Congressional bill: No money to U.N. till it retracts Goldstone Report

From the Congressional website Thomas, a bill based on Richard Goldstone’s reconsideration of his report in the Washington Post:

H.R.1501 — To withhold United States contributions to the United Nations until the United Nations formally retracts the final report of the `United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict’. (Introduced in House – IH)

HR 1501 IH

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

H. R. 1501

To withhold United States contributions to the United Nations until the United Nations formally retracts the final report of the `United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict’.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

April 12, 2011

Mr. WALSH of Illinois (for himself, Mr. GRIMM, Mr. ROSS of Florida, Mr. ROGERS of Alabama, Mr. MCCLINTOCK, Mr. WESTMORELAND, Mr. BURTON of Indiana, Mrs. MYRICK, Mr. LAMBORN, Mr. MCKINLEY, Mr. CHAFFETZ, Mr. GRAVES of Missouri, Mr. SESSIONS, Mrs. ELLMERS, Ms. FOXX, Mr. GOHMERT, Mrs. BLACKBURN, Mr. WEST, Mr. CANSECO, Mr. GIBSON, Mr. POSEY, Mr. POE of Texas, Mr. GARRETT, Mr. LONG, and Mr. KLINE) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs


A BILL

To withhold United States contributions to the United Nations until the United Nations formally retracts the final report of the `United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict’.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. FINDINGS; SENSE OF CONGRESS.

    (a) Findings- Congress finds the following:
      (1) On April 3, 2009, the President of the Human Rights Council established the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict with the directive `to investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law that might have been committed at any time in the context of the military operations that were conducted in Gaza during the period from 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009, whether before, during or after’.
      (2) On September 29, 2009, the United Nations Human Rights Council presented a report on the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, a report most often referred to as the `Goldstone Report’, that accused Israel of potential war crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
      (3) On April 1, 2011, Justice Richard Goldstone, the author of the Goldstone Report, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post about the Goldstone Report and stated that more information is now available regarding the Gaza War of 2008-2009 and that, `If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.’.
      (4) Justice Goldstone reiterated the following well known fact: `That the crimes allegedly committed by Hamas were intentional goes without saying–its rockets were purposefully and indiscriminately aimed at civilian targets.’.
      (5) Evidence that was made available following the Goldstone Report confirms that Israel as a matter of policy did not intentionally target civilians.
      (6) Justice Goldstone reiterated the well known fact that the United Nations Human Rights Council has long held a bias against Israel.
    (b) Sense of Congress- It is the sense of Congress that now that evidence is available that undoubtedly nullifies the most controversial aspects of the Goldstone Report, the United Nations should formally retract the Goldstone Report.

SEC. 2. WITHHOLDING OF UNITED STATES CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE UNITED NATIONS.

    (a) In General- The Secretary of State shall withhold United States contributions to the regularly assessed biennial budget of the United Nations until such time as the United Nations formally retracts the final report of the `United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict’ (commonly referred to as the `Goldstone Report’) that was presented to the United Nations Humans Rights Council during its 12th Session, in Geneva, on September 29, 2009.
    (b) Definition- In this section, the term `formally retracts’ means a resolution adopted by the United Nations stating that insufficient information relating to the subject matter of the report referred to in subsection (a) was available before the release of such report and such report is annulled.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 31 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. bijou says:

    The Audacity of Blackmail.

    Are there literally NO limits to which this shameless criminal bunch will stoop? When are we going to wake up from this nightmare!

    • seafoid says:

      The Ryan budget report should be a wake up call to AIPAC. The lobby has worked as well and efficiently as any parasite could on a host but the party will soon be over. The US is living beyond its means and is looking at a future of decline. Israel is a luxury the US won’t be able to carry for much longer.

      link to ft.com

      “The CBO also explores a far worse long-run scenario. In this, revenue rises only to 19 per cent of GDP, around the long-run average, as tax cuts are extended and other fiscal reliefs are introduced. Spending is also a little higher. But the principal impact on spending comes from interest payments on exploding debt: debt in the hands of the public reaches 344 per cent of GDP by 2050 and interest gobbles up 17 per cent. The conclusion is clear. If revenue were allowed to rise to 26 per cent of GDP, modest adjustments to spending would secure sustainability. However spending, (including that by the states) would be at about 45 per cent of GDP. With close to European spending patterns, the US would also need close to European levels of taxation. If the US persisted with historic revenue, relative to GDP, the fiscal position would become unsustainable.

