UN official blasts PA’s Abbas and UN rights council for Goldstone delay

A U.N. human rights official in Gaza slammed the Palestinian authority and the UN Human Rights Council for their delaying of a vote on the Goldstone report, saying the Abbas government “wasted a valuable opportunity,” reports the Palestine Information Center.

Saul Takahashi, an official of the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), lamented the Council’s delay, saying it “would impose new facts on the ground through exercising political pressures to undermine the [Goldstone] report,” which he called “the strongest executive report in UN history.”

It is highly irregular for a UN human rights bureaucrat to criticize a decision of the UN Human Rights Council, the body they are meant to serve, but perhaps exceptions are allowed when the criticism is that the 47-nation body was not sufficiently critical of Israel.

Takhashi recently joined the OHCHR’s “OPT” branch, formerly serving as a UN drug control officer in Vienna, and before that as a lobbyist with Amnesty International. Takahashi also spoke last week at a Gaza event where Israel was blasted for “extrajudicial assassinations.”

This would not be the first time Takahashi has made undiplomatic statements for a professional UN bureaucrat. Last year in an internet posting he discussed the US elections, predicting McCain’s victory, and commented on criticism that Japan’s joining the Security Council “would just mean another US on the SC — as Japan would no doubt blindly follow the US’s directives.”

Assuming this post from Saul Takhashi of Vienna is from the same person, his original name was Saul Israel Chodos and he is the grandson of the late Rabbi Israel Chodos, who served at L.A.’s Sinai Temple in the 1950s, and is presumably the son of L.A. lawyer Rafael Chodos and Japanese artist Junko Chodos (née Takahashi).

Sinai Temple is today one of the leading pro-Israel synagogues in America. Ironic if the grandson of its former rabbi is now spending his time in Gaza acting more pro-Palestinian than the Palestinian Authority itself.

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