Israel’s Jerusalem Post has graciously welcomed an about-face by one of her more recent critics, former South African judge Richard Goldstone. Goldstone rose to fame (?infamy) as the Chair of the 2009 UN panel investigating the attack on Gaza by the Israel Defence Force following unacceptable levels of rocket attacks by terror groups based there. Judge Goldstone’s name was at the foot of a string of accusations against Israel, all the while ignoring the constant stream of rocket attacks coming from Gaza – each one of which was a war crime in itself.
Realising that the report he had given his name to was grossly unbalanced and basically followed the agenda of anti-Israel campaigners, he recanted his conclusions in an April 2011 op-ed in the Washington Post. The latest positive comments form the Jerusalem Post have been prompted by another op-ed by Goldstone in the New York Times a few days ago (1st november), in which he confronts head-on the repeated accusation that Israel is an “apartheid state”.
Levellers of this charge are attempting to promote a perception that there are parallels between the state-initiated discrimination and bigotry of previous South African regimes and the actions of the Jewish state of Israel. their aim is the bring about change by encouraging international sanctions against Israel that have the same effect as those against South Africa did – the weakening and eventual fall of a government.
Everyone who wants to see fair and balanced treatment of the issues of the Middle East should read Goldstone’s article. He is supremely qualified to address the issue, since he was himself part of the system he now condemns. and he is supremely correct in his conclusions; there are no parallels between apartheid South Africa and Israel’s treatment of her Arabs population and her Palestinian neighbours.
Read Goldstone’s op-ed here and the Jerusalem Post’s comments here.