04 April 2011
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The Goldstone Mea Culpa

One would surely have expected that when Richard Goldstone felt impelled to belatedly retract his previous appalling defamation of Israel, he might have selected a more appropriate outlet to make his statement than an obscure op-ed column in a Washington newspaper.

Goldstone should at least have gone on record requesting the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) which orchestrated his report to enable him to express his mea culpa from its podium.

But let us be under no illusions. No statement or action can undo the immense damage that Goldstone’s blood libel inflicted upon the Jewish people. Being Jewish and claiming to be a Zionist gave the report additional credence for many uninformed outsiders. The hatred it unleashed is almost irreversible and his report became the most effective component of the campaign of demonization and delegitimization against us. It portrayed us to the world at large as savages, war criminals indulging in premeditated murders against innocent Palestinian women and children. His substantiation at this late stage of the veracity of the IDF statistics which insisted that the vast majority killed in the conflict were Hamas terrorists will do little to neutralize the previous statements portraying Israeli soldiers as deliberate murderers.

Like the medieval blood libels, these evil lies are likely to remain embedded in the consciousness of people for hundreds of years. There is no way to express our rage over the damage that this dreadful man inflicted upon his people. He is reminiscent of the the Jewish converts who turned on their own people and published anti-Semitic tracts in order to ingratiate themselves with their Christian keepers.

Even now, Goldstone still sanctimoniously insists that had Israel collaborated with his kangaroo court commission of enquiry, the report would never have appeared in its present form. He fails to point out that Israel indirectly provided the information but his committee distorted and misrepresented the data in order to further demonize us.

There are of course other guilty accomplices, including Jews and Israelis who collaborated with Goldstone in his efforts to defame us. Amongst the most prominent were those associated with the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz, which months earlier, paved the way for Goldstone with a series of wild allegations against the IDF based on rumor and hearsay that were subsequently proven to be without foundation. Yet the massive Haaretz coverage of these discredited reports were featured on the front pages of newspapers throughout the world and helped create the hostile climate paving the way towards the United Nations Human Rights Council report branding us as war criminals.

Needless to say, the same applies to the NGOs and anti-Israeli Diaspora Jews who endorsed the findings, and organizations such as J Street which promoted Goldstone amongst members of Congress. It is unlikely that they will follow Goldstone’s lead and apologize.

One also recalls the deplorable behavior of the European nations who abstained or voted in support of the despicable resolution. Not to mention our duplicitous peace partner Mahmoud Abbas whose spokesmen today reiterated their position depicting the IDF as war criminals.

It is perhaps also appropriate to observe that Libya, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia which were amongst the main countries promoting the campaign of defamation against us at the UN Human Rights Council are now currently in the public eye. When one observes the current behavior of their governments towards their own citizens one can appreciate the absolute sham of the United Nations and its subcommittees. In a sane environment, the odious inappropriately titled Human Rights Council would be disbanded. This will not happen and it is almost comical to observe Goldstone calling on the HRC to now condemn genocidal Hamas’s “heinous acts in the strongest terms” .

It might also be a useful exercise to ascertain how many civilian casualties were incurred in the course of hostilities in Libya by the American and allied bombardments and whether they are likely to face charges of war crimes for having inadvertently killed innocent civilians. One might also enquire whether prior to bombing the Qaddafi loyalists, the allies dropped leaflets and made telephone calls to civilians giving them advance warning to evacuate, as the IDF did in Gaza.

ileibler@netvision.net.il

This column was originally published in the Jerusalem Post

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Isi Leibler

Isi Leibler is a veteran international Jewish leader with a distinguished record of contributions to the Jewish world and the cause of human rights, including the struggle for Soviet Jewry. He was head of the Jewish community in Australia for many years and made aliya in 1999. Leibler has held senior roles in the World Jewish Congress, including chairman of the governing board and senior vice president. Today, he writes prolifically and is a regular columnist for The Jerusalem Post and Yisrael Hayom.

(2) Readers Comments

  1. This is by far the best discussion of Goldstone’s recent change of mine that I have seen.

    It should be disseminated as widely as possible.

  2. Mr. Leibler, you said it right, no one could have worded it better, and I quote: Like the medieval blood libels, these evil lies are likely to remain embedded in the consciousness of people for hundreds of years. There is no way to express our rage over the damage that this dreadful man inflicted upon his people. He is reminiscent of the the Jewish converts who turned on their own people and published anti-Semitic tracts in order to ingratiate themselves with their Christian keepers.

    We are now a people with our own country, so I assume this should be considered the cost of citizenship. Norway had its Quisling, France had its Vichy. We now (unfortunately) acquired a Goldstone.

    There is nothing we can do to right this wrong. We have to live with it. But there is a higher power looking over us, and since 1948 the IDF, and the people of Israel, something we lacked for the last 2000 years.

    I hope, and expect Israel to be around for many millenia, while others, hateful countries, and people, will fade into the dust of history.

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