JERUSALEM - In contrast to Judge Richard Goldstone's honest recognition of the fundamental bias and errors in the report on the Gaza war published by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the other three members of this "fact finding" committee are clinging to its false allegations, notes Jerusalem-based research institute NGO Monitor. The response in the Guardian signed by Hila Jilani, Christine Chinkin, and Desmond Travers closely tracks the language used by Amnesty International and other NGOs in response to Goldstone's factual reconsideration.
"From the beginning, it was clear that all the members of the so-called 'fact finding' exercise lacked the qualifications necessary to asses the events of the Gaza war, as well as demonstrating conflicts of interest and biases. It is also not surprising to see how closely their defense of the report reflects Amnesty International's own statements," said Professor Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor. "Chinkin had been a consultant to Amnesty, while Jilani and Travers signed a highly biased letterspearheaded by Amnesty accusing Israel of "war crimes" before their appointment to the UN body. Now they are again joining forces with Amnesty's ideologues to counter Goldstone's belated retraction. Morally, they have an obligation to follow the courageous example of Goldstone, and admit they were wrong."
NGO Monitor also notes that among the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that provided the allegations included in this discredited report, Amnesty was particularly influential. At a UNHRC-run townhall meeting for NGOs in Geneva in May 2009, representatives from Amnesty International gave a detailed outline for the report's contents to the Goldstone mission members. Indeed, Amnesty's recommendations closely corresponded to the final report.
Steinberg added, "It took two years, but Judge Goldstone has now acknowledged the obvious - that the UN Human Rights Council is totally biased, and therefore, the mandate, mission and report lack any moral or substantive validity. The fact that Hila Jilani, Christine Chinkin, and Desmond Travers cling to the anti-human rights agenda set by Libya, Iran, Cuba, China, and other core violators at the UNHRC serves to highlight their moral blindness."