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Abrupt Palestinian About-Face on UN’s Goldstone report

Following what was described as “massive American pressure,” the Palestinian delegation to the U.N. Human Rights Council last night abruptly delayed its efforts to forward the Goldstone report accusing Israel of war crimes to the Security Council. The Palestinians said they would withdraw their draft resolution on the Goldstone report prior to voting today at the U.N. Human Rights Council. (See here, here and here for previous NRO items relating to the Goldstone report.)
The position of the U.S. since the Goldstone report was released in early September has been that the Human Rights Council alone should deal with it and it should not be referred to the U.N. Security Council or to the International Criminal Court. But in a compromise, the body is expected to pass a resolution today presented by the bloc of Arab and Muslim states that any action will be delayed until their next meeting in March.
“There was a tremendous amount of pressure on all members by the Americans,” said an Arab diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity to The New York Times. “The Americans wanted something to finish it; the compromise is to defer it, which means it is still alive.”
But with the matter still hanging over Israel until March, it will be difficult for Israel to continue with full confidence in the peace process for the reasons outlined by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday.
Netanyahu had said “forwarding the decision of what is known as the Goldstone report, would deal a fatal blow to the peace process.  Because Israel will no longer be able to take additional steps and risks for peace if its right to self-defense is denied.” (For more see, item 4 here.)

The latest person to criticize the Goldstone report is retired Australian major general Jim Molan who was chief of operations of the multinational force in Iraq, in this article in today’s Australian.

Goldstone himself continues to make grotesque and totally untrue allegations against Israel in TV interviews. And in one such interview, with Christiane Amanpour on CNN yesterday, he even suggested to viewers that Hamas has a reliable court system.
This is the Hamas court system in action as described by The New York Times:

On Monday, Dr. Ashour was not the only official in charge. Armed Hamas militants in civilian clothes roamed the hospital halls. Asked their function, they said it was to provide security. But there was internal bloodletting under way.

In the fourth-floor orthopedic section, a woman in her late 20s asked a militant to let her see Saleh Hajoj, her 32-year-old husband. She was turned away and left the hospital. Fifteen minutes later, Mr. Hajoj was carried out by young men pretending to transfer him to another ward. As he lay on the stretcher, he was shot in the left side of the head.

Mr. Hajoj, like five others killed at the hospital this way in 24 hours, was accused of collaboration with Israel. He had been in the central prison awaiting trial by Hamas judges; when Israel destroyed the prison on Sunday he and the others were transferred to the hospital. But their trials were short-circuited.

Mr. Hajoj, and the five others murdered by Hamas in the Gaza hospital, together with many other Palestinians killed by Hamas, have had their names included in lists drawn up by “human rights” groups suggesting they were Palestinian civilians that Israel had killed. Not that Goldstone and the UN care about this.

Tom GrossTom Gross is a former Middle East correspondent for the London Sunday Telegraph and the New York Daily News.

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