Monday, April 4, 2011

Goldstone Recants; Who's Next?

It seemed like an April Fool's Day hoax at first:  Richard Goldstone admitted in print that the most serious charge in the UN Report that bears his name was false-- the IDF, he now admits, did not have a policy of targeting civilians in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. He also, in an understatement of mammoth proportions, noted that "asking Hamas to investigate [itself] may have been a mistaken enterprise".  He blithely apologizes for taking the word of Hamas at face value in making the determination that Israel deliberately attacked civilians in Gaza, claiming "We had no evidence on which to draw any other reasonable conclusion."

I don't know whether Goldstone's conscience finally caught up to him, or what else motivated him to recognize what Israel's supporters had known from the start-- that the entire process was going to be about as honest as a game of 3 Card Monte; that his colleagues on the commission had determined the verdict before the "investigation" even started; that the very concept that he could conduct an impartial inquiry of Hamas in Gaza was ludicrous; and-- of course-- that Israel was not targeting civilians in Gaza, while Hamas was attempting to commit acts of mass murder against Israeli civilians.  Perhaps in his recent speaking tour of the US he encountered enough people who used the report as a weapon to delegitimize "apartheid Israel" , or to support the BDS movement whose goal is the end of Jewish statehood.  

But it got me to thinking-- what if this admission by Goldstone sets off a chain reaction of other conscience-clearing retractions, and admissions that Israel was right all along?  Imagine the stories (unfortunately, these are, for the moment, still fictional):

"We really thought that the occupation was a legitimate excuse for stabbing children through the hearts and slitting their throats.  And we thought that we really shouldn't hold the Palestinian extremists subject to our own culturally-biased standards, because as a population under occupation they can't be expected to have any shred of human decency whatsoever.  We had no evidence to draw any other reasonable conclusion."

President Obama Admits That Apartments Are Not The Main Obstacle to Peace

"If I had known then what I know now, I would not have insisted publicly that Israel freeze all building across the Green Line as a precondition for negotiations.  I thought that if Israel would stop building apartments in Jerusalem, then the Palestinian Authority would be willing to stop its media broadcasts that demonize Jews, glorify terror, incite murder, and reject the existence of Israel entirely. I had no evidence on which to draw any other reasonable conclusion."

Palestinian Authority Retracts Its Statements Denying Jewish History in the Land of Israel

Palestinian Authority Deputy Minister of Information Almutawaqel Taha said "Nobody had ever suggested to us that the Jews came from this land.  I mean, it's not like they have any historical tradition of ties to Jerusalem, which we have been revering as our historic capital for at least, oh, 30 or 40 years.  Or any museums with ancient artifacts such as coins or tablets, or any holy sites-- UNESCO said they were all mosques, so how were we to know differently?  We had no evidence on which to draw any other reasonable conclusion."

Of course, not all of the possible acknowledgements might be positive, but at least they would add clarity: 

Ahmedinejad Admits He Wants A Nuclear Weapon and To Start a Second Holocaust

"Sure, I can admit it now.  I know the international community won't treat me the way they did that dog Gaddafi.  They're even afraid to speak up about my lackey-- er, loyal ally-- Assad in Syria. As long as you're willing to murder your own people in cold blood at ground level rather than bomb them from the air, the West will steer clear.  
The Americans and Europeans make noise about trying to stop me, but they're not willing to do what is necessary.  I have no evidence on which to draw any other reasonable conclusion."