European Parliament backs Goldstone report


(JTA) — The European Parliament passed a resolution that said European Union states should "demand the implementation of the Goldstone report’s recommendations." 

The resolution, which was approved Wednesday by a vote of 335-287, said that the EU’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, should monitor the progress of the implementation of the U.N.-ordered report.

The parliament also expressed its concern about "pressure placed on NGOs involved in the document’s preparation" — a statement that apparently refers to the targeting of the New Israel Fund for supporting Israeli organizations that assisted South African judge Richard Goldstone’s committee in the preparation of his report.

The report accused Israel, as well as Hamas, of committing war crimes during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza last winter.

The European Jewish Congress in a statement released Wednesday expressed its "deep disappointment" over the resolution and said it would be a "blow to the peace process."

"Blaming the conflict and placing the onus for it on Israel, as the report does, will firstly push the Palestinians further away from the negotiating table and make them more recalcitrant, believing they can use international bodies to fight Israel’s case rather than reaching a negotiated solution," Dr. Moshe Kantor, the EJC president, said in the statement. "Secondly, it demonstrates to Israelis that if you evacuate from a territory and are then attacked from it, you have little military recourse to defend your major population centers.

"If the Europeans want Israel to make concessions and tough decisions in the future, it will need to reassure its government and people that it stands by their full and unquestionable right to self-defense."

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