The Goldstone Report: The UN Blood Libel

Goldstone's Recantation
The UN Continues ...

Responding to Goldstone's Mea Culpa

"US Senate to UN: Rescind Goldstone Report ", The Jerusalem Post, by JPost.com Staff and Tovah Lazaroff and Herb Kenon, April 15, 2011

Senate unanimously passes resolution calling on UNHRC "to reflect the author's repudiation of the Goldstone report's central findings."

The US Senate unanimously approved a resolution on Thursday which called on the United Nations to rescind the Goldstone Commission's report on Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip in December 2008 and January 2009, AFP reported.

The resolution called on the UN Human Rights Council "to reflect the author's repudiation of the Goldstone report's central findings, rescind the report and reconsider further Council actions with respect to the report's findings."

The resolution urged UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon to "do all in his power to redress the damage to Israel's reputation" and to "reform" the HRC "so that it no longer unfairly, disproportionately and falsely criticizes Israel on a regular basis."

"True to scurvy form, UN Goldstone Commission members stand by their lies about Israel in Gaza", New York Daily News, Editorial , April 15, 2011

Called out by their chairman as perpetrators of a truly horrendous libel, three members of a United Nations commission say they hold fast to accusing Israel of crimes against humanity.

Of course they do, because their taskmasters at the United Nations Human Rights Council had so convicted Israel before ordering a probe of the Gaza conflict of 2008 and 2009 - and because they believe Israel had, at best, a limited right of self-defense against a barrage of rockets.

"Goldstone's Three Partners in Crime Attempt to Hang On", National Review Online, by Anne Bayefsky, April 14, 2011

Christine Chinkin, Desmond Travers, and Hina Jilani published an article in the Guardian in which they reiterate their enthusiasm for their libelous conclusions and complain: "We regret the personal attacks and the extraordinary pressure placed on members of the fact-finding mission since we began our work in May 2009. This campaign has been clearly aimed at undermining the integrity of the report and its authors." Indeed, the "integrity" of both the report and its authors is exactly what is in issue.

The lack of integrity of the report itself was apparent from the start. The mandate of the so-called investigators was set by the Human Rights Council after it had decided Israel was guilty. In its words: "The Human Rights Council ... decides to dispatch an urgent, independent international fact-finding mission ... to investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by the occupying Power, Israel, against the Palestinian people." No self-respecting lawyer or professional of any kind would have taken a job defined in such a one-sided way. But these people were different, because each of them was as biased as their U.N. masters.

"NGOs vs. Goldstone: NGO Monitor Analysis", NGO Monitor, April 11, 2011

"• Human Rights Watch (HRW) was a major force behind the production of the Goldstone report. Now, HRW director Kenneth Roth has published two op-eds and a letter to the New York Times, in which Goldstone's favorable comments on the IDF are recast as negative statements.

• While Goldstone acknowledges that "that civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of [IDF] policy," Roth's spin reiterates the discredited accusation of "widespread and systematic" attacks that "clearly reflected Israeli policy."

• Goldstone writes that "our main recommendation was for each party to investigate, transparently and in good faith.... McGowan Davis has found that Israel has done this to a significant degree." But, Roth misrepresents this as meaning that "the UN report raised serious doubts about the thoroughness of these investigations."

• Seeking to preserve HRW's credibility, Roth falsely claims that "Human Rights Watch... never made" the allegations rejected by Goldstone. However, the evidence clearly shows numerous HRW reports, press releases, and statements from officials, as well as op-eds by Roth relating to the Gaza conflict, that accuse high-ranking Israeli officials of deliberate targeting of civilians.

• According to Amnesty International, Goldstone's article was "deliberately misinterpret[ed]" by Israeli officials in a "cynical attempt to avoid accountability for war crimes ....." Thus, Amnesty, which provided false accusations, an outline for the report, and the list of 36 incidents copied by the Goldstone committee, also seeks to deflect attention from its central role.

• In contrast to Goldstone and the evidence, Amnesty International continues to accuse Israel and "members of the Israeli war cabinet which made the policy decisions" of deliberately targeting civilians in Gaza."

"Goldstone Retraction Fuels New Round Of Anti-Semitism & Conspiracy Theories In Arab Press", Anti-Defamation League, April 11, 2011

"Just as the original report was celebrated by Arab cartoonists as 'proof' of the evil nature of Israel and Jews, so too has the decision by Judge Richard Goldstone to reconsider his findings inspired another round of hateful caricatures and stereotypes in the Arab Media," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "Newspapers across the Arab world have responded to the Goldstone developments with a series of hideous caricatures, many of them viciously anti-Semitic."

