Goldstone Report Is Fundamentally Biased; US And World Community Should Reject Findings
Update (April 2, 2011): In an opinion article published in The Washington Post, Richard Goldstone retracted the central findings of the Goldstone Commission Report. More>>
Update (Oct. 16, 2009): UN Human Rights Council endorses Goldstone Report findings. More>>
New York, NY, September 15, 2009 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on the United States government and the international community to immediately and unconditionally reject the findings and recommendations of the Goldstone Report, the United Nations Human Rights Council-mandated investigation into Israel's Operation in Gaza.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
This fundamentally biased report with its outrageous and overreaching panoply of recommendations must be rejected immediately by the United States and the international community. Its call for every imaginable punitive action possible by the United Nations is emblematic of the misappropriated focus of U.N. attention and resources on just the action of one state to defend its people from attack by a terrorist organization.
The report reveals bias in its presentation of the facts, its negative assumptions about Israel, Israeli society and its democratic system. In taking time to assess Hamas actions, the mission presents a false and illusory approach of even-handedness and creates a dangerous and totally unwarranted equivalence between the Israel Defense Forces and the terrorists of Hamas. Yet in its recommendations, the Report focuses nearly exclusively and with an iron first against Israel.
The report is based on presumptive Israeli guilt, ascribes to Israel malicious motive and intent behind its actions. It implies that Israel refuses to investigate allegations of violations. It draws broad conclusions about the discriminatory nature of Israeli legal and judicial systems. The final recommendations make no mention of Israel's security concerns, right to self-defense and right to fight a fair and just war. The implication of the report is that Israel should be denied each of these rights, and implies that it would consider Israeli military action unwarranted under any conditions.
The report ignores or dismisses any and all of Israel's explanations and efforts to investigate alleged violations. Yet, in contrast to its skeptical treatment of Israeli reports and investigations, statements made by Palestinians and human rights groups are quoted directly and are taken at face value.
The report's ultimate recommendation, that the principle of universal jurisdiction be applied to charge Israelis with war crimes because Israel has not and will not investigate the Gaza Operation, is a grave affront to Israeli sovereignty and democracy, including its independent and activist judiciary.
This report was commissioned by a body, the Human Rights Council, which has demonstrated an unremitting pattern of bias against Israel. Its mandate to the investigating mission was one-sided, directing the mission to scrutinize Israel's conduct only. While the report does stray from its narrow authorizing resolution and does charge Hamas and what it calls "Palestinian armed groups" with being motivated to "inflict terror" in Israel's civilian population, its investigation of Hamas' strategy and operations is suspiciously inadequate. By the mission's own admission, it had difficulty obtaining information from Gazans on the activities of Hamas during the conflict. In contrast to its comprehensive and overreaching recommendations regarding the both the actions and motives of Israel by every body in the United Nations, its recommendations related to the Palestinians are hollow, ineffectual, and not even in keeping with the requirements demanded of Hamas by the Quartet.
Finally, the report seeks to engage in an exhaustive expose of all that is wrong with the "occupation." It addresses everything from allegations of settler violence being punished too lightly, to discrimination in the Israeli criminal justice system, to broad issues around issues like settlement policy and Israel's security barrier. Outrageously, one of its recommendations is for Israel to "release Palestinians who are detained in Israeli prisons in connection with the occupation" – apparently including those who engaged in terrorism against Israel.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.