Surely the New York Times would not dare turn down a piece from the new Richard Goldstone. He had already recast himself as the self-appointed guardian of Israel’s world reputation. This, despite the fact that he had earlier been anointed as the distinguished jurist who admirably put aside his ethnic identity and personal affiliations when it came to carrying out his professional work as a specialist in international criminal law.
The former judge wrote in a column in the Washington Post that the Goldstone Report would have been different if he had known then what he came to know now, an arrogant assertion considering that he was but one of four panel members designated by the UN Human Rights Council, and considering that the other three publicly reaffirmed their confidence in the original conclusion as presented in the report, which was written and released months earlier.
This failure to consult with other members of the team before rushing his seemingly opportunistic change of heart into print with should have discredited this earlier Goldstone effort to restore his tarnished Zionist credentials. It is also of interest that he chooses to exhibit this new role on the pages of the newspapers of record in the United States. Goldstone reportedly escalated the tone and substance of his retraction after the Times rejected the original version of the piece - supposedly because it was too bland. To get into print with this wobbly change of position, Goldstone went to these extraordinary lengths.
Now, on the eve of the third session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, scheduled to be held in Cape Town between November 4-6, Goldstone has again come to the defence of Israel in a highly partisan manner. His stance abandons any pretense of judicious respect for either the legal duties of those with power or the legal rights of those in vulnerable circumstances. More