Yoo-hoo, Mr. Goldstone: Your report stinks

The late Israeli U.N. Ambassador Abba Eban famously said “The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” The manner in which the Palestinian Authority has handled the infamous Goldstone Report offers further proof that Eban was only too right.

The U.N.-commissioned report purportedly analyzes last winter’s war in Gaza between Israel and Hamas terrorists. As has been pointed out in our pages and elsewhere, the Goldstone Report is unforgivably myopic and one-sided, alleging Israel committed war crimes while barely mentioning far worse behavior on the part of Hamas, both before and during the battle.

At first, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas correctly deferred endorsement of the report while negotiations for sensitive peace talks were taking place. Naturally, once Hamas squawked that the P.A. was committing treason against the Palestinian people by not endorsing the report, Abbas abruptly reversed course.

The U.N. Human Rights Council — a notoriously anti-Israel entity — followed this by endorsing the Goldstone Report last week. Thus the drumbeat for labeling Israel a criminal state continues to grow ever louder, the voices of sanity ever fainter.

The louder voices have seized on the report as an excuse to squelch progress. Syria and Turkey both held up the report as reasons to balk on bilateral talks (Turkey was to mediate between Israel and Syria). Hamas and other radicals have become further emboldened, moderates hesitate and the region takes a big step backward.

There are voices of sanity out there. A clip of Col. Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, testifying last week before the U.N. Human Rights Council that “the Israel Defense Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in a combat zone [during Operation Cast Lead] than any other army in the history of warfare,” has been viewed by tens of thousands on YouTube.

Even more impressive, this week the founder of Human Rights Watch, which routinely demonizes Israel while minimizing the crimes of Hamas and Hezbollah, wrote a stunning piece for the New York Times.

Robert Bernstein lamented his former organization’s turn away from fairness, writing it has “lost critical perspective on a conflict in which Israel has been repeatedly attacked by Hamas … Israel, the repeated victim of aggression, faces the brunt of Human Rights Watch’s criticism.”

If Bernstein has seen the light, perhaps others will, too. We only hope that supporters of Israel, and all those who see through the chicanery of the enemies of peace, can start a drumbeat of their own.