Something very strange is going on, where commentary upon commentary replaces what is said.
Goldstone, after the first report in the Washington Post said if more information had been forthcoming, one part his report, concerning a deliberate policy of killing civilians by Israel, would have been different. Good–but Israel at the time, refused to cooperate.
But what of the rest of the report? Is that too ‘disowned’? No.
“I have no reason to believe any part of the report needs to be reconsidered at this time.”
Yet the spin doctors have gone crazy. Now what does Btselem have to say, in response, in the Washington Post, where Goldstone wrote about his qualifications to the report’s findings:
“Now Goldstone himself acknowledges that the report was flawed. In a Post op-ed that has created a media storm, he conceded that Israel did not willfully target civilians as a matter of policy. Yet the column, while acknowledging that Israel has opened criminal investigations into the allegations raised, by no means absolves Israel of all the grave allegations regarding its conduct, as official spokespeople rush to conclude.”
It is all too easy to forget this, and start screaming total innocence and total guilt for Hamas.
It is clear that Goldstone has been under incredible personal pressure, which might account for the way he has handled this issue (I suspect that he doesn’t have a team of spin doctors). A full-scale guilt trip had been laid on him, particularly in South Africa. The Forward has a very good discussion of the pressures on him, including the ins and outs of the issue–and the writers still by and large take the Goldstone report very seriously.