Consensus forming that Goldstone report set to continue passage through UN despite Goldstone’s retraction, diplomats, officials suggest

Evidence mounts that Goldstone Report into Israel’s Operation Cast Lead will not be withdrawn from the UN even after Goldstone publicly retracts core allegations

UN HQ in New York, photo by Ad Meskens
The Commentator
On 9 April 2011 11:42

It now appears all but certain that the controversial report alleging deliberate Israeli atrocities against Palestinian civilians in Operation Cast Lead in Gaza will not be withdrawn from the United Nations despite retractions of key allegations made in the report by its author, Justice Richard Goldstone.

One well-placed European diplomat told The Commentator on Saturday that all the signs this week from major European countries and from the United Nations itself suggested that hostility to the Jewish state remained so strong that even Goldstone’s remarkable comments, made in the Washington Post on April 1, could not stop the report’s momentum in its passage through UN bodies:

“Just look around you,” the diplomat said. “The messages from major European countries as well as what people are saying in the halls of the United Nations all indicate that this thing cannot be stopped.”

“The Europeans in particular are keen not to upset the Arab world at a time of turmoil and as several leading countries are involved in military actions in Libya.”

In his Washington Post article, Goldstone admitted that he had been wrong to say Israel had deliberately targeted civilians in the December 2008/January 2009 operation in Gaza, and that had he known at the time of authoring the report what he knows now conclusions concerning supposed Israeli “war crimes” would probably have been different.

Despite this, the British Foreign Office said, in an exclusive to The Commentator last week, that it had no intention of calling for a withdrawal of the report since other “credible organisations” had corroborated Goldstone’s original allegations.

The Commentator has also learned that a very high ranking official in the German foreign ministry had been asked in Berlin on Thursday whether his country would now call for the withdrawal of the Goldstone Report and had pointedly refused to give any such assurance.

On the same day, Israeli President Shimon Peres met UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in New York and asked him to have the Goldstone Report rescinded.

But the Jerusalem Post reported that a spokesman for the UN Human Rights Council, to which the Goldstone Report was originally submitted in September 2009, had said that Goldstone’s retractions “would have no impact on the status of the report.”

Israel and its supporters regard the Goldstone Report as little short of a modern day blood libel and are shocked that, apart from the United States, most Western countries are either turning a blind eye to it at the United Nations or actively cheerleading its continued passage. 

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