The Goldstone Report: The UN Blood Libel

The Tomuschat—McGowan Davis Follow-up Reports

Articles and Reports: Responding to the Libel (Page 1)

"Navi Pillay's Cronyism"The Weekly Standard, by Anne Bayefsky, January 25, 2011

The world of U.N. human rights, best known for a human rights council with members like Libya, Saudi Arabia, and China, has just outdone itself. A short press release on Monday announces that U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has made some new appointments. The biographies attached leave out a few salient facts and for good reason. The U.N.'s top human rights officer turns out not to be the model of independence and justice she professes.

Pillay has chosen Sweden's Lennert Aspegren for the job of "independent expert" and upgraded current U.N. "independent expert" American Mary McGowan Davis to become Aspegren's boss. Both are charged with assessing how "independently" Israel and its judiciary have responded to the notorious Goldstone Report. But the connections among Pillay, Goldstone, Aspegren and McGowan Davis, as well as other Pillay choices, are dizzying and disconcerting.

"Controversial UN Committee in Disarray"Fox News, by Ben Evansky, December 9, 2010

The chairman of a controversial United Nations follow up committee that reviewed last year's Gaza conflict between Israel and Palestinian terrorist groups for the much maligned UN Human Rights Council recently resigned citing a busy schedule, but critics say he should have been fired over his views that made his appointment to the committee a farce...

Anne Bayefsky, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and Touro College tells Fox News,"The committee is now in disarray, despite the best efforts of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay and the UN Human Rights Council to create a second monstrosity following the initial outrageous report of Richard Goldstone himself."

Bayefsky's comments follow the announcement that a second member of the committee is also stepping down. A spokeswoman from the UN Human Rights Council told Fox News that Param Cumaraswamy, a Malaysian national, was "unable to serve as a member of the Committee under the renewed mandate."

Bayefsky says that, "Tomuschat and company jumped at the chance to spend some time at UN center stage by repeating the Goldstone blood libel and sidestepping criticism of Hamas. With their biases fully exposed and their reputation as serious lawyers suffering, however, they jumped ship."

"Goldstone U.N. implementation committee head resigns "JTA, December 2, 2010

"Christian Tomuschat, a judge in Germany, resigned unexpectedly, it was reported Thursday...

In July, human rights activist Anne Bayefsky pointed out on the Eye on the UN monitoring website that Tomuschat and the other two members of his committee were closely affiliated with a nongovernmental organization that works to vilify Israel.

Bayefsky, senior editor of Eye on the UN, as well as the director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, also wrote that a U.N. staffer appointed to work with Tomuschat was an anti-Israel blogger that during the Gaza war wrote that Israel targeted Palestinian civilians in order to impress voters.

The Tomuschat committee staffer wrote, "What better way to gain the support of the Israeli electorate than to ... kill innocent civilians," Eye on the UN reported."

"Christian Tomuschat's resignation letter, November 23, 2010

"New Admissions by Hamas Underscore Flaws in Goldstone Report"CAMERA, November 1, 2010

In the wake of Israel's military incursion into Gaza on Dec. 27, 2008, the Jewish state was accused of employing indiscriminate violence against the Palestinian civilian population. The alleged evidence rested on the tally of civilian casualties reported by Palestinian non-governmental organizations like the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR). PCHR estimated that 84 percent of the 1417 Palestinian dead were civilians and only 236 were combatants. These figures formed the basis of reports condemning Israel by human rights groups like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and, most importantly, the United Nations Human Rights Council. In its Gaza Mission Report (The Goldstone Report), the UN council gave credibility to the casualty figures provided by PCHR and other groups, which claimed disproportionately high civilian casualties, while rejecting Israeli figures of at least 709 combatants and 295 confirmed civilian deaths.