"Congressional initiatives targeting Goldstone report", Jewish Telegraphic Agency, April 11, 2011

A Senate resolution, introduced April 8 by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and James Risch (R-Idaho), calls on the U.N. Human Rights Council to "reflect the author's repudiation of the Goldstone report's central findings, rescind the report, and reconsider further Council actions with respect to the report's findings..."

In the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is circulating a letter asking colleagues to join her in sponsoring a U.N. accountability act to include language demanding the revocation of the Goldstone report, and withhold the U.S. portion of funds spent on Goldstone's investigation and its follow-on consequences...

Separately, Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), a member of the Republican Study Conference, the GOP's conservative caucus, is seeking sponsors for legislation that would withhold U.S. funding for the United Nations until the report is retracted.

Several House members, in statements and floor speeches, already have called on the Obama administration to press for the report's rescission.

"The Goldstone report is a lie," Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said on the House floor April 7. "The United Nations should kill it once and for all, and we should be leading the way."

"Norwegian FM: We'll reconsider support for Goldstone Report", Ynet News, by Attila Somfalvi, April 10, 2011

Labor Party Secretary-General Hilik Bar says Norway's Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stψre told him in a meeting over the weekend that his country planned to reconsider its support for the Goldstone Report.

The minister noted that following Judge Richard Goldstone's regret over the Gaza war report, Norway would appoint a special team to examine the differences between the original report and Goldstone's remarks in a Washington Post article last week.

"Israel, U.N. Split Over Harsh Gaza Report", The Wall Street Journal, April 8, 2011

Israeli President Shimon Peres and United Nation Secretary General Ban Ki-moon debated about a scathing report on Israeli military conduct in the Gaza Strip two years ago and about the current round of fighting, which claimed nine more Gazan lives on Friday.

In a conversation described by Israel as "pointed," Mr. Peres pressed Israeli demands that the U.N. report be revoked after its author, Justice Richard Goldstone, retracted accusations of Israeli war crimes in an article last week. He also accused the U.N. of remaining "neutral" despite a Hamas attack on an Israeli school bus on Thursday that left a 16-year-old student with mortal head wounds.

A U.N. spokesman declined to comment on Israel's characterization of the meeting. Mr. Ban told the Israeli president that he condemned deadly attacks on both sides and called for "maximum restraint." Responding to Israeli demands to rescind the Goldstone report, Mr. Ban said that it is up to U.N. Human Rights Council, which commissioned the report, to "decide how to proceed with that process."

"US lawyers to file civil suit against Goldstone ", The Jerusalem Post, April 7, 2011

According to the Danon's office, the suit will be submitted to the US District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan by attorney Steve Goldberg.

In the civil suit, filed as a class action complaint, the plaintiff says that he and others were "victims of libel by and through allegations and distortions publicly stated in the report on the State of Israel's military actions during" the IDF's offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip during the winter of 2008–2009.

Both Danon and MK Ronit Tirosh (Kadima) are listed as parties to the suit, which asks that the case be heard by a jury, and demands both an official apology as well as symbolic compensation to be paid to the State of Israel.

Danon said he plans to file a similar suit in Israel against Goldstone, which would go into effect should the judge visit Israel.

"The Goldstone Report was a 2010 model of the blood libel," said Danon, who is the chairman of the Knesset's Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee.

"The distorted picture of the State of Israel that Goldstone generated harmed, harms and will continue to harm Israel and her citizens for decades. A public apology in any state may help to reduce the damage that was caused," Danon said.

"McGowan Davis: Our report on the Cast Lead probes stands", The Jerusalem Post, April 7, 2011

Judge Mary McGowan Davis said Wednesday that her United Nations report on Israeli military action in Gaza has not been influenced by Judge Richard Goldstone's recent statements retracting a key element of his work on the subject...

"Our work was completely separate from his work," said McGowan Davis. "My feeling is [that Goldstone's statements] does not have any impact [on our work]," she said.

"The Goldstone report's Damage is Irreparable", The Washington Post, April 6, 2011

Richard Goldstone's astonishing admission that his findings on Israel's 2008-09 operation in Gaza were seriously flawed and misinformed does not undo the damage already done by the rush to judgment and conclusions of the original report.

Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League

"Goldstone denies intention to retract UN report on Gaza op" The Jerusalem Post, April 6, 2011

South African jurist Richard Goldstone denied Interior Minister Eli Yishai's claim that he planned to work to nullify his report on the the IDF's Operation Cast Lead in 2009, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

Goldstone, in an interview with the Associated Press, said that Yishai had called to thank him for his Washington Post op-ed piece, but that the two never discussed the actual report.

