Archive for the 'Goldstone “Fact Finding” Mission for UNHRC' Category

Correction: On William Schabas and Richard Goldstone

UN Watch’s recent briefing listed international law scholar William Schabas among those who had hailed Richard Goldstone as a saint after his UN report, only to turn on him when he retracted it.

In response, Professor Schabas states as follows: “I have never turned on my good friend Richard Goldstone, ‘with a vengeance’ or otherwise.” We have corrected the briefing and regret the error.

Indeed, a closer examination shows the  following. After the Goldstone Report was published, Schabas proclaimed that Goldstone “had better be on next year’s Nobel short list.” Schabas also shared his belief, on the same occasion, that Goldstone’s act of condemning alleged Israeli war crimes was performed “as a Jew.” “The world should be thankful that we have people like Richard Goldstone,” said Schabas. Continue reading ‘Correction: On William Schabas and Richard Goldstone’

Report: German Professor Heading U.N.’s ‘Goldstone II’ Committee Accused Israel of World War II ‘Barbarism’, Removal Urged

Prior to Chairing Probe, Said Israel Was “State Terrorist” Unwilling to Investigate

GENEVA, Oct. 21 – The German law professor heading the U.N. committee to enforce the Goldstone Report has a history of comparing Israeli actions with the “barbarism” and “inferno” of World War II, and should be removed for lack of impartiality by the U.N. Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said a report submitted by UN Watch today to the world body’s Geneva office. Click here for summary and full report.

In his September 27 report to the U.N. Human Rights Council, Christian Tomuschat, a professor emeritus at Humoldt University, faulted Israel for failing to investigate allegations of war crimes by the country’s senior leadership, specifically naming Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni, who was foreign minister during the 2009 war with Hamas. The Tomuschat Committee will report to the council again in March 2011.

However, according to “Goldstone II,” the 29-page report by UN Watch, a Geneva-based monitor of the world body, Tomuschat’s credibility is severely impaired by his prior legal work for PLO leader Yasser Arafat, which Tomuschat said he “could not recall,” and by a series of public statements and writings that show his lack of impartiality on the Arab-Israel conflict.
Continue reading ‘Report: German Professor Heading U.N.’s ‘Goldstone II’ Committee Accused Israel of World War II ‘Barbarism’, Removal Urged’

Goldstone and the Guerilla Flotilla: An Emerging Pattern

Remarks of Trevor S. Norwitz
Delivered to the Lawfare Project Conference on October 5, 2010,
“Lawfare: Shared Implications for the U.S. and Israel.”
Published here by UN Watch by permission of the author.
 

One of the most troubling manifestations of Lawfare today is the increasing abuse of the instruments of international law, specifically to delegitimize and demonize one country (Israel) and to embarrass and weaken another (America).

I thought I would talk today about the latest contribution of the United Nations “Human Rights” Council to this phenomenon, namely its report on what might be called the Guerilla Flotilla (or, if you prefer, the Intifada Armada) which as you probably know was submitted to and accepted by that august body just a few days ago.  After that, I’d like to offer a few general thoughts on the topic of Lawfare. Continue reading ‘Goldstone and the Guerilla Flotilla: An Emerging Pattern’

UN plenary silences NGO challenge to impartiality of Goldstone Follow-Up panel


Geneva, September 27 - The U.N. chastised a non-governmental organization today after it challenged the independence and impartiality of the head of its Goldstone Report follow-up committee, noting he had performed work for Yasser Arafat and had a long record of describing Israel as a “state terrorist.” Continue reading ‘UN plenary silences NGO challenge to impartiality of Goldstone Follow-Up panel’

Goldstone Altered UN Letterhead to Hide Report’s Tainted Origins

The UN Human Rights Council, dominated by dictatorships like China, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia, concluded its last session by once again turning a blind eye to millions of victims of human rights violations in 187 countries, including of the well-documented repression and killings this year in Iran, China, and Nigeria.

The 47-nation council instead devoted an inordinate amount of its limited time and diplomatic resources to resolutions targeting Israel, texts that effectively legitimized Hamas terrorism. In particular, the council adopted a new resolution to perpetuate the Goldstone Report — a deeply flawed and one-sided text that rejected any Israeli self-defence as an act of “futility” – by creating a new UN committee of so-called legal experts that will keep the Hamas-supported accusations alive in future reports; requiring the UN rights chief to raise the report in future sessions; and establishing a new escrow fund for Palestinian victims of last year’s Israel-Hamas war, but not for any Israeli victims — not the dead and wounded from more than 10,000 rocket attacks, and not for the hundreds of thousands of traumatized citizens. Continue reading ‘Goldstone Altered UN Letterhead to Hide Report’s Tainted Origins’

UN Watch Welcomes News That Judge Goldstone Will Attend Grandson’s Bar Mitzvah

Geneva, April 25, 2010 – UN Watch welcomes the news, as reported by the New York Times, that Richard Goldstone, the South African judge who presided over the controversial UN Human Rights Council report into Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, will attend his grandson’s bar mitzvah ceremony at a Johannesburg synagogue next week without facing protests outside the event.

