International media were quick to condemn Israel after the publication of the report of the UN Fact Finding Mission, headed by the South African judge Richard Goldstone presented its report in September 2009. Judge Goldstone has now retracted the critical findings against Israel:
Israel was accused of deliberately targeting civilians during its brutal 2008-09 war with Hamas. That accusation was contained in a report to the United Nations by Richard Goldstone, an eminent South African judge who had been used by the international community previously to investigate war crimes. That Goldstone was also a Jew and a Zionist made the charge all the more powerful -- no one could accuse him of being an Israel hater or an anti-Semite. Israel's culture was clearly not what it was stated to be.
Now, though, Goldstone has retracted his findings. He no longer believes that Israel intentionally targeted civilians during the Gaza war (although he still believes Hamas did) and says that any deaths were inadvertent -- the usual fog of war, the usual panicked decision, the usual mistakes. For Israel, it's like the governor has called the warden -- it's been reprieved and off death row. Open the gates.
As Goldstone acknowledges, Israel has looked into every charge of war crimes -- incident by incident. Some soldiers have indeed been punished because some awful things happened. But overall Israel adheres to a morality we all recognize and admire -- and which its enemies, Hamas in particular, do not. Those who gleefully embraced the Goldstone report have to ask themselves why. They may hate the answer.
Read the entire article by Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen here.
One wonders why judge Goldstone´s retraction has received so scarce publicity in the media that were so quick to condemn Israel in 2009 after the publication of the original, erraneous report? It cannot be, that there is a bias against Israel?