Our paths have crossed many times compelling me to correspond directly with you. It has been a while .
Your efforts in championing Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa were applauded and earned you a reputation as a man of stature.
I am bewildered by the direction you have taken as part of the United Nations Human Rights Council. This Council has been tainted by a membership that does not condemn Iranian tyranny, Chinese oppression, or African despotism, but spends its time condemning one country unjustly, Israel.
The Goldstone Commission bears your name. One would expect the mandate of any report to be objective; instead your committee ignored the facts, and rendered illegitimate the report bearing your name.
You knew that Israel faced 12000 Grad missiles and Kassams from its Iran-backed terror base of Gaza, 8000 irreversibly traumatizing the families and children of Sderot. You knew that the U.N. never passed one resolution condemning these deadly missiles. You knew that before and during Operation Cast Lead Israel made thousands of cell-phone calls to warn civilians. You knew that Israel sent thousands of texts to warn civilians. You knew that Israel dropped hundreds of thousands of leaflets in Arabic (I managed to obtain one of these as evidence) to warn civilians. You knew that Israel aborted operations to avoid civilian deaths. You knew that Israel set up medical facilities on the edge of Gaza to treat civilians. You knew that Israel dropped supplies of food into Gaza to feed civilians.
You also knew that Hamas operatives are not "civilians." You knew that not only were they not civilians but that they hid behind their own civilians to fire on Israeli civilians. You knew that they misused ambulances for military purposes. You knew that mosques and schools were used for Hamas depots and launching pads. You knew that Hamas operatives kill or shoot at the legs of any Gazans refusing to target Israel.
The video footage and U-tube sequences are still available for any and all of us to witness.
You knew that one of your team members had condemned Israel in a published letter even before the conclusion of the incursion -- or the beginning of your investigation. But you did not resign or distance yourself from this illegitimate report. Instead a tedious 500-page report of the 3 week battle was padded with pages from the U.N. mockery of Israel's security barrier (misnamed the "wall"). What a sad indictment of the charter of the United Nations.
Richard, you were indeed a respected legal giant in Johannesburg. I am trying so hard to resist the conclusion that your role and report might represent a self-serving desire to ingratiate yourself for a more senior position in the United Nations. But if true - and one hopes that this is not the case - at what price?
I have been very direct as South Africans are wont to be. But many of us South Africans have been tainted by the perfidy of the Goldstone report. Perhaps we could discuss this face to face.
Good Holiday to you, Noleen and your family.
Barbara Press Fix