Last September, the so-called Human Rights Commission of the United Nations had issued the infamous Goldstone Report. This document “proved” that Israel had committed war crimes against Palestinians during the December, 2008 Israeli incursion into the Gaza Strip in response to Hamas attacks against Israel. A veritable tsunami of condemnation of Israel followed, and the existence of the only democracy in the Near East – and the only Jewish state anywhere – was further delegitimized while the Palestinians and Hamas were even more caressed by the world’s elites as victims of Jew aggression.
Now comes the Washington Post, on April Fools’ Day yet, with Judge Goldstone’s editorial in which he tells us that he had been wrong in his conclusions. He had been forced to change his tune because an independent UN panel of experts, chaired by New York Judge Mary McGowan Davis, had investigated the allegations in the Goldstone document and concluded that “‘…Israel has dedicated significant resources to investigate over 400 allegations of operational misconduct in Gaza’ while ‘the de facto authorities (i.e., Hamas) have not conducted any investigations into the launching of rocket and mortar attacks against Israel.’” Significantly, little to nothing that the Israelis had done qualified as a war crime.
“If I had known then what I know now…” Judge Goldstone laments, rending his clothing and beating his chest — and of course concluding that had the wicked Israelis cooperated with him more, the report might have turned out differently. For comic relief, he also admits that “[i]n the end, asking Hamas to investigate [their own crimes] may have been a mistaken enterprise.”
Nice going, Judge, but much too late. The damage to Israel – indeed, to Jews worldwide – has already been done, and your righteous wailing will do nothing to mitigate it. Hamas had shown itself to be deadly and treacherous long before you ever met them, and you should have known better than to take their word for anything. I also suspect that the information which the independent panel had belatedly discovered had been out there all along, had you only sought it in earnest. (And had you done so, you might have found that the Israelis would have been more cooperative. Funny how that works.)
But the key question is this: what next? Is your editorial your first and last mea culpa on this issue, or will you actually undertake to fix what you had damaged? I suggest that you are now morally obligated to undertake a worldwide speaking tour to ensure that people everywhere know what disinformation you had spread, what effects it has had on Israel, and what the facts are. I also suggest that you must become an advocate for embattled Israel for as long as its enemies – yes, including the UN – question or deny its right to exist.
I know, I know, this calls for action, not mere words; and it will surely put you in bad odor with certain segments of the world’s population. It might even put your life in danger. Imagine sharing Salman Rushdie’s dubious honor of being the target of a fatwa!
So…are you willing to take a principled stand for truth, or will you just mouth regrets and then go to the beach?