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Just imagine if after the post-September 11th US attack on Afghanistan, the UN interviewed Taliban and al-Qaida supporters who told lots of lies about the US just to de-legitimize America and to make us look like a war criminal and the terrorists as the victims. And Imagine if the UN published a report based on those tall tales, and called for the US to be punished as a war criminal. That is what happened with the UN’s Goldstone Report.
GENEVA, Sept 29 (Reuters) – The United States called on its close ally Israel on Tuesday to conduct credible investigations into allegations of war crimes committed by its forces in Gaza, saying it would help the Middle East peace process.
Michael Posner, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, said that Hamas leaders also had a responsibility to investigate crimes and to end what he called its targeting of civilians and use of Palestinian civilians as human shields in the strip.
The U.N. Human Rights Council was holding a one-day debate on a recent report by Richard Goldstone, a South African jurist and former U.N. war crimes prosecutor.
His panel found the Israeli army and Palestinian militants committed war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity during their December-January war. Israel did not cooperate with the U.N. inquiry and has rejected the report as biased.
“We encourage Israel to utilise appropriate domestic (judicial) review and meaningful accountability mechanisms to investigate and follow-up on credible allegations,” Posner said in a speech to the Geneva forum.
“If undertaken properly and fairly, these reviews can serve as important confidence-building measures that will support the larger essential objective which is a shared quest for justice and lasting peace,” he said.
The United States joined the Council, set up three years ago, for the first time earlier this year.
Posner reiterated Washington’s view that the Council paid “grossly disproportionate attention” to Israel, but said that the U.S. delegation was ready to engage in balanced debate.
Earlier, Goldstone said a lack of accountability for war crimes committed in the Middle East has reached “crisis point”, undermining any hope for peace in the region.
“CULTURE OF IMPUNITY”
“A culture of impunity in the region has existed for too long,” Goldstone told the Council.
“The lack of accountability for war crimes and possible war crimes against humanity has reached a crisis point; the ongoing lack of justice is undermining any hope for a successful peace process and reinforcing an environment that fosters violence.”
Israel says its offensive was intended to stop militants firing rockets at Israel. Israeli human rights group B’Tselem says 773 of 1,387 Palestinians killed were civilians. Israel says 709 combatants and 295 civilians were killed. Thirteen Israelis, 10 soldiers and three civilians, died.
Goldstone’s report urges the U.N. Security Council to refer the allegations to the International Criminal Court in the Hague if either Israeli or Palestinian authorities fail to investigate and prosecute those suspect of such crimes within six months.
“Our primary recommendation is that Israel and the authorities in Gaza should carry out good-faith, transparent investigations. International courts are courts of last resort, not first resort,” he said on Tuesday.
Israel’s ambassador Leshno Yaar rejected the report as “shameful” and “one-sided”. It was “based on carefully-selected incidents, cherry picked for political effect”.
Israel had opened more than 100 investigations, including damage inflicted on U.N. centres and medical facilities in Gaza, 23 of which had resulted in criminal proceedings, he said.
It faced “an enemy that intentionally deploys its forces in densely populated areas, stores its explosives in private homes and launches rockets from crowded school yards and mosques”.
Ibrahim Khraishi, ambassador of the Palestinian delegation, urged the Council to adopt the report which he called objective.
“My people will not forgive the international community if the criminals are left without punishment,” he said.
What the Obama administration is ignoring, is the fact that since the end of the Gaza war the IDF has been conducting investigations of its conduct of the Gaza War, some have resulted in disciplinary action others are still open. Truth be told Obama doesn’t want an investigation, Obama wants to deligitimize Israel.
- Israel did not deliberately target the civilian population of Gaza and, in fact, made efforts to prevent civilian casualties that no other army in the world would have done.
- Contrary to the assertions of Goldstone, Hamas did use Palestinian civilians as human shields.
- The Goldstone Report is not objective and is, in fact tainted by bias and politicization, both from the UN Human Rights Council and members of the mission itself.
- The report relied upon the contributions of anti-Israel non-governmental organizations and unreliable Palestinian “eyewitnesses.”
- Israel respects human rights and has a sophisticated legal and judicial system. Hamas does not. Yet the report has created an unjust equivalence of a democratic state with a terror organization.
Professor Gerald Steinberg explained in the WSJ that the report was biased and once again, the UN let the terrorists off the hook:
The report ostensibly presents the results of an intensive investigation into the Gaza conflict between Israel and Hamas from June 2008 to the end of July 2009. Yet on every significant issue, Judge Goldstone’s group simply repeated what it chose to hear from carefully selected witnesses. (When Israeli victims of Hamas rocket attacks were given a few hours to tell their tales of horror, photos show Mr. Goldstone taking a nap.) The result vindicated the Israel government’s view that the books were cooked from the beginning, including the one-sided terms of reference and the selection of Mr. Goldstone and of Prof. Christine Chinkin, whose anti-Israel prejudices were clear. There is no evidence to indicate that a fair hearing was possible, or that Israeli government cooperation would have made any difference.
Unusually, the tendentious and extremely biased report succeeded in angering Israelis from across the political spectrum. President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shimon Peres, who does not see eye-to-eye with Prime Minister Netanyahu on many issues, said the report made a mockery of history and gave legitimacy to terror. The committee condemned every Israeli response to the 8,000 rockets fired by Hamas, but its recommendations did not include any steps to end this aggression. And while Israel is accused of committing acts of terror, the report never acknowledges that Hamas committed acts of terror, even though it is legally banned as a terrorist organization by the U.S and the European Union, among others. This distortion undermined the facade of even-handedness, as if balance between a terrorist group and aggressor, and a democracy meeting the obligation to defend its citizens, had any moral foundation.
…On most issues, Mr. Goldstone followed the lead and biases of NGO “superpowers” particularly Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. Human Rights Watch’s publications on Gaza have been discredited following the exposure of the obsession with Nazi memorabilia and false claims of its “senior military expert,” Marc Garlasco. But his allegations are adopted in this report, again without any independent investigation and despite the testimony of military experts who exposed Mr. Garlasco’s fictions. Indeed, Mr. Goldstone’s long relationship with Human Rights Watch, including his membership on its board, added to the credibility problems of this inquiry.
Similarly, the attempt to shove the role of Iran under the carpet follows the lead of these NGOs, as does the decision to ignore video evidence showing the use of civilians as cover for Hamas fighters attacking Israel (human shields), including the launch of rockets from schools. Instead, copying the unreliable NGO claims almost word for word, the issue is dismissed on the grounds that the committee “received no reports of such incidents from other sources.” No independent research was conducted.
This article is a must read, read the Full Article here
This affront on the truth by the UN is even more dangerous when you add the fact that the President of the US, is at best, not a supporter of the Jewish state. Judging by his first nine months, Obama would not think twice about voting in favor of a one-sided security council resolution, just to endear himself to the Muslim world.
The Goldstone report is nothing short of an attempt by the United Nations to de-legitimize Israel, a strategic ally in the Middle East. Just as bad is the fact that the Goldstone report is an attempt to set a precedent in international law, a nation defending itself against terrorism is committing a war crime which is a shot across the bow of the United States.