Monday, April 4, 2011

Goldstone's Mystery Week.

Politico is quoting an anonymous source claiming that the Yediot Story about the New York Times refusing to publish Goldstone's article is false, or at least a part truth:

A source familiar with the paper's dealings with Goldstone says this report isn't true. The Times saw a very different op-ed by Goldstone about two weeks ago, just one in a series of articles he'd written trying to clarify and finesse the meaning of the report; the paper rejected it because it said nothing new, the source said.
That version didn't contain the crucial repudiation of the report's central thrust, that the Israeli Defense Forces targeted civilians intentionally and as a matter of policy.

One thing that does stand out - what exactly was Goldstone writing just a few days ago? if Politico is to be believed it would seem that Goldstone had changed his mind literally in the last few days.

Shedding some light on the mystery is Prof Avi Bell:

Last Monday, I debated with Richard Goldstone about the controversial Goldstone Report at Stanford Law School. Three days later, Justice Goldstone finally admitted, inThe Washington Post, that, contrary to the report’s assertions, Israel did not intentionally target civilians. A Palestinian outfit called the International Middle East Media Center carried a story this weekend lamenting that two “racist Zionists” at the debate – Peter Berkowitz and I – were responsible for convincing Goldstone of the error of his ways. Sadly, this is, at best, only partly true....
Goldstone said during the debate that no one has disputed the report’s factual allegations. But this is demonstrably false and Goldstone knew it, because he was looking right at me when I reminded him of this fact during the debate. He did not repeat the claim in The Washington Post.  [markings not in original - BoT]
So as recent as a week ago, Goldstone claimed that no one has disputed the factual allegations.
Another view of what I can only assume was the same debate is given by Noura Erakat -

Just last week, I had the chance to speak to Goldstone at Stanford Law School where I participated in a debate on the report featuring him as a discussant.
Goldstone seemed struck by recent revelations made in Israel’s investigation of itself that its murder of 29 civilians in the Sammouni home, where approximately 120 civilians had taken refuge, was the result of negligence and not a deliberate attack.
He emphasised that had Israel participated in the investigatory process rather than boycott it, it would have been able to contest the mission’s findings before the report’s release thereby correcting its alleged bias.
Judging by this it seems that Goldstone had at least the begining of the change of mind he would express in the Washington Post Op-Ed - as the basic points he bases his new Op-Ed are already present. However it is clear that at least a week ago Goldstone had not yet decided to go quite as far as his Op-Ed and clear Israel from the charge of intentional targeting of civilians. 

Since it seems that only a week ago Goldstone was not ready to make clear statements in line with his Op-Ed, we can only ask what changed during that week?

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