Goldstone War.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week reiterated that sentiment in amazingly similar terms this week in his speech to the Knesset. Not since Golda Meir said she would never forgive the Arabs for making us kill their children have such self-righteous, infuriating and damaging statements been made.

It is fairly certain that the next war will break out at a time and place of Israel's choosing. That is the way it has been in all the wars since 1973. We have embarked on three unnecessary wars on Israel's initiative because of the "Golda spirit" of Shavit and those like him, who see war as a legitimate and even desirable weapon.

The next war will also be a "Golda war," like that accursed war in 1973, which could also have been avoided if not for the spirit of Golda. Shavit and the other Goldas, busy with self-deception and moral blindness, who incite, repress and lie, who reject every possibility of a just solution - they are the ones who will bring it, just like its predecessors.

The Goldas are doing everything possible to avoid a peace agreement. They whine and self-victimize.

"Israel is incessantly subjected to terror attacks," Shavit laments. Terror halted almost completely long ago, but that does not end the claim that it is continuing "incessantly."

David fired Qassams at Goliath, Goliath responded fiercely. You can also call a match between Mike Tyson and a 5-year-old boxing, but the proportions, oh the proportions.

They also ignore the siege on Gaza, the Goldas, as if that were not the main motive for the Qassams. And they are self-righteous.

"To prevent the region's deterioration into complete chaos, Israel must exercise force once every few years," Shavit writes, willfully concealing the fact that these wars are no more than maintenance wars of the occupation, wars for real estate. Yes, to maintain it one must go to war every few years.

Operation Cast Lead did not weaken Hamas, as Shavit states deceptively, it strengthened it. The temporary stability attained in its wake could have been achieved by a cease-fire agreement, without the terrible bloodshed.


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But the hearts of the Goldas are hard when it comes to agreements. They want blood, fire and billowing smoke, preferably from white phosphorus bombs.

And who is it that is damaging the imaginary achievements of Cast Lead? The Goldstoners, of course. He is only an internationally esteemed judge, a courageous liberal and a fighter for human rights, a man of conscience who dared do here what he did in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.

There, they cheered him, while here, they accuse him of causing the next war. Slobodan Milosevic could not have said it better than Shavit. The president of Serbia also did not recognize the authority of the The Hague tribunal. He also had security and patriotic justifications, and he also blamed the Goldstoners for everything. But the Goldstoners are the real patriots, and the Goldstone spirit reflects Jewish history better than the Golda spirit.

The Goldstoners recognize the Jewish tragedy, and precisely because of it they believe Israel is committed to moral conduct. It is not Israel they want to isolate, denounce and undermine, but rather its path and its policy, which are leading it to the abyss.

Cast Lead is what is bringing down Israel's standing, not the reports written in its wake. Those are intended to prevent another Cast Lead, of the kind that the Goldas monstrously characterize as creating "an infrastructure of stability."

Nearly 1,400 were killed and tens of thousands were maimed and left homeless for an "infrastructure of stability," which is neither an infrastructure nor stable.

To the Goldas we say: Every shell that lands on a house in Gaza causes more damage than any report. Those who have isolated Isael are the government, the Israel Defense Forces and their demagogic cheerleaders.

Yes, we Goldstoners want a different Israel. One where war is its last option, one that puts an end to the occupation, that wants to be a source of pride to its citizens and not of terrible shame. If only there were more Goldstoners here and less Goldas, it could be possible.

Gideon Levy

Gideon Levy is an Israeli journalist, writing opinion pieces and a weekly column for the newspaper Haaretz that often focus on the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. A notable journalist on the Israeli left, follow him on Twitter: @levy_haaretz


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