Goldstone Slams Human Rights Council for Ignoring Hamas

By Jack Khoury and Barak Ravid (Haaretz)

Published October 16, 2009.
  • Print
  • Share Share

South African jurist Richard Goldstone, who headed a UN investigation commission into the conduct of Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas during Israel’s offensive in Gaza last winter, criticized on Friday the United Nations Human Rights Council’s decision to endorse the report his commission had compiled.

The council on Friday endorsed the report which accused both Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas of committing war crimes during their December-January conflict in Gaza.

Goldstone told the Swiss newspaper Le Temps before the vote that the wording of the resolution was unfortunate because it included only censure of Israel. He voiced hope that the Human Rights Council would alter the wording of the draft.

In a special session Friday, 25 of the Human Rights Council’s members voted in favor of the resolution that chastised Israel for failing to cooperate with the UN mission led by Goldstone. Another 6 voted against and 11 abstained.

The resolution agreed in Geneva simply calls for the UN General Assembly to consider the Goldstone report and for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to report back to the Human Rights Council on Israel’s adherence to it.

The report calls for the UN Security Council to refer the matter to the International Criminal Court if the Israelis or Palestinians fail to investigate the alleged abuses themselves.

The countries that voted against the report included the U.S., Italy, Holland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Ukraine.

China, Russia, Egypt, India, Jordan, Pakistan, South Africa, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Ghana, Indonesia, Djibouti, Liberia, Qatar, Senegal, Brazil, Mauritius, Nicaragua and Nigeria voted in favor of the report.

The abstaining countries included: Bosnia, Burkina-Faso, Cameron, Gabon, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Belgium, South Korea, Slovenia and Uruguay. Madagascar and Kyrgyzstan were not present during the vote.

“This resolution goes far beyond even the initial scope of the Goldstone Report into a discussion of elements that should be resolved in the context of permanent status negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis,” US envoy to the UN Douglas Griffiths said, when explaining why his country was voting against the document.

The US has said the report was unfair towards Israel, something Goldstone repeatedly denied, noting he investigated all sides of the conflict.

France called on Friday to delay the UN Human Rights Council vote in Geneva regarding the adoption of the Goldstone Gaza Report by half an hour in a last-minute attempt to lobby allies to reject the report’s findings.

The French delegates joined Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent diplomatic attempts to lobby European counterparts, including Holland, Spain and Denmark, to back Israel’s rejection of the report’s findings. Officials from Adalah - the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel - said the French representative in Geneva asked to postpone the vote minutes before the council adjourned for a break.

Days before the vote Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attempted to lobby diplomatic support to back Israel’s objection of the report which accuses Israel of war crimes


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The rose petals have settled, and Andi has made her (Jewish?) choice. We look back on the #Bachelorette finale:
  • "Despite the great pain and sadness surrounding a captured soldier, this should not shape the face of this particular conflict – not in making concessions and not in negotiations, not in sobering assessments of this operation’s achievements or the need to either retreat or move forward." Do you agree?
  • Why genocide is always wrong, period. And the fact that some are talking about it shows just how much damage the war in Gaza has already done.
  • Construction workers found a 75-year-old deli sign behind a closing Harlem bodega earlier this month. Should it be preserved?
  • "The painful irony in Israel’s current dilemma is that it has been here before." Read J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis of the conflict:
  • Law professor Dan Markel waited a shocking 19 minutes for an ambulance as he lay dying after being ambushed in his driveway. Read the stunning 911 transcript as neighbor pleaded for help.
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.