The war over the war in Gaza is heating up. Next week, the United Nations General Assembly will consider the tendentious Goldstone Report, the highest profile exercise in blaming the victim in the U.N.'s tawdry history. Simultaneously, lawyers in Britain, the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, and Norway are drawing up criminal indictments against IDF officers who participated in the Gaza operation. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that a number of names are on a police watch list for arrest and detention should they attempt to enter Britain.
Israel's enemies certainly seek to terrorize and demoralize Israel. But the more important campaign -- which is gaining traction -- is to delegitimize her and to brand Israel's self-defense as a war crime.
Because the United States has not yet descended to that level of moral inversion, I was able to sit down yesterday with Col. Ben Gruber, deputy commander of the armored division of the IDF, and one of the officers who participated in the Gaza campaign. Like 80 percent of the IDF, Gruber is a reservist. In civilian life, he's a computer scientist and father of five.
Soft-spoken and reflective, Gruber tries to think the best of everyone -- even Richard Goldstone. "He could not have read" this report before attaching his name to it, Gruber sighs. Readily acknowledging that mistakes are always made in war, and that those who intentionally transgress deserve punishment, Gruber is dumbfounded that the Goldstone report accuses Israel of "deliberately" targeting civilians.
Consider the assessment of Col. Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, and a veteran of the Gulf War and the conflicts in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, and Macedonia. "During Operation Cast Lead, the IDF did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone than any other army in the history of warfare. Israel did so while facing an enemy that deliberately positioned its military capability behind the human shield of the civilian population."