It's an incredible and stunning turn of events.
As you may recall, Judge Richard Goldstone who investigated the Gaza conflict in 2009 issued a scathing report blaming Israel for war crimes. It quickly became an international matter.
We worked diligently in support of Israel. Attorneys from the ACLJ and our international affiliate, the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), prepared key arguments presented at the International Criminal Court pointing out that the Goldstone Report was not only wrong, but deeply flawed.
But Judge Goldstone has now changed his mind.
In an opinion editorial published over the weekend in the Washington Post, Judge Goldstone, who conducted a probe of Israel's Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in 2009, wrote that "if I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document."
Goldstone now admits there was no evidence to suggest that Israel "intentionally targeted" civilians during the conflict. At the same time, Goldstone admits that Hamas, unlike Israel which spent tremendous resources conducting its own investigation, did nothing to investigate its own crimes which, as Goldstone now concludes, "were intentional . . . its rockets were purposefully and indiscriminately aimed at civilian targets."
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is calling for the Goldstone report to be withdrawn: "Goldstone himself said that all of the things that we have been saying all along are correct that Israel never intentionally fired at civilians and that our inquiries operated according to the highest international standards," said Netanyahu. "Of course, this is in complete contrast to Hamas, which intentionally attacked and murdered civilians and, naturally, never carried out any sort of inquiry. This leads us to call for the immediate cancellation of the Goldstone Report."
Without question, this stunning reversal clearly underscores the fact that it is time to put this deeply flawed and biased report to rest. From the very beginning we argued that the damaging allegations against Israel were false and without merit. The author of that report now admits that his findings were flawed and concludes that there was no evidence that Israel deliberately targeted civilians while, as he put it, 'it goes without saying' that Hamas did indeed intentionally target civilians.
It's time to set the record straight. There's no stronger evidence than the author of the damaging report who now admits he got it wrong. Writing an opinion editorial is one thing, but what Judge Goldstone needs to do is formally withdraw the report at the U.N.
The ACLJ and ECLJ presented both written and oral arguments defending Israel's actions during the Gaza conflict. In January 2010, the ECLJ filed its written statement and supporting memorandum on its analysis of the Goldstone Report with the U.N. Human Rights Council.
In those filings, we highlighted the systematic biases throughout the Goldstone Report and its failure to adhere to U.N. Guidelines and the International Bar Association Guidelines for proper and objective fact-finding. The ECLJ written statement is posted here. The memorandum is posted here.
With this reversal, it's time for the United Nations to rescind this report and close its unfounded inquiry against Israel without delay.
Stand with Israel and urge the U.N. to take this corrective action immediately. Add your name here.