Following earlier reports last week that Judge Goldstone would not attend as a result of threatened protests by some South African Jews, UN Watch contacted the South African Jewish community to convey its concerns. UN Watch, which has numerous readers and supporters in South Africa, expressed the position that any protest surrounding a bar mitzvah ceremony would be inconsistent with basic decency and propriety.

After the story made international news, its main effect was to rally defenders of the one-sided report, who pointed to the controversy as alleged proof that opposition to the document was ad hominem and not substantive.

In an L.A. Times op-ed last week entitled “Attacking Goldstone,” Daniel Terris, director of a Brandeis University ethics center chaired by Goldstone, defended the conclusions of the UN mission, and accused “prominent critics of the report” of making “a quick leap from debate to invective.”

In fact, the most prominent critics of the report have published detailed objections, including the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, philosopher Moshe Halbertal, attorney Trevor Norwitz, Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz and the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. None of these significant documents has been met with any meaningful response.

UN Watch continues to vigorously oppose the report at the UN Human Rights Council, which recently voted to perpetuate the report’s findings and recommendations through the establishment of various committees, and to keep it on the agenda at future sessions.

World Body Slams UN Watch: Criticism of Goldstone Report ‘Cannot Be Accepted’

5 resolutions against Israel, only 3 for rest of world combined  

GENEVA, March 26, 2010 - Despite the U.S. having joined the UN Human Rights Council, the 47-nation body today showed that attempts at reform have so far failed. Continuing past practices, the council concluded its main session of the year by slamming Israel in five separate resolutions — more than the total dedicated to the rest of the world combined. Continue reading ‘World Body Slams UN Watch: Criticism of Goldstone Report ‘Cannot Be Accepted’’

Israel Condemned by Human Rights Council in Goldstone Vote

he UN Human Rights Council in Geneva adopted the Goldstone resolution this morning, with 29 in favor, 6 against and 11 abstentions. Click here for the full voting chart. The resolution, “Follow-up to the report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict,” (click here for final draft as orally amended) was submitted by Sudan on behalf of the Arab Group, Pakistan on behalf of the OIC and Palestine. The countries voting against the resolution were the Netherlands, the United States, Hungary, Slovakia, Italy and the Ukraine. Among the abstentions were the United Kingdom, France and Belgium. Continue reading ‘Israel Condemned by Human Rights Council in Goldstone Vote’

NGO Urges UN to Stop Circulating ‘Israeli Organ Blood Libel’

UN Watch Calls on UN Rights Chief to Stop Distributing Anti-Semitic Statement During Debate on Goldstone Report

Geneva, March 24, 2010 – UN Watch, the Geneva-based watchdog organization, today called on the president of the UN Human Rights Council and the High Commissioner for Human Rights to stop circulating an “anti-Semitic” text that accuses Israeli doctors of scheming to steal Palestinian organs. The statement by the Libyan-linked group EAFORD was posted by the UNHRC on its Agenda for debate on the Goldstone Report. The UN Watch protest letter follows below. Continue reading ‘NGO Urges UN to Stop Circulating ‘Israeli Organ Blood Libel’’

UN Human Rights Council slams Israel in 4 resolutions

The UN Human Rights Council slammed Israel in 4 resolutions today, with another scheduled tomorrow. The Council’s five against Israel surpass the total combined amount of resolutions it will dedicate to all other countries in the world — one each on Burma, North Korea and Guinea. Continue reading ‘UN Human Rights Council slams Israel in 4 resolutions’

Speech to UN: Why Goldstone Mission Changed Its Name

UN Human Rights Council
13th Regular Session, Agenda Item 7
Follow-up to Special Sessions (S-12/1 and S-9/1)

22 March 2010

Questions on Resolution S-9/1

Delivered by Cindy D. Tan

Thank you, Mr. President.

Resolution S-9/1, under which we meet today, was adopted on 12 January 2009. It established the fact finding mission, focused only on alleged Israeli crimes, and declared Israel guilty from the start-of, quote, “massive violations.”

