Yesterday was April 1st. I played a trick on my girlfriend that involved our upcoming trip to the states. I fooled her for about minute, it was funny.
Well, someone else pulled a trick on us yesterday, except he started working on his prank two years ago. The prankster was South African jurist Richard Goldstone, the eponymous lead author of the Goldstone Report.
You know the report, it's the one where he laid unsubstantiated charges against Israel, that Israel had a policy of targeting civilians during it's military campaign in Gaza at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009.
Goldstone's critics have been saying since the report came out that it overlooked critical pieces of information and that it drew conclusions that weren't supported by the evidence.
Well now, on April 1st of all dates, Goldstone has come out and in an opinion piece in the Washington Post basically said yeah, my critics were right, the report should be reconsidered.
The allegations of intentionality by Israel were based on the deaths of and injuries to civilians in situations where our fact-finding mission had no evidence on which to draw any other reasonable conclusion. While the investigations published by the Israeli military and recognized in the U.N. committee’s report have established the validity of some incidents that we investigated in cases involving individual soldiers, they also indicate that civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy.Was there really no other evidence? Was Israel's formal lack of cooperation the reason that Goldstone's commission didn't make the slightest effort to corroborate the allegations it was making against Israel?
I find all this too hard to believe, that now, after two years of lies and allegations against Israel, Goldstone feels like he needs to come out and set the record straight. After two years of his report being used as a hammer to beat Israel over the head with allegations of war crimes and crimes and against humanity, now he comes out and says "oops, my bad."
Who does he blame for this? Not himself, G-d forbid, for serving as the Jewish fig-leaf to this modern day UN sponsored blood-libel against Israel. No no no no. Who's fault is it? It's Israel's fault of course.
Israel’s lack of cooperation with our investigation meant that we were not able to corroborate how many Gazans killed were civilians and how many were combatants. The Israeli military’s numbers have turned out to be similar to those recently furnished by Hamas (although Hamas may have reason to inflate the number of its combatants).
At some point we are all held responsible for our actions. Whether it's by our friends and family, by history, or by the law, there is always a price to paid when we transgress. Goldstone, whether by naivete, incompetence, or willful dishonesty in the pursuit of personal gain has slandered Israel and the Jewish people. His actions will not be easily forgotten.