The former hanging-judge of apartheid South Africa, Richard Goldstone, is continuing his quest to shed the reputation as the man who has done more to embolden Israel’s de-legitimizers than any person on the planet. The Post in April published his op-ed disclaiming a central allegation of his infamous U.N.. report on Israel’s conduct in the Gaza War, namely that Israel intentionally targeted civilians.
Now he appears on the op-ed page of the New York Times, once again pulling the rug out from under the anti-Israel left. He writes:
One particularly pernicious and enduring canard that is surfacing again is that Israel pursues “apartheid” policies. In Cape Town starting on Saturday, a London-based nongovernmental organization called the Russell Tribunal on Palestine will hold a “hearing” on whether Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid. It is not a “tribunal.” The “evidence” is going to be one-sided and the members of the “jury” are critics whose harsh views of Israel are well known.
While “apartheid” can have broader meaning, its use is meant to evoke the situation in pre-1994 South Africa. It is an unfair and inaccurate slander against Israel, calculated to retard rather than advance peace negotiations.
I know all too well the cruelty of South Africa’s abhorrent apartheid system, under which human beings characterized as black had no rights to vote, hold political office, use “white” toilets or beaches, marry whites, live in whites-only areas or even be there without a “pass.” Blacks critically injured in car accidents were left to bleed to death if there was no “black” ambulance to rush them to a “black” hospital. “White” hospitals were prohibited from saving their lives.
The irony is great here, given his own role in ordering the execution of so many South African blacks during the apartheid era. But to Israel’s enemies that lionized Goldstone as a great truth-teller this must sting:
In Israel, there is no apartheid. . . .To be sure, there is more de facto separation between Jewish and Arab populations than Israelis should accept. Much of it is chosen by the communities themselves. Some results from discrimination. But it is not apartheid, which consciously enshrines separation as an ideal. In Israel, equal rights are the law, the aspiration and the ideal; inequities are often successfully challenged in court.
The situation in the West Bank is more complex. But here too there is no intent to maintain “an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group.” This is a critical distinction, even if Israel acts oppressively toward Palestinians there. South Africa’s enforced racial separation was intended to permanently benefit the white minority, to the detriment of other races. By contrast, Israel has agreed in concept to the existence of a Palestinian state in Gaza and almost all of the West Bank, and is calling for the Palestinians to negotiate the parameters.
I’ll waste no sleep over wondering if Goldstone is truly repentant. And pro-Israel advocates shouldn’t be tempted to use Goldstone to prove their arguments, for Goldstone’s credibility is non-existent. Goldstone’s sudden surge of good feelings toward the Jewish state is actually most revealing of the faux human rights groups that worshiped at his feet so long as he was condemning the Jewish state.
NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based watchdog group that has revealed the overt anti-Israel bias of ostensibly pro-human rights groups, puts out a written statement that reads in part:
“NGO superpowers like Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International, along with smaller NGOs like Al Haq and Adalah - many of which receive funding from the New Israel Fund (NIF) and European governments - have been central in spreading this false apartheid analogy,” [NGO Monitor president Professor Gerald] Steinberg adds. “HRW’s Ken Roth was a key figure in orchestrating the Goldstone Report on Gaza - like this report, Roth is now completely discredited. Similarly, Goldstone’s words answer B’Tselem’s Jessica Montell, who has offensively stated that ‘In some cases, the situation in the West Bank is worse than apartheid in South Africa.’ She, along with the hundreds of other NGO representatives that have demonized Israel through the Durban strategy, are now exposed for their rhetoric that contributes to hatred and stands in sharp contrast to the moral foundations of universal human rights.
These groups are now left without their favorite jurist and without cover for their campaign against the Jewish state. This should be illuminating for any members of the public and press who may continue to confuse these groups with serious defenders of human rights. In fact, they are simply Goldstonians — purveyors of falsehoods and intellectual frauds — minus the apology tour.