Monday, April 04, 2011

Goldstone Report - author backtracks

Goldstone: If I Had Known Then What I Know Now…
April 3, 2011
Honest Reporting

Judge Richard Goldstone, head of the infamous UN panel that issued the Goldstone Report in 2009, backtracked on his most serious accusations on Friday.

The Goldstone Report had accused Israel and Hamas of “actions amounting to war crimes, possibly crimes against humanity” during the 2008 Gaza War.
Goldstone’s about-face includes a reversal on the contentious claim that Israel intentionally targeted Palestinian civilians.

Investigations into some 400 incidents from the war, cited by another recent UN report, “indicate that civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy,” Goldstone wrote in an op-ed published in the Washington Post:

“I regret that our fact-finding mission did not have such evidence explaining the circumstances in which we said civilians in Gaza were targeted, because it probably would have influenced our findings about intentionality and war crimes.”

Goldstone starkly admitted, “If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.”


While the Goldstone Report cited civilian casualty numbers obtained from Hamas, which were considerably higher than the IDF’s figures, Goldstone now admits that “the Israeli military’s numbers have turned out to be similar to those recently furnished by Hamas”, adding however, that Hamas may now be exaggerating the number of terrorists killed by the IDF.

Put simply, the IDF’s figures were correct all along.

But it remains to be seen if the media recognizes that the commonly quoted numbers of “1,400 dead, including mostly civilians” – cited by the Goldstone Report – are inaccurate. The caption for the following image, taken from BBC’s coverage of Goldstone’s revelations, shows that the Beeb has yet to assimilate the new information.


An op-ed is not enough. Goldstone must officially inform all other bodies which received his false report: the UN Security Council, the UN General Assembly, the International Criminal Court, and all the 192 UN member states which — based on his recommendations — were officially asked by the world body to open criminal prosecutions of Israeli leaders and officers.

Goldstone must also write to the Swiss government to call off their effort, based on the Goldstone Report, to convene an international conference of the Geneva Convention signatories to condemn Israel. Goldstone will never be able to undo the poisonous anti-Israel libel that he spread around the globe, but as a judge we call on him to do the bare minimum that legal ethics and common sense require.

While most of the mainstream media has covered the story, two of Goldstone’s biggest cheerleaders , The Guardian and The Independent have yet to report on the about-face. In particular, The Guardian’s over-reporting of Israel — as expressed by this map produced by British Views of the World behooves the paper to follow through.


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