      Into this debate enters Mr Ryan, with a proposal that would keep revenue at 19 per cent of GDP. But it would cut spending to 20¼ per cent of GDP in 2020 and to a mere 14¾ per cent in 2050. Debt would fall to negligible levels. No one can doubt that this plan represents a radical departure. But what may not have been obvious is just how radical – and just how implausible – it is.
      The elaborated parts of the plan are for health. Support for Medicaid would be turned into block grants to the states, which would presumably cut back on support. Support for healthcare for the elderly would be turned into federal contributions towards private medical insurance. Even these radical changes would leave the share of federal support for health spending at 5 per cent of GDP. Yet this would also be 40 per cent of the share forecast in the CBO’s baseline. The clever part is that the plan would only prevent people who reach 65 from 2022 from joining Medicare. Support for health insurance for the elderly would also be means tested and vary with the health of the beneficiary. Overall, suggests the CBO, the elderly would bear 68 per cent of the costs of insurance by 2030. As it notes: “That greater burden would require them to reduce their use of healthcare services, spend less on other goods and services, or save more in advance of retirement than they would under current law.”
      The US has the highest maternal and infant mortality rates among the high-income countries, and among the lowest life expectancies. The result of these cutbacks in spending on health for the poor and the old would be further deterioration. Is this really politically acceptable?”

  2. seafoid says:

    link to irishtimes.com
    Madam, – Recent attempts by the Israeli government to persuade the UN to retract the findings of its fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict headed by Richard Goldstone are a cynical attempt to avoid accountability for war crimes.

    Some of the politicians calling most loudly for it to be withdrawn were themselves implicated in decisions taken by the Israeli cabinet during the conflict.

    Amnesty International’s own report, independent of the UN mission and based on evidence collected by our researchers in Gaza, found substantial evidence of war crimes by the Israeli defence forces. These included deliberate attacks on civilians, the use of Palestinian civilians as human shields and intentional targeting of emergency medical staff.

    The UN report, which investigated allegations against both the Israeli defence forces and Hamas, examined 11 incidents where Israeli forces launched direct, fatal, attacks against civilians and defined them as war crimes. Mr Goldstone mentioned only one of these in his recent Washington Post article (Opinion, April 9th), which the Israeli ambassador has chosen to interpret as a complete U-turn (Opinion, April 12th).

    It should also be pointed out that the other three members of the UN mission have not changed their position and that Israel refused to cooperate with the mission. Amnesty International has been monitoring the Israeli military investigations and recently issued an updated assessment concluding that Israel has failed to meet its obligation to conduct credible, independent investigations in line with international law.

    There is overwhelming evidence that Israeli forces committed war crimes during Operation Cast Lead, as did Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups in their deliberate attacks on civilians in southern Israel.

    Rather than continuing to duck responsibility, or blame some imaginary conspiracy against Israel, the Israeli ambassador would do better to encourage his government to co-operate with the UN and deliver justice for the hundreds of Palestinian civilians killed in Gaza. – Yours, etc,

    COLM O’GORMAN,

    Executive Director,

    Amnesty International Ireland,

    Westmoreland Street,

    Dublin 2.

  3. Woody Tanaka says:

    It’s time for the UN to kick out the US.

    • annie says:

      exactly! we need the UN more than the UN needs the US. the UN needs the US like it needs a lobotomy.

      • Woody Tanaka says:

        If not that, then at least the abolition of the veto in the Security Council, if not the elimination of permanent members of the S.C. It is anachronistic and unsupportable that certain states should have more power than the others in that body.

      • Walid says:

        Before you kick the US out, keep in mind that it pays about 25% of the UN’s multi-billion dollar operating budget, which is the biggest share paid among the 192 members. Japan that is second to the US in contributions is asking to reduce its 10% of total contribution because of the earthquake/tsunami catastrophy. 85% of the UN tab is picked up by 17 member states and what the rest pays into the UN is ridiculous.

        Article in Ottawa Citizen last week about the US wanting to cut back its contribution, and this before the Goldstone issue being discussed today:

        link to ottawacitizen.com

        • Hostage says:

          Before you kick the US out, keep in mind that it pays about 25% of the UN’s multi-billion dollar operating budget

          There is no reason for member states to agree to accept the decisions of the 5 permanent members of the Security Council, in accordance with articles 24 and 25 of the UN Charter, and also pay for the privilege of allowing others to dictate the terms of their foreign policy.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          You’re missing the point, Walid. If you’re citing that as a reason to keep the US in the UN… then if the US withdraws all its funding, what then?

