One can only welcome the retraction of Judge Goldstone as expressed in his article published in “The Washington Post” concerning his “Operation Cast Lead” report. For the record, Israel intended in 2009 to put an end to the firing of Hamas on civilian populations, an ongoing harassment spread out over eight years and unsettling the lives of hundreds of thousands Israelis stunned by screaming sirens summoning them to flee to shelters.
Israel did through « Operation Cast Lead » nothing else that defend its citizens. The IDF invaded the Gaza Strip in order to eliminate Hamas terrorists while making sure not to cause civilian casualties. Whenever it nevertheless occurred, the IDF opened inquiries in order to verify the facts and take appropriate actions. It is Judge Goldstone himself that admits it now.
Judge Goldstone recognizes that Israel has not committed any war crimes in Gaza and never targeted civilians. This in sharp contrast with Hamas, that deliberately and intentionally did so, which actually never needed to be investigated, since the Hamas had been claiming it itself all along.
Everyone can be wrong or go astray, either for good or bad reasons. Goldstone is perhaps forgivable as a private person, especially if he draws practical conclusions from his retractions and does the utmost in order to try to and repair the considerable damage caused to Israel’s image.
However, as a public person Goldstone must not be forgiven because he behaved unprofessionally and committed serious methodological errors. It is imperative to not expose other parties to his incompetence in the future. Although he now claims that « if he had known then what he knows now he would never have condemned Israel”, he does not reveal what made him change his mind, which continues to make him undependable.
The excellent « Analyse Critique du Rapport Goldstone » published a year ago by the periodical « Controverses » (http://www.controverses.fr/) is particularly striking from this point of view. It demonstrates how Judge Goldstone was biased whatever angle one looks at it, starting from the nature of the report’s sponsor, the “UN Commission on Human Rights” once chaired by Qaddafi’s Libya. « Controverses » explains how Judge Goldstone simply ignored the nature of the Hamas regime targeting civilian populations under the motto of its doctrine officially calling for the destruction of the State of Israel.
Not to forgive Judge Goldstone as a public person consists of barring him from assignments with regard to international law. His deceitful report has had serious implications not only for Israel, but for all democracies having to deal with terrorists. Nowadays these are no more small mobs, but full-blown armies financed by rogue states. These armies have substantial resources and are beyond control of the Geneva Convention.
It suffices to reflect on Guilad Shalit’s fate, the Israeli hostage from whom we do not even know if he is still alive. He may well be merely one of many victims of the Arab-Israeli conflict, it all says a lot about the Hamas notion of Human Rights.
Judge Goldstone has attempted to deprive Israel from it’s self defence right.
Do not forgive Judge Goldstone.