At the same time, the Mission, all must admit, adopted a curious attitude toward its founding resolution. In Annex II of the Goldstone Report we see the following.  On 3 April 2009, the day he was named to head it, Judge Goldstone’s first act was to write to Israel under the following letterhead:  “Human Rights Council International Independent Fact Finding Mission Established by Resolution S-9/1.”

This title, mentioning the founding resolution, was the common practice of similar HRC missions.Around this time, Judge Goldstone and his colleagues were criticized by many for having accepted to work under such a biased mandate.Something interesting then happened. Five days later, the official letterhead and title of the Mission changed.

Suddenly, the reference to Resolution S-9/1 disappeared.  Judge Goldstone signed his letter of 8 April under a new title and new letterhead, reading as follows: “Human Rights Council International Independent Fact Finding Mission.”

Mr. President, why did the Mission delete the reference to its founding instrument?

Then, in Judge Goldstone’s letter of 29 April, the Mission title and letterhead were changed yet again. The latest name read: “United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict.”  Here we have the quiet removal not only of Resolution S-9/1, but even of the name Human Rights Council.

Mr. President, why did Judge Goldstone and his Mission delete the name of this Council, the body that created his Mission? Was this an attempt to distance the Mission from this august body?All of this culminated in Judge Goldstone’s various and alternating arguments as to how he changed the original, one-sided mandate of S-9/1, and the guilty verdict that was issued from the start.

We were told he changed it with the former president; or by obtaining assent of the sponsors; or by the silence of this council after the president addressed the council in June. Legally, of course, none of these arguments have any basis whatsoever.

In truth, one need merely look at the final version ratified by the GA on 18 December 2009: there we see the original mandate, the original guilty verdict, unchanged, unamended. Mr. President, is this the rule of law?

Thank you, Mr. President.

Palestinians clash with EU over latest UN resolution on Goldstone Report

Geneva, March 18, 2010 - At the UN Human Rights Council today, an open consultation on next week’s Goldstone Report resolution was officially hosted by the Palestinian mission, though it was Pakistan that chaired. The UN’s resolution deadline for the current March session has been extended to 1pm tomorrow afternoon. UN Watch attended as an accredited NGO observer and offers the following summary: Continue reading ‘Palestinians clash with EU over latest UN resolution on Goldstone Report’

FOX News: After UN Watch Protest, Chief Goldstone Aide Cancels Keynote Address for ‘Russell Tribunal on Palestine’

Francesca Marotta, Head UN Staffer for Goldstone Report, Was to Headline Anti-Israel Event in Lausanne

GENEVA - FOX News has revealed that following a UN Watch protest, the United Nations chief of staff for the Goldstone Report canceled her scheduled keynote address for an anti-Israel event held last Saturday in Lausanne, Switzerland. (See full FOX News report below.)

Francesca Marotta, Head of the Secretariat of the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, was to headline an event lobbying for “the Russell Tribunal on Palestine,” a one-sided political exercise with a foregone conclusion. The Swiss gathering was sponsored by “Collectif Urgence Palestine,” a group that was recently condemned by a United Nations expert panel for having organized an “apparently anti-Semitic” demonstration last year with stone-throwing and verbal threats against members of the Geneva Jewish community. Continue reading ‘FOX News: After UN Watch Protest, Chief Goldstone Aide Cancels Keynote Address for ‘Russell Tribunal on Palestine’’

NGO to Ban Ki-Moon: Bar UN Goldstone Aide From Palestinian Lobby Event

UN Watch Calls on UN Chief to Stop Francesca Marotta, Head UN Staffer of Goldstone Report, From Speaking at “Russell Tribunal on Palestine”

Geneva, Feb. 26, 2010 – UN Watch, the Geneva-based watchdog organization, today called on UN chief Ban Ki-Moon to stop Francesca Marotta, the head of the UN staff that compiled the Goldstone Report, from participating at a political lobbying event in Lausanne, Switzerland, in support of the “Russell Tribunal on Palestine.” The full letter follows below. Continue reading ‘NGO to Ban Ki-Moon: Bar UN Goldstone Aide From Palestinian Lobby Event’

Irish Times Softens Controversial Remarks by Goldstone Co-author Col. Travers

According to the Irish Times’ article on the controversial comments recently made by Col. Desmond Travers, the Irish member of the UN’s Goldstone Gaza inquiry, “he implied that British foreign policy interests in the Middle East seemed to be strongly influenced by Jewish lobbyists.”

