U.N. Judge Recants Israel War-Crimes Charge

After Israel’s heavily criticized invasion of Gaza in 2008-2009 left 1,400 Palestinians dead, a U.N. commission led by South African justice Richard Goldstone issued a report saying there was evidence Israel potentially committed war crimes and “crimes against humanity.” But in a Washington Post op-ed Sunday, Goldstone writes that credible investigations by the Israeli military have shown that, in most of the incidents in question, Israel did not intentionally kill Palestinian civilians. Goldstone said his report was not meant to be final or judicial, but if he’d had the information he has now, it “would have been a different document.” In his recantation of his findings, the justice said Israel was partially to blame for the error of the report because it refused to participate in the investigations and dragged out its own investigations so long that the charges stuck. Goldstone did, however, commend Israel for eventually carrying out 400 investigations "in good faith"—something Hamas, he writes, has yet to do.