US congressional leaders at the weekend said they will vote on a bipartisan bill officially rejecting the findings of the Goldstone Report into the recent Gaza war, and calling on President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to do the same. Until now, Obama has made clear that he is uncomfortable with the Goldstone Report, but has refrained from making any decisive statements on the matter. But Congress wants him to go further by negating the report and threatening to use the US’s veto power should the report, which accuses Israel of war crimes, be brought before the UN Security Council.
The congressional bill insists that the Goldstone Report is one-sided because it accuses Israel of various crimes, but glosses over the eight years of Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel that preceded the war. It also notes that many of the crimes Israel is accused of by Goldstone were actually the result of Hamas’ illegal use of human shields. The bill highlights an interview given by the report’s author, South African jurist Richard Goldstone, to the Jewish publication the Forward in which he admitted the report’s findings would never stand up in court. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office on Sunday rejected recent reports that he had decided to hold an internal probe into Israeli actions during the war in compliance with Goldstone’s demands.
Netanyhau’s office said Israel may still probe its conduct during the war, as it does after most major armed conflicts, but that it won’t be in response to or compliance with Goldstone. The statement noted that 24 of the 36 claims presented in the Goldstone Report had already been investigated long before the controversial allegations went public. Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he is still against a national probe, insisting that the Israeli army’s internal investigations into individual claims of wrongdoing or mismanagement have always been more than adequate, and far more than any other nation does.
Source: Israel Today