This is cross posted by Yarden Frankl, who blogs at “Crossing the Yarden“.
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.”
“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.
Don’t try pitching us a softball now. Your accusations were as harsh as could be. Despite all the evidence that you chose to ignore, you barreled ahead and wrote page after page of how utterly evil Israel and our army are. In your report, our kids are not brave young men defending our country, they are baby killers acting under orders.
Now you are having a change of heart? If you are feeling remorse, I gotta tell you — you’ve got a long way to go. The first step would be to try, just try, to be brutally honest about what you originally wrote and the damage it has done to the nation of Israel.
Then, maybe instead of submitting a timid little letter to the Washington Post, why not travel to some of the many nations who have accepted your original report as holier than the Bible and tell them how you got it wrong.
And to cap off your tour of apology, go to the U.N. and stand before the Human Rights Council — that group that represents despots and thugs who appointed you in the first place. Tell them that you wish to “revise” your report and then go give them a new document that accurately reflects what happened during the Gaza war.
I suggest that you begin by giving a call to Richard Kemp, the British military expert whose testimony you ignored in favor of the Hamas press releases. If you have trouble recalling his remarks, I will give them to you here:
“I don’t think there has ever been a time in the history of warfare when any army has made more efforts to reduce civilian casualties and deaths of innocent people than the IDF is doing today in Gaza.”