The Goldstone report, the product of the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, determined that Israel was guilty of war crimes in Gaza. Back in October, the Israeli ambassador to the U.S. was so incensed by it he wrote a blistering article in response in the The New Republic. He and other commentators saw the report as an attack on Israel's legitimacy, with some even calling it anti-Semitic. On Monday, Judge Richard Goldstone, who put the report together, spoke out on the matter. Here's the breakdown of his address, posted at the South African Zionist Federation:

WHY GOLDSTONE TOOK THE JOB

It is well known that initially I refused to become involved with what I considered to be a mandate that was unfair to Israel by concentrating only on war crimes alleged to have been committed by the Israel Defense Force. When I was offered an even-handed mandate that included war crimes alleged to have been committed against Israel by Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza my position changed.

I have spent much of my professional life in the cause of international criminal justice. It would have been hypocritical for me to continue to speak out against violations of international law and impunity for war crimes around the world but remain silent when it came to Israel simply because I am Jewish.


ON THE LACK OF COOPERATION FROM THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT

I only wish that the energy that the Government of Israel and its supporters had put into discrediting the Report had been invested in cooperating with our Mission. It is obvious but must be stated: Had Israel provided us with credible information to respond to the allegations we received they would have been given appropriate consideration and could potentially have influenced our findings. That was unfortunately not forthcoming.

WHAT HE'D LIKE TO SEE THE GOVERNMENT DO
In conclusion, I would state that it is regrettable that the majority of the members of the Israeli Government decided against accepting the first and primary recommendation of the Gaza Mission namely, to launch its own open and credible investigation into the findings contained in the Report.

ON WHETHER THE REPORT 'DELEGITIMIZES' ISRAEL
I am not aware that the UN Gaza Report has or is being used to delegitimize Israel by questioning her right to exist as a member of the International Community. I would object to any such use being made of it. I also express my expectation and hope that the UN Human Rights Council will treat all violations of humanitarian law, no matter by who committed, in an even- handed manner and hold all members of the United Nations to the same standards.