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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

NGO Monitor: Goldstone Commission violates London-Lund guidelines

The Goldstone Commission appointed by the United Nations 'Human Rights Council' to 'investigate' “all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by the occupying Power, Israel, against the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip” (emphasis added) will likely render its report in the next week or so. The report is due to be presented to the 'Human Rights Council' on September 29.

In preparation for the report, the anti-Israel NGO's have started to issue their own reports and the pro-Israel community has begun to attack the credibility of the Goldstone Commission, headed by South African judge Richard Goldstone (pictured). There is plenty to be attacked.

In this article, NGO Monitor argues that certain evidence submitted by NGO's to the Goldstone Commission, and the declared biases of certain commission members, violate the London-Lund Guidelines, adopted in June 2009 by the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association.
In particular, the London-Lund guidelines state:
  • Reports must be clearly objective and properly sourced, and the conclusions in them reached in a transparent manner. … In making their findings the delegation should try to verify alleged facts with an independent third party or otherwise. Where this is not possible, it should be noted.
  • The terms of reference must not reflect any predetermined conclusions about the situation under investigation.
  • The mission’s delegation must comprise individuals who are and are seen to be unbiased. The NGO should be confident that the delegation members have the competence, experience and expertise relevant to the matters pertaining to the terms of reference.[3]
Many aspects of the Goldstone panel, including its mission statement, members, and collection of testimony failed to meet these fundamental ethical standards. In contrast to the Guidelines, the inquiry was flawed from the outset, lacked transparency in many aspects of its work, and the NGO submissions lacked objectivity and proper sourcing.
NGO Monitor goes on to take apart the Goldstone Commission limb by limb. Read it all.

It goes without saying that this report will almost certainly be critical of Israel. At least the Israeli government is mobilizing to fight it. But the bigger issue is that there has been talk of using the report to ask the United Nations Security Council to refer the issue to the International Criminal Court. While Israel has not signed the Court treaty and is not subject to its jurisdiction, it is possible that sanctions could be imposed by the Security Council in response to an Israeli refusal to appear before the Court. Would the Obama administration veto those sanctions?

What could go wrong?


At 11:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prof Paul Eidelberg:

To Hell With the United Nations

At 1:17 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Shy Guy, I've said before Israel should get out of the Jew-hating UN. There is nothing to be had in common with tyrants, dictators and thugs. Why should Israel grace such a morally bankrupt institution with its presence?

For the Jewish New Year, its definitely time for hopenchange on that front!


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