Daily Israel Report

Goldstone Mea Culpa: Chickens Come to Roost at Leftist Nest

The New Israel Fund is under attack for feeding Goldstone disinformation against Israel. Former Meretz Leader Beilin blames Israel for Report.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 4/3/2011, 3:44 PM / Last Update: 4/3/2011, 4:06 PM

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Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Likud Knesset Member Miri Regev attacked the New Israel Fund Sunday for giving Judge Richard Goldstone biased information against Israel used in his report charging Israel with alleged war crimes.

Goldstone admitted on Friday that the report damning Israel for the defensive Operation Cast Lead campaign against Hamas terrorists was not accurate.

“All of the material from the left was supplied by the NIF, and the question now is what to do with them [the NIF]," the Foreign Minister said Sunday morning.

Likud MK Miri Regev said she will bring up the issue of the NIF at a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee.

Yossi Beilin, former leader of the Meretz party and a leading architect of the Oslo Accords, which literally exploded in Israel’s face in the outbreak of violence since 2000, nevertheless found Israel to blame for the original Goldstone Report.

While admitting that Goldstone’s article in The Washington Post on Friday was "important,” he added, “The damage was done, and we are part of the reason because we did not cooperate. We refused to give him [Goldstone} material."

Foreign Minister Lieberman maintained that Israel won legitimacy by not cooperating. He said allowing Goldstone to question IDF officers and soldiers and “get into the guts of Israeli policies” would have been a self-destructive act.

He said the significance of Goldstone’s backtracking from his original report is that “all efforts of [Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud] Abbas and [PA Prime Minister PA Prime Minister Salam] Fayyad to take the Goldstone report to the International Court in Hague are finished."

The silence of American left-wing groups to Goldstone’s comments was not overlooked by Commentary’s Jonathan S. Tobin, who wrote an article under the headline, “Goldstone Recants! Will the Left Follow His Example?”

“What we must now hear are similar apologies from all those groups and individuals, from Human Rights Watch to J Street to mainstream bloggers like Andrew Sullivan and minor Palestinian mouthpieces like Hussein Ibish, that either defended Goldstone’s false allegations or sought to aid efforts to promote his scandalous charges,” Tobin wrote. “There must be an accounting from all of Goldstone’s previous champions. Like Goldstone’s report, their credibility on this issue is finished.”

Tobin pointed out, “The former judge admitted that his report was wrong. He said that Israel’s efforts to follow up on every accusation of illegal conduct of its forces proved that there was no deliberate aggression against civilians."

"He also admitted," Tobin continued. "that the number of civilian casualties of Palestinians reported by Israel – which was far below the inflated numbers claimed by so-called human rights groups — was accurate. As it turns out the vast majority of Palestinians who died in the fighting were Hamas fighters, not civilians as his report had charged."

However, the website of J Street political lobby, which claims to be “pro-Israel and pro-Peace” but also backs talks with Hamas, did not relate to the report as of Sunday afternoon.

The Americans for Peace Now organization posted a “tweet” that linked to an article that ignored Goldstone’s admissions and instead insisted,  “Even a superficial reading of the op-ed [by Goldstone]shows that he has not retracted a single comma in the Goldstone Report, nor does he express any regret for having written the report the way it was written. He simply says that had he known then what he knows now, the report would have been different.”