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Thursday, April 14, 2011

NGO Monitor rips Goldstone Commission members

In response to Thursday's Comment is Free piece by members of the Goldstone Commission in al-Guardian, NGO Monitor has issued a statement.
“From the beginning, it was clear that all the members of the so-called ‘fact finding’ exercise lacked the qualifications necessary to asses the events of the Gaza war, as well as demonstrating conflicts of interest and biases. It is also not surprising to see how closely their defense of the report reflects Amnesty International’s own statements,” said Professor Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor. “Chinkin had been a consultant to Amnesty, while Jilani and Travers signed a highly biased letter spearheaded by Amnesty accusing Israel of “war crimes” before their appointment to the UN body. Now they are again joining forces with Amnesty’s ideologues to counter Goldstone’s belated retraction. Morally, they have an obligation to follow the courageous example of Goldstone, and admit they were wrong.”

NGO Monitor also notes that among the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that provided the allegations included in this discredited report, Amnesty was particularly influential. At a UNHRC-run townhall meeting for NGOs in Geneva in May 2009, representatives from Amnesty International gave a detailed outline for the report’s contents to the Goldstone mission members. Indeed, Amnesty’s recommendations closely corresponded to the final report.

Steinberg added, “It took two years, but Judge Goldstone has now acknowledged the obvious – that the UN Human Rights Council is totally biased, and therefore, the mandate, mission and report lack any moral or substantive validity. The fact that Hila Jilani, Christine Chinkin, and Desmond Travers cling to the anti-human rights agenda set by Libya, Iran, Cuba, China, and other core violators at the UNHRC serves to highlight their moral blindness.”
Goldstone's acknowledgment is too little, too late, and Chinkin, Jilani and Travers are determined to spearhead the effort to make sure it stays that way.

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