Goldstone Reconsideration Welcomed; UN Urged to Void Flawed Report
Yoffie: "While one can argue that Goldstone had the best of intentions in the initial investigation, we see clearly, here, that the attempt to do what was right failed to lead to an outcome that was just."
April 5, 2011, New York In response to Richard Goldstone's op-ed this weekend in the Washington Post regarding the 2009 UN Gaza War report that bears his name, including his acknowledgment that Israel did not intentionally target civilians as a matter of policy, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
"We welcome Richard Goldstone's op-ed reconsidering his report following the initial UN investigation into Operation Cast Lead, which he oversaw. His acknowledgement that the report did not accurately portray the situation is significant and welcome. At the same time, an op-ed, almost two years after the report was issued, cannot undo the damage to the State of Israel done by the image that Goldstone painted."
"We were of course saddened by the loss of civilian lives during the Gaza War, as we are by the loss of any life. Yet despite Judge Goldstone's decades of experience and respected international reputation, he allowed the report bearing his name to dreadfully mischaracterize the way in which those lives were lost. We recognize how difficult, and how rare, it is for any public figure to openly confess error and we commend Justice Goldstone for doing so and welcome his forthright acknowledgement (albeit long overdue) of the failure of the veracity of his report. But, the hurried nature of the investigation led to inaccurate and incomplete results, casting undue public suspicion and fomenting animosity toward Israel. While one can argue that Goldstone had the best of intentions in the initial investigation, we see clearly, here, that the attempt to do what was right failed to lead to an outcome that was just."
"As we said when the Goldstone report was initially released: 'The UN Human Rights Council endorsement of the Goldstone report does not further the cause of peace, or give reason for Israel to believe the international community takes seriously the significant security issues with which it contends.' For too long the United Nations has been a hostile environment for Israel. Today, we call on member nations to acknowledge the State of Israel for what it really is: a democratic country that values human life and seeks peace with its neighbors above all else. For this reason, we support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's calls for the UN to void the Goldstone report."