Revisiting Goldstone’s “Blood Libel”

Spencer Ackerman does us the service of juxtaposing things Richard Goldstone actually said about Israel’s conduct with the ludicrous smears Michael Oren and The New Republic actually said about Goldstone. Here’s the respected South African jurist characterizing Israeli conduct:

Israel is correct that identifying combatants in a heavily populated area is difficult, and that Hamas fighters at times mixed and mingled with civilians. But that reality did not lift Israel’s obligation to take all feasible measures to minimize harm to civilians.

And here’s Israel’s Ambassador to the United States characterizing Goldstone’s characterization:

[M]ore insidiously, the report does not only hamstring Israel; it portrays the Jews as the deliberate murderers of innocents — as Nazis.


For good reasons, American law makes it nigh-upon-impossible for a public figure involved in a political controversy to win a libel lawsuit but to say that what Goldstone wrote is tantamount to “portray[ing] the Jews . . . as Nazis” certainly fits the ordinary language definition. Either that or else Oren has a shockingly mild-mannered take on Nazism. Note also that Goldstone takes, appropriately, an attitude of unrestrained condemnation toward the Hamas rocket attacks that are at issue here. There’s just nothing even remotely resembling what Oren alleges in the report. It’s good to see The New Republic taking on the monster they created when the published Betsy McCaughey’s outlandish lies fifteen years ago, but that content is sitting side by side with Oren’s outlandish lies. It still doesn’t amount to a publication that’s devoted to trying to offer accurate commentary on the issues of the day.