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Goldstone: A Primer

There’s something farcical about the brouhaha this week over Richard Goldstone’s pronouncements about his U.N. report on the Gaza war. In case you haven’t been following every twist and turn, or need some help interpreting, I’ve boiled it down to the basics:

Goldstone (in 2009): Israel intentionally targeted civilians, and may have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during the Gaza war. Oh, and Hamas is bad too.

Israel and her allies: Goldstone is a self-hating Jew who has perpetrated a blood libel upon the Jewish people. So let’s block him from going to his grandson’s bar mitzvah — or, at the very least, not let him throw candy during the Haftorah.

Israel’s enemies: The Jew Goldstone’s report proves that Israel is evil.

(A year and a half passes)

Goldstone: Um, I’ve been looking into things and, as it turns out — heh heh, this is sort of funny, actually — it seems that Israel in fact did not target civilians in the Gaza war. Nor did it perpetrate war crimes or crimes against humanity. I’d like to offer a big thank you to the Israeli authorities for bringing this to light with their own, credible investigations and responses to my original findings. I just wish they’d told me these things before I issued my 575-page report. But, C’est la vie. My one-page Op-Ed in the Washington Post should set the record straight. And by the way, Hamas still sucks.

Israel: Aha! We knew we were right all along. Goldstone, we love you! How about coming on an all-expenses-paid trip to Israel? We’ll throw in a night at the Sheraton Sderot (rockets permitting).

Israel’s detractors: Not so fast. Goldstone didn’t retract his report. He just "reconsidered" some of his conclusions. Israel still did all kinds of nasty stuff in the war. No comment on Hamas.

The U.N.: We don’t subscribe to the Washington Post.

Israel’s allies: Goldstone, now go to the U.N. and tell them what you just told us.

Goldstone: I never said the report was "wrong." It just needed one itty-bitty clarification — OK, correction. But that’s it. So I have nothing to tell the U.N. And by the way, I love Israel. Do you think I can get some of that delicious bamba when I come in July?