Israel and the Zionist media are very pleased that finally, Richard Goldstone has ‘buckled ‘to their pressure in ‘retracting ‘one aspect of the Goldstone Report. But on further examining the op-ed piece in the Washington Post, their gloating may be short-lived.
“In short, there are no new facts which exonerate Israel and which could possibly have led Goldstone to change his mind “. So says John Dugard, Professor of Law and former UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory “.
Dugard examines the “new revelation” from various angles –” legal, interpretation and fact-finding:
- Goldstone could not possibly have meant that Israel did not “intentionally target civilians as a matter of policy “in the legal sense of intention. That Israel’s assault was conducted in an indiscriminate manner with full knowledge that its consequences would be the killing and wounding of civilians is a matter of public record fully substantiated by the Goldstone Report and other equally credible reports.
- In terms of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court it is a war crime to intentionally direct attacks against a civilian population. Such an intention need not be premeditated: it suffices if the person engaging in such action meant to cause the consequence of his action or “is aware that it will occur in the ordinary course of events.
- Goldstone’s op-ed may be interpreted to mean that he is now satisfied (although there is no evidence to support this) that Israel did not as a matter of policy deliberately and in a premeditated manner target civilians and that where the calculated killing of civilians occurred this was without the blessing of the Israeli military and political leadership.
- In all reports, including the Goldstone Report, there were accounts of killings of civilians by Israel Defence Forces (IDF) in a cold, calculated and deliberate manner. But the principal accusation leveled at Israel was that in its assault on Gaza it used force indiscriminately in densely populated areas and was reckless as to the foreseeable consequences of its actions which resulted in at least 900 civilian deaths and 5000 wounded.
Finally, Dugard states that Goldstone does not, like his critics, describe his op-ed piece as a retraction of the Goldstone report. This is not surprising. Richard Goldstone is a former judge and he knows full well that a Fact- Finding Report by four persons, of which he was only one, like a judgment of a court of law, cannot be changed by the subsequent reflections of a single member of a committee.
One’s sympathy must lie with Goldstone. He succumbed to the Zionist pressure “after more than a year and a half of sustained campaign of intimidation and character assassination”, says Ilan Pappe. In April 2010, the chairman of the South African Zionist Federation, Avrom Krengel, tried to prevent Goldstone from participating in his grandson’s mitzvah. Even the chief Rabbi, Warren Goldstein chastised Goldstone.
Ilan Pappe goes on to comment that “mighty people such as US Senator William Fulbright was shot down politically for his brave attempt to disclose AIPAC’s illegal dealings with the state of Israel”. Then we hear that President Truman once blurted out that “Jesus Christ couldn’t please them when he was here, so how could anyone expect that I would have any luck?”