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Goldstone gazumped on Gaza

By David Singer - posted Thursday, 7 April 2011

Richard Goldstone now faces bitter condemnation from Israel following his belated admission that his infamous Report was wrong in finding that Israel had intentionally targeted civilians during its invasion of Gaza in December 2008.

Goldstone has now attempted to lay the blame for this gross and defamatory libel at Israel's feet for refusing to give evidence before his Inquiry - a kangaroo court and a UN sanctioned set-up in every sense. This claim is as outrageous as his earlier flawed findings.

Goldstone has belatedly confessed that the initial mandate given to him by the UN Human Rights Commission was "skewed" and was changed at his insistence. He goes even further in now stating:


I had hoped that our inquiry into all aspects of the Gaza conflict would begin a new era of evenhandedness at the U.N. Human Rights Council, whose history of bias against Israel cannot be doubted.

But Goldstone still remains silent on his own bias and that of the other three members of his Tribunal - Hila Jalani, Desmond Travers and Christine Chinkin

The Hon. Sir Gerard Brennan AC KBE in evidence given to the Australian Senate on 10 August 2007 best sums up the role judges must assume and be seen to assume:

There are qualities of character and disposition to be desired in all judges. The supreme judicial virtue is impartiality. Both partiality and the appearance of partiality are incompatible with the proper exercise of judicial authority. The one poisons the stream of justice at its source; the other dries it up

Before their appointment as Commissioners by the President of the UN Human Rights Council on 3 April 2009 - Richard Goldstone, Hila Jalani and Desmond Travers were among 16 signatories who had signed an open letter to the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and the Security Council Ambassadors on 16 March 2009 in which they stated:

As individuals with direct experience of international justice and reconciliation of conflict, we believe there is an important case to be made for an international investigation of gross violations of the laws of war, committed by all parties to the Gaza conflict.

Without setting the record straight in a credible and impartial manner, it will be difficult for those communities that have borne the heavy cost of violence to move beyond the terrible aftermath of conflict and help build a better peace.

A prompt, independent and impartial investigation would provide a public record of gross violations of international humanitarian law committed and provide recommendations on how those responsible for crimes should be held to account.


The words "credible", "impartial", and "independent" feature prominently in this part of the statement.

Not content however with stressing the nature of the investigation they desired - the signatories went on to declare:

We urge world leaders to send an unfaltering signal that the targeting of civilians during conflict is unacceptable by any party on any count. We call on them to support the establishment of a United Nations commission of inquiry into the Gaza conflict. The commission should have the greatest possible expertise and authority and: a mandate to carry out a prompt, thorough, independent and impartial investigation of all allegations of serious violations of international humanitarian law committed by all parties to the conflict;

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About the Author

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International - an organisation calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Previous articles written by him can be found at

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