The Goldstone report has infuriated Israel who launched a sustained attack on the report and on the south African judge (read also 'Anatomy of a smear campaign').
Finally, this sustained attack has come to bear fruit and make Goldstone discredit his own report by retracting some of his most damaging accusations against Israel.
Goldstone has caved to pressure and he should not have been appointed in the first place but we know that his appointment must have been decided because as a Jew and a lifelong zionist Goldstone might have spared the UN the accusation of anti-semitism or anti-Israel bias. And because he is a south African Jew, and south African Jews and Israel are known to have collaborated with the Apartheid regime, the UN has introduced, intentionally or unintentionally, the possibility for the report to be questioned based on the moral grounds of his main author.
Israel can now dream of restoring its credibility through a PR campaign but I am not anxious about that because the only purpose of the backtracking of the report is to make Israel's leaders and soldiers immune to international prosecution, not to change the image of Israel.
Angry Arab has commented this news item and he makes two interesting points:
- Goldstone as a man is different from the Goldstone report who was made by a team. And so even if Goldstone retracts, its does not mean that the report should be retracted. It only tell you that Goldstone is morally corrupt, hence his initial appointment by the UN with the full knowledge of his ambiguous moral status: Jew to be credible and south African Jew to become less credible when time comes
- Israel has come to exist because of war crimes committed by zionists and Israel continues to commit war crimes. It is not only in this instance covered by the report that Israel committed war crimes.
UPDATE: The NYTimes refused to publish Goldstone's retraction which he submitted to the Times before publishing it in the washington post.
UPDATE: Goldstone's Gaza report stands according to a UN lawyer who sat with Goldstone on the committee investigating war crimes in Gaza.
More on Goldstone:
Paving the way for more Cast lead style operations by Israel: but will they find another Apartheid era judge to endorse the Israeli Apartheid state in its crimes?
Alain Gresh on Goldstone (in French).