Backtrack Goes Without Saying

I don’t know. You go away for a week, and all sorts of things happen behind your back. Sensational things such as Judge Goldstone’s OpEd in the Washington Post. “Sorry, I was a bit wrong!” he said. “Silly me. Wonderful thing, hindsight. We can’t all be perfect, can we?

“That the crimes allegedly committed by Hamas were intentional goes without saying — its rockets were purposefully and indiscriminately aimed at civilian targets.”

No, it doesn’t go without saying. It shouldn’t. It needs to be said.

“I regret that our fact-finding mission did not have such evidence
explaining the circumstances in which we said civilians in Gaza were
targeted, because it probably would have influenced our findings about
intentionality and war crimes.”

“Oops! Sorry! Oh well, it’s partly Israel’s fault for not co-operating with us.”

“we were not able to corroborate how many Gazans killed were civilians and how many were combatants.”

“(So we just believed uncorroborated figures from Hamas.)”

”The Israeli military’s numbers have turned out to be similar to those recently furnished by Hamas”

“Oop! Sorry again. Oh well, you live and learn.”

“The purpose of the Goldstone Report was never to prove a
foregone conclusion against Israel. I insisted on changing the original
mandate adopted by the Human Rights Council, which was skewed against Israel.”

Skewed against Israel, eh? ‘It takes one to know one’ as the saying goes.

“Something that has not been recognized often enough is the fact that our report marked the first time illegal acts of terrorism from Hamas were being investigated and condemned by the United Nations. 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.”

This judge fellow has remarkably high hopes it seems. He must be a jolly little chap, always looking on the bright side.

“…our main recommendation was for each party to investigate, transparently and in good faith, the incidents referred to in our report. McGowan Davis has found that Israel has done this to a significant degree; Hamas has done nothing.

Some have suggested that it was absurd to expect Hamas, an organization that has a policy to destroy the state of Israel, to investigate what we said were serious war crimes. It was my hope, even if unrealistic, that Hamas would do so, especially if Israel conducted its own investigations.”

“Get me! So naïve! Silly old absurd little me.”

The BBC of course, so keen to absorb the Goldstone report and flourish it at the merest whiff of pro Israel odour, was unmoved. “Old Goldie must be having a senior moment,” they assume.

“Operation Cast Lead was launched in response to repeated rocket attacks on Israeli territory by militants in Gaza. Some 1,400 Palestinians were killed, including hundreds of civilians, as well as 13 Israelis.”

“We’re sticking with that, thanks all the same. That’s the one we know and love, and nothing’s gonna change our world.”

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30 Responses to Backtrack Goes Without Saying

  1. deegee says:

    Will the BBC acknowledge the author of the Goldstone Report now rejected it when referencing the war between Israel and Hamas?  
    Richard Goldstone recants but in typical BBC style the response is reported Israel urges UN to cancel Goldstone Report on Gaza war making it sound like special pleading by Israel. It’s illustrated by a Gaza family victim photograph captioned Israel’s 22-day Gaza offensive ended in January 2009, with 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis dead Note the emphasis on the word offensive (Israel started it) and the body count (suggesting disproportionate force)  
    In keeping with this the highlighted quote is:   

    “Israel does not purposely target civilians and its investigative institutions are competent” Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minster. Why not  “civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy” or  “If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.”Richard Goldstone, at least partially acknowledging the libel?  


    As I have mentioned in other posts the headline, first paragraph and illustration are most important as many readers will not go further. They should not, as in this case, imply the gist of the story is something other than the bulk of the text.


  2. hippiepooter says:

    My Learned Hypocrit Judge Gallstones writes:

    “illegal acts of terrorism from Hamas”

    Unlike their legal acts of terrorism, of course.

    What’s that saying about first history happens as tragedy, then repeats itself as farce?

    We should remember how Goldstone wilfully presided over this Report knowing that the three members under him had already signed a letter condemning Israel as guilty for the things they were then appointed by the UNHCR to investigate.

    The Learned Berk also writes:-

    “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.”

    Given the above fact, he’s acknowledgement of the UNHCR’s “undoubted” bias against Israel, who the heck is he hoping to kid?

