NY Times gives defenders of discredited Goldstone report a helping hand

Leo Rennert
Ethan Bronner, the Jerusalem bureau chief of the New York Times, writes in a lengthy April 14 dispatch that three members of the UN Goldstone inquiry panel, in a complete break with the chairman, Richard Goldstone, are sticking by  earlier charges that Israel committed "war crimes" during its anti-terrorist offensive in Gaza two years ago by deliberately targeting civilians ("3 UN Investigators Reject Goldstone's Shift on Gaza War")

Bronner reports that the three -- Hina Jilani of Pakistan, Desmond Travers of Ireland and Christine Chinkin of Britain -- issued a joint statement saying that "any attempt to backtrack on their report amounted to yielding to outside pressure, and that doing so would deprive the victims of justice."

Bronner calls their statement a "a firm rebuke of Mr. Goldstone, and of efforts to reconsider and even nullify the report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2009."

Goldstone himself has retracted the key conclusions of his own panel, saying that if he knew then what he knows now, the report's findings would have been quite different.

Bronner's article gives extensive prominence to statements of the other three Goldstone panelists, including their charges that the chairman caved to outside pressures, while portraying themselves as defenders of human rights and humanitarian law who also have been pressured to retract, but courageously are sticking to their guns.

However, what Bronner fails to tell readers of the New York Times is that Goldstone's colleagues on the UN inquiry panel already had displayed gross bias against Israel even before they got on the Goldstone panel and thus conducted a totally flawed, one-sided investigation.  Nowhere does Bronner question their integrity.  Yet, thei anti-Israel animus which they harbored before the investigation has been amply documented.

For example, Desmond Travers had made comments like the following before going on the panel:  That in the days preceding Israel's three-week offensive to halt rocket barrages fired from Gaza, Hamas fired only a couple of rockets -- not the 125 rockets and 80 mortar shells that actually fell on Israel.  For good measure, Travers also had called Gaza "the only Gulag in the Western Hemisphere" and deplored undue influence by Britain's "Jewish Lobby."

As for Christine Chinkin, she went on the Goldstone panel having already heaped charges of "war crimes" against Israel.

Yet, there's nothing in Bronner's dispatch to indicate that the Goldstone panel, from its inception, was stacked with biased members who would have been rejected for good cause -- inherent bias against Israel --  for jury service in any courtroom in the civilized world.
Ethan Bronner, the Jerusalem bureau chief of the New York Times, writes in a lengthy April 14 dispatch that three members of the UN Goldstone inquiry panel, in a complete break with the chairman, Richard Goldstone, are sticking by  earlier charges that Israel committed "war crimes" during its anti-terrorist offensive in Gaza two years ago by deliberately targeting civilians ("3 UN Investigators Reject Goldstone's Shift on Gaza War")

Bronner reports that the three -- Hina Jilani of Pakistan, Desmond Travers of Ireland and Christine Chinkin of Britain -- issued a joint statement saying that "any attempt to backtrack on their report amounted to yielding to outside pressure, and that doing so would deprive the victims of justice."

Bronner calls their statement a "a firm rebuke of Mr. Goldstone, and of efforts to reconsider and even nullify the report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2009."

Goldstone himself has retracted the key conclusions of his own panel, saying that if he knew then what he knows now, the report's findings would have been quite different.

Bronner's article gives extensive prominence to statements of the other three Goldstone panelists, including their charges that the chairman caved to outside pressures, while portraying themselves as defenders of human rights and humanitarian law who also have been pressured to retract, but courageously are sticking to their guns.

However, what Bronner fails to tell readers of the New York Times is that Goldstone's colleagues on the UN inquiry panel already had displayed gross bias against Israel even before they got on the Goldstone panel and thus conducted a totally flawed, one-sided investigation.  Nowhere does Bronner question their integrity.  Yet, thei anti-Israel animus which they harbored before the investigation has been amply documented.

For example, Desmond Travers had made comments like the following before going on the panel:  That in the days preceding Israel's three-week offensive to halt rocket barrages fired from Gaza, Hamas fired only a couple of rockets -- not the 125 rockets and 80 mortar shells that actually fell on Israel.  For good measure, Travers also had called Gaza "the only Gulag in the Western Hemisphere" and deplored undue influence by Britain's "Jewish Lobby."

As for Christine Chinkin, she went on the Goldstone panel having already heaped charges of "war crimes" against Israel.

Yet, there's nothing in Bronner's dispatch to indicate that the Goldstone panel, from its inception, was stacked with biased members who would have been rejected for good cause -- inherent bias against Israel --  for jury service in any courtroom in the civilized world.