A former Times newspaper editor and one of the UK's most respected journalists lashed out this week at South African jurist Richard Goldstone's decision to head the UN fact-finding mission on Operation Cast Lead.
In an article in The Guardian, Sir Harold Evans, former editor of the Sunday Times and Times, condemned the Goldstone Report, describing it as "half-baked" and designed to exonerate the real aggressor, Hamas.
In an article entitled "A moral atrocity," he said Goldstone had been "suckered" into letting war criminals use his name to pillory Israel.
Evans also said that as a Jew, Goldstone should have turned down the job of leading the delegation.
"[Goldstone] said that, as a Jew himself, he was surprised to be invited. He shouldn't have been, and should never have accepted leadership of a commission whose terms of reference were designed to excuse the aggressor, Hamas, and punish the defender, Israel," Evans said.
Criticising Britain's decision not to vote last Friday at the UN Human Rights Council, which endorsed the report, Evans said, "Now we have the sickening spectacle of Britain failing to stand by Israel, the only democracy with an independent judiciary in the entire region."
Evans condemned the language in the remit of the UN mission, which said it was "to investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by the occupying power, Israel, against the Palestinian people throughout the occupied Palestinian territory, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, due to the current aggression."
"Israel is not an 'occupying power' in Gaza, in either fact or international law," Evans wrote. "Four years ago, it voluntarily pulled out all its soldiers and uprooted all its settlers. Here was a wonderful chance for Gaza to be the building block of a Palestinian state, and for Hamas to do what the Israelis did - take a piece of land and build a model state. They didn't. Instead of helping the desperate Palestinians, they conducted a religious war."