EU support for Goldstone Report ahead of debate

Secretary of state for EU in Spanish Foreign Ministry: The Goldstone Report seems to be objective and well-grounded.

Goldstone in Gaza 311 ap (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Goldstone in Gaza 311 ap
(photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Top EU officials threw their support behind the Goldstone Report on Wednesday, two days before the UN General Assembly debates the document that accuses Israel of possible war crimes in Gaza.
“The Goldstone Report seems to be objective and well-grounded,” Diego López Garrido, the secretary of state for the European Union in the Spanish Foreign Ministry, said during a debate on the report at the European Parliament in Brussels.
He added that he was speaking on behalf of the European presidency, which is held now by his country.
Israel says that the report, which was compiled by a fact-finding mission on behalf of the UN Human Rights Council, is biased and flawed. It has lobbied against the document, whose chief author is South African jurist Richard Goldstone.
Palestinians and Arab states have pushed it forward at the United Nations, in hopes that it would be sent on to the International Criminal Court and used as a basis to bring legal action against Israel.
In the past, the EU has been split with regard to the report. But on Wednesday, two key officials, López Garrido and EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid Kristalina Georgieva of Bulgaria spoke in favor of the report at the parliament.
“For the EU to be a credible player in the peace process, it is necessary to demonstrate that it applies the EU fundamental values in all context and that it complies with international law consistently,” Georgieva said.
She added that after Israel’s military incursion into Gaza last January, her predecessor had gone there and witnessed human rights violations by both Israel and the Palestinians.
“The commission has consistently expressed its utmost concern for the dire situation in Gaza,” she said.
López Garrido added that the EU could not remain “indifferent” and that the report was “serious” and drew attention to “serious breaches of human rights.”
Still, quite a number of parliamentarians spoke in defense of Israel.
Morten Messerschmidt of the Danish People’s Party said the entiredebate was regrettable, given that Israel was a state that respects therule of law while the terrorists in the Palestinian territories havenever been brought to account for what they have done.