    He states that his investigation was neither judicial or even quasi judicial, yet – and correct me if I’m wrong anyone – it is used in Courts and by Hamas lawfare groups in the UK.

    Harry’s Place cross posts a good take down of Goldstone from the CSR here.

    Here is a great debunk of the Goldstone Report from Dershowitz here.

    Oh, and while we’re at it, here’s the evidence from Colonel Richard Kemp that Goldstone refused to hear here.

    Goldstone, your name remains sullied in the eyes of honest men.


  3. hippiepooter says:

    BBC Online:

    “Operation Cast Lead was launched in response to repeated rocket attacks on Israeli territory by militants in Gaza. Some 1,400 Palestinians were killed, including hundreds of civilians, as well as 13 Israelis.”

    This is the first time I have seen the BBC acknowledge, albeit ‘not so’s yud notice’ that of the 1,400 hundred figure hundreds were Hamas terrorists.

    Their photo caption though continues to encourage the lie that the Israelis only killed civilians.


    • Biodegradable says:

      Surely “including hundreds of civilians” should read “mostly Hamas terrorists”?


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      The ghoulish Body Count Narrative is written in stone in the BBC style guide.  There is no escape, even if they’ve had to amend it slightly as a gesture towards honesty.


  4. hippiepooter says:

    And here is a first class post on Harry’s Place (link above) on how the BBC has covered the story here:-

    As Doc Martyn say, the BBC have discovered Goldstone’s retractions.
    The angle is that Israel calls upon the UN to “bury the report” hence the lead is what Israel is asking and NOT that Goldstone retracts.

    That comes as the reason, so putting the cart before the horse.
    The headline should be “Goldstone retracts Gaza report”
    I agree that the photo looks photo-shopped. It make the point that “1,400 Palestinians were killed” but NOT recording a single death of any terrorists (600-700 according to Hamas I seem to remember. Hence “Israelis killed” is (un)balanced by “Palestinians killed” as if there is an equation to be made that reveals some morality that goes against Israel.
    It doesn’t record the fact that Hamas started this conflict by a war crime (Targetting innocent civilians”) and that Israel’s response was defensive after several appeals to Hamas to renew the ceasefire it broke.
    BBC finishes with “No comment from Hamas”


    • Biodegradable says:

      A more appropriate illustration for the piece would be a photo of a team of masked terrorists launching rockets – there are plenty of those images available.


  5. George R says:

    For Islam Not BBC (INBBC):

    “Richard Goldstone recants. What price the Israel witch-hunt now?”

    (Melanie Phillips)


  6. john in cheshire says:

    Check out the ‘Dissecting Leftism’ website. They cover the Goldstone story too. It’s the second story down – after the Jewish joke.


  7. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Well put, sue.

    As for the headline of the BBC report itself, what else can one say besides:

    The BBC’s editorial policy on Israel is biased in such a way as to demonize Israel at every opportunity, although the BBC disputes this.


  8. Umbongo says:

    From the BBC article cited:  
    “In an opinion piece in the Washington Post on Friday, Mr Goldstone wrote that his conclusions about Israel appeared to have been wrong.”  
    Note how the BBC labels Goldstone’s contribution in the Washington Post, an “opinion” piece.  In other words, the column is only Goldstone’s opinion which (although he wrote the report from which he is resiling) is as good or bad as anyone elses’s.  Oddly, I’ve never seen/heard the “impartial” and “unbiased” reports or “analyses” unloaded by Richard Black or Roger Harrabin on an unsuspecting public labelled as “opinion” pieces although that’s exactly what they are.  Also Goldstone is reported by the BBC as writing that his conclusions “appeared” to have been wrong; the implication being that Goldstone is still doubtful and considers that the conclusions might be correct anyway.  As I read his WP article Goldstone is clear, albeit wriggling like a worm and blaming Israel for the report’s shortcomings, that the conclusions were plain wrong: no doubts.  
    Accordingly, I expect that, if the BBC doesn’t just go silent on this (the probable treatment), Goldstone’s Jewish background will suddenly be emphasised.  The implication will be that Goldstone is sadly not a BBC archetype “good” Jew after all and that underneath all that mock-liberal flim-flam he’s just another of those Jew-Zionists who stole Palestine


    • hippiepooter says:

      “Note how the BBC labels Goldstone’s contribution in the Washington Post, an “opinion” piece.”

