The Goldstone Report: A response to Lawrence Siskind’s “Lawyer’s Perspective”

Posted: October 21st, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: In the News, war | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »

A friend sent me this article, dealing with the Goldstone report, which appeared in a San Francisco legal publication. The author, attorney Lawrence J. Siskind, examines the report from a legal perspective, and in doing so, raises most of the arguments Israel is using these days.

I thought it might be a good opportunity to join the debate regarding the Goldstone report. So here is Siskind, followed by my replay:

The Goldstone Report: A Lawyer’s Perspective

Commentary By Lawrence J. Siskind

October 16, 2009

Last month, the Human Rights Council of the United Nations formally released a 575-page report entitled “Human Rights in Palestine and Other Occupied Arab Territories.” Popularly known as the “Goldstone Report,” it deals with Israel’s military campaign in Gaza between December 2008 and January 2009. Although it includes some language critical of Hamas, the report directs most of its fire against Israel, which it accuses of “war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity.”

Much has been written about the Goldstone Report by international scholars and analysts. But no one has bothered to examine it from the perspective of an ordinary civil litigator. The report purports to be a legal document: evaluating evidence and arriving at legal conclusions. Its chief author, Richard Goldstone, is a noted South African judge. A lawyer’s review seems appropriate.

To fill that gap, this article examines the Goldstone Report from a lawyer’s perspective. So viewed, the report is not merely biased, it is a litigator’s worst nightmare. Read the rest of this entry »