WASHINGTON - The United States Senate voted unanimously on Friday in favor of calling the United Nations to revoke the Goldstone Report which accused Israel of war crimes in Gaza. The decision was made following Judge Richard Goldstone's retraction of the report's findings.
The vote was initiated by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Senator James Risch. While the decision has no legal binding, it is significant as the US is the UN's largest contributor.
The decision stated that contrary to the report's findings, Israel did not embrace a deliberate policy of hurting civilians in Gaza. It is also noted that Judge Goldstone himself admitted that the number of civilian casualties in Gaza was smaller than claimed in the report and recognized that Israel, like any other sovereign state, has the right to defend itself and its civilians.
The Senate therefore called on the Human Rights Council to revoke the report and reconsider further actions pertaining to it.
The Senate also urged UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and member states to carry out reforms in the Human Rights Council to prevent it from unjustifiably taking a harsh stance against Israel and leveling unfair criticism.
It was further demanded that Ban do everything in his power to repair the damage done to Israel's reputation.
In an opinion piece published by the Washington Times several weeks ago, Judge Goldstone retracted several of his claims against Israel including the deliberate killing of civilians. He also praised Israel for conducting independent inquiries following Operation Cast Lead. He nevertheless stressed he will not work to revoke the report.
Meanwhile, the report's co-authors stressed they stand by the report's conclusions and rejected the call to nullify it.
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