In what has to be one of the most monumental acts of chutzpah in recent memory, Richard Goldstone’s “Reconsidering the Goldstone Report on Israel and War Crimes” appeared in the Washington Post yesterday. After producing a Goldstone Report that has caused nearly universal condemnation of Israel, a report that has been used by Israel’s enemies to foster boycotts, divestments, and sanctions against Israel, and a report that has had a devastating impact on Israel in every arena from politics to entertainment, Goldstone now says–without even a blush of embarassment or simple “I’m sorry”–“If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.”
And how would it have been different? First there would have been praise for Israel which has “dedicated significant resources” to investigating claims against the IDF made by Palestinians–and condemnation for Hamas which has “not conducted any investigations into the launching of rocket and mortar attacks against Israel.” Goldstone goes on to say: “That the crimes allegedly committed by Hamas were intentional goes without saying–its rockets were purposefully and indiscriminately aimed at civilian targets” [note that Goldstone still cannot bring himself to say that the crimes were committed–he still says “allegedly” committed]. Insofar as Israel is concerned, “the investigations published by the Israel military and recognized in the U.N. committee’s report…indicate that civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy.”
But what is equally galling is the list of self-serving statements now made by Goldstone:
“The purpose of the Goldstone Report was never to prove a foregone conclusion against Israel. I insisted on changing the original mandate adopted by the Human Rights Council, which was skewed against Israel. I have always been clear that Israel, like any other sovereign nation, has the right and obligation to defend itself and its citizens against attacks from abroad and within. . .I had hoped that our inquiry into all aspects of the Gaza conflict would begin a new era of evenhandedness at the U.N. Human Rights Council, whose history of bias against Israel cannot be doubted.”
A new era of evenhandedness? Of less bias against Israel? Is Goldstone simply delusional?
Or the amazing: “Some have suggested that it was absurd to expect Hamas, an organization that has a policy to destroy the state of Israel, to investigate what we said were serious war crimes. It was my hope, even if unrealistic, that Hamas would do so, especially if Israel conducted its own investigations. At minimum I hoped that in the face of a clear finding that its members were committing serious war crimes, Hamas would curtail its attacks. Sadly, that has not been the case.”
Even if unrealistic? Of course it was absurd to expect Hamas to investigate itself. No, Richard Goldstone is not simply delusional–he is simply self-serving.
And the remarkable: “Israel’s lack of cooperation with our investigation meant that we were not able to corroborate how many Gazans killed were civilians and how many were combatants. The Israeli military’s numbers have turned out to be similar to those recently furnished by Hamas (although Hamas may have reason to inflate the number of its combatants).
In other words, it is Israel’s fault that the original Goldstone Report was inaccurate concerning the number of civilians who were killed—and by the way, Israel may been lying anyway because Hamas might now be exaggerating the number of its combatants who were killed.
It has been pointed out that Richard Goldstone aspires to become the Secretary-General of the United Nations. This article is part of what I have previously termed his “rehabilitation tour.” Goldstone should be roundly condemned for what he is: a vainly biased man who has done his best to isolate and condemn Israel in order to serve his own advancement.