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Groups rip U.N. General Assembly Goldstone vote

WASHINGTON (JTA) — U.S. Jewish groups blasted the U.N. General Assembly for its endorsement of the Goldstone report on last winter’s Gaza war.

Statements by the American Jewish Committee, B’nai B’rith International and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations urged the U.N. apparatus to ignore the nonbinding resolution Nov. 5 of the General Assembly, which recommends U.N. Security Council action if the sides do not launch independent investigations into legations of war crimes within three months.

"From mandate to implementation, the Goldstone investigation was fundamentally flawed," said Moishe Smith, president of B’nai B’rith, one of several groups that has a U.N. liaison. "The report fails to seriously consider the response necessitated by Hamas terrorists’ attacks on Israeli civilians for years. It is confirmation that the United Nations is traveling further down the path of prejudice."

The resolution, which named Israel but not Hamas, passed by a vote of 114-18, with 44 nations abstaining.

Israel said the resolution ignored the realities of dealing with a terrorist organization.

"Israel rejects the resolution of the U.N. General Assembly, which is completely detached from realities on the ground that Israel must face," a Foreign Ministry statement said.

Among those opposing was the United States, which holds a veto on the Security Council, the only U.N. body empowered to enforce international law. The other nations that voted no were Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, the Netherlands, Palau, Panama, Poland, Slovakia, Macedonia and Ukraine.

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