Beyond Criticism

Judge Richard Goldstone is a respected South African jurist who authored the “Goldstone Report”, which detailed the investigation of the Israeli military campaign in Gaza at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009. It became a controversial report, so much so Judge Goldstone had trouble not long after it was issued attending his grandson’s bar-mitzvah. In some pro-Israeli circles he was vilified and the criticism did not let up. Now the judge has issued a revised opinion of his findings citing evidence he did not have at the time and which soften his view of the Israelis intentionally targeting Palestinian civilians. He now finds they did not do so as a matter of policy. Some commentators find fault with his current reasoning, some with his new arguments admitting to being baffled as to why a respected jurist would flip flop in this way. It may be that the issue is not to be found in rational arguments but in personal ones. What inner conflicts, family pressures, personal issues led to the change? In the end Judge Goldstone’s amendment of his report ought to viewed not with criticism but with compassion.