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Home arrow Controversies surounding... arrow THE GOLDSTONE REPORT
THE GOLDSTONE REPORT PDF Print E-mail
Apr 22, 2011 at 03:24 PM

Canada Palestine Support Network (CanPalNet) offers the following guide on this issue.

On April 1, 2011, an opinion piece by Richard Goldstone was printed in The Washington Post.

Reconsidering the Goldstone report on Israel and war crimes
Richard Goldstone, The Washington Post, 1 April 2011

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/reconsidering-the-goldstone-report-on-israel-and-war-crimes/2011/04/01/AFg111JC_story.html

In essence: “If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.”

There are many thoughtful commentaries on Richard Goldstone’s “reconsideration,” and many reach the same conclusion: “That this mea culpa has nothing to do with new facts is clear when one examines the "evidence" brought by Goldstone to explain his retraction.”

Goldstone's shameful U-turn
Ilan Pappe, The Electronic Intifada, 4 April 2011

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article11895.shtml

How, then, should we view the report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on Operation Cast Lead, an operation that, from 27 December 2008 to 18 January 2009 left more than one thousand Gazans dead, many more injured, and the infrastructure of a territory under siege destroyed?

Human Rights in Palestine and Other Occupied Arab Territories: Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict
Human Rights Council, United Nations, 15 September 2009

http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/specialsession/9/docs/UNFFMGC_Report.PDF

You may recall that the report was not received without criticism.

The Goldstone report and the battle for legitimacy
Richard Falk, The Electronic Intifada, 22 September 2009

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10788.shtml

While acknowledging it as an historic contribution to the Palestinian struggle for justice, Richard Falk noted: “[in] substantive respects the Goldstone report adds nothing new. Its main contribution is to confirm widely reported and analyzed Israeli military practices during the Gaza war. There had been several reliable reports already issued, condemning Israel's tactics as violations of the laws of war and international humanitarian law.”

(For one such example, see:

Operation Cast Lead: 22 Days of Death and Destruction
Amnesty International, 2 July 2009

http://www.amnesty.org.uk/news_details.asp?NewsID=18294 )

Falk also examines how the report falls short of Palestinian expectations, writing that it takes for granted “the dubious proposition that Israel was entitled to act against Gaza in self-defense, thereby excluding inquiry into whether crimes against the peace in the form of aggression had taken place by the launching of the attack.”

Nor did The Goldstone Report comment upon the Israeli closing of all crossings during Operation Cast Lead, denying a refugee option to the civilian population trapped in the Gaza Strip. As Falk argues, “[the] importance of this issue is reinforced by many accounts of the widespread post-traumatic stress experienced by the civilians in Gaza, especially children, who comprise 53 percent of the population.”

It is also worth remembering, as John Dugard does, that Goldstone himself does not describe his opinion piece as a retraction. “This is not surprising. Richard Goldstone is a former judge and he knows full well that a fact-finding report by four persons, of whom he was only one, like the judgment of a court of law, cannot be changed by the subsequent reflections of a single member of the committee.”

Where now for the Goldstone report?
John Dugard, New Statesman, 6 April 2011

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2011/04/goldstone-report-israel-rights

The other three members – Professor Christine Chinkin of the London School of Economics, Ms. Hina Jilani, an advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, and Colonel Desmond Travers, formerly an officer in the Irish Defence Forces – do not share Goldstone's misgivings about the report.

Goldstone report: Statement issued by members of UN mission on Gaza war
Hina Jilani, Christine Chinkin and Desmond Travers, The Guardian, 14 April 2011

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/apr/14/goldstone-report-statement-un-gaza?INTCMP=SRCH

CanPalNet stands in solidarity with the victims of this conflict, who continue to live in difficult and unsafe conditions under an illegal blockade and without remedy, and with Palestinian human rights organizations who “continue to call upon the international community of states to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law by moving this legal process forward. On behalf of the victims and survivors, we remain committed to advancing the cause of justice at the UN general assembly in September 2011 in order to finally pursue accountability for the commission of international crimes and redress for the victims.”

Justice for Gaza conflict victims: a response to Richard Goldstone
Open Letter to Richard Goldstone from Palestinian Human Rights Organizations, The Guardian, 7 April 2011

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/apr/07/richard-goldstone-report-gaza?INTCMP=SRCH

<Previous
In Rachel Corrie verdict, Israel deals new blow to international law
The verdict on the 2003 killing of Rachel Corrie absolved Israel of any wrongdoing, essentially blaming the victim for her death. The trial revealed Israel’s approach to the most fundamental principles of international law, and especially to the duty to protect non-combatants.

By Jeff Halper

For those who hoped for a just verdict on the death of Rachel Corrie, the American student and ISM activist killed by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza in 2003 as she was defending a Palestinian home about to be demolished, this is a sad day. Not surprising, but still sad and bitter. The judge who decided the case, Oded Gershon, absolved the army of all blame, despite massive and internally contradictory testimony to the contrary. Moreover, he essentially blamed Rachel for her own death, commenting that a “normal person” would have run away from the bulldozer rather than confront it.

Palestinians and Israel human rights activists have learned that justice cannot be obtained through the Israeli judicial system. The Haifa District Court, in which the trial was held, could not have ruled other than how the state wanted. For the past 45 years of Israeli occupation, the Supreme Court has excluded from its rulings all reference to international humanitarian law and to the Fourth Geneva Convention in particular, which protects civilians living in conflict situations and under occupation. Only Israeli law applies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories – military law and orders – and the courts have restricted even that form of law by declaring that in instances of “security,” they defer to the military. As in Rachel’s case, the IDF thus has carte blanche to commit war crimes with impunity, with no fear of accountability or punishment.

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