October 21, 2009
Bethlehem – Ma’an – The US pledged on Tuesday to help Israel combat the Goldstone report documents alleged war crimes committed during the attack on Gaza last winter.
This offer to “fight the Goldstone report” came during a meeting between US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice and Israeli President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem, according to a statement from Peres’ office.
“It is outrageous that a respected institution like the United Nations provides a platform to spread lies and stories about Israel,” Peres told Rice during their closed-door meeting, according to the statement.
“We will not tolerate our youth being labeled war criminals. We must do everything to stop the deceptions and wrongs produced by the Goldstone report,” he continued. “The United Nations provides a stage for [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmedinejad, who threatens to annihilate Israel, and lets him stand judge. This is nothing short of ridiculous.”
The statement says that, in response to the President’s remarks, “Rice promised that the United Sates will continue to stand by Israel as a loyal friend in the fight against the Goldstone report.”
Justice Richard Goldstone’s four-person team visited Gaza twice this year, and compiled a 575-page report based on hundreds of individual testimonies and thousands of documents. The report accuses both Israel and Palestinian armed groups of committing war crimes during Israel’s three-week assault against Gaza last December and January.
Last Friday the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva voted to endorse the report and refer the document to the UN bodies in New York.