Worldwide Jewish Criticism of UN Indictment of Israel
Jews around the world have rallied behind Israel and condemned the United Nations report accusing Israel of war crimes in the Operation Cast Lead counterterrorist campaign in Gaza that took place from December 27, 2008 until the middle of January 2009.
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon (Yisrael Beiteinu) said Wednesday morning that Israel will work with the United States, which, along with other Western countries, has a vested interest in not allowing the U.N. to impose international law on democracies. He pointed out that dictatorships and known violators of human rights such as Malaysia, Syria, Pakistan and Somalia are members of the U.N. Human Rights Commission, headed by South African Judge Richard Goldstone. Ayalon is currently in Washington and is scheduled to meet Wednesday with Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
"This is a report born of bias," Abraham Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said in describing the report released Tuesday by the U.N. Human Rights Council. "What do you do with an initiative born of bigotry?"
The American Jewish Committee also responded to the report, declaring, “Let us not forget that this commission was a creation of the Human Rights Council, arguably the U.N.’s most flawed body. The Council has consistently demonized Israel, while giving a free pass to some of the world’s worst tyrants, from Sudan to Iran."
Ayalon pointed out that the Goldstone Commission was misguided from the time it was established with a mandate to investigate issues that were already labeled as “grave violations of human rights” during the Israeli response to the thousands of mortar shells and rockets fired on Israeli civilians from Hamas-occupied Gaza.
In an apparent attempt to show an image of balance, Goldstone asked and received permission to broaden the report to include Hamas. However, the report said only that there is “evidence that Palestinian armed groups committed war crimes” while stating there was a “possibility” of war crimes against humanity.
Initial criticism of the report noted that Goldstone referred to Hamas “policemen” killed in the counterterrorist campaign as "civilians."
In Israel, the Defense Ministry is preparing a program aimed at giving legal support to IDF officers who may face prosecution as a result of Goldstone’s recommendations that they be tried by an international tribunal for war crimes.
One source in the Defense Ministry said that the U.N. report encourages terrorism by comparing terrorists with their victims.