Monday, March 08, 2010

Seriously! Isn't There Anyone Associated With The Goldstone Report Who Didn't Condemn Israel In Advance

It's not a difficult question--but as you read the following article, it's hard to avoid the obvious answer, and wonder why it had to be this way.

There is a common thread that ties together
  • Richard Falk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on "The situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Occupied since 1967"
  • Judge Richard Goldstone, head of Goldstone Commission
  • Desmond Travers, member of Goldstone Commission
  • Christine Chinkin, member of Goldstone Commission
  • Hina Jilani, member of Goldstone Commission
  • Francesca Marotta, a senior member of the UN staff that helped compile the Goldstone Report
UN Inquiry Accused of Anti Israel Bias
A controversial United Nations report called the UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict and more commonly known as "The Goldstone Report," is under fire for being biased against Israel. Among its conclusions was an accusation that Israel had committed "war crimes" during its twenty-two day war with Palestinian terrorists that ended in January, 2009. Critics discredit this finding - saying key members of the report were clearly biased in favor of the Palestinians.

The Geneva based UN Human Rights Council created the Goldstone report in April 2009 after a recommendation by Richard Falk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on "The situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Occupied since 1967", to investigate Israel’s Gaza offensive.

Prior to his UN appointment, Falk had written that Israel’s "imposition of collective punishment had a certain resemblance" to what the Nazis had done in World War II, and is known for his controversial views on the 9/11 terror attacks, telling Fox News that Americans "deserve a more adequate response to the unanswered questions…that have been provided by the 9/11 commission."

Falk says he fully supports the Goldstone Report saying its members are "highly qualified and professionally respected."

Nile Gardiner disagrees. Gardiner is a UN expert at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, and tells Fox News that the so called experts who helped write the report had already convicted Israel for war crimes before coming on board to investigate it. According to Gardiner "it’s an extreme example of the UN’s anti-Israel propaganda, which comes at a huge expense to taxpayers."

Just last month, commission member Desmond Travers told the pro-Palestinian website Middle East Monitor that Hamas had only fired "something like two" rockets at Israel prior to the build up to the conflict in December 2008. According to official Israeli figures the number of rockets fired into Israel was 125, in addition to 80 mortars. Travers also called Gaza the "only gulag in the Western hemisphere", and in that same interview accused Britain's "Jewish lobby" of wielding undue influence over that country's foreign policy. Travers did not respond to a request for an interview.

Another member of the team is Christine Chinkin, who in a letter published by the Sunday Times of London during the height of the war joined others in accusing Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza. Several months later Ms. Chinkin was appointed to the Goldstone report. Chinkin did not respond to a request for an interview.

This last weekend Francesca Marotta, a senior member of the UN staff that helped compile the Goldstone Report, was advertised as being the keynote speaker at a pro-Palestinian event in Switzerland. Marotta told Fox news she did not end up attending and wouldn't answer any further questions. Calls for her to be disciplined were scoffed at by UN spokesman for the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Rupert Colville told Fox News that none would be taken against her, saying, "Why on earth should there be?" Colville also says staff from his office "attend a huge variety of meetings on issues related to work."

Hillel Neuer is the executive director of the Swiss based NGO; UN Watch and first publicized Marotta’s speaking engagement. He argues that no one in her position should side with partisan political campaigns and says her actions undermine the UN's authority and neutrality.

As to the four senior members who produced the report, Neuer points to a letter sent by future inquiry members Judge Richard Goldstone, Hina Jilani and the aforementioned Desmond Travers a full month before their appointment that protested Israel’s actions in Gaza. Neuer says, "Goldstone promised impartiality but the mission members had all made up their minds, adopting the Hamas narrative over Israel from the very start."
Read the whole thing.

Usually, investigations make a point to be unbiased and balanced.
Why is it that no one connected to this 'fact finding mission' even feels the need to fake the appearance of being objective?

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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