Jewish leaders plead with Government over Goldstone Report vote
British Jews reacted with dismay to the UN Human Rights Council’s endorsement of the Goldstone Report, and criticised the Government for abstaining on the vote.
A spokesman for the Board of Deputies for British Jews, which is the main representative body for Jewish people in the United Kingdom, claimed the report was “deeply flawed”.
“The Jewish Community has campaigned for decades on the issues of human rights and crimes against humanity. It is not surprising but nonetheless ironic, to say the least, that countries like Saudi Arabia and others, under the cover of the UNHRC, are singling out Israel by citing allegations of war crimes based on the deeply flawed Goldstone Report.
“Every nation state should be accountable for its actions, but the credibility of the report remains deeply suspect. This is no basis on which to proceed against a country defending itself against eight years of unrelenting rockets attacks. The Government should not allow the credibility of international law and concerted efforts to find peace to be undermined by standing by as the Goldstone Report receives endorsement.”
He said: “The report is clearly one-sided and biased against Israel, which we always expected it to be, which is why Israel first of all said it would not co-operate, and when it came out it was what we were expecting.
“It would have been nice if the UN could for once have taken a critical view. But it has a history of voting against Israel whatever and this is just what we expected. We’re disappointed in the Government – it would have been nice if it could have stood up for Israel in the UN, but the Government does what it does.”
Some Jews, however, support the findings of the report. Hundreds have signed an online petition created by the group Jews for Justice for Palestinians, in support of the report.
It says: “Internationally respected jurist Richard Goldstone has been attacked by establishment voices within the Jewish community.
“For following where the truth led him and releasing a report detailing human rights abuses and violations of international law by Israel, as well as Hamas, Judge Goldstone should be applauded for his honesty and integrity.”