Judge Goldstone removed from Hebrew University board

By Simon Griver and Simon Rocker, June 1, 2010
Judge Goldstone lead the UN investigation into Operation Cast Lead

Judge Goldstone lead the UN investigation into Operation Cast Lead

Judge Richard Goldstone has said he was unaware that the Hebrew University removed him from its board of governors until contacted by the Jewish Chronicle.

“This is the first I have heard about my position as a governor of the HU,” said the South-African born judge, who lead the United Nations investigation into Operation Cast Lead. “I feel confident that it is not correct and such action would not be taken without notice to me or the South African Friends of the Hebrew University.”

However, Hebrew University spokesperson Orit Sulitzeanu confirmed a report in the Israeli daily Maariv that Judge Goldstone had been removed from the Hebrew University board. She said, “We prefer that our governors are active and from time to time we remove governors who are not active and freshen the ranks with people who will be active. His removal has nothing to do with his Report about Gaza.”

A London-born Jerusalem lawyer, David Schonberg, wrote to Hebrew University President Prof Menahem Ben-Sasson nine months ago asking that Richard Goldstone's connection with the university be discussed in a suitable forum.

He said, “It bothered me that such a person whose report had done so much damage to Israel should hold such an honorary position.”

He was not satisfied with the evasive replies he received from the university but earlier this week he received another letter from the Hebrew University's legal advisor, informing him that Richard Goldstone had been removed from the Board of Governors for non-attendance of meetings.

Mr Schonberg said that he is now satisfied and he is convinced that his removal is because of the Goldstone Report but regrets that Mr Goldstone’s removal has been achieved in “an artificial rather than straightforward way”.

Last updated: 5:07pm, June 1 2010