Goldstone’s retraction an attempt to escape ostracism?

April 5, 2011
It’s all fine an dandy that we find out what a weak man our prosecutor was, but it is not helping the cause because a weak man was hijacked by our enemies and now they will say that he was intimidated.It was very obvious that the guy didn’t have any more facts then the rest of us…I saw that.Now our enemies use their tool against us again.Refusing to appear before a court that you believe has no jurisdiction is one of the oldest and most respected tactics in the book. Had Israel appeared before Goldstone and (as is likely) had the same conclusion been reached, Israel would have no avenue of appeal

Natalie Wood claims that Richard Goldstone’s retraction of the infamous report that bears his name is nothing more than an attempt to regain acceptance into the Jewish community.

Indeed, Israel’s Ynet News reported that his decision was influenced by the constant harassment and cascades of threatening letters and emails he received in the wake of the report which bears his name.
Goldstone’s friend, Dr. Alon Liel says the ‘hell’ that he endured contributed to his decision to write his retraction.
“When Israel decided to boycott him, it was an overwhelming insult. ‘I’m a Jewish judge, a respected Zionist – and Israel doesn’t trust me?’, Liel quoted his friend as saying. He was a broken man.
“I’m not saying that the threats he received and the hell he went through are what made him publish his article, but there is no doubt in my mind that it influenced his decision,” says Liel.

Alon Liel. Former Director General of the Foreign Ministry. What a perfect soulmate for Goldstone. Alon Liel, who tried to pretend that Israel bears no responsibility or obligation to Jonathan Pollard. Alon Liel, who tried to trick the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee into believing that Bashar al-Assad wants peace and it’s all our fault that we don’t have it. Alon Liel, who urged then-Education Minister Comrade Yuli Tamir to prevent Israeli students from hiking in the Golan. Yes, Alon Liel is a perfect soulmate for Goldstone. A mendacious shmuck.
But I digress. Let’s go back to Goldstone. It seems things aren’t quite working out as planned.

While his unexpected intellectual somersault has caused much cynical mirth on social networking sites, it has generated even more serious anger. Thus far his efforts at social rehabilitation have been thwarted.

Moreover, far from welcoming the prodigal back into the bosom of his extended ‘family’, the international Jewish community is considering further social ostracism.

Wood also cites unnamed “other lawyers” who say that Israel should have argued its case in front of Goldstone. You’ve got to be kidding. Refusing to appear before a court that you believe has no jurisdiction is one of the oldest and most respected tactics in the book. Had Israel appeared before Goldstone and (as is likely) had the same conclusion been reached, Israel would have no avenue of appeal, and it would be far less likely that Goldstone would have written a retraction.
Goldstone is a long way from re-acceptance into the Jewish community. And deservedly so. Unlike the kapos of the Nazi era, he cannot even claim that he did what he did to save his own life.

OK, Goldstone Recanted–Now What? 

So now, Judge Goldstone writes an op-ed in the Washington Post where he admits that the Israeli military did NOT intentionally target civilians in Gaza.

But beyond the obvious disgust, there is one part of his “magnum oops” that you might have missed.

About the original report, he now writes “Our report found evidence of potential war crimes and “possibly crimes against humanity.”

Oh really?

“Potential” war crimes?

“Possibly” crimes against humanity?

Excuse me. I think that I have a real “potential” to be sick and “possibly” throw up.

I went back and looked through the 500 plus page report. There are dozens of accusations of specific “war crimes” that Israel violated. Then I did a word search for the word “potential.” Guess how many times Goldstone labeled his accusations as only “potential” war crimes? None. There was no doubt expressed in the report about Israel’s actions. “Possible crimes against humanity?” Nope.

It’s as if Goldstone is now saying “well, back then I just didn’t know if Israel committed war crimes. But you know, looking back, I don’t think they did.”

Judge Goldstone, Your Honor, excuse me, but you actually sounded certain in your report’s conclusions when you wrote:

(b) . Incidents involving the killing of civilians:

1718. The Mission found numerous instances of deliberate attacks on civilians and civilian objects (individuals, whole families, houses, mosques) in violation of the fundamental international humanitarian law principle of distinction, resulting in deaths and serious injuries.

In these cases the Mission found that the protected status of civilians was not respected and the attacks were intentional, in clear violation of customary law reflected in article 51(2) and 75 of the First AP, article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and articles 6 and 7 of ICCPR. In some cases the Mission additionally concluded that the attack was also launched with the intention of spreading terror among the civilian population.

Did some UN intern leave out the words ”potential” and “possible” when he typed that up for you? Were you so busy looking up all the specific violations of international law that you somehow forget to add that you were not 100% certain when you accused the Israeli army of: deliberately attacking Palestinian civilians in Gaza with one of the goals to spread terror among the population.

read the whole thing via

Hina Jilani, a member of the original Goldstone Commission. In response to a question from the Middle East Monitor as to whether Goldstone expressed regret in his op-ed in the Washington Post, Jilani replied:

Absolutely not; no process or acceptable procedure would invalidate the UN Report; if it does happen, it would be seen as a ‘suspect move.

No process or procedure at all?

Back in 2009, Goldstone made it clear at a news conference that what they found:

The mission concluded that actions amounting to war crimes and possibly in some respect crimes against humanity were committed by the Israel Defense Forces.

Now Goldstone is saying that this key assumption underlying the Goldstone Report is wrong.

Jilani is the expert–and she says that there is no process or procedure that would invalidate the report. But putting aside process and procedure, does Jilani really mean that false conclusions–such as that Israel intentionally targeted civilians–would not invalidate the report?