Rare is the high-school sophomore whose endurance isn’t severely tested by a smart-alecky 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 what.
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.
Obviously it’d take exceptional naiveté to assume that it had never occurred to Goldstone previously that Israel was attacked and exercised its fundamental right of self-defense.
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.
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.
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.
This has 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.
Knowingly and 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 incriminating Israel.
And, indeed, all that remains of Goldstone’s skewed “investigation” is the verdict he was hired to deliver.
Any retrospective 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.
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.
The 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 Gaza.
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.
Though 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.”
Perhaps we can console ourselves ( albeit trivially) in the awesome ugliness of this monkey’s face…
Absolutely stunning article Sarah. Maybe it will wake up someone. I certainly agree it was wrong for Israel to be put on trial for defending herself, and anyone who cannot understand that is just ignorant.
All true, but this takes a similar tone to those who opine that it doesn’t matter that Goldman has retracted parts of the report, the damage is already done and irreversable. But just as a tree that falls in a forest does make a sound even though there are no ear drums to receive it, so also when people express the truth to each other the truth is spread, even though it may not find its way to the minds of people who do not want to believe othewise anyway.
Part of Israel’s mistake in confronting people like Goldman and their supporters is behaving as if the truth ever mattered to these people in the first place. It doesn’t and when they lie about Israel, it is not a mistake waiting to be corrected, it is a careful conspiracy with a plan in place if the lie dries up in daylight or suffers some other misfortune so common to lies.
‘The only place where there’s eager excitement and lots of palaver about Goldstone’s seeming reversal is inside maligned little Israel’
Goldstone figured Israel would be desperate to kosher him up after his betrayal.
He’s seen how Israel has koshered the bloodthirsty for dead Jews, Fatah and that nothing the Palestinians do will cause the Jews to render the peace scam null and void.
He figured Israel was an easy place to sell a scam and get away with it as the world has learned.
The latest scam Israel has brought into ,Iron Dome and tainted US control and restraint blood money.
Israel is not permitted to defeat the enemy just get lucky with the latest overpriced hit or miss boy toy.
The noise of one falling tree that is carefully guarded to be amplified around the world concerns one of Goldstone’s Human Rights handlers. Latest news from the White House is that its present occupant is desperately looking around for an (African) nation that will give his buddy Muammar Gadaffi shelter and a public platform to keep crackling noisily till kingdom come. Goldstone’s devious effort to put distance between himself and possibly falling trees among the stalwarts that hired him to turn Israel into a falling tree may after all be no more than another sign of his skewed sense of self-preservation.
It is true that articulating Israel’s situation on the world stage in a believable manner is increasingly becoming elusive. I feel the pain of that situation. THe truth is that the whole situation between Israel and Israel’s neighbours is mind boggling to the average individual and few get to grasp matters. However do not dismiss us- the goyim- as so many mak efforts to do what they can, from a simple prayer for the peace of Jerusalem to other notable efforts by organisations like CUFI(Christians United for Israel) and American prophet Kim Clement who is on a fast for most of the year,centered on Israel.A large number of the goyim have their eyes focused on Jerusalem in these days reminiscent of Psalms 84. Whether this will all turn into political capital on the world’s stage and institutions, I dont know.
Israel’s best hope lies in Israel’s God who will always defend those who fear Him. Also please inform us of any positive news from Israel as well.
Sheila Bosire, Editor- Belief Magazine, Kenya
In early May P.M. Netanyahu will go to his Temple in Washington and pray for help from his assembled gods of no peace.
Nothing good but much evil will come of it for this idol worshiper.
‘American false prophet Kim Clement’
Sheila left out a very important word.
America’s Christian’s are not Israel’s hope,they can’t fix the mess in their own front yard and good intentions are not enough when mixed with delusions and lies.
The majority are blind following the blind and false profit$ like Clement.
The few who truly love Israel will tell you this instead of giving you false hope.
Israel has been duped time and again by phony friends and allies whose actions never line up with their words.
The vast majority of my fellow Christians gave the (politician) liar and devious phony, President Bush a pass when he betrayed Israel because he had an R after his name.
By this late hour the few wise souls of Israel who do not chase after lying idols should know that trusting in any man has brought a curse on the land and not peace.