A breach in Israel's wall of impunity: Goldstone's effect

Hasan Abu Nimah is the former permanent representative of Jordan at the United Nations. This essay first appeared in The Jordan Times, and gives us some idea as to how the Goldstone Report is playing out one of Israel's Arab friends, Jordan. Not for long, given this essay by its UN representative.

"Israel's efforts to malign the reputation of Judge Richard Goldstone have failed to bury the UN inquiry he led. (Jean-Marc Ferre/UN Photo)" This statement is a caption to a photo of Judge Goldstone.

The Goldstone report into war crimes during Israel's massacres in Gaza last winter finally managed to cross its first major procedural hurdle as the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva (HRC) passed a resolution endorsing it on 16 October. The resolution called on "all concerned parties including United Nations bodies" to implement the report's recommendations -- which include trying Israeli leaders in international courts if Israel fails to do so -- and forwarding the report to the General Assembly for further action.

The US dismissed the resolution as being biased because it only criticized Israel -- and not Palestinian armed groups which are also accused in the Goldstone report of committing war crimes by firing rockets at Israel that killed three Israeli civilians. The US also did not like the fact that the HRC resolution included issues unrelated to Gaza, namely, Israel's aggressive expansion of settlements in occupied Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank, the construction of the West Bank wall, interference with holy sites, and attempts to change the demographic character of Jerusalem.

But this focus was entirely appropriate because Hamas, unlike Israel, cooperated fully with the Goldstone report's preparation, and Hamas even said it would conduct investigations of Palestinian actions as the report demands. One may be skeptical of how credible those investigations would be, but Israel has not even gone that far. Hence, the resolution correctly condemned "the non-cooperation by the occupying power, Israel, with the independent international fact-finding mission," led by Goldstone.

The resolution was fully balanced in the sense that it placed matters back in their proper context: Israel is the "occupying power" and Palestinians are an occupied people. They are not equals.

LINK: http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article 10843.shtml

They are not equals, indeed. Just how did Israel, a colonizing power which has been occupying the Palestinian territories for 42 years, and continues to confiscate Palestinian lands, ever become the victim in this conflict?

I know. Israeli propaganda is just that good, even going so far as to enlist our US State Department. But it has never been good enough to hoodwink the Europeans or the Arab world.

Tags: Gaza, Goldstone report, Israel, jordan, Netanyahu, Palestine (all tags)

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Re: Another breach in Israel's wall of impunity

As one measure of how Israel's impunity is becoming ephemeral, here's how the voting went in the UN Human Rights Council on the Goldstone Report:

Voting patterns on the HRC are important, as they provide insights into what might happen later on the Security Council (UNSC) and in the General Assembly:

1.Of the permanent members of the Security Council, Russia and China supported the resolution, Britain and France did not vote (the equivalent of hiding under the table!), only the US opposed it;

2.France and Norway did not vote for or against the resolution, but they did support the conclusions of the Goldstone Report;

3.Both major Sub-Saharan African states (Nigeria and South Africa) voted for it;

4.Two of the Asian "Big Three" (India and China) voted for it, the third (Japan) just abstained;

5.Two of the usual US supporters in SW and SE Asia (Pakistan and the Philippines) voted for it; and

6.Three of the four largest Latin American states (Argentina, Brazil, Chile) voted for it, the fourth (Mexico) abstained.

What makes this significant - since the US lobbied hard first to keep the Goldstone Report from even reaching the HRC, and then for others to vote against the HRC resolution - is that many states who voted for it, or abstained, would normally have been in the US corner.

Full article HERE: http://palestinethinktank.com/...

Requoted from a Palestinian Think Tank article.

by MainStreet 2009-10-22 11:14AM | 0 recs

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