U.S. Congress gets the facts wrong on Goldstone (the sequel)

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A Congressional resolution being circulated in response to Judge Richard Goldstone’s Op-Ed in the Washington Post distorts the reality of the report and Goldstone’s article. That’s no surprise, considering the resolution the House of Representatives passed in 2009 in response to publication of the report.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency has the story:

A Senate resolution, introduced April 8 by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and James Risch (R-Idaho), calls on the U.N. Human Rights Council to “reflect the author’s repudiation of the Goldstone report’s central findings, rescind the report, and reconsider further Council actions with respect to the report’s findings…”

In the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is circulating a letter asking colleagues to join her in sponsoring a U.N. accountability act to include language demanding the revocation of the Goldstone report, and withhold the U.S. portion of funds spent on Goldstone’s investigation and its follow-on consequences.

Goldstone’s article did not “repudiate” the report’s “central findings.” The only change was Goldstone’s claim that, after reviewing “investigations published by the Israeli military,” Israel did not intentionally target civilians, which was only one finding of many made in the U.N. report. As Goldstone himself told the Associated Press recently, besides the change enunciated in the Post Op-Ed, he has “no reason to believe any part of the report needs to be reconsidered at this time.” The other authors of the report have also insisted that the report still stands.

There were similar half-truths propagated in response to the publication of the report in November 2009. In response to the numerous factual errors in the resolution, Judge Goldstone rightly denounced the legislation as “sweeping,” “unfair” and “devoid of truth.” Congress, though, will only listen to Goldstone when his words confirm their Israel lobby dictated worldview. The facts matter little.

Alex Kane, a freelance journalist based in New York City, blogs at alexbkane.wordpress.com, where this post originally appeared.  Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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