The Goldstone Report
The Goldstone Report, the result of the United Nations Human Rights Council Fact-Finding Mission on Israel's Operation Cast Lead -- which alleges that Israel "committed actions amounting to war crimes, possibly crimes against humanity" -- was published on September 15, 2009. The report has been endorsed by the U.N. Human Rights Council, and is pending debate in the U.N. General Assembly.
On November 3, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution condemning the report. your representative voted (344 to 36, with 22 voting present).
The Mandate of the Mission:
The Conduct of the Mission:
A “non-judicial” document
Elements ignored by the Report:
Rejection of democratic values:
This Report evoked outrage throughout Israel, including from President Shimon Peres who declared that it "makes a mockery of history and fails to distinguish between aggressor and those acting in self-defense." and
In July 2009, Israel reported on its own investigation into Operation Cast Lead,
The State Department is continuing to review the Report. Assistant Secretary Philip Crowley said, "there was a one-sided unacceptable mandate for this fact-finding investigation and that mandate was set forth before the United States joined the Human Rights Council. We should be cautious at this point that the Report should not be used as a mechanism to add impediments to getting back to the peace process."
Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, stated, "The United States is reviewing very carefully what is a very lengthy document. We have long expressed our very serious concern with the mandate that was given by the Human Rights Council prior to our joining the Council, which we viewed as unbalanced, one sided and basically unacceptable. We have very serious concerns about many of the recommendations in the report. We will expect and believe that the appropriate venue for this report to be considered is the Human Rights Council and that is our strong view. And most importantly our view is that we need to be focused on the future. This is a time to work to cement progress towards the resumptions of negotiations and their early and successful conclusion and our efforts, and we hope the efforts of others, will be directed to that end."
On November 3, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelming (344-36) in favor of a resolution to condemn the report. Speaking in support of the resolution, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said, "The report not only paints a distorted picture of Israel's legitimate efforts of self-defense, in my opinion, but it epitomizes the practice of singling Israel out from all other nations for condemnation. The Human Rights Council mandate for the report specifically targeted Israeli actions, ignoring the deliberate Hamas attacks on civilians that provoked Israel's self-defense in Cast Lead." your representative voted. (344 to 36, with 22 voting present).
Similarly, Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, called the report a "pompous, tendentious, one-sided political diatribe." Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), ranking Republican member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and one of the key sponsors of the resolution, said the UN is "continuing its relentless anti-Israel bias" and that Congress must enact "pending legislation that would leverage our contributions to the UN to produce sweeping, meaningful reform of that body." Read some of their comments from JTA. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, called the report a "pompous, tendentious, one-sided political diatribe." Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), ranking Republican member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the UN is "continuing its relentless anti-Israel bias" and that Congress must enact "pending legislation that would leverage our contributions to the UN to produce sweeping, meaningful reform of that body."
A number of JCPA national agencies have also responded. See the and the
We hope that in the days ahead the administration will more clearly and sharply repudiate the Report, and more members of Congress and prominent members of the community, especially lawyers and jurists, will speak out as well.
More resources about the findings of the Goldstone Report:
Media coverage from the , , , , and .
Op-Eds and Articles: