In a Washington Post op-ed, Judge Richard Goldstone, chair of the Goldstone Report on the 2008-2009 Gaza war, retracted the essential findings of that report. Judge Goldstone clarifies, "Unlike Hamas, Israel did not intentionally, as a matter of policy, target civilians in its 2008-2009 war to stop indiscriminate rocket attacks from Gaza." The JCPA, of which Hadassah is a member organization, welcomed Judge Goldstone's disavowal of the 2009 UN Human Rights Council-sponsored Commission Report bearing his name. Read the JCPA statement
The Goldstone report has done major damage to the image of Israel and while Judge Goldstone has rescinded his findings, it is imperative that the United Nations do the same. On April 8, Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and James Risch (R-ID) introduced S. Res 138 calling on the United Nations to rescind the Goldstone Report. The legislation calls on the "United Nations Human Rights Council members to reflect the author's repudiation of the Goldstone report's central findings, rescind the report, and reconsider further Council actions with respect to the report's findings." It also urges the UN Secretary-General to work with UN member states "to reform the United Nations Human Rights Council so that it no longer unfairly, disproportionately, and falsely criticizes Israel on a regular basis."
Urge your Senators to support S. Res 138.
DURBAN III UPDATE
Hadassah and our coalition partners, notably The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) and the Conference of Major American Jewish Organizations, are closely monitoring plans for the Durban III conference, scheduled for this September in New York City. At this time it is still hoped that the one-day commemoration of the 2001 Durban Conference will be a low profile event. Leaders from the Jewish community are working to avoid the participation of Western countries in the conference and any country specific statements about Israel.
UNILATERAL DECLARATION OF PALESTINIAN INDEPENDENCE & UN RECOGNTION
Hadassah continues to work with its coalition partners to prevent a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood and recognition by the United Nations General Assembly. Recognition by the UN would give the Palestinians unwarranted legitimacy—allowing them to avoid direct, bilateral negations or any lasting resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The United States has expressed its opposition to a unilateral declaration of independence (UDI). U.S. and Israeli Government efforts are underway, with the support of the organized Jewish community, to encourage members of the Security Council not to support UDI.
Israel is very concerned about this possibility and it has been reported that Prime Minister Netanyahu is weighing a withdrawal of Israel Defense Forces troops from the West Bank prior to September to preempt the "diplomatic tsunami" that would occur if a declaration of statehood is approved.
Hadassah will continue to track these situations and will send updates as new information becomes available.Date: 4/14/2011