Jeff Jacoby

The Goldstone Report was a blood libel.

Issued in September 2009 by a UN "fact-finding mission" headed by the South African jurist Richard Goldstone, the 450-page document was an indictment of Israel's conduct during the brief war it launched in Gaza at the end of 2008 to end the intolerable rocket and mortar attacks by Hamas on Israel's southern towns. The Israeli campaign, the report charged, was nothing less than "a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate, and terrorize a civilian population." It repeatedly suggested that Israel was guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The Goldstone report did incalculable damage to Israel's good name. Breathlessly hyped in the media, it accelerated the already frenzied international campaign to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish state. Like the widely publicized "shooting" of 12-year-old Mohammed al-Dura in 2000 and the Jenin "massacre" of 2002, the UN accusation of Israeli war crimes in Gaza blackened Israel's reputation and inflamed its enemies. In reality, the al-Dura and Jenin incidents never happened -- they were eventually exposed as Palestinian propaganda hoaxes. The Goldstone Report too was a Big Lie. As even Goldstone himself has now confessed.

In an article published Friday in The Washington Post, Goldstone admitted that his mission's venomous central allegation -- that Israel purposely murdered Palestinian noncombatants -- was false:

Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby is an Op-Ed writer for the Boston Globe, a radio political commentator, and a contributing columnist for