Shelve Goldstone report, Congress members urge Ban


WASHINGTON (JTA) — A bipartisan slate of U.S. lawmakers urged U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to shelve the Goldstone report.

Twenty-two members of the House of Representatives signed on to a letter calling on Ban to override the U.N. Human Rights Council, which said it was standing by the report it commissioned.

"We were deeply disappointed by the recent comments by the United Nations Human Rights Council spokesman, Cedric Sapey, stating that the UNHRC will stand by the so-called ‘Goldstone Report,’ despite the author’s own admission that he now rejects the findings in that report," said the letter initiated by Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) that was released April 28 after being sent two weeks earlier. "We hope you will reject Mr. Sapey’s comments and we call upon you to repudiate the discredited report and remove it from the United Nations official records."

The rights council voted in March to send the report to the U.N. General Assembly with the recommendation that the U.N. Security Council be asked to turn it over to prosecutors at the International Criminal Court in the Hague to examine possible war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Goldstone repudiated only one of the report’s conclusions — that Israel targeted civilians as a matter of policy. He stands by its other conclusions calling for investigations into possible individual war crimes. His co-authors say they stand by the report; it’s not certain whether the United Nations has a mechanism to retract the report.

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