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The Goldstone Report and the allegations against Israel

By Sharene Hambur - posted Friday, 23 October 2009

The Goldstone Report was flawed from its inception and its adoption by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) only serves to highlight the bias of this organisation which has been evident in so many of its actions.

Last week, the UNHRC endorsed the Goldstone Report by a vote of 25-6. The United States, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Ukraine opposed the resolution, while Britain and France declined to vote. Russia, China, Bangladesh, Cuba, Ghana, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal and Zambia were among those that voted in favour of the resolution.

In the most ironic of outcomes, Richard Goldstone distanced himself from the UNHRC Resolution, even prior to its endorsement. Goldstone told the Swiss Le Temps newspaper "This draft resolution saddens me as it includes only allegations against Israel. There is not a single phrase condemning Hamas as we have done.”


To The Jewish Daily Forward, Goldstone acknowledged that “We had to do the best we could with the material we had. If this was a court of law, there would have been nothing proven.”

From the outset, the terms of reference for mandating the Goldstone Report were flawed and biased to say the least. Mark Regev, international spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in Melbourne last week that “The Goldstone Report was born in sin”.

When in January 2009 the HRC decided to “… dispatch an urgent, independent…fact-finding mission” it erred in its facts, labelling Israel “the occupying Power … particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip …”

Israel does not occupy the Gaza Strip. Israel disengaged from the Gaza Strip in 2005, dismantling 21 settlements and uprooting more than 8,000 civilians.

“Occupation” is the same excuse terrorist Hamas has given for eight years as it continues to fire rockets and mortars at Israeli communities Sderot, Ashkelon and throughout the entire western Negev region.

In truth, the only Israeli in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip today is Gilad Shalit, kidnapped by Hamas terrorists in a cross-border raid on June 25, 2006, held against his will and denied access to the Red Cross for 1,216 days.


Not even one western country member of the Human Rights Council supported the establishment of the mission empowering Goldstone to “fact-find”.

In addition, a number of prominent human rights champions were approached by the HRC to take on this so-called “fact-finding mission”, including Mary Robinson and Desmond Tutu. They all declined because the results condemning Israel were a foregone conclusion.

While the mandate of the UNHRC is to shine a spotlight on human rights atrocities around the world, it habitually functions as a highly politicised body, with its membership including some of the nations with the worst track record of human rights violations.

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About the Author

Sharene Hambur is Acting President of the Zionist Council of Victoria and its Honorary Secretary. She is also Vice President of The Union for Progressive Judaism and a councillor of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ).

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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