Goldstone and Cast Lead: Elements of a bad judge


The Goldstone Report was named for Judge Richard Goldstone who led the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) inquiry into Operation Cast Lead, the Gaza War, which was provoked by thousands of missiles fired by Hamas into Israel’s Negev communities.

Goldstone’s report to the HRC concluded there was a deliberate policy by Israel to target civilians. It claimed to have found evidence of potential war crimes and “possibly crimes against humanity” by the Jewish State. In a spectacular reversal, last week Goldstone published a mea culpa in the Washington Post. He no longer believes that Israel deliberately targeted civilians, and now believes Hamas was the war criminal.

“We know a lot more today 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.”

Sorry Judge, when first published it should’ve been a different document. The Goldstone Commission favored witnesses and evidence offered by anti-Israel advocates including Hamas, and dismissed pro-Israel evidence. For example it ruled Hamas didn’t use its own citizens as human shields despite much video evidence. The commission relied on agencies NGOs such as Human Rights Watch, which have a documented hostility to Israel.

What precipitated Goldstone’s “Oops never mind?” The final report by the U.N. committee of independent experts …found that “Israel has dedicated significant resources to investigate over 400 allegations of operational misconduct in Gaza” while “the de facto authorities (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.”

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