The Blog

The Goldstone Tears

4:00 PM, Oct 19, 2009 • By RACHEL ABRAMS
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Close on the heels of his shock over the resolution issuing from the Human Rights Council last week that ignores Hamas's cowardly barbarity and demands a referral to the International Court of Justice of a non-cooperative Israel, Richard Goldstone materializes in the pages of the Jerusalem Post to explain himself.

First, some background self-adulation: "Over the past 20 years, I have investigated serious violations of international law in my own country, South Africa, in the former Yugoslavia, in Rwanda and the alleged fraud and theft by governments and political leaders in a number of countries in connection with the United Nations Iraq Oil for Food program."

In every instance, I spoke out strongly in favor of full investigations and, where appropriate, criminal prosecutions. I have spoken out over the years on behalf of the International Bar Association against human rights violations in many countries, including Sri Lanka, China, Russia, Iran, Zimbabwe and Pakistan.

After which, in a pattern that repeats itself throughout, more congratulating of himself and a good deal of blaming of the victim, whose long and unhappy history with the "even-handedness" of the UN he acknowledges in passing before dismissing it: his involvement would have guaranteed a fair hearing for the Jewish State where none had ever come before, but Israel's refusal to cooperate with his investigation made such impossible:

I was aware of and have frequently spoken out against the unfair and exceptional treatment of Israel by the UN and especially by the Human Rights Council. . . . Israel could have seized the opportunity provided by the even-handed mandate of our mission and used it as a precedent for a new direction by the United Nations in the Middle East. Instead, we were shut out.

In the annals of self-justification Lawyer Goldstone's "I would have been acting against those principles [of speaking out against violations of international law everywhere] and my own convictions and conscience if I had refused a request from the United Nations to investigate serious allegations of war crimes against both Israel and Hamas in the context of Operation Cast Lead" is not as repugnant as "I was only following orders," or as nauseating, so to say, as the Stalinist Sartre's vile Franco-philosophical rationalizing after the Soviet invasion of Hungary. But it's pretty damn disgusting.

My advice: Go away, now, Mr. Goldstone, and dry your crocodile tears on the sleeve of Khaled Meshaal.