Human Rights Watch says U.S. must back Goldstone. This in reference to the report commissioned by the U.N. Human Rights Council.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Human Rights Watch called on the Obama administration to endorse the Goldstone commission report.
The group was reacting to statements by administration officials that the report on last winter's war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip was flawed and should be dealt with only by the U.N. Human Rights Council, which commissioned the report.
"Dismissal of all or parts of the Goldstone report would contradict President Barack Obama’s stated commitment to human rights in the Middle East and reveal an ill-timed double standard in Washington’s approach to international justice," the group said. "It would also undermine efforts to revive the peace process."
The conclusions of the fact-finding mission, led by former South African Judge Richard Goldstone, include a recommendation that the U.N. Security Council consider war crimes investigations should Israel or Hamas not launch their own probes within six months.
Human Rights Watch also dismissed claims that Israel was able to investigate itself.
"The U.S. claim that Israel can be relied upon to investigate itself ignores the well-documented pattern of impunity in the country for past violations of international humanitarian law," the group said.
Israel regards Human Rights Watch as implacably biased; the group claims that it is the victim of a witch hunt aimed at obscuring Israel's human rights violations.
Posner reiterated the U.S. view that the report was "deeply flawed" and that the Human Rights Council pays "grossly disproportionate" attention to Israel.
He said the United States would back a resolution that "encourages Israel to investigate and address allegations in the report thoroughly through credible domestic processes."
It has been clear for quite a while that the UN Human Rights Council exists primarily as an instrument to further the anti-Israel activism of the international community, precisely as its predecessor, the UN Human Rights Commission. Equally obviously, it is extremely doubtful that any South African judged acceptable to the international community could ever be unbiased about Israel.
In any case, friends of Israel were NOT considered for the role of chief inquisitor.
Nevertheless, the recommendation of Human Rights Watch brings up a few salient points, and while I would under no circumstance advocate acceptance of any UN-sponsored garbage regarding Israel, especially not this deeply flawed report, it would be wise to study the matter further.
[The report omits much highly relevant data, and fails to examine motives behind the testimony that it takes into account, among a number of other questionable details. The phrase that comes to mind is 'supressio veri et suggestio falsi' - surely also part of the educational background of so eminent a jurist as Mr. Goldstone, if not of his various taskmasters.]
Israel does not need to justify any of its actions or even its existence to any UN body - the record of that shameless international institution speaks for itself.
But it is essential that Israel be able to say unequivocally to its friends that its conduct was justified.
I will by no means assert that the organization Human Rights Watch is biased or incurably flawed - they perform a useful function quite admirably in the modern world, and have been criticized, excoriated even, by some of the most reprehensible regimes: Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, et autres.
But any criticism of free-world countries such as the United States, Israel, and the Western European nations, must be tempered by a proper perspective; these are not the notorious torturers and goons that call the shots in Africa, Arabia, and Latin America, nor the systematic tyrannies of the Communist world.
No Western European or Israeli leader is in any way comparable to a tyrant like Fidel Castro, a psychopath like Ahmedinejad, or a thug like Hugo Chavez.