Monday, April 04, 2011

That Goldstone Report thing? Uh...nevermind

The Goldstone Recantation
by Phyllis Chesler
Sometime Friday night, April 1, 2011, which was also the Jewish Sabbath, the Washington Post published, online, a rather remarkable op-ed piece by South African jurist Richard Goldstone. Essentially, Goldstone recanted his own [“Goldstone Report,”] a document which has been used against Israel in countless, damaging ways, a document which accuses Israel of possible “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity” in its incursion into Gaza in response to the 10,000 rockets Hamas launched towards Israeli civilians in Sderot and southern Israel—a document which charges Israel with having “purposely targeted civilians in Gaza.”

Goldstone now admits that all the above charges are wrong, false, are based on too-little-information or on flawed-information. He partly blames Israel for not “co-operating” with the venomously biased Human Rights Council, but in truth, Goldstone really had available much of the information which is now contained in Israel’s painfully careful investigation of what happened in Gaza.

Israel looked into the false allegations that it had “targeted civilians” and investigated itself thoroughly. Of course, although Goldstone also charged Hamas with this same task—Hamas did not do so. Now, rather late in the day, Goldstone has finally noted that there are actually some important differences between an open, transparent, lawful, ethical, and democratic Jewish state and an Islamist-terrorist organization such as Hamas.

One wonders: Why is Goldstone recanting? And, if he is, indeed, recanting, why does he still hold back, why does he still not admit all that is known about the truth? But that is a question for another day. (I am sure that some Jewish leftists will insist that Goldstone was death-threatened by the Zionist Lobby, or could no longer bear his pariah status. Indeed, such articles have already appeared, long before this recantation. I doubt such cult leaders will pay attention to Israel’s careful documentation.

Here’s my concern: Once the genie is out of the bottle, once a lie has made the rounds, there is no stopping it, no way of taking it back. The damage is done. It is rarely reversible. As a psychologist, I know that “first impressions” are very powerful and almost impossible to change by introducing facts, studies, or logic.

Thus, like a rocket, once a Blood Libel is launched, it’s done its work. If, a year or two later, one carefully documents that the entire matter (the false allegation that the Israelis murdered Mohammed al-Dura, the false allegation that the IDF committed a massacre in Jenin, the false allegation that Israelis were purposely shooting at civilians in Gaza) was nothing but Big Fat Black-hearted Lies, most people have already moved on, their blood streams permanently altered, poisoned with Jew-hatred.

 The number of Human Rights groups, NGOs, the United Nations, Muslim governments, the world media, that have relied on the Goldstone Report to further delegitimize Israel are as countless as the stars. That includes the UN Human Rights Council, which issued the hateful, lying document; all the supposed human rights groups (Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, B’Tzelem, Al Haq, The New Israel Fund) that relied upon it; all the Jewish left-liberals and their patron handler, George Soros, (J Street); all the media and publishing outlets that found in Goldstone’s flawed document justification for their one-sided anger against the Jewish State. (Read all here)