The State Of Israel Should Sue Judge Richard Goldstone


goldstoneBy Baruch C. Cohen, Esq.

In 2009, a United Nations panel led by South African Judge Richard Goldstone – picked by the U.N. precisely because he was a Jewish international lawyer of some repute who would lend credibility to the widely discredited U.N. Human Rights Council – issued a scathing 575-page malicious indictment report, fueling a new blood libel, accusing the State of Israel of committing war crimes against the Palestinians in a three-week Gaza invasion and possible crimes against humanity and suggested that the matter be referred to the International Court of Justice. The absurdity here, was that the UN Human Rights Council, the body that called for the report, had Libya as a member.

Israel had refused to cooperate with Goldstone’s excoriating fact-finding mission into its military operation in Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009, known as Operation Cast Lead, and rejected the September 2009 report. Goldstone’s report accused that Israel intentionally killed civilians during its offensive in the Gaza Strip two years ago. Israel launched the operation to put a stop to thousands of rockets being fired by the Hamas overlords of Gaza into southern Israel.

It was ugly urban warfare. The terrorists, as they always do, hid out among civilians. Despite extensive Israeli efforts to warn civilians with thousands of phone calls and leaflets dropped from planes, civilians were among the 1,400 Palestinians killed during three weeks of fighting. The truth was that Hamas was the provocateur, that Hamas was deliberately placing Palestinians in harm’s way, that Hamas was lying about the proportion of combatants among the Gaza dead. It is also without doubt that the IDF – far from deliberately targeting civilians; the bitter accusation at the heart of Goldstone’s report – was doing more than most any military force has ever done to minimize civilian deaths, even as it sought to destroy the terrorist infrastructure and pick out the terrorists who had been firing relentlessly into Israel’s residential areas.

The Goldstone report was a diplomatic coup for Israel’s enemies, and caused some Israeli officials stopped traveling abroad for fear they’d be arrested for war crimes. His duplicitous investigation has had a toxic effect everywhere on the second battlefield – in diplomatic and legal forums, in the media, on university campuses, in global public discourse. He poisoned Israel’s good name. And on the real battlefield, he gave succor to her enemies, encouraging them to believe that they could kill Israelis and Jews not with mere impunity, but with active international empathy and support.

Last week, Judge Goldstone wrote an about-face mea culpa op-ed about his report in The Washington Post entitled: “Reconsidering the Goldstone Report on Israel and War Crimes,” stating: “If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone report would have been a different document.” Goldstone said he no longer believed his most incendiary charge: that Israeli soldiers deliberately targeted Palestinian civilians during its invasion of Gaza. As an example, Goldstone pointed to one of the most serious attacks his committee investigated, in which 29 members of the al-Simouni family were killed in their home, apparently because of an erroneous IDF interpretation of a drone image. “An Israeli officer is under investigation for having ordered the attack,” he said. But now, Judge Goldstone reversed himself and reported: “I regret that our fact-finding mission did not have such evidence explaining the circumstances in which we said civilians in Gaza were targeted, because it probably would have influenced our findings about intentionality and war crimes.”

Goldstone’s protestation that he had no alternative but to believe Hamas was quite astounding. Hamas is a terrorist organization with a solid track record of lies, distortions and fabrications as a strategy of aggressive warfare. Israel, the victim of that aggression, has a solid record of telling the truth. Yet Goldstone chose to believe the Hamas version of events.

By his own admission, Goldstone revealed himself as at best an abject idiot and at worst a moral and judicial bankrupt. His report blackened Israel’s name for defending itself against existential attack; encouraged its attackers to ratchet up their onslaught safe in the knowledge that the international community now had official confirmation that Israel was morally beyond the pale; put Israeli civilians, along with Israel’s very survival, at increased risk by helping delegitimise Israel as a global pariah; and fuelled the pressure on Israel not to defend its civilians by military means against the attacks which have relentlessly increased in audacity and scope

Goldstone’s concession that he didn’t have enough facts when he equated Israel with Hamas in deliberately targeting innocents, carries inescapable consequences. All those who have used Goldstone’s report as a basis for their own delegitimisation of Israel now also stand revealed as having endorsed one of the worst officially sanctioned international falsehoods in history. All their attacks on Israel which relied upon Goldstone’s report are now shown to be equally baseless and discredited. Any future such attacks which use this report as an authority will be demonstrably false and malicious. But of course, like all previous blood libels against the Jews, the poison this one has injected into the global bloodstream has no antidote. The damage is done – and no amount of self-serving recantations by Richard Goldstone will undo the terrible harm he has done. Unfortunately, Goldstone’s “reconsideration” will not garner a thousandth of the publicity or have a thousandth of the impact that his original, baseless accusations against Israel drew. Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic says that Goldstone contributed, more than any other individual, to the delegitimization and demonization of the Jewish state.

Israeli leaders have complained for years that the UN is biased against the Jewish state, that it judges almost every action of Israel through a Palestinian prism. And now … evidence. Not just a disastrously wrong report. But evidence that the entire enterprise was skewed against Israel from the start.

So where does a nation go to get its reputation back? Perhaps, to court. I would urge the State of Israel to file a libel class action suit against Goldstone for his false allegations and distortions, and demand both an official apology as well as symbolic compensation to be paid to the State of Israel.

Attorney Baruch C. Cohen is an accomplished trial attorney who handles a variety of personal injury, corporate chapter 7 bankruptcies, litigation in bankruptcy court, commercial and business litigation matters (in state and federal courts & in Bais Din).

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  1. Why was he invited by a Knesset member to visit Israel??? The MANUVRL should not be allowed in the country. If he does get in– he should be greeted with rotten eggs wherever he goes. Give him a trip to remember. At least he will have what to report on. FOOEY.

  2. This violates the principle of judicial immunity which protects rabbonim in bais din and judges in court. The system would break down if everyone sued the judge or rav every time they disagreed with a decision.

  3. The terrible damage this Rasha caused to the safety and well-being of Klal Yisra-el is very well expressed by this article.

    It’s interesting, albeit very sad in this case, to see the words of our Chachamim play themselves out: “Reshaim melaiim charatta”.

    Who would imagine that such wickedness would be followed by feelings of guilt. You would think such a creep is not capable of self-doubt.

    But our Chachamim understood that evil manifests itself within a human being only when he allows the G-dliness in him to be overrun by his inner corruption. That G-dliness will still express itself in some pitifully meek way.

    It only serves to underline how hard the Rasha had to work to still the ever-present G-dliness in him, to be able to carry out his evil schemes.

    The abominable wickedness and treachery that went into this Moiser’s report is not in any way diminished by his belated, qualified, semi-retractions.

    He just ultimately had to deal with the involuntary pangs of his Jewish conscience, and his being treated by Israel and Jews worldwide as the Pariah that he is, in some tangible way. Hence the op-ed piece.

    We must not let his Jewish conscience be stilled by his writing of this semi-retraction.
    Israel and the world Jewish community must keep the pressure up, and force him to seek a full nullification of his report by the U.N.

    Shem Reshaim Yirkov.

  4. A class action? Who would be the class? Jews everywhere? Israelis? Specific Israelis whose actions were questioned in the original Goldstone report? And how can a sovereign state file such an action if its concern is to redress the supposed libel against it as an entity? What court has jurisdiction over such a case? The Hague? U.S. District Court? L.A. County Superior Court? Oy.

  5. he has blood on his hands. he acted without knowing the truth of HIS OWN PEOPLE. he is fortunate that he was not cut off from us all. but he will still have what to deal with, knowing that he did that.


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