"The United Nations and the Goldstone Report -- Where Does It Go From Here?" Fox News, by Anne Bayefsky, April 5, 2011

Despite Richard Goldstone's thirteenth hour confession, his diabolical legacy demonizing the state of Israel lives on at the United Nations. The body that created the Goldstone inquiry in 2009, the Human Rights Council, and the various entities that the Council has directed to implement his blood libel, have no intention of backing down. The facts be damned.

As of today, the U.N. system expects the Goldstone Report to be implemented as is. Four different follow-up activities are still percolating. These requirements emanate from a Human Rights Council resolution on the report that was adopted just a few weeks ago on March 25. Goldstone published his confession only after the Council once again pushed forward the implementation of his report – timing he would have known well in advance.

"Goldstone opinion piece changes nothing at UN," The Jerusalem Post, by Tovah Lazaroff, April 5, 2011

The United Nations Human Rights Council can only consider rescinding the Goldstone Report if its author, South African jurist Richard Goldstone, submits a formal written letter with such a request to the council, its spokesman told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.

The approval of the other three members of his fact-finding mission, which produced the report, would be needed for the UNHRC president to consider action, council spokesman Cedric Sapey said.

He added that the council had not received any request from the fact-finding mission to rescind the report.

Sapey said Goldstone had written his opinion piece as a private individual and that a newspaper article alone would not immediately change council procedure.

An observer state to the council with the combined support of a member state, however, could use the letter as the basis for filing a resolution before the council at its next session or at a special session.

That resolution could ask that the council rescind the report, Sapey said.

Separately a move by a UN member state could be made to rescind the report at the United Nations General Assembly, which also endorsed the document, he said.

If no further action is taken either by the fact-finding mission or by a UN member state, then the report stands.

Last month, the UNHRC passed a resolution asking the General Assembly to endorse the report for a second time and to pass it on to the UN Security Council so it could consider referring the situation of the "occupied Palestinian territories" to the International Criminal Court.

At present, that resolution still stands and is expected to move forward to the UN General Assembly.

"Lies about Israel must be condemned", Chicago Sun Times , Editorial, April 5, 2011

The outlandish charges in the Goldstone Report are discredited, but they will live on to be used by Israel's enemies. It's still part of the U.N. record, and Palestinians continue to push the U.N. to condemn Israel for "war crimes."...

The Goldstone Report is nothing less than an attack on civilization's right of self-defense against barbarians

"Goldstone would have to request that U.N. dump report a U.N. spokesman said," Jewish Telegraphic Agency, April 4, 2011

Richard Goldstone would have to ask the United Nations on behalf of his committee to rescind its report on Israel's actions during the 2009 Gaza war to set such an action in motion, a U.N. spokesman said.

The U.N. Human Rights Council, which commissioned the report, has not received such a request, The Associated Press reported Monday.

"Israel and the UN", Chicago Tribune, Editorial, April 4, 2011

The UN should formally retract the Goldstone report. But it can't stop there. The UN needs to acknowledge that it has not been an honest broker in the Middle East. It needs to acknowledge that its human rights panel continues to be an embarrassment that greatly undermines the standing of the world body.

The New York Times reported Sunday that the UN may vote this fall to recognize a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. The UN would declare the boundaries -and that would put Israel in the position of occupying land belonging to a sovereign state and member of the UN.

The UN does not have the moral authority for such a declaration. It has not been an honest broker. Not even close.

"Peres calls Goldstone Report 'blood libel'," The Jerusalem Post, by Greer Fay Cashman, April 4, 2011

President Shimon Peres on Sunday charged that the Goldstone Report constituted a "blood libel" against the Jewish people.

"No one has been libeled as much as the Jewish people," Peres asserted, implying that the offense of libel of this kind was much graver when a Jew was responsible for it.

Peres insisted that Richard Goldstone, who headed the UN fact-finding mission on the alleged abuse of human rights by Israeli soldiers, must make amends both as a human being and as a judge for the grievous harm that he has caused to Israel's image in the world.

"The Goldstone Mea Culpa," The Jerusalem Post, by Isi Leibler, April 4, 2011

No statement or action can undo the immense damage that Goldstone's blood libel inflicted upon the Jewish people. Being Jewish and claiming to be a Zionist gave the report additional credence for many uninformed outsiders. The hatred it unleashed is almost irreversible and his report became the most effective component of the campaign of demonization and delegitimization against us.

It portrayed us to the world at large as savages, war criminals indulging in premeditated murders against innocent Palestinian women and children. His substantiation at this late stage of the veracity of the IDF statistics which insisted that the vast majority killed in the conflict were Hamas terrorists will do little to neutralize the previous statements portraying Israeli soldiers as deliberate murderers.

