The controversial Goldstone Report, the result of a UN fact finding mission following allegations of human rights violations during the 2008 to 2009 Israel-Gaza conflict, is under scrutiny again. In a column published April 1 in The Washington Post, Richard Goldstone, the South African judge who led the mission, retracted one of the most contested findings of the group’s September 2009 report. “If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document,” he wrote. What findings makes this nonbinding UN report such a flashpoint?
The concept of emergency rule has been at the forefront of much of the Mideast unrest. Some countries have been in a “state of emergency” for decades, long after their citizens felt any threat still existed. Others have only recently implemented the emergency laws, in an effort to quell uprisings turned too large and violent for the governments to rein in. Although meant to help a country in times of danger, emergency law has sometimes been turned into a political tool.