Monday, April 11, 2011
Fight to rescind the Goldstone report reaches the U.S. Congress New legislation initiated in Congress would 'make it U.S. policy to demand the UN General Assembly revoke and repudiate the Goldstone Report and any UN resolutions stemming from the report.
In the U.S. House of Representatives, Foreign Affairs Chair Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen authored an initiative called the "United Nations Transparency, Accountability, and Reform Act."
According to Ros-Lehtinen, the initiative will "make it U.S. policy to demand that the UN General Assembly revoke and repudiate the Goldstone Report and any UN resolutions stemming from the report, and will refund to U.S. taxpayers their share of the costs for the report and its follow-on measures."
Goldstone's report on Israel's 2009 war with Gaza angered many with its accusation that Israel had committed war crimes and intentionally targeted civilians. In a recent op-ed piece for the Washington Post, the judge wrote that Israel had investigated many of the allegations brought forth by the report, while Hamas had not done the same.
"If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document," Goldstone wrote.
As part of the Congressional initiative, Ros-Lehtinen wrote that the legislation will "also condition funding to the UN on a number of other reforms that are vital to make the UN more transparent, accountable, effective, and objective."
“Given the mission’s biased origin and mandate, Israel was clearly justified in not wishing to legitimize those who would inevitably seek to falsely condemn her," Ros-Lehtinen wrote in a letter to colleagues in Congress, urging them to support her initiative. "Further, Israel made extensive evidence about Operation Cast Lead publicly available—Mr. Goldstone could have easily made use of it properly, but he and his mission did not."
This is not the first time the Goldstone report has come up in the U.S. congress. In 2009, the House passed a resolution calling on the president and secretary of state to ignore the report.