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Gillibrand, Isakson circulate anti-Goldstone letter

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WASHINGTON (JTA) — Two U.S. Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee are circulating a letter that would urge the Obama administration to block punitive actions against Israel in the wake of the Goldstone report.

"We hope you will succeed in your efforts to ensure that consideration of the report at the current meetings of the U.N. Human Rights Council will not provide an opportunity for Israel’s critics to unfairly use the Council and the report to bring this matter to the U.N. Security Council," says the letter to Hillary Rodham Clinton, the secretary if state, circulated by the offices of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.).

Susan Rice, the ambassador to the United Nations, has condemned as politically biased the mandate for the commission, which investigated alleged war crimes committed by Israel and Hamas during last winter’s Gaza war, and has said that she hopes to resolve the fate of the report within the Council — but has not ruled out allowing it to go further.

The letter, based on a draft by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, notes that "Israel is in the process of conducting numerous investigations for which it should be commended not condemned."

The letter, which began circulating on Wednesday, was to have closed and been sent Friday; the deadline has been extended to next Tuesday.

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