Only “implied”? Here is the actual quote from Travers’ rabidly anti-Israel interview with Middle East Monitor: “Britain’s foreign policy interests in the Middle East seem to be influenced strongly by Jewish lobbyists.” For some reason, the Irish Times took pains to make Travers sound less strident and more reasonable.

In the same interview, Travers also dismissed British Col. Tim Collins’s BBC-broadcast findings—about weapons hidden in Gaza mosques—as “drivel.” This co-author of the Goldstone Report equally dismissed “all” Israeli photographic evidence of such weapons caches as “spurious in the extreme!”

It is bad enough when yet another of the Goldstone investigators, supposed to be impartial, reveals himself to be irredeemably biased against Israel.

It’s worse when this bias is covered up. Just like its coverage of last summer’s controversy over Obama’s award to Mary Robinson—the former Irish president and UN organizer of the 2001 Durban hatefest—the Irish Times once again rallies in knee-jerk fashion to the side of any Irish citizen applying an imbalanced approach to the Israeli-Arab conflict.

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. Continue reading ‘How my email to Goldstone was twisted by his report’

Then: Guardian Newspaper Slammed ‘Richard-Richard’ Goldstone Inquiry as ‘Rubbish Bin’

That the U.N.’s Goldstone Report on alleged war crimes in Gaza is a travesty of justice is apparent from its skewed contents, method, and conclusions, as well as its tainted political framwework, one-sided mandate, and prejudiced mission members. Continue reading ‘Then: Guardian Newspaper Slammed ‘Richard-Richard’ Goldstone Inquiry as ‘Rubbish Bin’’

Islamic states reveal: “We created the Goldstone Report”

Soon, on January 12, 2010, we will mark the one-year anniversary of the UNHRC special session and resolution that commissioned the Goldstone Report. It’s a time to remember who orchestrated the “fact-finding” exercise.

The 57-nation Organization of the Islamic  Conference (OIC), which effectively controls the UNHRC, is being far more honest about this than Goldstone. Here’s what OIC secretary-general Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu revealed to Al Jazeera in October: Continue reading ‘Islamic states reveal: “We created the Goldstone Report”’

The Soros Connection: Leading the Goldstone Lobby

A closely intertwined network of organizations and individuals has been leading the U.S. lobby for the UN’s Goldstone Report, the poorly written and egregiously one-sided document that overtly proclaims, Goldstone’s protestations notwithstanding, that any self-defence by the Israel Defence Forces is an exercise in “futility” (see par. 1914).

The lobbyists all seem to have one thing in common: they are all funded by, or connected to, financier George Soros. Speculation by some bloggers in November can now be confirmed in greater detail. Continue reading ‘The Soros Connection: Leading the Goldstone Lobby’

Brandeis debate: Did Goldstone admit UN colleague Chinkin was biased?

In his debate this evening with Dore Gold at Brandeis University, Judge Richard Goldstone, author of the UN report on Gaza that bears his name, conceded that the prior statement of his colleague Christine Chinkin criticizing Israel would have been sufficiently problematic as to disqualify her, but only if their UN inquiry had been considered “judicial.” Continue reading ‘Brandeis debate: Did Goldstone admit UN colleague Chinkin was biased?’

Must-See Video: Disfigured Israeli Terror Victim Confronts Goldstone in Dramatic UN Debate

Gazans embroider keffiyehs with name ‘Goldstone’ and Jerusalem mosque

A reflection, no doubt, of Goldstone’s balanced and fair report:

Gaza gift shop markets ‘Goldstone’ headscarves

(AFP) – Nov. 4, 2009.  JERUSALEM – South African Judge Richard Goldstone’s name may be infamous in Israel, but in the Gaza Strip it is sewn onto souvenir Palestinian headscarves in honour of his controversial war inquiry. Continue reading ‘Gazans embroider keffiyehs with name ‘Goldstone’ and Jerusalem mosque’

US Congress condemns UN Goldstone Report, 344 to 36; full text & voting breakdown

Click here for the final text of House Resolution 867, as adopted today by the U.S. Congress by a vote of 344 to 36, slamming the ignominious Goldstone Report. The roll call is below. Continue reading ‘US Congress condemns UN Goldstone Report, 344 to 36; full text & voting breakdown’

US Congress Slams Goldstone Report, Quoting 2 UN Watch Speeches

Following is a press release from U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, featuring her Congressional remarks quoting the September 29 UN Watch speech to Judge Goldstone, delivered by rocket attack victim Dr. Mirela Siderer, as well as the October 16 UN Watch speech delivered by British hero Col. Richard Kemp.

