"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..."The editor of the Jerusalem Post, David Horovitz, writing with his customary eloquence, pays close attention to Goldstone's words and places them into a thoroughly deserved moral context:
"Yom Kippur has evidently come early this year for Richard Goldstone.We believe Goldstone's report did more harm to the global struggle against terrorism than any other single action anywhere and any time. We hope the Horovitz article gets read in full and distributed as widely as possible.
He couldn’t quite bring himself, in his Friday article “Reconsidering the Goldstone Report on Israel and War Crimes,” to write, “I have sinned, forgive me.” But the astounding piece in the Washington Post by the Jewish justice, who presided over the Goldstone Report that accused Israel of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead, represents nothing less than an apology to Israel.
“If I had known then what I know now,” he writes in the first extraordinary paragraph of his mea culpa, “the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.”
How dramatic the about-face.
And how terrible that it was necessitated. How tragic, that is, that Goldstone so misplaced his moral compass in the first place as to have produced a report that has caused such irreversible damage to Israel’s good name. Tragic least of all for the utterly discredited Goldstone himself, and most of all for our unfairly besmirched armed forces and the country they were putting their lives on the line to honorably defend against a ruthless, murderous, terrorist government in Gaza...
An apology just isn’t good enough. The very least he owes Israel is to work unstintingly from now on to try to undo the damage he has caused.
Yom Kipper came early this year for Richard Goldstone.
His show of penitence has come far too late."
UPDATE Sunday morning: The acerbic British columnist Melanie Phillips has weighed in with a plain-speaking, no-holds-barred dissection of Goldstone's mea culpa:
What self-serving rubbish. There was ample evidence at the time from numerous sources that Hamas was telling lies about the number of civilians who were killed by Israeli fire. There was ample evidence that Hamas was deliberately putting civilians in harm’s way. There was ample evidence that Hamas does not operate under the rule of law or uphold human rights. There was ample evidence that Israeli rules of engagement required the IDF to avoid hitting civilians wherever possible. There was ample evidence that Israel always investigates allegations of misconduct made against its soldiers and holds them to acount under the rule of law. Yet Goldstone, having accepted the poisoned chalice from the UN Human Rights Council to subject Israel to a show trial whose verdict preceded the evidence (despite his protestations that he modified this odious remit), chose to believe the propaganda put out by Hamas... 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.Her article is here.