Goldstone says he will not retract report


(JTA) — Richard Goldstone said he will not seek to quash his report to the United Nations on Israel’s conduct during the Gaza war, despite his retraction of a key finding.

Reports that he told Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai that he would seek to quash the report prepared at the behest of the U.N. Human Rights Council are false, Goldstone told The Associated Press. The report presented to the council in September 2009 accused Israel of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity.

Goldstone, a former South African judge, wrote in an Op-Ed last weekend in The Washington Post that Israel did not intentionally target civilians as a policy during the Gaza War, withdrawing a critical allegation in the Goldstone Report.

"We know a lot more today about what happened in the Gaza war of 2008-09 than we did when I chaired the fact-finding mission appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Council that produced what has come to be known as the Goldstone Report," Goldstone wrote. "If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a host of Israeli officials and organizations have called on the United Nations to cancel the Goldstone Report following Goldstone’s Op-Ed.

Goldstone, who is Jewish, said he accepted an invitation from Yishai to visit Israel and tour its southern communities, which have been besieged by Hamas rockets. Yishai said he called Goldstone to thank him for his reassessment and to invite him to visit the country. Goldstone will visit Israel in July as a guest of Yishai.  

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