It was good to see Mona Charen’s piece “Goldstone’s apology for anti-Israel report comes too late” in the S-R on April 5. In his Op-Ed piece in the Washington Post, Richard Goldstone acknowledged that civilians were, in fact, not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy by Israel during Operation Cast Lead, the 2009 war in the Gaza Strip, a response to four years of missile attacks against Israeli civilians.
In fact, the IDF went to extraordinary lengths to minimize civilian casualties, although there is no question that they did occur. On the other hand, Hamas deliberately targeted civilians, put the Palestinians at risk by using them as human shields, and not surprisingly, never investigated any of the incidents referred to in the Goldstone report.
Goldstone’s report was irresponsible and inaccurate. But even now that he has apologized, he has stated that he wouldn’t seek nullification of the report.
One wonders why he apologized now. It seems that many civilians are being killed in the NATO bombing campaign in Libya, a campaign that is thought to be very well intentioned. Sadly, it’s not so easy to assure that there are no innocent casualties in war.