Whether we consider Goldstone’s article a partial rethinking of some of his verdicts or a complete about face intended to vindicate Israel, the first thing which strikes me about it is that none of the other commission members have signed on to it. Therefore, it is necessary to take careful stock of what he says. Actually, he says very little. This op-ed is long on opinion and insinuations and short on core information. Much of it is a self-righteous condemnation of Hamas and its failure to investigate itself. Nothing is offered to explain why self-investigations by mortal enemies fighting a war should have any evidential value. Nor does he question the reliability of Israel’s self-investigation. We know in fact that this self-investigation was carried out in a closed forum (like the flotilla investigation), away from the scrutiny of critical opinion. Many of the investigations were left unfinished, and those that were finsihed are replete with indications of whitewash. Yet Goldstone says that certain facts that emerged from these flawed investigations have impacted the much more honest investigation of his commission. Exactly what are these facts, which sections of his report they affect, and why – he does not clarify any of these points. He does not show awareness of reports that a number of Israeli soldiers in Cast Iron made allegations of operational misconduct that contradict some of Israel’s findings. We are also left in the dark as to why it took him so long to change his mind. Dr. Goldstone should do one of two things: Agree to a press conference in which he responds to independent journalists, or submit a revised and fully documented report to the UN. Otherwise, he will look a pathetic figure who has succumbed to Israeli pressures and ruined his career.
Italian FM arrives in Iran to promote economic, political ties (Reuters)
from the article: Hamas: Goldstone retreat doesn't negate war crimes committed in Gaza