Goldstone wins human rights award from Sweden NGOs 4Dec09 December 5, 2009

Haaretz -  4 December 2009

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Richard Goldstone, the South African jurist and author of a controversial UN report which accused Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes during the Israel Defense Forces’ military offensive in the Gaza Strip last winter, will receive the Stockholm Human Rights Award, it was announced on Thursday.

“Richard Goldstone has made an outstanding career in the promotion of the rule of law and human rights, first in his home country South Africa and during the last fifteen years in various highly prestigious international fora,” the International Legal Assistance Consortium, a Sweden-based umbrella group of non-governmental organizations which oversees the awarding of the prize, said on Thursday.

The UN General Assembly endorsed the report last month and submitted it to the Security Council.

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The 192-member General Assembly adopted the resolution last month by a vote of 114-18, with others absent or abstaining. The resolution calls on the Security Council to act if either side fails to launch credible investigations within three months.

The report on the Gaza war was drafted by an expert UN panel chaired by Goldstone, and concluded that both Israel and Palestinian militants committed war crimes and possible crimes against humanity.

The harshly worded UN draft resolution, composed by Arab member states, has not been softened despite U.S. and European efforts.

Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gabriela Shalev, told Haaretz before the vote that she did not plan to take part. “I won’t lend a hand to a debate whose conclusions are predetermined. It was a predictable Arab game.”


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