        • Citizen says:

          I would think that to the extent a member state thinks it gains from membership as to its own needs, it pays what it can afford. Who are the other main contributors of the 17, and what % do each of them pay? And how much does Israel contribute? Anyone have this information? Are those 17 all at the top of the wealth list by country as per, CIA, IMF, and WB? Are they all members of that organization of top economy countries that Israel just joined (via fraud, which was accepted on condition subsequent, which will never be honored by Israel, thus mirroring its dishonoring of its UN membership’s condition subsequent)?

        • Walid says:

          I agree, Hostage, the other 187 GA members are like trained seals in a circus, totally useless. They have passed about 60 or 70 resolutions, opinions and condemnations of Israel’s actions and these are totally ineffectual since only SC resolutions can call in the 7th cavalry to enforce them and even then and there, any SC resolution against Israel is of no consequence because of the US veto to act on them like the UNSC 425 passed in 1978 ordering Israel out of Lebanon that was left in the Security Council’s drawer for 22 years until Hizbullah succeeded in kicking Israel out in 2000 without any UN help. Maybe the best thing would be to shut down this world body and give the US the keys to the world and save everyone the agony of going through the motions. In any event, the US has proven it doesn’t need the UN to unilaterally attack other countries in the name of something or other. Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya etc etc etc.

        • Hostage says:

          The US can’t veto sanctions against itself or Israel as a non-UN member state. *Note the US established the framework the UN employs to freeze the foreign-held assets of other countries. In the meantime, members who are in arrears have no vote in the General Assembly, e.g. link to un.org

          Like all things related to the UN, the landmark “Certain Expenses” case involved Israel and the dispute over the contributions of France and Russia to pay for the deployment of the UNEF peace keeping force in the Sinai after the Suez debacle. They argued that the General Assembly had exceeded its authority when it authorized the deployment of armed forces under the auspices of a “Uniting for Peace” resolution. The Court ruled that (a) according to the terms of the UN Charter, the Security Council has primary, but not exclusive responsibility for maintaining international peace and security; (b) that the General Assembly’s powers to adopt decisions on any important question under the terms of Article 18 of the Charter are not merely hortatory or limited to making recommendations; and (c) that assessments levied by the General Assembly are NOT voluntary contributions.

          In the 2004 Wall case, the Court ruled on the legality of the General Assembly reconvening the “10th Emergency Special Session” to consider the question of Palestine while the Security Council “remained seized” with the matter. The Court ruled that the General Assembly and Security Council had addressed the same questions in parallel on many occasions when the latter had put items on its agenda, but failed to exercise any of its powers.

          In theory the General Assembly can authorize the deployment of a “coalition of the willing”. It did so during the Korean conflict. It also could establish an ad hoc criminal tribunal on the situation in Palestine under the auspices of a “Uniting for Peace” resolution. After all, it was the General Assembly that convened the diplomatic conference that created the ICC, not the Security Council.

          I don’t think that either Israeli or the US government officials would be well advised to withdraw from the UN.

        • mig says:

          General assembly is the main organ of UN. Security council is merely a winners of WW2 club & few extra members just trying to show some “balance” of its decision making. Contradiction in its decisions come in surface when some of permanent member or its ally is in trouble.

          SC in principle is working concept, but in reality lacks real neutral decision organ.

          Hostage, you are truly one of a kind to know really UN mechanism. And that rare. My hats off to you !!

        • “Security council is merely a winners of WW2 club…”

          Mig, you got it exactly right, but there is more.

          The League of Nations was formed in the aftermath of WW I. If you read it’s charter, you might think, “Wow! What a good idea. What a rational, civilized, forward-thinking, peaceful-international-conduct-enabling innovation for humanity.” But the words of the charter were phony, cynical, hypocritical crapola from day one. The soulless mafia goons who run the world had no intention of good faith re The League’s founding principles. Rather, they didn’t miss a step in continuing their ages-long gangster behavior. The League’s principles were bad-faith window dressing probably meant for the consumption of the people’s of the Europe — what was left of them — who had just been profoundly savaged by the massive for-profit venture which was the first full-on war of the industrial age.

          Two seconds after it was created, the League’s members — the “winner’s” of WW I –adopted it as their latest tool, gaming it for their imperial advantage. They divvied up the Ottoman’s lost empire, and the Brits empowered the Balfour declaration — a monstrous violation of the League’s principle of local sovereignty — by inserting it into the Mandate for Palestine.

