Monday, November 16, 2009

Goldstone Takes Another Step Back From His Report

For all that gathered information, though, he said, “We had to do the best we could with the material we had. If this was a court of law, there would have been nothing proven.”

Ours wasn’t an investigation, it was a fact-finding mission,” he said, sitting in his Midtown Manhattan office at Fordham University Law School, where he is currently visiting faculty. “We made that clear.”

And I wouldn’t consider it in any way embarrassing if many of the allegations turn out to be disproved.”

Judge Ricard Goldstone, in an interview with The Forward, October 7, 2009
And now Judge Goldstone has been interviewed by Haaretz, and Goldstone offers the following:
Many Israelis are right to feel that the United Nations and its member bodies such as the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly have devoted inordinate and disproportionate attention to scrutinizing and criticizing Israel. This has come at the price of ignoring violations of human rights in other countries, some of them members of those very same bodies. The time has come for the investigation of all violations of international human rights law and international law whenever they are committed, in any state. [emphasis added]
Based on this interview, Noah Pollak has some suggestions--among them:
Third, there is one person perfectly situated to rise to the challenge of even-handedness and proportionality that the good judge has placed before the world: his name is Richard Goldstone. He has earned his bona fides as a harsh and tendentious critic of Israel. Because of this, he has immense credibility at the UN and among “human-rights” activists worldwide. When will his campaign of inquisition against other democracies begin? Someone should ask him.
Now that the UN has reversed itself on the congratulations the HRC originally gave Sri Lanka on its defeat of the Tamil Tigers, and has now decided instead to conduct a Goldstone-style investigation, surely Goldstone has the opening he has been looking for.

But things don't quite jive. Soccer Dad points out that Judge Goldstone's associations and investigations don't seem to mesh.
Take this op-ed from the NYT [written by Judge Goldstone on July 2008]:

In the story of the emperor's new clothes, a little boy is the only one who has the innocence to point out that the emperor is naked. The arrest warrants for Bashir reveal to the world what type of regime holds power in Khartoum. They should also push the Security Council to apply real pressure on the Sudanese government. The council and its member states should make Bashir's government an international pariah, imposing sanctions against its leaders and, most important, Sudan's oil exports, which have so effectively insulated the regime.

Yet according to Al Jazeera, it was the OIC that initiated the Gaza inquiry (that led to the Goldstone report)

But the OIC is most notable for rejecting the ICC indictment of Bashir.
Soccer Dad concludes:
So Goldstone willingly took the assignment to investigate Israel from a group that rejects something that was so important to him last year! If he were serious, he would have considered the source and rejected the inquiry. Instead he went through the motions of "criticizing both sides" so he could claim that he stared down the rascals and came out ahead.
Indeed, though in the interview Goldstone claims that
the report contains the clearest finding that Hamas and other militant Palestinian groups committed serious war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity. The acceptance of those findings by the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly has been ignored completely by Israel.

...and the endorsement of the report by the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly is probably the first time that the United Nations has recognized Israel's right to act in self-defense against such terror."
the fact remains that--as Elder of Ziyon illustrates quite graphically (literally)--where it counts, namely in the conclusions and recommendations section of the report, Hamas is barely referred to. Furthermore, the fact the endorsement of the HRC referred only to Israel and not to Hamas disproves Goldstone's odd claim that the HRC--which is well-known for its condemnations of Israel--has suddenly recognized its right to exist.

Goldstone is merely claiming evenhandedness by faulting both Israel and the HRC--a tactic he utilized before by giving lip service to condemnation of Hamas while blasting Israel.

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