We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Richard Goldstone's report For the UN on Israel's Cast Lead incursion into Gaza in December and January 2008-2009 has been used by those antagonistic to Israel to charge that Israel acted wantonly against civilians. In Goldstone's Emily Litella moment, his op-ed in the Washington Post says "never mind." As summarized at CNN: "On Gaza, Goldstone essentially says that if he'd known then what he knows now, the report would not have been nearly so hard on Israel." William Jacobson sums that up: "Richard Goldstone Confirms He Was A Useful Idiot."
At the time, Israel and fair-minded governments and individuals carefully exposed the Goldstone Report's bias, distortions and reliance on pro-Hamas sources. This website presents the facts, ignored by the Goldstone Report. The New Republic, a liberal magazine, in a lengthy evaluation of "The Goldstone Illusion", concludes with:
The Goldstone Report as a whole is a terrible document. It is biased and unfair. It offers no help in sorting out the real issues. What methods can Israel--and other countries in similar situations--legitimately apply in the defense of their citizens? To create standards of morality in war that leave a state without the means of legitimate self-protection is politically foolish and morally problematic; but real answers to these real problems cannot be found in the Goldstone Report. What should Israel do when Hezbollah’s more lethal and accurate missiles strike the center of Tel Aviv, causing hundreds of civilian deaths? It is a well-known fact that these missiles are in Hezbollah’s possession, and, when they are fired, it will be from populated villages in Lebanon.
We'll not be holding our breath for apologies from the UN or leftist commentators who praised the Goldstone Report. Indeed, they'll hurl the same spurious charges next time, as every time.
That Richard Goldstone did not know in 2009 that Hamas is a terrorist monstrosity which functions parasitically off civilian populaces while Israel is a beacon of war-fighting restraint in a manner practically unknown in the course of human history suggests even more plainly than the report itself that he is a dupe, a fool, a clown, and a worldwide embarrassment. Not to mention a special kind of reprehensible and appalling figure of inglorious, hideous shame to his own people through the delivery and promulgation of a false document that helped anti-Semites everywhere feel themselves justified.
He was then, and is now, an entirely despicable public figure—and so is his op-ed, by the way, which continues to act as though it is appropriate to draw parallel inferences about Hamas and the state of Israel. It would be right for world Jewry that his name be hereafter summoned as we summon Benedict Arnold’s, or Tokyo Rose’s.
On the other hand, or in addition, see this. But, if Goldstone was ignorant or dumb enough to be "rolled" he didn't belong there in the first place, and his mea culpa while nice to have doesn't undo the damage he wrought and furthered. -- Following Goldstone's recent speaking tour at Berkeley, this observation:
Attempting to justify his decision to proceed with the report, Goldstone has claimed to have been given a revised mandate by the rotating UNHRC president. This is clearly false. Of the "36 incidents" investigated by Goldstone, not one relates to the thousands of Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza, each a war crime targeting Israeli citizens....In his Berkeley presentation, Goldstone reportedly stated that "the powerful don't like to be looked at and judged." Goldstone is a powerful individual, and in failing to address the overwhelming and substantive criticism -- and moving far too slowly, if at all, to correct the enormous damage that he has caused -- Judge Goldstone continues to abuse his power.