Sunday, June 14, 2009

Everything else must yield to the truth

"The committee was just like all the others who have come," said 46-year-old Majid Hajjaj. "There are lots of reports written, but they're nothing more than ink on paper."
From the UAE Gulf News story:
Goldstone doubts Gaza war crimes probe will lead to prosecutions

On our last night in Gaza, Judge Richard Goldstone spoke to a small group of our delegation about the investigation of war crimes he was preparing to conduct under a mandate by the UN. He didn’t give us a peek into the work he has begun. That would have violated the recognized protocol of all investigative work. But he did tell us that his first loyalty “is to the truth and to fairness and justice, particularly to the victims who are too often forgotten. That’s the standard; everything else must yield to that.”

Where else is the truth about Gaza being investigated? There isn’t anything to read in America’s mainstream media about Goldstone’s investigation. You have to go to Al Jazeera or another Middle East media source, or the self declared liberal alternatives, to find any current stories about Gaza at all.

Then there are papers like the San Jose Mercury News, where balanced reporting has forgotten its relationship to the ideal of due process. It mentions the blockade of Gaza, but not until the closing lines to a story headlined for those in power: Netanyahu plans major policy speech next week. Associated Press reporter Matti Friedman writes like a tribunal judge by giving the military the first, last and only word about why Code Pink and companion delegations were denied access to Gaza:

Israeli authorities also prevented a contingent of protesters dressed like clowns from entering the blockaded Gaza Strip, including a group calling itself the Israeli Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army.

Among the protesters was Hunter Campbell Adams, better known as Patch Adams, a U.S. doctor and clown who was the subject of a 1998 Hollywood film. The protesters brought toys they said they hoped to bring to children in Gaza.

The military said the group had not requested permission to enter Gaza.

It’s no wonder that Judge Goldstone doubts there will be any prosecution of war crimes. And even sadder is that the pessimistic despair of Majid Hajjaj is justified. What kind of hope is left in a man who “watched Israeli soldiers shoot his mother and sister dead as they fled their home waving white flags.”

All this tells another story. There are dozens of pieces complied in an email from Ann Wright to us all under the subject line “Latest list of Blogs, Articles, Photos from Gaza and Occupied Territories trips”. These are trickles of truth trying to flow upstream from its source. Truth rises from up from the lower rungs of humanity, not down from the politicians and governments. Everything else must yield to it, Goldstone told us.

That's our work, bringing it forward to reach one heart at a time. So this morning I
told one story to the people gathered for a Sunday service at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Juneau.

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by Rich in Juneau