Israeli Newspaper: Goldstone backs down fearing prosecution of Israelis

Saleh al-Naami, Monday 4 Apr 2011

Pressure by Jewish groups on Goldstone to withdraw his conclusions puts pay to efforts by the Human Rights Council to see military personnel tried for atrocities committed against Gaza

Richard Goldstone, head of the United Nations (U.N.) Fact Finding Mission on Gaza, looks on during a news conference at the U.N. European headquarters in Geneva, in this September 29, 2009, (Reuters).

Mass distributed Israeli daily Maarif reported on Monday that Richard Goldstone has withdrawn what he had exposed in his report on the Israeli war on Gaza in 2008 fearing the trial of Israeli soldiers and commanders in front of an International tribunal.

The newspaper stressed that Goldstone had decided to write a Washington Post article – where he says his conclusions were biased against Israel – after the Human Rights Council called on the International Court of Justice to use the report in trying the Israelis accused of committing war crimes during operation ‘Cast Lead.’

Maarif reported that Goldstone had informed his friend Isaac Ben Israel, head of the Israeli Space Agency, six months ago that he (Goldstone) did not agree with the final results apparent in the report.

The newspaper also mentioned that Ben Israel was not surprised by what Goldstone disclosed in the article, saying that Goldstone is a Zionist and a supporter of Israel, that his daughter lives in Israel and that he had personally filled in the post of trustee in the Hebrew University.

In its turn, the daily Yediot Ahronot said in its Monday issue that enormous pressure was exerted on Goldstone from various Jewish organizations – especially the ones in South Africa –  to forfeit his position on the report.

Yediot Ahronot made clear that Jews in South Africa have prevented him from taking part in his grandson’s Bar Mitzvah.

The paper cited the chairman Avram Krengel of the South African Zionist Federation that the pressure exerted on Goldstone “made him admit and regret his remarks."

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