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      Netanyahu Warns UN Against Accepting Goldstone Report

      PM Netanyahu issues last-gasp warning to UN Human Rights Council not to endorse the Goldstone report, saying such a move would bolster terrorism.
      By Hillel Fendel
      First Publish: 10/1/2009, 12:45 PM / Last Update: 10/1/2009, 1:04 PM

      Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a last-gasp warning on Thursday to the 47 countries of the United Nations Human Rights Council, currently convening in Geneva. The Council is expected to vote on Friday whether to endorse and pass the Goldstone report on to the U.N. General Assembly.

      It is expected that the Council will vote to accept the Goldstone findings, which conclude that both Israel and Hamas committed war crimes during Operation Cast Lead earlier this year. Israel launched the offensive after Gaza terrorists rained down thousands of rockets on Israeli towns and cities, killing over 20 people and making havoc of routine life in Israel’s western Negev.

      “A vote will [soon] be held in Geneva in the so-called UN Human Rights Council,” Netanyahu said, adding that “this council has made, in recent years, more resolutions against Israel than any of the 180 countries around the world.”

      He said that if the committee decides to promote the Goldstone report, it would cause grave harm in three areas:

      • It would grant legitimacy to the Hamas terrorist practice of attacking civilian targets while hiding behind other civilians.
      • It would deal a blow to the UN status, reducing it to making “absurd” decisions.
      • It would gravely harm the peace process, discouraging Israel from taking risks for peace for fear that it will not receive international backing.
      “I hope a majority [of the Council] will come to their senses,” Netanyahu said, but added, “We have no confidence in it; there is usually an automatic majority there against us.”

      “If a majority is found to negate this report, it will avoid this severe blow,” Netanyahu said, “but if not, the responsibility will be on those countries who didn't pull themselves together in time.”

      Israel's U.N. ambassador in Geneva, Aharon Leshno-Yaar, has admitted it is likely that the report will in fact be passed on to the U.N. General Assembly. But he said he is still seeking justice and a moral victory in having the countries of the West support Israel’s position.