The Court of World Opinion is now in session.
Before us stands Judge Richard Goldstone. The defendant is charged with perjury and a verbal assault on the Jewish State.
Judge Goldstone, wasn’t your mandate from the UN Human Rights Council biased against Israel from the outset?
Well I refused the original mandate because I thought it was biased against Israel and the president of the Human Rights Council asked me to write literally my own mandate, a mandate that I considered fair and even handed and I did that and he said well that’s the mandate that I’m giving you. (October 27, 2009, ABC News)
And did the Human Rights Council ever approve this “new” mandate that you wrote?
There was no objection to it. (July 16, 2009, Jpost)
So you claim that you had an impartial mandate from the UNHRC? What was your principle finding?
We came to the conclusion, based on the facts we found, that there was strong evidence to suggest that numerous serious violations of international law, both humanitarian law and human rights law, were committed by Israel during the military operations in Gaza. The Mission concluded that action amounting to war crimes and possibly in some respect crimes against humanity were committed by the Israel Defense Force. (September 15, 2009, UN Press Conference.)
So the Israeli Defense Forces committed war crimes by intentionally killing Palestinian civilians?
No, civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy. (April 1, 2011, Washington Post)
Can you read to the court Section 1718, paragraph B of your “Summary of Legal Findings” to the Court?
The Mission found numerous instances of deliberate attacks on civilians in violation of the fundamental international humanitarian law. (Goldstone Report, Page 533, Section J)
It sounds like you have written a legal finding that Israel committed war crimes.
Our mission was in no way a judicial or even quasi-judicial proceeding. We did not investigate criminal conduct on the part of any individual in Israel, Gaza or the West Bank. (April 1, 2011, Washington Post)
So you did not investigate criminal conduct?
In many cases it (the Mission) has found that acts entailing individual criminal responsibility have been committed. In all of these cases the Mission has found that there is sufficient information to establish the objective elements of the crimes in question. (Goldstone Report, Paragraph 25, Executive Summary, Page 9)
Aren’t you contradicting yourself?
Well, 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.If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document. (Washington Post, April 1, 2011)
So if you believe that the report under your name would have been different, are you prepared to issue official changes?
As presently advised I have no reason to believe any part of the report needs to be reconsidered at this time. (April 6, 2011, Associated Press)
Ladies and Gentleman of the Jury, I rest my case.
Originally posted on CrossingtheYarden