Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Israeli Rocket Victim Faces-Off with Goldstone at the UN

Dr. Mirela Siderer suffered serious, disfiguring injuries when the Ashkelon clinic where she works was a hit by a rocket fired from Gaza in 2008. Yesterday she appeared at the UN, with the help of UN Watch, and gave a powerful statement during which she asked Judge Goldstone why he ignored her testimony in his "fact-finding" mission.

You can watch the video of Dr. Mirela Siderer's statement here.

Here is the text of her testimony (SMW added bold):

My name is Dr. Mirela Siderer. I am a gynecologist living in Ashkelon, Israel.
Judge Richard Goldstone, in July you invited me to testify. I told you my story. I am known by my patients -- including many women from Gaza. For me, every human being is equal.
On May 14, 2008, my life was changed forever. I was working in my clinic. Suddenly, the building was hit by a missile, fired from Gaza. I was terribly wounded. Blood was everywhere. My patient was also wounded, and more than 100 others. Next month will be my eighth operation.
Judge Goldstone, I told you all of this, in detail. I testified in good faith. You sent me this letter, saying, "Your testimony is an essential part of the Mission's fact-finding activities."
But now I see your report. I have to tell you: I am shocked.
Judge Goldstone, in a 500-page report, why did you completely ignore my story? My name appears only in passing, in brackets, in a technical context. I feel humiliated.
Why are there only two pages about Israeli victims like me, who suffered thousands of rockets over eight years? Why did you choose to focus on the period of my country's response, but not on that of the attacks that caused it? Why did you not tell me that this council judged Israel guilty in advance, in its meeting of last January? Why did you not tell me that members of your panel signed public letters judging Israel guilty in advance?
Judge Goldstone, you, too, signed such a letter, saying you were "shocked" about Gaza. But where were you when Gaza attacked my medical clinic, in violation of international human rights and humanitarian law? Where was this council? Why were you all silent?