Goldstone report

Goldstone reconsiders

In the Washington Post, Richard Goldstone writes:

We know a lot more about what happened in the Gaza war of 2008-09 than we did when I chaired the fact-finding mission appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Council that produced what has come to be known as the Goldstone Report. If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.

The final report by the U.N. committee of independent experts — chaired by former New York judge Mary McGowan Davis — that followed up on the recommendations of the Goldstone Report has found that “Israel has dedicated significant resources to investigate over 400 allegations of operational misconduct in Gaza” while “the de facto authorities (i.e., Hamas) have not conducted any investigations into the launching of rocket and mortar attacks against Israel.”. . . .

Our report found evidence of potential war crimes and “possibly crimes against humanity” by both Israel and Hamas. That the crimes allegedly committed by Hamas were intentional goes without saying — its rockets were purposefully and indiscriminately aimed at civilian targets.

The allegations of intentionality by Israel were based on the deaths of and injuries to civilians in situations where our fact-finding mission had no evidence on which to draw any other reasonable conclusion. While the investigations published by the Israeli military and recognized in the U.N. committee’s report have established the validity of some incidents that we investigated in cases involving individual soldiers, they also indicate that civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy.

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Bildt on Goldstone

In a statement containing remarks that are bound to be interpreted as overtly hostile to Israel, Sweden’s foreign minister Carl Bildt has expressed his support for the Goldstone Commission’s report into Operation Cast Lead, the Jerusalem Post says

Netanyahu: UN will become irrelevant

From the Jerusalem Post:

“If the [UN Human Rights] council decides to endorse the Goldstone report it will deal a fatal blow to three major issues: Firstly, it will harm the war on terror, because it will legitimize terrorists who hide behind civilians and fire from their midst.” Netanyahu stressed that in such cases, the one who ultimately takes the blame is “generally the victim, acting in legitimate self defense.”

“The second devastating blow will be to the UN’s status and its prestige. It will take it back to its darkest days when absurd decisions were passed within its assembly and empty it of all meaning,” Netanyahu added, referring to the 1970s, when the UN adopted a resolution comparing Zionism with racism. He warned that the UN will become irrelevant if it adopts the conclusions of the report.

The Prime Minister stated that the third and most pressing issue was the Goldstone Report’s potentially “devastating effect on the peace process,” and warned the world that “Israel will not be willing to take risks for peace if stripped of its right to self-defense.”