Netanyahu: Accepting Goldstone kills peace process


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A United Nations endorsement of the Goldstone report would "strike a fatal blow to the peace process," Benjamin Netanyahu said.

The Israeli prime minister made the statement regarding the U.N. Human Rights Council’s vote on the report, scheduled for Friday, during Thursday’s Cabinet meeting.

"In the next 24 hours, a vote will take place in Geneva in the framework of the council known as the United Nations Human Rights Council," Netanyahu said. " I remind you that in recent years, this council has made more decisions against Israel than against all other 180 counties in the world."

The peace process could not continue if the report is endorsed, Netanyahu said, "because Israel will no longer be able to take additional steps and take risks for peace if its right to self-defense is denied."

The Human Rights Council could decide to forward the Goldstone Commission’s report to the U.N. Security Council. The report calls on the Security Council to refer the matter to the International Criminal Court if Israel does not act upon its recommendations within six months.

Netanyahu said that accepting the report also would "strike a severe blow to the war against terrorism since it will afford total legitimization to terrorists who fire upon civilians and who hide behind civilians" and would "strike a mortal blow to the stature of the United Nations." 

The recently released report by a U.N. commission headed by former South African Judge Richard Goldstone said that Israel and Hamas committed war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during last winter’s Gaza military offensive.

Netanyahu said he was hoping that the majority of the 50 countries convening in Geneva would "show equanimity." He said, however, "We have no confidence in this; usually there is an automatic majority against us."


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