Let me more precise: The Goldstone Report was a PR disaster. However, The Goldstone Report and it's subsequent 'press' has been the best thing that has happened to Israel since winning the Six Day War
Ofcourse there is debate as to whether Judge Goldstone should have accepted the role in the first place. However, his acceptance of the role was a coup for the State of Israel
Judge Goldstone, an internationally respected jurist, well known defender of human rights, and a Jew, was best suited to take up the role.
Judge Goldstone's credibility within the international community is (now, possibly: was) extremely high
In taking up the role, Judge Goldstone had to prove to the world that, despite being Jewish, he was able to 'objectively' assess the human rights violations, and the fall-out of the Gaza conflict
If a non-Jew, or a 'real' anti-semite (not the Judge Goldstone type, as portrayed by Jewish Extremists) had accepted the role, the report would have had zero credibility within the Jewish world, and limited credibility within the rest of the world
The fact that Judge Goldstone, a respected jurist, defender of 'human rights' and JEW took up the role, gave the Goldstone report the highest levels of credibility within the non-Israel/non-pro-Israel/non-Zionist world (i.e. 99% of the worlds population - rounded down to the nearest percent)
Judge Goldstone and his colleagues released a report that was accepted by 99% of the world as credible, accurate and objective. Israel and it's supporters viewed the report as biased (and anti-semitic)
Judge Golstone's op-ed in the Washington Post (click on the link to read) revealed the true nature of a man who went into the process, with his eyes open (despite what Israel's 'defenders' initially claimed). Israel was not forthcoming with information (and they never should have been). However, that was seen as a pity by Judge Goldstone, since he knew that impartiality could not be guaranteed.
Regarding Israel's refusal to cooperate in the fact-finding mission, Judge Goldstone expressed his regret back then, when the report was published, and he expressed his regret last week, when he said: "I regret that our fact-finding mission did not have such evidence explaining the circumstances in which we said civilians in Gaza were targeted, because it probably would have influenced our findings about intentionality and war crimes"
The op-ed noted the following crucial points (actual quotes from Judge Goldstone's op-ed):
- That the crimes allegedly committed by Hamas were intentional goes without saying — its rockets were purposefully and indiscriminately aimed at civilian targets
- Indeed, our main recommendation was for each party to investigate, transparently and in good faith, the incidents referred to in our report. McGowan Davis has found that Israel has done this to a significant degree; Hamas has done nothing
- Regrettably, there has been no effort by Hamas in Gaza to investigate the allegations of its war crimes and possible crimes against humanity
- I had hoped that our inquiry into all aspects of the Gaza conflict would begin a new era of evenhandedness at the U.N. Human Rights Council, whose history of bias against Israel cannot be doubted
And now, that Judge Goldstone has been honorable and just, and dealt wisely (and bravely) with the new evidence that he has before him, does that make him less credible?
Do the 99% of the world who accepted the Goldstone Report and used it to violently attack Israel now see Judge Goldstone as a sell-out?
But that would speak of those peoples' own fallability and flaws in their arguements against Israel. Arguements that are based more on hatred and vitriol. than on facts and objectivity
For those people, Judge Goldstone's (or any report) would not have changed their postions/mindsets anyway
Whether Judge Goldstone should have taken up the position is debatable.
However, the fact that Judge Goldstone did take up the role, could not have worked out any better for Israel. Any other person leading that Gaza mission would never have resulted in such a positive outcome for Israel
It was Judge Goldstone's credibility and objectivity then that still holds true today.
And that has resulted in a wake-up call to Israel's detractors