How my email to Goldstone was twisted by his report

Israeli public figures who say their country would have benefited by cooperating with the UN Human Rights Council’s “fact-finding” mission on the Gaza conflict are mistaken.

The raw malice that the Goldstone Report evinces toward Israel, the one party about which the panelists can say nothing good (as opposed to their exuberant, repeated praise for the “resilient” people of Gaza), demonstrates convincingly that the source of the imbalance lay in the UN committee’s mental structure. More information would have meant nothing. In the commissioners’ jaundiced view of the conflict, the Israeli leadership’s guilt for premeditated murder on a mass scale was taken as a philosophical given, a first premise not open to logical challenge.

Indeed it bears note that in July 2009, during the time that Goldstone, Chinkin, Jilani and Travers were conducting their UN inquiry, Israel did publish a voluminous document offering its side of the story, entitled “Factual and Legal Aspects of the Operation in Gaza, 27 Dec 2008 – 18 Jan 2009.”

When I saw this report on the internet, I emailed the link to Judge Goldstone, in the hope that it might provide some balance to the Hamas-influenced testimony on which the UN Human Rights Council appointees were basing their inquiry.

I could not have been more wrong. The UN “fact-finders” (recall that the Human Rights Council resolution creating their inquiry, S-9/1, declared Israel guilty from the start) were not influenced in the slightest. Israel’s detailed facts and legal arguments were either ignored, or summarily dismissed.

A footnote to this sorry episode is that the UN deliberately misrepresented my email to Judge Goldstone, in a gratuitous attempt to discredit UN Watch by falsely portraying it as operating at the behest of the the Israeli government. That I shared a link of a significant document published on the internet hardly merited our mention at all, let alone a distortion of what I expressly wrote. This malicious misrepresentation has now been parroted on the internet by the group of anti-Israel editors who have hijacked Wikipedia to try and discredit UN Watch, and to whitewash Goldstone.

For a correction I wrote to Francesca Marotta, the staffer at the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) who headed the large UN secretariat team that actually compiled the Goldstone Report. Below is her reply, followed by my correspondence with Judge Goldstone.

I still hope Judge Goldstone will issue a public correction.

My correspondence with the UN and Judge Richard Goldstone: 

_________________________________________________

From: Francesca Marotta [OHCHR]
Sent: Friday, October 23, 2009 12:27 AM
To: Hillel Neuer
Cc: Richard Goldstone; Sareta Ashraph [OHCHR]
Subject: Re: requested correction of inaccurate reference to United Nations Watch in Par. 173

Dear Mr. Neuer,

Thank you for your message.   As you are no doubt aware, the Fact Finding Mission completed its work with the preparation of the report and its presentation to the Human Rights Council last month.  The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has no authority to modify the report of the Mission — an independent body — as submitted to the Council.  

I therefore regret that I cannot be of assistance on your request.

Thank you in advance for your understanding.

Sincerely,

Francesca Marotta

_____________________________________

From: “Hillel Neuer” 19.10.2009 21:20
To: “‘Francesca Marotta'”
cc: “Sareta Ashraph” , “Richard Goldstone”
Subject: requested correction of inaccurate reference to United Nations Watch in Par. 173

Dear Ms. Marotta,

I am writing to kindly request the correction of an inaccuracy in the report of the Mission, which misrepresents my correspondence (see attached) with Justice Goldstone, whom I copy on this email.

In Par. 173, under a section entitled “Consultation with the parties,” the report describes receiving on 29 July an Israeli report “through UN Watch.”

However, my email on that date to Justice Goldstone could not have been more clear: I merely called the Mission’s attention and provided a URL link to a published document on the internet, being the Israeli report.  When Justice Goldstone responded that he had trouble downloading the link, I did it for him. He then thanked me for sending the reference. Nothing in my correspondence with Justice Goldstone referred to or in any way contemplated the sending of a document by one of the parties “through UN Watch.”

I would be grateful if you could make the necessary corrections to Par. 173.  Thank you for your cooperation.

Sincerely,
Hillel C. Neuer
Executive Director
United Nations Watch

p.s.  Please note also that the official name of our NGO in all United Nations documents is United Nations Watch.

[Neuer-Goldstone correspondence attached below] 

———————–

From: Richard Goldstone
Sent: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 10:55 PM
To: Hillel Neuer
Subject: RE: Factual and Legal Aspects of the Operation in Gaza, 27 Dec 2008 – 18 Jan 2009

Dear Mr. Neuer,

Many thanks for your assistance. I have downloaded and saved the pdf file.

Best wishes,
Richard Goldstone

 —– Original Message ——
 From:Hillel Neuer
 Sent:Wednesday, July 29, 2009 22:40
 To: Richard Goldstone
 Subject:RE: Factual and Legal Aspects of the Operation in Gaza, 27 Dec 2008 – 18 Jan 2009

 Dear Justice Goldstone,

It’s my pleasure. The link may have been broken, but should work by clicking here. I have also attached the PDF file of the Paper to this email.

Sincerely,

Hillel Neuer

———————————————————-

From: Richard Goldstone
Sent: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 10:32 PM
To: Hillel Neuer
Subject: RE: Factual and Legal Aspects of the Operation in Gaza, 27 Dec 2008 – 18 Jan 2009

Dear Mr. Neuer,

Thank you for the reference to the document. For some reason I cannot get it up on my computer. I will try again tomorrow.

Sincerely,
Richard Goldstone

—– Original Message ——
From:Hillel Neuer
Sent:Wednesday, July 29, 2009 22:14
To: Richard Goldstone
Subject:Factual and Legal Aspects of the Operation in Gaza, 27 Dec 2008 – 18 Jan 2009

Dear Justice Goldstone,

To assist the Fact Finding Mission I would like to call its attention to the following paper on Factual and Legal Aspects of the Operation in Gaza, 27 Dec 2008 – 18 Jan 2009, published by the State of Israel, which seems to be the most thorough and comprehensive analysis yet of these issues: http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Terrorism-+Obstacle+to+Peace/Hamas+war+against+Israel/Operation_in_Gaza-Factual_and_Legal_Aspects.htm. I have no doubt that it will be extremely useful for the Mission’s work.

I share this without prejudice to UN Watch’s objections to Resolution S-9/1 and its derivatives.

Yours truly,

Hillel C. Neuer
Executive Director
United Nations Watch

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