It just won't go away…
The topic of discussion in the media continues to be the Goldstone Report on behalf of the UN concerning Israel's military action last year in Gaza called Operation Cast Lead
Part of the sustained efforts in keeping this issue in the face of the public domain is simply to keep the Israeli public from having 'second thoughts' over the State's justification in the wake of the report and international opinion.
During the operation there was ample protest by Israelis who felt the Israeli Defense forces actions were excessive. Thus since the report was released, in which Israel did not cooperate in it's development, the position from which the PR people have to work from is already at a minus.
This is why we find some sources referring to Operation Cast Lead as a model of effective and efficient warfare that was well planned and executed.
When critics speak of the seemingly aggressive nature of the tactics in densely populated areas the rebuttal usually center around the argument of the desire not to needlessly endanger IDF soldiers' lives. In Israel's eye this is legitimate and even moral. Some have gone on to say that this is the basis for the IDF's claim to being the Middle East's – if not the world's, most moral army.
But what about this idea; in spite of what the report says about Israel (in a negative light), the report is good for Israel. The point is that Judge Goldstone notes that the firing of mortars and missiles at Israeli citizens by Palestinian factions is 'a war crime'. He also wrote that that firing would also seem to be 'a crime against humanity'. In the reports recommendations the Palestinian factions are demanded to stop violence against Israeli citizens and it even calls for the release of the kidnapped solider Gilad Shalit – something not tied to the Cast Lead operation.
So this is the point, if Israel had taken to demanding full implementation of the entire report's recommendations, it would be the Palestinians who would be in the awkward position and not the Israelis.
Israel can win the so called international information campaign – and it probably will. The one thing that can torpedo that is the compromise of absolute justice of it's actions in Operation Cast Lead.
Middle East Correspondent