          The UN is no different. Despite some little good that it does when everyone agrees on some humanitarian action, it’s just a clubhouse for the ancient class of world-rapers. Any mouthings of commitment to high principle is just a cover story for the gullible. Latest example: the “humanitarian” rationale for the Libyan war. As Shakespeare put it:

          “When devils will the blackest sins put on,
          They do suggest at first with heavenly shows,”

          If it wasn’t for the gullibility of each new generation of suckers, children accidentally deceived into thinking that the grown-up world was led by folks as sweetly loving as mom and dad, the entire political class would be fed into a wood-chipper.

          As for me, I’m sixty-two years old — can’t frickin believe it — and I would dearly love to feed the chipper.

        • mig says:

          whimsical dog :

          “The UN is no different.”

          ++++ I think opposite. Despite the fact ( which you mentioned and i totally agree ), we must also look UN as a whole organization. Security council & general assembly are just display window to whole UN system. UN as a whole, is doing very important job, and those councils are just that rubber stamp thing. While that real job is done in someplace else.

          link to un.org

          “” Latest example: the “humanitarian” rationale for the Libyan war.””

          ++++ I wouldnt say straight that its a fault of UN. Better would looking into what those UN resolutions say, do they justify such actions that are taking place in Libya right now. Answer is of course not. UN resolutions doesnt justify killing civilians in the name of saving civilians. Resolutions doesnt say a word about taking Gadhafi out of power, its not the job of UN do such a thing. This is someone others fixation that it should be done. UN cant take out some crooked leader from leadership of any country ( even if a person is really bad leader ), thats totally out of jurisdiction of a UN.

          That is not a fault UN, but how some twist UN decisions, what they mean really.

  4. pabelmont says:

    I agree. “USA out of UN now!” Let the USA take its veto with it. Move the UN to Geneva. The USA is a sinking ship. We who live here are doomed to sink, but no reason others should have to put up with the nonsense of the know-nothing Congress as it energetically rearranges the deck chairs. (Gotta give it to them for energy, anyhow.)

    I rather wistfully wish that Obama (or someone else, Carter plus Clinton?) would speak sense on this and many other issues. But the USA seems to prefer mental illness to facing realities. In this regard, the Tea Party is just the whole Congress in miniature. AIPAC and David Koch, you’ve won! The USA is yours! Have fun with it until China calls in its debt! Have a good ride! Cheers!

  5. VR says:

    Apparently no one wants to listen to the truth in regard to the UN, it is not an “independent” agency, you have a case of mistaken identity. Second, you keep redefining, or trying to sharpen the Goldstone Report, it does not need to be sharpened, it is clear enough – it will just not be accepted by the powers that be. here, one more time for emphasis –

    THE UN IS A SHOWCASE FOR US PROPAGANDA

    Than do yourself a favor, read my post, and understand what the REAL problem is -

    GOLDSTONE REPORT, WHO HAS THE POWER TO IMPLEMENT IT?

  6. radii says:

    If the U.S. politicians were not bought-and-paid-for by the israeli lobby and the zionist mafia state legislation along these lines would be shaped to reflect U.S. national interests and it would instead stop all funding to the serial-war-criminal enterprise that is zionist israel – not one more dollar would flow … but since the United States of Goldman Sachs is israel’s trained monkey we instead dance to their tune

  7. Oscar says:

    Wow — this is as brazen as AIPAC can possibly get. In the midst of a near-shutdown of the US Federal government, AIPAC has its stooges in our Congress extorting the UN?

    I actually hope this bill passes so the US is completely delegitimized as an honest broker in the Middle East.

    Let’s take up a collection to send copies of Phil, Adam & Lizzy’s annotated version of The Goldstone Report to these corrupt imbeciles. Who’s with me? Witty?

    • Citizen says:

      LOL. They’ve never read the Goldstone Report. Not even Goldstone’s subsequent WaPO article, probably. They get what they know from the young volunteer AIPAC kid in their congressional office. More efficient and cheaper that way to horse trade nonstop for their other principal donors.

  8. lysias says:

    How was the UN gotten to retract the General Assembly resolution equating Zionism with racism? What was the back story there?

    • mig says:

      lysias :

      “”How was the UN gotten to retract the General Assembly resolution equating Zionism with racism? What was the back story there?””

      ++++ Well, this was first time that i looked in to this. First i checked that original resolution 3379 November 10, 1975 ( and that text really is pretty good ) here :

      link to daccess-dds-ny.un.org

      or :

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      Then i checked that retracting resolution, and i had a good hunch, reason was year 1991. What happened in 1991 ? Madrid peace conference.

      “Israel made revocation of resolution 3379 a condition of its participation in the Madrid Peace Conference, in progress in the last quarter of 1991. Under pressure from the administration of President George H.W. Bush in the United States, the UN passed the resolution.”

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      So there it is.

