Monday, April 4, 2011

Goldstone's retraction turns laws of war into Israel's "surmountable nuisance," says Noura Erekat

Below, our former National Organizer, Noura Erekat, responds with insight on Justice Richard Goldstone's frustrating steps to distance himself from some of his own most crucial findings 24 months ago in his U.N. investigation of Israel's largest-ever attack on the Gaza Strip. Goldstone wrote a critical op-ed in last Friday's Washington Post. Erekat is currently an adjunct professor at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies in Georgetown University.

Goldstone: An act of negligence

Downplay of Israeli aggression towards civilians during the Gaza War, causes scholars to question Richard Goldstone.

Noura Erekat
April 4, 2011

In the wake of a monumental victory in the human rights community to move the Goldstone Report out of the Human Rights Council (HRC) to the General Assembly where it can be underpinned by actionable follow up, Justice Richard Goldstone’s recent editorial makes some human rights practitioners wish it had been left to languish in the HRC.

Goldstone sought to do two things in his op-ed: to amend the record by stating that Israel’s attacks may not have been deliberate and second, to emphasise Hamas’s culpability under the laws of war. In the best case scenario, Goldstone’s intervention is a problematic attempt to cajole Israel to participate in the international process for accountability.

However, even in that case, the editorial is counterproductive, short-sighted, and casts Goldstone's attempts as no less than curious. 

Just last week, I had the chance to speak to Goldstone at Stanford Law School where I participated in a debate on the report featuring him as a discussant.