Sir, – Richard Goldstone couldn’t admit that his original report may not have
been accurate without taking a swipe at Israel, suggesting that the one-sidedness
of the report resulted from Israel’s failure to cooperate.
But he also
mentioned the UN Human Rights Council “whose history of bias against Israel
cannot be doubted.”
Surely this history was evident well before Goldstone
was selected to head the body’s fact-finding mission. The terms of reference
under which his group was to operate clearly confirmed this bias; indeed, the
position had previously been refused by the UN’s former high commissioner for
human rights, Mary Robinson, because she doubted the fairness of the
Goldstone’s belated mea culpa cannot diminish his own
responsibility for the travesty that bears his name.
EFRAIM A. COHEN
Sir, – I wonder how many people Judge Goldstone sent to prison
or even the gallows before learning all the facts of their case.C.B.
Sir, – I recall vividly how angry and bitter I was about the
Goldstone Report. It was a terrible trauma for the whole country. An earthquake
Now, here in Israel, feelings are mixed. Some congratulate
Goldstone for his courage.
Some say it is a small victory at best. The
most interesting article I read was very critical and called Goldstone a “useful
idiot” who played into the hands of the anti-Israel forces that control the
The damage is done. All that can now be done is to discard the report
completely – revoke its findings. Perhaps that will happen.YONATAN
Sir, – Whatever motivated Richard Goldstone to agree to head
the inquiry into Operation Cast Lead, and whatever precipitated his remorse, it
remains a problem that his current views, expressed only in a newspaper op-ed
piece, will soon be forgotten, while his original report remains in the archives
of a United Nations body.
The only meaningful way to alleviate the damage
is for him to appear before the General Assembly and present his
Presumably, all nations believing in fair play and honesty in
world politics would be able to agree to such an event.MONTY M. ZION
Sir, – Prime Minister Netanyahu has instructed the Justice, Defense and
Foreign ministries to examine steps that can be taken to cancel the Goldstone
What has been said cannot be taken back, and we will not win this
war by being defensive. As Saul Singer was quoted as saying in “They tried to
kill us, we won, now we’re changing the world” (Editor’s Notes, April 1),
“...with that strategy, [you’re] merely moving from negative territory to zero
in the best-case scenario.”HARRY ORENSTEIN
Sir, – As a former IDF
officer I was pleasantly relieved to hear Judge Goldstone voice what I already
knew, but I find myself worried by the response given by my country’s
Though calling for the report’s dismissal is important, I
feel it is much more important that we note our own fault in the report’s
Goldstone himself admitted that had Israel been more
cooperative these mistakes probably wouldn’t have been made in the first
While it is nice to know that the claims have now been brought
into question by the very same person who made them, it is unlikely that this
will be remembered. Down the road, the vast majority of people will recall only
that Israel was condemned and called out for violating human rights.
truly hope our leaders learn this lesson and cooperate next time – and there
will be a next time – to prevent such a report from ever seeing light
Sir, – Wherever I have gone, I have heard the
same words” “It is too late, the damage is done.” I have to disagree, because
without Goldstone’s recanting this could have gone much further.
also not overlook what was not said previously, namely that Goldstone believes
the Human Rights Council has gone overboard by blaming Israel on a regular
basis, and that Hamas has not investigated itself.
Remember, it takes
courage to repent.
Sir, – Judge Goldstone must be
a man of honesty and courage because it requires a lot of courage to confess
that one has made a mistake.
The whole world eagerly bought his
confirmation of the charges against Israel and praised him for them. However, he
himself went further and looked deeper into what really happened and now has
come out with far-different conclusions.
As is said, the good done will
go to the grave, but the evil lives on. The Goldstone Report has delegitimized
Israel and there is no atonement for that.H. WILLIG
Sir, – A
story is told of a man in Poland, when it was home to over three million Jews,
who admitted that he had spoken slander and now regretted his action, and that
he wished to repent. His rabbi told him to take a feather pillow, climb up to
the roof on a windy day, and tear the pillow apart. After that he should go
around the village and pick up each feather.
Judge Goldstone cannot
possibly collect all the feathers of anti-Semitism he released, but he should
try. His op-ed piece is a start. He should follow up with an interview on the
BBC and pay condolence calls on the families of soldiers who gave their lives to
protect us and apologize personally for slandering those courageous
If he were to do all of these things, he might be forgiven by the
Almighty, and possibly by the Jewish people.
STEPHEN S. COHEN
Sir, – A large part of the credit for Judge Goldstone’s retraction must
go to Maurice Ostroff, an ex-South African who fought as a volunteer in the War
of Independence and who now resides in Herzliya.
single-handedly, a major voluntary PR project for Israel challenging editors,
correspondents, academicians, writers, etc. whenever he detects unjust attacks
on Israel. He has succeeded in his very fair, polite and analytic way to obtain
apologies from the greatest in the world media.
From the day Goldstone
and his commission were appointed, Ostroff opened a communications link with the
judge and worked tirelessly to bring to his attention some of the experts he
should consult and sources of evidence he should consider, and trying to redress
the commission’s one-sided approach.
Even after the damming report was
issued, Ostroff continued to engage Goldstone, and over many months the judge
conceded and agreed with many of his arguments.
Those of us on Ostroff’s
distribution list could observe Goldstone’s gradual concessions until this major
The government and the public at large owe a great debt to
Sir, – After Richard Goldstone’s
most recent comments, I think Israel should convene an official inquiry into the
workings of the UN’s Human Rights Council, and whether its decisions succeed or
fail in aiding human rights. At the same time, a report could be published
showing the human rights records of the council’s various