United Nations Human Rights Council Judge Richard Goldstone, whose 575-page report on Wednesday condemned Israel for war crimes, fell asleep while he was supposed to be watching a film showing Sderot children fleeing from rocket fire. Noam Bedein, head of the Sderot Media Center, told Israel National News Wednesday morning, “I screened a film showing the rocket explosions, and Goldstone fell asleep before my eyes."
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Bedein and five others, including the mayor of Ashkelon and kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit’s father Noam, were the only Israelis to testify on the country’s behalf during the U.N. hearings. Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon explained that the government refused to cooperate with the Council because it was prejudiced against Israel from the outset. He said that an official Israeli appearance at the hearings would have given more justification to the report but would not have changed damning and foregone conclusions.
Bedein said he appeared as a private citizen and was not discouraged by the Foreign Ministry. “The U.N. asked me to appear because the Sderot Media Center is the only operation on the ground that has been presenting the rocket reality to the country.”
However, he added that he was given “30 minutes to present eight years of being attacked from rocket fire and mortar shelling.” While Goldstone was napping, the other three judges, Christine Chinkin, an Irishman and a Pakistani, sat silently.”
Bedein wrapped up his presentation by asking the panel. “What other democracy in the world would tolerate rockets in its territory?” He added, “That is how I finished, but all they said was ‘Thank you.’ I was expecting tough questions, but there were none.”
Hamas has attacked the western Negev with approximately 12,000 rockets and mortars since 2000, including nearly 8,000 missiles since the expulsion of Jews and the IDF withdrawal from Gaza in 2005.
Since the end of the Operation Cast Lead counterterrorist campaign, southern Israel has sustained 250 attacks, not including dozens of sniper shootings at soldiers and roadside bombs aimed at IDF vehicles at the Gaza separation barrier.
However, Goldstone’s lengthy report devoted only nine pages to the rockets, Bedein said. “Its comparison of Gaza with Sderot is ridiculous,” he added. “We teach children to run to bomb shelters in 15 seconds, and they teach their children to run to rooftops and be human shields” during Israeli retaliation.
The Goldstone Report blamed Israel for allegedly killing hundreds of “non-combatants,” including approximately 250 Hamas policemen.