The American political commentator and Harvard law professor Alan M. Dershowitz has strongly attacked South African judge Richard Goldstone, who headed a UN panel that produced a damning report on Israel’s conduct during the Gaza war. Speaking on Israel’s ‘Army Radio’ Dershowitz said Goldstone was a traitor to the Jewish people and “an evil, evil man.” Dershowitz also published a 49-page-long rebuttal of the Goldstone report
(pdf) on his website, in which he singles out Goldstone’s “methodology, analysis and substantive findings” for criticism. Dershowitz writes that he had offered to debate Goldstone about his findings, but that the latter had "refused, as he has generally refused to respond substantively to credible critics of the report.”
Dershowitz and Goldstone – both of whom are aged 71 and Jewish – had been friends for many years, but once Goldstone tabled his report the ties between the two were severed. "The Goldstone report is a defamation written by an evil, evil man," Dershowitz said, adding: "I regarded him [Goldstone] as a friend, but I now regard him as an absolute traitor.”
In the interview with Israel's ‘Army Radio’, Dershowitz said he was appalled by the report and could not understand how it could have been written by a Jew. It was is as if a Jew had written the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and Goldstone had used his Jewish name to legitimize the report's defamation against the Jewish people.
According to Dershowitz, the best way to deal with the report is to set up an Israeli committee headed by a reputable judge, suggesting the former Israel Supreme Court presidents Aharon Barak and Meir Shamgar.
The former Israeli government minister and chairwoman of the left-wing Meretz Party, Shulamit Aloni, condemned Dershowitz’ comments and said that Goldstone was far from a traitor. "Dershowitz's statements border on hate. Goldstone is a Zionist Jew who was simply doing his job," she told ‘Army Radio’, adding: "The Goldstone report isn't entirely accurate, though we cannot ignore the fact that we did violate international law – the IDF used phosphorus and bombed schools and hospitals."
On Sunday, Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni said that “the Goldstone report was born in sin. It will be a mistake to establish today a commission that would examine the IDF without ensuring that the sheer establishment of such a commission would protect IDF officers from future lawsuits.” Livni, who served as foreign minister during Operation Cast Lead, was speaking amidst reports that the government was mulling the establishment of a non-military commission to examine allegations leveled against the Israel Defense Forces in the Goldstone report.