President Shimon Peres in Switzerland 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Denis Balibouse)
President Shimon Peres plans to ask the United Nations to rescind the Goldstone
Report on Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s military operation in the Gaza Strip two
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According to Israeli officials, Peres will make the request
when he meets with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York on
Prior to that meeting, he is scheduled to speak with ambassadors
from the member states of the UN Security Council, which has the power to refer
the Goldstone Report to the International Criminal Court.
York visit comes after the report’s author, Judge Richard Goldstone, published
an opinion piece in last Friday’s Washington Post in which he said the document
had erroneously accused Israel of intentionally targeting civilians in
A spokesman for the UN’s Geneva-based Human Rights Council (HRC),
which commissioned the report, has said the opinion piece would have no impact
on the status of the report, which was submitted in 2009.
wanted to change the report, the spokesman said, he would need to submit a
formal letter to the council in the name of all four members of the fact-finding
mission that worked on it. Alternately, a UN member state could move to rescind
the report, mostly likely by bringing a resolution to that effect before the
Security Council or the General Assembly.
Last month, the HRC passed a
resolution in which it asked the General Assembly to endorse the report for a
second time and pass it on to the Security Council for possible referral of the
situation of the “occupied Palestinian territories” to the International
The US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, told a
congressional hearing in Washington on Wednesday that the US would work to have
the report rescinded at the UN.
“I’m not sure it can be amended,” Rice
“What we want to see is for it to disappear and no longer be a
subject of discussion and debate in the Human Rights Council or the General
Assembly or beyond.”
Rice told lawmakers the US repudiated the Goldstone
report as “deeply flawed” when it first emerged.
“We see no need... for
the Goldstone Report to be considered, and now that its principal author has
said what he said, frankly our view is reinforced that this should go away and
that’s what we’ll work to do,” she said.
Rice added that Washington saw
no evidence at the time that Israel had intentionally targeted civilians or
committed war crimes.
Israel has shown an ability to investigate concerns
about the conflict, “quite in contrast with Hamas,” she said.
interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday, Goldstone said that in spite
of his reassessment, he had no intention of asking the UN to change or rescind
“As appears from the Washington Post article, information
subsequent to publication of the report did meet with the view that one
correction should be made with regard to intentionality on the part of Israel,”
he said. “Further information as a result of domestic investigations could lead
to further reconsideration, but as presently advised I have no reason to believe
any part of the report needs to be reconsidered at this time.”
confirmed he had spoken on Monday with Interior Minister Eli Yishai and accepted
his invitation to visit Israel.
He added that he was likely to come in
“I ended the conversation by expressing my love for Israel,”
Goldstone told AP.
The two men were able to speak with each other over
the phone with the help of former UN ambassador Dan Gillerman, who acted as
translator.Hilary Leila Krieger and Reuters contributed to this report.