WASHINGTON — The Obama administration will not allow the Goldstone report recommendations on Israel’s conduct in the Gaza war to reach the International Criminal Court.
A top White House official told Jewish organizational leaders in an off-the-record phone call Wednesday that the U.S. strategy was to “quickly” bring the report — commissioned by the U.N. Human Rights Council and carried out by former South African Judge Richard Goldstone — to its “natural conclusion” within the Human Rights Council and not to allow it to go further, Jewish participants in the call told JTA.
The report said the U.N. fact-finding mission investigating Israel’s conduct during the January 2009 war found evidence of Israeli war crimes. Israel has denied the allegations and said the report’s mandate was biased — an opinion echoed by U.S. officials.
The Obama administration is ready to use the U.S. veto at the U.N. Security Council to deal with any other “difficulties” arising out of the report, the White House official said Wednesday. The administration also has made clear to the Palestinian Authority that Washington is not pleased with a P.A. petition to bring the report’s allegations against Israel to the International Criminal Court.
The official said the Obama administration’s view was that the report was flawed from its conception because the mandate presumed a priori that Israel had violated war crimes and that the mandate ignored Hamas’ role in prompting the war through its rocket fire into Israel.