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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Goldstone's Mea Culpa Too Late to Undo the Hate

Justice Richard Goldstone's stunning repudiation of his infamous report attacking Israel for its military reprisal into Gaza comes too late to undo the international community's vicious isolation of Israel that his report fueled. With Israel's back against the wall -- condemned as a pariah state on the world stage and being set up for a UN vote this fall granting statehood for the Palestinians -- Justice Goldstone's contrition leaves a lot to be desired.

If his chest-thumping is sincere, he must retract his flawed report publicly before the United Nations, the very same body whose imprimatur made the biased findings so lethal for Israel. Executioner Goldstone must act NOW, before the UN carries out its death sentence against Israel. Mort Klein, president of The Zionist Organization of America, issued a statement late Monday, calling for Goldstone to

"do the only other respectable thing left to him, by actively working to try and undo the delegitimization and demonization that he has caused by working to have the United Nations rescind his report and withdraw all support for its use in any UN forum.”

Goldstone Promises to Recant -- but he can't

Goldstone will try to do just that "after the dust settles" and is also, according to reports late Tuesday, planning a trip to Israel to tour the southern communities hardest-hit by Hamas'rocket pounding. The invitation to Goldstone from Israel's interior minister, Eli Yishai lifts the nation's blacklisting of the South African Jew after he issued his report.

Despite Goldstone's pledge to nullify his report made to Yishai and Danny Gillerman, a former Israeli ambassador to the UN, Cedric Sapey, spokesman for the UN Human Rights Council that commissioned the report, is quoted by the UK Guardian as saying: "The UN will not revoke a report on the basis of an article in a newspaper. The views Mr Goldstone expressed are his own personal views." A move to change or withdraw the report would either require a formal written complaint from Goldstone, backed unanimously by his three fellow authors, or a vote by the UN general assembly or the human rights council, Sapey said.

Hamas crimes aimed at civilian targets "intentional;" Israel did not "intentionally" target civilians

Talking Tachlis agrees with the New York Sun that Goldstone's retraction, published this past Friday in the Washington Post is indeed "galling." As the Sun notes, Goldstone now says that it “goes without saying” that the “crimes allegedly committed by Hamas were intentional” in that “its rockets were purposefully and indiscriminately aimed at civilian targets.” Moreover, what he calls the “allegations of intentionality by Israel” were, he now says unfounded. Big-time bungle for Inspector Clousseau! In a sharp about-face, the South African Judge admits that “that civilians were not intentionally targeted" by Israel "as a matter of policy.”

Goldstone's blood libel has earned a place in infamy next to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. As noted by the NY Sun:

"it is all too common that accusations made against Israel, when followed by sober investigation, turn out to exonerate the Jewish State. It happened in respect of the massacre at Jenin that turned out not to have taken place. It happened with the shooting of Muhammad al-Durrah."

How tragic that Goldstone's slanderous report powered a global tsunami of Israel-bashing and gave license to Hamas to attack Israel with impunity. By condemning Israel as the perpetrator of war crimes, the world has seemed to justify and excuse away Hamas' stepped-up campaign of terrorism. With his 'tale' between his legs, Goldstone tearfully confesses:

“At minimum I hoped that in the face of a clear finding that its members were committing serious war crimes, Hamas would curtail its attacks. Sadly, that has not been the case. Hundreds more rockets and mortar rounds have been directed at civilian targets in southern Israel. That comparatively few Israelis have been killed by the unlawful rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza in no way minimizes the criminality.”
Goldstone is now requesting that the U.N.’s Human Rights Council condemn Hamas’s “heinous acts in the strongest terms” and also condemn the “inexcusable and cold-blooded recent slaughter of a young Israeli couple and three of their small children in their beds.” Fat chance! More likely that the UN would screen "Obsession" in its august chambers. Or, as the Sun correctly observes:

"For Mr. Goldstone to suggest, even by implication, that the U.N. Human Rights Council has any concern whatsoever for truth in respect of Israel simply asks the world to lend credence to a body that would be best disbanded."

The ZOA must-read statement on the Goldstone fiasco rightly calls out the media and other institutions for failing to give Goldstone's retraction the same long-play, blaring exposure as they did the original 2009 report.

Our area has seen an alarming escalation of anti-Israel programs at the universities and in the community, some premised exclusively on the fraudulent Goldstone report. We at Talking Tachlis won't hold our breath for such Israel demonizers as Jewish Voice for Peace, Norm Finkelstein, Mondoweiss blogger Philip Weiss, the International Anti-Zionist Jewish Network and others of their sorry ilk to exonerate Israel now that Goldstone has reprised his report.

Goldstone Report Poisoned Academia

The ZOA and other organizations committed to supporting Israel need to follow up these important statements with action that will have traction. The need is especially great on our college campuses, where a toxic anti-Israel climate now prevails in the aftermath of the Goldstone Report Big Lie. In the intervening two years, rabidly anti-Israel professors and lecturers have capitalized on the Goldstone Report's falsehoods to demonize Israel with abandon.

The ZOA, StandWithUs, Hillel, AIPAC and others should now demand equal time to set the record straight. Wayne State and University of Michigan, for example, have given speakers platforms to spew virulently anti-Israel polemics based on the Goldstone Report's spurious findings. Now, in the interests of academic integrity and restoring any semblance of balance, the campus should roll out the welcome mat to those best qualified to deprogram the students subjected to unrelenting anti-Israel indoctrination.

It was just last week that the Arab American News ran an article assailing the "Wall of Lies" ad placed in the U-M Dearborn student newspaper by the David Horowitz Freedom Center in response to Israel Apartheid Week on campus.

University of Michigan-Dearborn Vice Chancellor Stanley E. Henderson was quoted by the Arab American News as saying "Intolerance is a cancer; it sucks the vitality, the glow, even the life out of good people as surely as a tumor. A one-sided view such as the 'Wall of Lies' ad does not present a path for peace in the Middle East and it does not represent the core values of our campus," he added.

Never mind that the temperate vice chancellor did not see fit to apply the same standards to the malignant hate-inspiring Israel Apartheid Week. Never mind that Horowitz's 'Wall of Lies' is a straightforward expose of the libels against the Jewish State which, Horowitz claims, neither the vice chancellor nor the Arab American News could refute.

Given Palestinian activist Ann Wright's recent guest speaking engagement at the University of Michigan's main Ann Arbor campus (co-sponsored by the Arab Student Association along with the Ford School of Public Policy and the Barger Leadership Institute of Organizational Studies) at which she reportedly solicited funds for the next Gaza-bound flotilla, the university's own standards would compel it to counter such a "one-sided view" which surely "does not present a path for peace in the Middle East" nor "represent the core values" of the university.

Talking Tachlis can't help but wonder if the I Love Hamas production staged at the Ann Arbor campus late last year with university support represented the "core values" of the university? Surely not the core values of its generous Jewish donors!

--MT Beadle and The Mole

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