Goldstone criticizes ‘lukewarm’ U.S. response to Gaza report 8Nov09 November 9, 2009

by Barak Ravid  -  Haaretz -  8 November 2009

Goldstone report denied

Richard Goldstone, the jurist who headed a United Nations investigation that accused Israel and Hamas of war crimes in Gaza, said he is disappointed by what he called the “lukewarm” reaction to his findings in the United States.

The Goldstone Commission report lambasted both sides in the December-January war, which killed up to 1,387 Palestinians and 13 Israelis, but was harsher toward Israel.

The report gave Israel and Palestinian Hamas militants six months to mount credible investigations or face possible prosecution in The Hague. Both Israel and Hamas have denied committing war crimes.

“The reactions in the international community were very mixed, but the lukewarm reaction from the United States disappointed me,” Goldstone told das Parlament, a weekly political newspaper published by Germany’s lower house of parliament, the Bundestag.

“The fact that the reactions from Israel were so violent really surprised me at times,” he added, according to the German text of his comments published on Sunday.

“I had hoped that our call to take legal steps and pursue people at a national level would fall on more open ears.”

Israel has criticized the report as unbalanced and says the 47-nation Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council, which commissioned the report, is biased against it.

A UNHRC resolution last month censured Israel for its actions in the Gaza war without referring to any wrongdoing by Hamas. The United States voted against it.

Israel said it would coordinate with the U.S., U.K. and France to ensure the Security Council vetoes Arab countries’ resolutions on the Goldstone report, Israeli officials told Haaretz.

On Thursday night, the UN General Assembly adopted the report, with 114 countries voting in favor of discussing it in the Security Council.

Eighteen countries opposed, and 44 abstained.

Israeli officials believe the Security Council discussion will not yield a binding resolution.

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