The South African judge acknowledge Hamas as trustworthy witnesses, and accused Israel of war crimes.
Over the weekend, retired South African judge Richard Goldstone admitted that his report on the December 2008-January 2009 Israeli military incursion into Gaza had wrongly accused the Jewish state of war crimes.
Goldstone acknowledged the evidence provided in subsequent Israeli investigations had debunked the information he and his team was fed by the Palestinians during their UN-commissioned inquiry.
But the damage has already been done.
The Goldstone episode again highlights a favorite tactic of Israel’s enemies, which is to make outlandish claims against the Jewish state, and then get the international media to print them, or even get the UN to adopt the claims.
The Palestinians and their backers know that the international community is predisposed to believing the worst about Israel, and so will latch on to these lies without conducting so much as rudimentary fact-checking.
When the truth finally surfaces, it is too late. The story is old news by that time, and no longer of interest to the media.
This is a common phenomenon over the past several decades of the Israeli-Arab conflict. Some of the more grievous examples (and they are far from being the only ones) include:
In August 2009, Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet headlined a story claiming that Israeli soldiers were capturing Palestinian Arabs and harvesting their organs. The only evidence provided were the unsubstantiated claims of a handful of Palestinians. Nevertheless, the story became a sensation, leading to international outcries against Israel.
The editor of the newspaper later admitted he had no proof that the claims were true, but defended his right to publish the blood libel regardless.
Operation Defensive Shield:
In 2002, following a particularly severe string of Palestinian terrorist attacks, Israel launched Operation Defensive Shield to root out the terrorist infrastructure in Judea and Samaria. One of the focal points was the northern Samaria town of Jenin. Of the 60 suicide bombers to attack Israelis in 2002, 23 had comes from Jenin.
During what came to be known as the Battle of Jenin, the Palestinians claimed that over 500 civilians had been massacred and that Israeli forces had demolished large portions of the city. The accusations were broadcast around the world, leading to a massive outcry against Israel.
Months later, it was revealed that only 52 Palestinians had died during the intense street battles in Jenin, and that most of them were armed militants. Israel lost 27 soldiers during the battle. A simple check of satellite photos also showed that Jenin had not been destroyed, and that the fighting had been limited to a small corner of Jenin where only a few buildings had been demolished.
Israel was quietly absolved, but the damage had been done.
On September 30, 2000, Palestinian terrorists engaged Israeli soldiers stationed in the Gaza Strip. Video footage of the clash broadcast on and provided by France 2 showed 12-year-old Mohammed al-Dura hiding behind his terrified father as the bullets flew. Moments later, the boy slumps over dead and the father is wounded.
Israel was immediately blamed for shooting the boy in cold blood, and Mohammed al-Dura became an internationally-recognized poster child for armed uprising against the Jewish state.
Subsequent investigations by the Israeli army and other journalists have shown that the Israeli troops could not possibly have hit al-Dura from their position, even if they were trying to, and that the France 2 reporter on the scene may have been collaborating with the Palestinians.
First Lebanon War:
The Palestinians realized how they could manipulate the press and public opinion against Israel for the first time during the First Lebanon War. After Israeli forces entered Lebanon in response to incessant PLO attacks on northern Israel, the Palestinians claimed that 10,000 civilians had been killed and more than half a million displaced.
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Source: Israel Today