On Monday, Nov. 1, 2010, Hamas Interior Minister Fathi Hamad contradicted the PCHR figures. According to Agence France Presse (AFP) and others reporting on the interview, Hamad
    told the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat that between 200 and 300 Hamas fighters were killed during the 22-day onslaught in addition to hundreds of civilians. "They say the people suffered from this war, but is Hamas not part of the people? On the first day of the war Israel targeted police stations and 250 martyrs were killed, from Hamas and other factions," he told the paper. "In addition to them, between 200 and 300 fighters from the Al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas's armed wing) and another 150 security forces were martyred." His numbers roughly match the 709 "terror operatives" the Israeli military said it had killed during the fighting, which included members of the Hamas-run police force that has patrolled Gaza since the group seized power in 2007.

This admission follows the admission by another Hamas operative named Abu Khaled, who acknowledged in an interview with the Christian Science Monitor that most of the Hamas policemen are members of the Hamas military organization as well. The Goldstone Report also sided with PCHR and other groups in describing the policemen killed by Israeli air strikes on the first day as primarily civilians.

"UN Goldstone Commission Member Equates Israel with Terrorists"The Weekly Standard, by Benjamin Weinthal, July 15, 2010

"The head of the commission, the German jurist Christian Tomuschat, has a personal background that offers a window into the UN's position toward Israel.

Consider these remarks he gave in a 2007 interview to a German newspaper: "Israel killed the spiritual leader of Hamas in 2004, Sheikh Yassin with a missile, killing eight...Targeted killings are as ruthless as the attacks of terrorists."

When asked in the same interview if Israel's targeted killings constitute "state terrorism," Tomuschat said: "It is very much in that direction." Tomuschat also considers Israel's security fence to be unlawful in its efforts to stop Palestinian terror attacks against its population."

"UN Moves Forward to Implement Goldstone Report"The Weekly Standard , by Anne Bayefsky, July 14, 2010

"Now the UN Human Rights Council has sponsored a second-team of investigators to press forward with the report's implementation...

The fact that the mandate of the Goldstone inquiry was tainted from the outset, and that its successor is cut from the same cloth, did not deter three more lawyers from taking this latest UN job. They are German Christian Tomuschat (chair), Malaysian Param Cumaraswamy, and American Mary Davis. As it turns out, the takers and their UN associates have more in common than first meets the eye.

The members of the new committee were appointed on June 14 by the UN high commissioner for human rights, South African Navi Pillay. One of Pillay's two legal advisers, and chief of her office's "rule of law" branch, is Palestinian Mona Rishmawi, former executive director of the Palestinian NGO al-Haq and until 2000 a prominent director of a unit of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ).

All three of the new committee members are affiliated with the ICJ. Committee members Christian Tomuschat and Param Cumaraswamy were members of the ICJ's executive committee during Rishmawi's term at the ICJ. Cumaraswamy was ICJ's vice president until 2006. Currently both are honorary members. Mary Davis is currently on the board of the American Association for the ICJ.

The ICJ has been closely connected with the Human Rights Council's campaign to vilify Israel over the Gaza war, and in particular, the Goldstone report and its follow-up. In January 2009 the Council held a special session to denounce Israeli actions and adopt the resolution that gave rise to the Goldstone inquiry. Of the thousands of UN-accredited NGOs, the ICJ was one of two-dozen that spoke. It claimed Israel had violated international law during the conflict and called for the inquiry's creation. Then, on October 16, 2009, when the Council held a special session to endorse the Goldstone report, the ICJ was again one of the few NGO speakers. This time it specifically called the Israeli investigations into the Gaza conflict "ineffective as they lack safeguards of independence and impartiality..." On June 24, 2010, soon after the appointment of the three senior ICJ members to the Goldstone follow-up committee, the ICJ issued a public statement coming to the defense of Goldstone, his apartheid-era past, and his report...

The committee's work will be coordinated and facilitated by a UN secretariat official selected by High Commissioner Pillay, South African lawyer Ahmed Motala. No doubt, Mr. Motala was delighted to get the assignment. On January 5, 2009 in the middle of the Gaza war, he wrote on the South African website the following: "The war in Gaza and the killing of innocent Palestinians is not about Hamas, but entirely about the forthcoming elections in Israel...What better way to gain the support of the Israeli electorate than to...kill innocent civilians...The costs of victory in an election in Israel are being paid for by the blood of innocent Palestinians.""