Richard Goldstone has finally broken his silence over his Washington Post op-ed. He granted an interview to the AP to rebut the erroneous report that we picked up on yesterday saying he was considering trying to nullify the report within the UN. From the AP:
South African jurist Richard Goldstone said Tuesday that he did not plan to seek nullification of his highly critical U.N. report on Israel’s 2008-2009 offensive in the Gaza Strip and asserted that claims to the contrary by Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai were false. . .
In an interview with The Associated Press, Goldstone said that Yishai had called him on Monday to thank him for an op-ed piece published Friday in The Washington Post in which the judge wrote that new information had come to light that made him rethink his central conclusions.
Goldstone said, however, that he never discussed the report with Yishai in the telephone conversation. Israeli leaders have called for the report to be retracted since it was issued in 2009.
“There was absolutely no discussion about the Goldstone report on the call,” the jurist said in a telephone interview from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.
Goldstone said he thanked Yishai for calling and “stated that my concern was to work for truth, justice and human rights.”
Goldstone also added that aside from the one point he made in his op-ed, the Goldstone Report stands as written:
“As appears from the Washington Post article, information subsequent to publication of the report did meet with the view that one correction should be made with regard to intentionality on the part of Israel,” the judge said. “Further information as a result of domestic investigations could lead to further reconsideration, but as presently advised I have no reason to believe any part of the report needs to be reconsidered at this time.”
Jerry Haber responds to the interview over at the Magnes Zionist:
To sum up how things stand now:
Judge Goldstone stands behind a report that found Israel guilty of war crimes. After two years he has not changed his mind on that charge.
Judge Goldstone stands behind a report that found Israel guilty of intentionally targeting civilian infrastructure. After two years he has not changed his mind on that charge.
Judge Goldstone stands behind a report that called upon Israel to launch a public judicial inquiry. Two years later he still makes that call.
Judge Goldstone is less inclined to believe, based on IDF investigations, that Israel was guilty of the crime against humanity of intentionally targeting civilians as a matter of policy, based on the evidence presented in the report. He is willing to consider the alternatives that faulty intelligence plus bad judgment was responsible for the al-Samouni family bombing, and that this deliberate attack may indeed be a war crime, should the commanding officer be found to have been negligent.
Judge Goldstone has not expressed regret, apology, nor has he recanted the report. On the contrary he has “no reason to believe that any part of the report need be reconsidered at this time.”
He wrote an op-ed with a conciliatory tone. He now has an invitation to visit Israel. Let’s hope he comes.