    • Walid says:

      “How was the UN gotten to retract the General Assembly resolution equating Zionism with racism? What was the back story there?”

      It was the US arm-twisting again only this time it was made easier with the collapse of the USSR. From the NYT:

      “..U.N. Repeals Its ’75 Resolution Equating Zionism With Racism
      By PAUL LEWIS,
      Published: December 17, 1991

      The United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly today to revoke the bitterly contested statement it approved in 1975 that said “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.”

      The official count found 111 nations in favor of repealing the statement and 25 nations, mostly Islamic and hard-line Communists, voting against. Thirteen nations abstained. Seventeen other countries, including Egypt, which recognizes Israel, and Kuwait and China, did not take part in the voting. [ Roll-call, page A12. ]

      For the United States, the heavy vote in favor of repeal was a demonstration of its diplomatic power. After President Bush called for the repeal in September in a speech to the General Assembly, United States embassies around the world were instructed to put maximum pressure to secure the repeal. The 111 votes recorded today were about 11 more than the United States mission to the United Nations had predicted last week…”

      link to query.nytimes.com

      Lysias, you could have also asked why is it that the UN commemorates only an annual rememberance day for the memory of the Jewish holocaust of WWII while it doesn’t do likewise for any other victims of mass slaughters or ethnic cleansings like those of the Armenians, or the 20 millions or so at the hands of Stalin or the dispossession of the Palestinians; didn’t others also suffer and don’t they also merit a day of rememberance? It’s absurd to hear Israelis say that the UN is anti-Isreal and maybe one day there will be a rememberance for the Palestinian suffering; from the UN newsletter:

      “UN marks Holocaust memorial day with exhibitions and pledges of ‘never again’

      27 January 2011 – The United Nations today honoured the memory of the estimated six million Jews and countless others who perished in the Nazi death camps of the Second World War with ceremonies around the world and pledges to wipe genocide off the face of the Earth.

      The General Assembly in 2005 designated 27 January, the date of the 1945 liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest and most notorious of all of the camps, as the International Day in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust, and this year’s theme pays special tribute to the suffering of women.

      …“While we can never compensate for the Holocaust, or do justice to its millions of victims and their descendants, we can at least ensure that by remembering their suffering, and acting on what we have learned, we can mitigate the suffering of others today and in the future,” she added, stressing the importance of bringing perpetrators to justice.

      UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry led a delegation of senior UN staff to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, to commemorate the International Day. As part of their visit, Mr. Serry and Deputy Special Coordinator Maxwell Gaylard laid a wreath in the Hall of Remembrance to remember the six million Jews, and others, killed by the Nazis.

      … Exhibitions on the Holocaust are being held at various UN offices, including New York, Vienna and Paris, with a travelling exhibit due to visit other centres, including in Africa, all stressing the categorical imperative of never allowing such a catastrophe to be perpetrated again…”

      link to un.org

  9. lysias says:

    Is this another one of those bills in Congress whose text in fact was written by AIPAC?

  10. Chaos4700 says:

    What’s the fastest way to push the rest of the world into denouncing and distancing themselves from the United States? About the only thing worse for our image abroad would be Congress pushing through a declaration of war against Canada.

    • Walid says:

      “… About the only thing worse for our image abroad would be Congress pushing through a declaration of war against Canada.”

      Not necessarily so, Chaos, mostly everything that moves in Canada while is registered in names of Canadians, they are really owned and controlled by Americans. It’s a bit like the UN; the US has only to press a button and poooof! In the cold war days, most of the US commercial dealings with the Soviets and Cuba was done through their Canadian affiliates so no war is needed there.

      The US has already declared an economic war of sorts a couple of years back when despite Canada’s objection, it sent a ship through Canada’s Arctic northwest passage that had finaly broken open because of global warming. It was to register its stand against Canada’s claim of territorial ownership to the area after it was discovered that it contained more oil, gas, gold, silver, uranium and everything else reserves than anywhere else on earth. The Russians too have started planting little flags in the ice all over the Arctic because they want a piece of the action. It won’t be long that you’ll be seeing sparks flying between Canada and the US because of the Arctic but for now everything is under control and the US can go on walking all over Canadians because of their Christian Zionist PM that keeps trying to prove that he loves Israel more than the Americans.

  11. chris o says:

    It looks like all the sponsors are Republicans so this is just a cover for their hatred of the United Nations, international law and any impediment to so-called American Exceptionalism. Or their Crazy Christian sensibilities.

  12. Citizen says:

    Those crazy christians are really hard to stomach; at least the tin man knew he didn’t have a brain.