In the face of Richard Goldstone’s own retraction, Hamas seems to be resorting to a Dan Rather-esque defense: it’s false… except it’s true, darn it! In calling attention to itself here, of course, Hamas knows it will face no consequences for its ongoing, intentional targeting of civilians.
Rewarding bad behavior ensures it will be repeated. “Hamas: Goldstone report substance remains unchanged,” from CNN, April 3:
(CNN) — While the recent retraction of the most damning criticism against Israel’s military offensive in Gaza came as a surprise to Hamas, the militant group says the substance of the controversial “Goldstone Report” hasn’t changed.
The report, issued in September 2009 and authored by former South African jurist Richard Goldstone, found both Israel and Hamas likely committed war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during the conflict between December 27, 2008, and January 18, 2009. Israel launched the offensive against Gaza militants in response to ongoing firing of rockets against southern Israeli towns.
However, in a Washington Post op-ed column posted on the newspaper’s website Friday, Goldstone said he would have reached different conclusions if the Israeli military had been more forthcoming and if he had known the results of subsequent investigations.
“If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document,” wrote Richard Goldstone, a former South African jurist, in a Washington Post op-ed column Friday.
Still, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told CNN on Sunday that Hamas continues to support implementation of the Goldstone report as it was originally published and approved.
“Hamas (is) surprised by the position by Judge Goldstone that he expressed his retreat on parts of the international report and accepting the Israeli narrative even though the Israeli occupation refused the welcoming and corporation and we welcomed and facilitated the work of the team,” he said.
The report was a group effort by a commission, and not just Goldstone, so his sole change of opinion does not take away from from the report’s credibility, he said. […]
Pleading for the document’s validity through circumstances, not facts.
In 2009, when the Goldstone Report came out, Ibrahim Khraishi, the Palestinian Authority’s ambassador to the United Nations, called it professional and unbiased.
“This report should not be another report to just document and archive,” Khraishi said. “My people will not forgive this council if they let these criminals go unpunished.”
That was the whole point of the OIC-initiated report, as Melanie Phillips observed: “putting rocket-fuel behind Israel’s delegitimisation as a pariah in the eyes of the world”
But the United States, which along with with the European Union considers Hamas to be a terrorist organization, has contended the report was “deeply flawed.”
In February 2010, Alejandro Wolff, U.S. deputy representative to the United Nations, criticized the report and “its unbalanced focus on Israel, the negative inferences it draws about Israel’s intentions and actions, its failure to deal adequately with the asymmetrical nature of the Gaza conflict, and its failure to assign appropriate responsibility to Hamas for deliberately targeting civilians and basing itself and its operations in heavily civilian-populated urban areas.”