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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dershowitz rips apart Goldstone

45 pages of damning critique:
The Goldstone Report, when read in full and in context, is much worse than most of its detractors (and supporters) believe. It is far more accusatory of Israel, far less balanced in its criticism of Hamas, far less honest in its evaluation of the evidence, far less responsible in drawing its conclusion, far more biased against Israeli than Palestinian witnesses, and far more willing to draw adverse inferences of intentionality from Israeli conduct and statements than from comparable Palestinian conduct and statements. It is worse than any report previously prepared by any other United Nations agency or human rights group. As Major General Avichai Mandelblit, the advocate general of the Israeli Defense Forces, aptly put it:

“I have read every report, from Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the Arab League. We ourselves set up investigations into 140 complaints. It is when you read these other reports and complaints that you realize how truly vicious the Goldstone report is. He made it look like we set out to go after the economic infrastructure and civilians, that it was intentional: It’s a vicious lie.”[2]

The Goldstone report is, to any fair reader, a shoddy piece of work, unworthy of serious consideration by people of good will, committed to the truth.

... It is poorly written, obviously drafted by several different hands and without the benefit of a good overall editor. It is laden with internal inconsistencies, shoddy citations of authority, and overall poor craftsmanship. If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, this report lacks even the grace of a dromedary. Most of the commentary on the report, both pro and con, seems to be based on its somewhat sanitized summary and conclusion. Some of the worst mistakes are buried very deep in the report, many of the most serious ones toward the end.

I have read every word of the report and compared different sections. I have offered to debate Goldstone about its contents. He has refused, as he has generally refused to respond substantively to credible critics of the report. My offer to debate still stands. If he refuses, as I expect he will, let him at least respond to the serious legal, factual and moral criticisms contained in this study and others.[3] As the head of the mission and the report’s most visible public defender, Goldstone has a public obligation to respond to responsible criticism, which to date, he has not done.

In the coming week, the Secretary-General of the United Nations will present a compilation of responses to the Goldstone Report.[4] I am submitting this analysis for inclusion.

Most of Dershowitz's findings are things we have seen before, but he presents it well, focused on the report's flawed methodology and clear bias. Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: I just noticed that Dershowitz quoted Hosem.org for a list of militants who were classified as civilian. The Hosem people wanted to use my team's research and video, but they wanted an exclusive, which I was not willing to do. So I told them my methodology and they essentially re-did my and my team's work, using only the Al Qassam Brigades website. They did a nice job, though.