The Goldstone report, whose claims and recommendations have been widely criticized, studied the December 2008-January 2009 conflict in and around Gaza, particularly the military operations known in Israel as Cast Lead. The report’s conclusions reflected the biased mandate it received from the U.N. Human Rights Council, which asserted in advance that Israel committed severe violations of the laws of war.
The report placed the majority of the blame for the conflict on Israel, while giving limited attention to the decade of Hamas rocket and mortar attacks on Israeli civilians that prompted Israel’s defensive operation.
In the letter, Glick and Mariaschin wrote: “If given further focus and standing, these conclusions would embolden terror groups by setting a dangerous precedent of censuring the most legitimate, restrained and responsible of counterterrorist efforts, while also further harming prospects for stability in the Middle East. Similarly, conformity with the Goldstone report would further divide and distract the UN membership at a time when foremost international challenges and crises require unified attention, and when the credibility of the UN as a fair and constructive contributor to Arab-Israeli reconciliation is already impaired.”
The letter also notes, “…the Goldstone report not only suggests moral equivalence between terrorist entities and a sovereign state’s defense forces but even employs unsubstantiated assertions to accuse Israel of ‘deliberate’ violations. Israel has long avoided, and regretted, any casualties among non-combatants – while the Hamas rulers of Gaza consistently celebrate indiscriminate killing in Israel, whose destruction is its explicit objective.”
In light of Israel’s demonstrated readiness for self-scrutiny as a strong democracy, the letter particularly deplored as a “dangerous injustice” suggestions that Israeli personnel be subject to international prosecution or that Israel be “singled out for scrutiny” by a conference of the parties to the Geneva Conventions.
B’nai B’rith urges the General Assembly to vote down any efforts to sustain the Goldstone mission’s report.
Click here to read the letter:http://www.bnaibrith.org/Goldstone_22410.cfm