UN Goldstone Gaza Report

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"Goldstone Report makes mockery of history"

President joins criticism of UN report probing Israeli offensive in Gaza, says it legitimizes terror, ignores Israel's right, obligation to defend itself


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How is the world responding to the
UN Gaza Goldstone Report?

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Mary Robinson:
"I am afraid the resolution is not balanced because it focuses on what Israel did, without calling for an investigation on the launch of the rockets by Hamas. This is unfortunately a practice by the Council: adopting resolutions guided not by human rights but by politics. This is very regrettable." (Le Temps, 4 February 2009).

B'Tselem (Human Rights Organization):
The UN Human Rights Council and the Goldstone Report are either biased or mistaken in some of their fundamental accusations against Israel, according to B'Tselem human rights group director Jessica Montell.
She said the council was wrong in its gravest accusations against Israel. These include the claim that Israel intentionally targeted the civilian population rather than Hamas, and the "weak, hesitant way that the report mentions Hamas's strategy of using civilians [in combat]."
"There's no question that the HRC, which mandated the Goldstone [fact-finding mission into the Gaza fighting], has an inappropriate, disproportionate fixation with Israel," she said.
She added that the council was "a political body made up of diplomats, not human rights experts, which means that the powerful states are never going to come under scrutiny the way the powerless will. So China, Russia and the US will never have commissions of inquiry, regardless of how their crimes rank relative to Israeli crimes."

The Hudson Institute's Anne Bayefsky addressing the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva: "At its core, the Goldstone Report repeats the ancient blood libel against the Jewish people - the allegation of bloodthirsty Jews intent on butchering the innocent," she said.
With this report, the UN has rendered the right of the Jewish people to self-defense a "crime against humanity," she continued.

Thirty-two US senators signed a letter to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urging that the US block any punitive measures against Israel at the UN on account of the Goldstone Report, according to Tuesday's final tally.
The letter, sponsored by Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), praised the US State Department for criticizing the "one-sided mandate" of the report on Israel's attack on Gaza this winter conducted by Judge Richard Goldstone, referring to "serious flaws" in the report and its investigation.
The letter specifically emphasizes the failure to acknowledge Israel's right to defend itself by acting after being barraged for years with rockets from Gaza.

U.N. Ambassador Susan E. Rice: "As I said the other day the mandate was unbalanced, one-sided and unacceptable. Goldstone did seek to expand his purview to look at Hamas and others and while we note that, the weight of the report is something like 85 percent oriented towards very specific and harsh condemnation and conclusions related to Israel and very sort of lightly treats without great specificity Hamas' terrorism and its own atrocities.
"The United States understands that Israel is a vibrant and strong democracy and it has more than sufficient capacity to conduct a credible internal investigation and we've encouraged it to do so. But the fundamental problem with this particular report is it was hatched with a bias inherent in its mandate. It is as a consequence a product that largely reflects that imbalance in its mandate, notwithstanding the effort to look at the other side to some extent, albeit a lesser extent.
"It comes from a body whose track record and history is one of focusing unduly and excessively on one country, Israel, to the exclusion of credible sustained treatment of the world's most egregious instances of human rights abuses in places like Sudan or Zimbabwe or Burma and so we are committed to bringing greater balance, bringing greater focus to the most egregious instances of abuse and we think that despite its flaws the place for this report to be discussed remains in the [Human Rights] Council.

John R. Bolton, one of the U.S. ambassadors to the United Nations under President George W. Bush: He also has criticized U.S. support for the Human Rights Council, a body that "spends its time attacking Israel and the United States."

Ehud Barak: "[Ehud] Barak trusts the IDF's probes and consistently rejects any external investigation in their place," the statement added. The defense minister "contends that the Goldstone Report is fraudulent, biased and manipulative; it turns the tables and analogizes the bloodthirsty terrorists and their victims, who exercised their right to self-defense."

Christians for Fair Witness on the Middle East: (October 5, 2009). The report is rife with indicia of prejudice and lack of due process. The resolution mandating the fact-finding mission accused Israel of "the targeting of civilians . . ." and one of the investigators judged Israel guilty of "prima facie war crimes," -- all prior to any actual investigation. The report is based almost entirely on unverifiable Palestinian claims and publications from highly politicized pro-Palestinian organizations which were accepted at face value and quoted directly. Israel's assertions that it warned civilians and planned military operations to minimize civilian casualties were summarily dismissed.

Rev. James Loughran, S.A., Director of the Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute: "Since Hamas was thoroughly embedded in the civilian population, it would have been impossible to attack Hamas and at the same time avoid targets where civilians were located."

Rev. Dr. Bruce Chilton , the Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Religion at Bard College in Annandale, New York: "During World War II Britain and the U.S. engaged in wholesale bombing of German cities and made no effort to avoid killing hundreds of thousands of civilians. But in this era of terrorist militias that fight out of uniform and from within civilian populations, massive civilian deaths will occur even when an army exerts considerable effort to spare them. Therefore, before engaging in such warfare, all nations -- Israel included -- should determine whether widespread civilian casualties are inevitable, and if so, acceptable. The international community might have to consider recalculating moral and legal standards of proportion where combatants choose to deploy from within civilian areas. Reasonable and thoughtful people may debate these questions for sometime to come, but irresponsible accusations of deliberate targeting of civilians and collective punishment, which amount to little more than mindless name-calling, only impede the serious reflection these issues warrant."



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