Like the medieval blood libels, these evil lies are likely to remain embedded in the consciousness of people for hundreds of years. There is no way to express our rage over the damage that this dreadful man inflicted upon his people. He is reminiscent of the Jewish converts who turned on their own people and published anti-Semitic tracts in order to ingratiate themselves with their Christian keepers.

"Richard Goldstone's legacy," The Jerusalem Post, by Avi Bell, April 3, 2011

GOLDSTONE'S BELATED and partial acknowledgement of error has not undone the report's damage. The reputation of the UN Human Rights Council is at a nadir. Legal scholars have observed that if the Goldstone Report's perverted legal standards become those of international law, international law will no longer have any relevance to modern warfare.

Hamas enjoys newfound legitimacy as it pursues its express goals of destroying the Jewish state, waging eternal war on the Jewish people, and subjecting its own citizens to its puritanical and xenophobic interpretation of Islamic law. The UN continues to falsely claim, like the Goldstone Report, that international law requires Israel to assist Hamas-controlled Gaza.

Israelis, meanwhile, are harassed around the world by opponents of the Jewish state hiding behind the report's distorted version of international law; last week, President Shimon Peres was threatened with arrest in Switzerland by activists claiming that the Goldstone Report "proves" his guilt.

It is a legacy to be ashamed of. And it is now Richard Goldstone's.

"Mr. Goldstone Recants," The Wall Street Journal, Editorial, April 3, 2011

We would welcome this apologia if we didn't think a jurist of Mr. Goldstone's stature should have known the difference between a democracy like Israel with a history of investigating its own failings under the rule of law, and a self-avowed terrorist state like the one Hamas runs in Gaza. "Hundreds more rockets and mortar rounds have been directed at civilian targets in southern Israel," Mr. Goldstone now concedes in stating the obvious, which at least proves he wants to retain a shred of his former reputation.

As our friends at the New York Sun note, Mr. Goldstone should now have the decency to retire from public life.

"Israel to launch campaign urging UN to retract Goldstone report," Haaretz, by Barak Ravid, April 3, 2011

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel was planning to launch an international campaign to persuade the United Nations to retract the Goldstone Commission's damning report on the Israel Defense Forces' operation in the Gaza Strip.

"Richard Goldstone recants. What price the Israel witch-hunt now?" Spectator, by Melanie Phillips, April 2, 2011

By his own admission, the man stands revealed as at best an abject idiot and at worst a moral and judicial bankrupt. His report blackened Israel's name for defending itself against existential attack; encouraged its attackers to ratchet up their onslaught safe in the knowledge that the international community now had official confirmation that Israel was morally beyond the pale; put Israeli civilians, along with Israel's very survival, at increased risk by helping delegitimise Israel as a global pariah; and fuelled the pressure on Israel not to defend its civilians by military means against the attacks which have relentlessly increased in audacity and scope.

Regardless of its manifest moral and intellectual inadequacies, however, his recantation carries inescapable consequences. All those who have used Goldstone's report as a basis for their own delegitimisation of Israel now also stand revealed as having endorsed one of the worst officially sanctioned international falsehoods in history. All their attacks on Israel which relied upon Goldstone's report are now shown to be equally baseless and discredited. Any future such attacks which use this report as an authority will be demonstrably false and malicious. The UN should now declare the Goldstone report null and void. Any less will make it knowingly and demonstrably party to a travesty of justice.

But of course, like all previous blood libels against the Jews, the poison this one has injected into the global bloodstream has no antidote. The damage is done – and no amount of self-serving recantations by Richard Goldstone will undo the terrible harm he has done.

"Justice Goldstone's Regrets," The New York Sun, Editorial, April 2, 2011

This newspaper is not a psychiatrist, and what is going on in Justice Goldstone's brain is beyond our ken. There's a tone to the piece that suggests he is almost wheedling for forgiveness. He now wants the U.N.'s Human Rights Council to condemn Hamas's "heinous acts in the strongest terms" and also to condemn the recent "inexcusable and cold-blooded recent slaughter of a young Israeli couple and three of their small children in their beds." The hope is as absurd as his call in the Goldstone Report for Hamas to investigate itself. For Mr. Goldstone to suggest, even by implication, that the U.N. Human Rights Council has any concern whatsoever for truth in respect of Israel simply asks the world to lend credence to a body that would be best disbanded. The fact is that war clouds are scudding over Gaza once again, and the most useful thing Mr. Goldstone could do now, having expressed his regrets, is pack up his briefcase and retire from public life altogether.