what Richard Goldstone did write, and what he didn't

The honorable Richard Goldstone wrote an important article to the Washington Post, sharing some of his recent thoughts, following new data gathered regarding the post Gaza investigations regarding allegations of crimes against humanity and war crimes, allegations raised against Israel and Hamas by the fact finding team headed by Goldstone.

Israeli media only brought excerpts of the article, misinterpreted key parts of the article, and for reasons not entirely clear to me, chose not to completely translate the article to hebrew. I wrote about the problematic nature of the interpretations in Israeli media elsewhere in hebrew.

Although I've been critical in the past regarding the UNHCR's teams approach toward Israel, and Goldstone's fact finding mission included, I do not concur with the current descriptions of Goldstone's statements, which somehow appear in the English blog-sphere as well, despite the difficulty to misunderstand should have been greater.

So, lets make some things clear.
What Goldstone did not say, was that the report was erroneous, that it was baseless, or that it should be revoked.

What Goldstone did say, was that due to Israel's choice of not cooperating with his fact-finding mission, the sad result was that the team did not have several facts, which Israel later presented before the United Nations. Had these facts been presented earlier, his fact finding team would have formed a different report.
As a result, the Team's allegations against Israel, describing it as having intentions to attack civilians, have been proven false. But at the time of writing the report, all that the fact finding team had, was the high number of civilian casualties and injuries, and the only logical explanation was intent. The current explanation, following Israel's numerous investigations and findings, is that in most cases these were sad and tragic war mistakes. In a few cases events are still being interrogated, and in several cases I know of, Israeli soldiers have been sentenced to imprisonment, as their conduct has been found to be improper or illegal, thanks to these investigations.
Israel has also changed its combat procedures in urban and populated areas, following the Goldstone report, aiming to minimize future  damages to civilian life and property.
Considering the chronological order of these events, one cannot help but feel that Goldstone's report has been important, maybe even monumental, in Israel's post war self scrutiny.

The allegations regarding intent to hurt civilians were unbased, and Goldstone came forth and made sure everybody knows that this is the case. But civilians were hurt, and that is something we should all aspire to prevent or minimize.

Which brings us to the other part of Goldstone's article, just as important as the one referring Israel, and erroneously described by too many people as naive and foolish.

Goldstone has expected, and still calls for Hamas to perform similar investigations into the attacks against Israeli civilians performed by Hamas forces and other armed forces in Gaza, mainly by usage of missiles and mortars. As much as this initiative may appear unrealistic, it has an immense importance in modern international law, aiming to put some responsibility on the shoulders of non-state organizations, including dual-identity organizations like Hamas, which are both Terror organizations, and civilian organizations managing a part of the future Palestinian territory in the territory of Gaza.

This initiative should have been accepted by all his critiques, and by the state of Israel, as the really important lesson of the Goldstone report, and as a leverage against Hamas, especially in this time, when attacks against Israeli civilian population have significantly renewed, with a clear motive behind

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