As noted yesterday, Richard Goldstone has recanted and regretted much of his report issued on behalf of the United Nations Human Rights Council accusing Israel of serious war crimes during the Gaza war.

So how do we cleanse the world of the putrid stench of the Goldstone Report?

It cannot be done. 

The notion that Israel committed war crimes and deliberately targeted civilians lives on in the public consciousness, and in articles like this one from anti-Israel law professor George Bisharat published in the LA Times in September 2009, Goldstone report: Israel’s failings:

In its findings on Israel’s conduct, the report noted that the ruinous siege on Gaza, imposed long before the invasion, collectively punished its residents in violation of international law. During the attack, Israeli troops killed civilians without justification, wantonly destroyed civilian infrastructure and private homes, and used weapons illegally. Israeli troops targeted and destroyed Gaza’s last functioning flour mill. Israeli armored bulldozers razed the chicken farm that provided 10% of Gaza’s eggs, burying 31,000 chickens in rubble. Israeli gunners bombed a raw sewage lagoon, releasing 200,000 cubic meters of filth into neighboring farmland. Repeated pinpoint strikes on a water well complex destroyed all of its essential machinery.

These are just some of the facts that led the mission to conclude that Israel’s objective in the attack was “to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population, radically diminish its local economic capacity both to work and to provide for itself, and to force upon it an ever increasing sense of dependency and vulnerability.”

Bisharat’s article has been republished far and wide.  And repeated with variations on a theme by Bisharat in other newspapers and in speeches since then.

Bisharat is not alone.  Using the Goldstone Report to delegitimize Israel and to put Israel on the defensive has become a cottage industry spanning the full breadth of the Islamist-Leftist Anti-Israel Coalition.

 Jon Podhoretz (h/t Instapundit) suggests as to Richard Goldstone:

It would be right for world Jewry that his name be hereafter summoned as we summon Benedict Arnold’s, or Tokyo Rose’s.

It’s too late to unring the bell, and as we all know, in this world there is no office to which Israel can go to get back its reputation, certainly not the vile U.N. Human Rights Council:

The council has criticized Israel on 27 separate occasions [since its creation in June 2006], in resolutions that grant effective impunity to Hamas, Hezbollah and their state sponsors. Obsessed with condemning Israel, the Council in its first year failed to condemn human rights violations occurring in any of the world’s 191 other countries. In its second year, the Council finally criticized one other country when it “deplored” the situation in Burma, but only after it censored out initial language containing the word “condemn.” It even praised Sudan for its “cooperation.” In its third year,

The Council’s fixation with Israel is not limited to resolutions. Israel is the only country listed on the Council’s permanent agenda …. Moreover, Israel is the only country subjected to an investigatory mandate that examines the actions of only one side, presumes those actions to be violations, and which is not subject to regular review.

The U.N. Human Rights Council is not a human rights council, it simply is an anti-Israel forum which uses useful idiots like Richard Goldstone for cover and legitimacy.  The Goldstone Report was the crowing achievement of the U.N. Human Rights Council.

The U.N. Human Rights Council, created in the hopes of curing the ills of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, should be eliminated.  That would be the fitting response to the Goldstone Report and its aftermath.

We cannot eliminate the putrid stench of the Goldstone Report, but we can eliminate the putrid organization from which it grew.

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