Here’s a weird story. And I think we have the internet to thank for discovering the weirdness. Last night the New York Times printed an AP story about the United Nations’ followup to the Goldstone report, titled "UN Chief Praises Israel Probe of Its Gaza Actions."
It turns out the Secretary-General never said that. Israel said it.
In today’s briefing at the UN, the UN made the point that Ban Ki-moon said no such thing. It explained that the 72-page report was mostly Israel’s report. It included just three pages from the Sec’y Gen’l.
The Spokesperson noted that in the document submitted by the Secretary-General to the General Assembly on the Goldstone report, only the first three pages are written by the Secretary-General and the Secretariat.
The remainder of the document consists of annexes containing information provided, respectively, by the Government of Israel, the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine and the Permanent Mission of Switzerland.
Confused? Here is the 72-page UN report released yesterday. The Secy Gen’l’s judgment at the start is noncommital:
It is my sincere hope that General Assembly resolution 64/10 has served to encourage investigations by the Government of Israel and the Palestinian side that are independent, credible and in conformity with international standards. I note from the materials received that the processes initiated by the Government of Israel and the Government of Switzerland are ongoing… As such, no determination can be made on the implementation of the resolution by the parties concerned.
The long Israeli response follows (and is not clearly identified). In paragraph 185, Israel pats itself on the back:
Because Israel followed up on every allegation, regardless of whether the source was neutral, hostile, or friendly, it launched investigations into 150 separate incidents, including 36 criminal investigations opened thus far.
AP seems to have revised its coverage. But as Mark Twain said, a lie goes around the world in the time it takes the truth to tie its shoes.