Author says human rights groups have failed in Gaza


In his new book “Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom,” Norman Finkelstein examines what he views as the failure of human-rights organization to hold the state of Israel accountable for actions in the Gaza Strip.

The political scientist and author visited Youngstown State University this week to discuss the book.

“I would say the main failure is this: The human rights organizations typically describe the situation in Gaza when hostilities break out ... as wars, and I don’t think a war or the term ‘war’ or the application of the laws of war really accurately describe what’s happening,” he said in an interview. “These are not wars. These are massacres.”

In his lecture, Finkelstein cited examples from numerous inflection points in Israel’s history with neighboring Arab states.

He pointed to a Human Rights Watch report on an incident in Israel’s 2006 war with Lebanon, which concluded Israel had used an indiscriminate delivery system in delivering cluster bombs over parts of Lebanon, and had targeted civilians.

He also discussed a United Nations fact-finding mission on the 2008 Gaza War, or Operation Cast Lead. Also known as the Goldstone report, for Richard Goldstone, who headed the mission, it concluded both sides had committed war crimes.

Read more about the matter in Sunday's Vindicator or on

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