      Great spot.  The BBC are masters at getting the right nuerons twitching to consign to oblivion uncomfortable truths.

      The author of this report has pulled a number of subtle strokes in this ostensibly straight reporting to obscure the significance of Goldstone’s piece.

      Has it been running on BBC TV & Radio?


  9. sue says:

    I don’t know why but this image, captioned “disappointed” made me laugh


    • sue says:

      Oh, I see you’ve already linked to the above. Sorry for the duplication.


  10. hippiepooter says:

    Apologies if this has already been posted, but a great piece in the Jerusalem Post on a debate Goldstone took part in a few days before his WAPO article was published:-


  11. TooTrue says:

    Some people I’ve spoken to reckon that Goldstone had courage to admit he got it wrong. (Though as sue points out he partly blames Israel for his own shortcomings.) But he seems to be unconcerned by the tremendous damage he has done to Israel by presiding over the UN hatchet job. Or perhaps he is so naive that he doesn’t understand the repercussions of what he has done.

    This appears to be the typical and terminal naivete of the left. The man really expected Hamas to conduct an inquiry into the rocket firing? He appears not to know anything about Hamas.

    Of course, there is no way to undo the damage.


  12. Cassandra King says:

    The real value of propaganda is that it can shape peoples perceptions while being untrue and it really does not matter if the propaganda is later found to be a pack of made up lies because the damage has been done and perceptions have been shaped and prejudices fed.

    This is where the BBC comes in, it pumps out lies and deceptions specifically designed to shape perceptions and influence opinion and plays to existing prejudice. Any news that can be used as a vehicle to further BBC prejudice and the BBCs own political narrative is used, the vehicle is loaded with the requisite amount of propaganda already in place and waiting btw and the loaded vehicle is sent out to do its work.

    Once the greater story leaks out or more facts become known and the original BBC vehicle as been exposed for for the lies they are, the retraction rarely comes and if it does come it is designed to be as weak and shoddy as possible enabling the BBC to claim they have covered the mistake while making sure that the damage to the BBC and its original vehicle is limited.

    Once uleashed the propaganda vehicle loaded with the requisite amount of incendiary propaganda has done its intended job, it has shaped perceptions, half arsed half cooked retractions rarely if ever make any real difference after the fact and the damage is already done. This is what the BBC does best, this is their meat and drink and they are experts.


  13. Mailman says:

    One cannot help but think, as they read Goldstones recanting of his report, at just how stupid he  was to have produced “that” report in the first place.

    it seems now that the “truths” we knew, that Israel does not deliberately target innocent civilians has only just NOW been rammed in to his skull simply because the truth is SO SELF EVIDENT that he can no longer look the other way.



  14. sue says:

    I’ve been reading a lot more on this. People mention the feather pillow analogy quite a lot – as with most negative propaganda the damage can never be undone. Once it’s implanted in people’s brains, that’s it.

    They also mention Goldstone’s courage in admitting his errors, but I wonder if he thought that was what he had actually done. It was more like a damage limitation effort, and a feeble one at that.
    Disproportionate, you might call it.

    People influenced by the original report – Zillions.
    People influenced by the revision – 13.
    Though Goldstone disputes this.


  15. TooTrue says:

    The New York Times wont publish his retraction? Incredible, but on second thoughts, perhaps that is par for the course. The media was hammering at Goldstone’s door when he was Israel-bashing. Now that he’s gone into reverse mode…


  16. sue says:

    The good news is that Robin Shepherd has launched a new online Magazine/newspaper. The Commentator

    Less good though, is the news that The Foreign Office, however, confirmed its continued support for investigations into Cast Lead and said it did not want to see the withdrawal of the Goldstone Report from the United Nations.”


  17. Biodegradable says:

    Keeping the “Israelis are child killers” pot on the boil:

    Dr Abuelaish: Israel ‘should apologise’ for child deaths