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An academic study of the Goldstone Report

Though not the focus of international media, the Goldstone Report remains a controversial issue that has enjoyed little serious debate outside of the political sphere.  “The Goldstone Report on the Gaza Conflict: An Agora” was published in The Journal of Global Governance in June 2010 and appears here courtesy of Professor Rob Prince a lecturer at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies who teaches and engages both undergraduate and graduate students.  His blog provides another perspective of the continuing political struggles throughout the Middle East and North Africa. However, the Goldstone Report remains a subject of controversy and an excellent point for further discussion regarding the limitations–both tangible and ideational–on studies of the conflict. The following introduction to the article was written by former dean Tom Farer:

By concluding that, in its assault on Gaza under the rubric of self -defense, Israel had targeted the civilian infrastructure and consciously “punished” the civilian population and demonstrated indifference to the suffering of noncombatants and engaged in other acts in violation of the laws of war, behaviors that possibly constituted in their totality crimes against humanity, the Goldstone Report became almost as controversial as the events precipitating it.  In this agora, four eminent international lawyers, a mix of scholars and practitioners, assess from their distinctive perspectives the report’s methodology, its compliance with fact-finding norms, and the overall quality of its effort to apply norms of international law to a bloody event in the ongoing multidecade conflict between Jews and Arabs over the governance and division of the former British-controlled Palestinian Mandate.  Dialectically, they help to structure future debates over UN-sponsored fact-finding and also the normative parameters of the use of force by powerful states engaged in asymmetrical conflicts.

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