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The Targets of Hamas

In response to:

Goldstone and Gaza: What's Still True from the May 26, 2011 issue

To the Editors:

For the record, and in the interests of precision—following my article “Goldstone and Gaza: What’s Still True” [NYR, May 26]—I’d like to make it clear that the Goldstone report on Israel’s Cast Lead Operation did note that the missile attacks by Hamas and related groups on Israeli cities prior to the Israeli operation “would constitute war crimes and may amount to crimes against humanity” (section 108 of the report). This statement, oddly hedged and couched in the subjunctive, is dwarfed by the overwhelming focus of the Goldstone report on Israel’s actions before and during the campaign.

Goldstone’s reconsideration of his position in the April 1 essay published in The Washington Post seems aimed, in part, at redressing this imbalance. I would like to reiterate that, although I regard Israel’s policy toward Gaza since the withdrawal in 2005 as cruel and counterproductive, and despite the fact that Israel bears responsibility for breaking the cease-fire at crucial points in the period leading up to the campaign, there is no possible justification for Hamas’s deliberate targeting of innocent civilians.

David Shulman
Jerusalem

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