The Forward has a piece on the Goldstone report that uses as its headline a rather remarkable quote from Judge Goldstone himself: “If This Was a Court Of Law, There Would Have Been Nothing Proven.” That’s quite an important thought to throw into the mix, willy-nilly. Perhaps it would have been more usefully expressed, say, as the subtitle to his report?
The Judge adds:
“Ours wasn’t an investigation, it was a fact-finding mission,” he said, sitting in his Midtown Manhattan office at Fordham University Law School, where he is currently visiting faculty. “We made that clear.” . . .
“If I was advising Israel, I would say have open investigations,” he told the Forward. “In that way, you can put an end to this. It’s in the interest of all the people of Israel that if any of our allegations are established and if they’re criminal, there should be prosecutions. And if they’re false, that should be established. And I wouldn’t consider it in any way embarrassing if many of the allegations turn out to be disproved.” [emphasis added]
So let’s get this straight: Judge Goldstone led a “fact-finding mission” to Gaza and then produced a 575-page report that contains “nothing” that could be “proven in a court of law.” It may not contain facts, in other words. Despite his lack of confidence in his own claims, he insists that “the burden is now on Israel to counter these findings through its own probe” — “these findings” being his charge that the IDF intentionally killed civilians and committed sundry war crimes.
It is good to see that Judge Goldstone is living up to the highest standards of the UN Human Rights Council, which appointed him. We have now emerged on the other side of the rabbit hole.