(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, commented today on the House’s passage of H. Res. 867, a measure she authored which expresses Congressional support for Israel and opposition to any consideration or endorsement of the “Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict,” commonly referred to as the “Goldstone Report.”  (Full remarks from the floor debate follow the press statement).  Statement by Ros-Lehtinen: Continue reading ‘US Congress Slams Goldstone Report, Quoting 2 UN Watch Speeches’

US Congressman Berman stifles Goldstone by citing UN Watch report

The U.S. Congress today cited a UN Watch report when it stifled Judge Richard Goldstone’s objections to a draft resolution that slams his report for bias. US Rep. Howard Berman, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Gary Ackerman, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East, today sent their Congress colleagues this point-by-point rejoinder of a vehement letter recently sent to Congress by Goldstone (but which had the name of “Morton Halperin,” Geroge Soros’ key adviser, listed as author on the electronic file).

The relevant section:

[Goldstone:] “3. Paragraph 5: The member concerned, Professor Christine Chinkin of the London School of Economics, in the same letter, together with other leading international lawyers, also condemned as war crimes the Hamas rockets fired into Israel.”

Response: The letter Professor Chinkin signed, which was published in the British press in mid-January, did indeed accuse Hamas of war crimes. But it also accused Israel of war crimes, months before the investigation began, clearly prejudging the outcome of the investigation regarding both parties. In my view, Professor Chinkin should have been disqualified from serving on the commission, based on her having signed the letter. The UN watchdog UN Watch notes that Justice Goldstone himself admitted in an August interview that the signature “would have been grounds for disqualification” if the commission had constituted a formal judicial inquiry.

Goldstone misleads US Congress on Chinkin, contradicts previous admission

So now Judge Richard Goldstone is accusing the US Congress of being “misleading” in its draft resolution concerning his ignominious mission and report. (Turns out the letter was at least typed on the computer of George Soros spokesman Morton Halperin.) Let’s see who’s really being misleading.

Goldstone defends the colleague of his who had declared Israel guilty in advance: Continue reading ‘Goldstone misleads US Congress on Chinkin, contradicts previous admission’

UN Watch Welcomes Withdrawal of Goldstone Resolution

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Geneva, Oct. 1, 2009 - UN Watch comments on the surprise news that the Palestinian draft resolution on the Goldstone report has been withdrawn prior to voting tomorrow at the UN Human Rights Council:

“This constitutes a massive defeat for Mr. Goldstone’s biased report, a slipshod piece of work whose scattershot recommendations to the entire world threatened to harm, not help, the peace process,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a Geneva human rights monitoring group.

“Goldstone’s reliance on Hamas witnesses — including the same Hamas police spokesman , Islam Shahwan, that accused Israel of distributing aphrodisiac gum to corrupt Gaza youth — reflected the biased agenda of the Arab-controlled UN Human Rights Council, which created the ‘fact-finding’ mission by declaring Israel guilty in advance.”

The Ignored Testimony of Dr. Siderer Before Goldstone Mission

Geneva, July 6, 2009  

Distinguished guests, permit me, distinguished panelists, please permit me to say something from the heart. Even though I wrote it down on paper because I’ve never been in such a situation ever in my life of such status, but I’ve come here to give you my personal story, my personal tragedy. I am not a politician. I don’t deal in politics. Just what happened to me. That’s my purpose in coming here. Continue reading ‘The Ignored Testimony of Dr. Siderer Before Goldstone Mission’

Dramatic U.N. Clash; Israeli Rocket Victim Asks Goldstone: “Why Were You Silent?”

Agenda Item 7, UNHRC, 12th Session
Interactive Dialogue with Fact-Finding Mission on Gaza
UN Watch Statement, delivered by Dr. Mirela Siderer

Click for video

Thank you, Mr. President.

My name is Dr. Mirela Siderer.  I am a gynecologist living in Ashkelon, Israel.

Judge Goldstone, in July you invited me to testify. I told you my story.

I am known by my patients-including many women from Gaza.  For me, every human being is equal. Continue reading ‘Dramatic U.N. Clash; Israeli Rocket Victim Asks Goldstone: “Why Were You Silent?”’

Goldstone report cites same Hamas witness who claims Israel distributes libido-increasing gum

A central charge leveled by the Goldstone Report is that Israel’s bombing of Hamas police was a war crime because the gunmen were innocent civilians and non-combatants. Despite Hamas orders for the police to “face the enemy,” Goldstone in par. 414 of the report relies on the testimony of one Islam Shahwan to support the notion that “face the enemy” really meant distributing food stuffs: Continue reading ‘Goldstone report cites same Hamas witness who claims Israel distributes libido-increasing gum’