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Second Thoughts on the Goldstone Report

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
Editors' note: this column is co-authored by Robert Morrison.

Richard Goldstone is a retired justice of South Africa ’s Constitutional Court . He is Jewish and a Zionist. So, when this distinguished jurist issued a report commissioned by the UN’s Human Rights Council, it was known that the Goldstone Report would gain worldwide attention. It did. That’s because this September 2009 report condemned both Israel and Hamas for “possible crimes against humanity.”

This is the first time a credible figure like Goldstone lent his name to such an explosive allegation. To place Israel on a par with known terrorist groups like Hamas was gravely damaging to the Jewish state. But Justice Goldstone’s reputation for integrity and his attention to detail caused even some Israelis and defenders of Israel ’s conduct in the Gaza War (2008-09) to have second thoughts.

Now, it seems Justice Goldstone himself is having second thoughts. In a Washington Post column, the South African admits that “if I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.”

Goldstone belatedly acknowledges that Israel has thoroughly investigated some 400 allegations of operational misconduct against the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). To date, Hamas has investigated nothing. Goldstone points to one terrible incident, in which 29 members of the al-Simouni family of Palestinians were killed in their home because an Israeli commander apparently misread data from a drone.

Now, Justice Goldstone is calling on his sponsor, the UN Human Rights Council, to condemn the recent murders of a young Israeli couple and three of their little children as they slept in their West Bank home. One of the victims in the religious settlement of Itamar, near Nablus , was a baby sleeping on the eve of the Jewish Sabbath. The murders took place last month.

Thus far, the UN Human Rights Council seems not inclined to condemn these West Bank killings of Jews too hastily. That was not the case, of course, when Justice Goldstone issued his earlier report indicting Israel . Then, Human Rights Council members loudly denounced Israel and conveniently forgot about the Goldstone Report’s findings on Hamas.

We should not be too surprised. The UN Human Rights Council counts among its members such friends of humanity as Cuba . The leftist authors of The Black Book of Communism inform us that Cuba ’s Castro brothers have killed some 40,000 of their own countrymen. Most recently, Christian dissident Orlando Zapata died following a prison hunger strike. Other members-in-good-standing of this UN body include China (where 60 million died under Chairman Mao), Russia (which has yet to investigate the origins and extent of its Gulag), and Saudi Arabia (where converts to Christianity are beheaded and their corpses crucified, albeit not on crosses since these continue to be banned.)

Gaddafi’s Libya was an elected member of the Human Rights Council. His known murder of 270 people aboard PanAm 103 over Lockerbie , Scotland in 1988 was no bar to his regime being elected to the UN’s Human Rights Council. But this state was suspended from the Council on March 1st of this year. That’s when Gaddafi began murdering Muslims, too

We need a major congressional investigation into U.S. taxpayer funding for the UN.

Currently, Americans pay between 22% and 25% of the world body’s budget. U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice—widely expected to succeed the unhappy Hillary Clinton in a second Obama term—was unable to give a precise figure of U.S. financial support to the UN. She relies on a figure of $3.539 billion, while investigative journalist Claudia Rosett reports in Forbes.com that the real figure is closer to $6,347,415,000.

This is a lot of money to shell out to an organization—the UN—that cheers when a once distinguished jurist like Richard Goldstone condemns Israel . The UN regularly puts the worst human rights abusers in the world on its Human Rights Council. It has ignored tens of millions of deaths around the world. And all the while, it advertises itself as a world body for peace.

In response to Richard Goldstone’s mea culpa, and as a matter of simple justice, let’s cut off all U.S. taxpayer support for the UN until its Human Rights Council condemns in the clearest terms the murders of a little Jewish family, sleeping in their home on their Sabbath. If the UN cannot do that, and Richard Goldstone implores them to do it, then we shall know them by their fruits. We can find better uses for our money than to go on helping to build this latter day Tower of Babel .

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