On behalf of B'nai B'rith International - the oldest and most widely known Jewish humanitarian, advocacy and social action organization, with members in over 50 countries and a singular record of accredited engagement at the United Nations - we are writing to urge you to vote against a General Assembly resolution extending consideration of the "Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict" report and new action on its irresponsible and overwhelmingly discredited conclusions.
The United States and nearly all the world's major promoters of the Middle East peace process have strongly criticized the so-called Goldstone mission - initiated and staffed, with advance conclusions, by the Human Rights Council, which has condemned Israel more than the rest of the world combined - as highly imbalanced in its perspectives and recommendations.
If given further focus and standing, these conclusions would embolden terror groups by setting a dangerous precedent of censuring the most legitimate, restrained and responsible of counterterrorist efforts, while also further harming prospects for stability in the Middle East. Similarly, conformity with the Goldstone report would further divide and distract the UN membership at a time when foremost international challenges and crises require unified attention, and when the credibility of the UN as a fair and constructive contributor to Arab-Israeli reconciliation is already impaired.
We understand that states hostile to Israel are pursuing, over the coming days, the adoption of a follow-up resolution on the Goldstone mission. As you know, the General Assembly, last November, had already commented formally on this matter - while the subsequent Report of the Secretary-General (A/64/651) on February 4 demonstrated that the democratic governmental system and judiciary in Israel, unlike other parties to the conflict, have engaged in exceptionally comprehensive investigation of genuine lapses during the course of urban hostilities prompted by incessant Palestinian rocket attacks on, and from among, civilians.
Ignoring this reality - and Israel's unparalleled political overtures and humanitarian precautions - the Goldstone report not only suggests moral equivalence between terrorist entities and a sovereign state's defense forces but even employs unsubstantiated assertions to accuse Israel of "deliberate" violations. Israel has long avoided, and regretted, any casualties among non-combatants - while the Hamas rulers of Gaza consistently celebrate indiscriminate killing in Israel, whose destruction is its explicit objective. Any suggestion that Israeli personnel be subject to international prosecution, or that Israel be singled out for scrutiny by a conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, is a grave and dangerous injustice.
We take acute interest in your country's course of action at the UN, and urge that it be independent of pressures to endorse rote, one-sided maneuvers causing damage to possibilities for Middle East peace. Please convey to your government our appeal for your responsible opposition to further deliberation and action on the "Fact-Finding Mission" report.
|Dennis W Glick
||Daniel S. Mariaschin
||Executive Vice President