On Friday’s edition of The Washington Post, a remarkable, yet long overdue admission came from South Awifrican jurist Richard Goldstone, author of the wildly inaccurate and inflammatory “Goldstone Report.” In the Op-Ed, Goldstone says that in hindsight, his report to the UN should not have reached the conclusions it did as far as Israel is concerned. Goldstone wrote, “If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.”
Since the report was released in September of 2009, Israel’s enemies have gone to the Goldstone Report, almost as a reflex, as “proof” that Israel targets civilians. Israel has always known that claim to be false, but the Goldstone Report did not wait for Israel’s investigations into its actions during Operation Cast Lead before releasing a bias, and factually outrageous narrative of Israel’s efforts to stop the launching of terror attacks by Hamas. In his Op-Ed, Goldstone stated that, had they had this evidence then, “it probably would have influenced our findings about intentionality and war crimes” on the part of Israel.
Another lie that has been debunked since the Goldstone Report was published were the actual number of civilian casualties. The Goldstone Report, relying on bias Palestinian sources and again, not waiting for Israel as a democratic state to take the time necessary to produce its objective findings, exaggerated the amount of civilian deaths. In reality, as admitted by Richard Goldstone himself, “Israeli military’s numbers have turned out to be similar to those recently furnished by Hamas,” i.e. the majority of casualties were indeed combatants.
While Goldstone himself admits that “our mission was in no way a judicial or even quasi-judicial proceeding,” the inaccuracy of the Goldstone Report has hampered Israel’s ability to defend its citizens and caused its reputation among the democratic world to be unfairly tarnished.
Prime Minister Netanyahu reacted saying, “Everything we said has proven to be true: Israel did not intentionally harm civilians, its institutions and investigative bodies are worthy, while Hamas intentionally fired upon innocent civilians and did not examine anything. The fact that Goldstone backtracked must lead to the shelving of this report once and for all.”
Israel’s ambassador to the US Michael Oren stressed this evening that Judge Goldstone’s Washington Post article reconfirms Israel’s right of self defense against Hamas terror out from Gaza.
In this article, Judge Goldstone contrasts the deliberate targeting of civilians by Hamas and its refusal to investigate its own war crimes with Israel’s efforts to avoid civilian casualties and to fully investigate charges of IDF misconduct. Unfortunately, Judge Goldstone reached these conclusions only now, after his report seriously impaired the ability of Israel–and of all democratic states– to defend themselves, and furnished a major victory for terror.
The recent spate of terror attacks, including the massacre of the Fogel family in Itamar, must, even as Judge Goldstone now insists, be condemned in the strongest of terms by all international organizations. These include the UN Human Right Council which, as
Judge Goldstone only belatedly admits, is deeply biased against Israel. As Israel and the democratic world continue to face terrorist threats from Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran, the Goldstone Report must be utterly discredited.