Rarely has the United States had as much good reason to exercise its veto in the U.N. Security Council as it will have today when a controversial report condemning Israel for its campaign against Gaza terrorists is slated to come up for consideration.
The report, issued by a commission headed by jurist Richard Goldstone, has been denounced by the Israeli government and criticized by U.S. officials as deeply flawed and unbalanced. It accuses Israel of possible war crimes in the defensive action launched last December.
The Israeli raid followed eight years of relentless rocket attacks against civilian targets in Israel by Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups. The Goldstone commission was appointed shortly after the fighting ceased but Israel wisely refused to cooperate with the panel because it was tainted from the start as a creation of the outrageously biased U.N. Human Rights Council, based in Geneva.
Council members include a number of authoritarian states and flagrant human-rights violators like Cuba. The council has approved 26 malicious, anti-Israel resolutions in the past three years and lists Israel as the only country on its permanent agenda.
This same body made no effort to stop Palestinian rocket attacks after Israel's voluntary withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005. Indeed, in a clear display of the double standard that comes into play whenever the Jewish state is the victim of aggression, the United Nations hardly took official notice of the Hamas-inspired mayhem in northern Israel.
The Israelis cannot get a fair hearing from the council, nor impartiality from any of its offshoots. Mr. Goldstone, a Jewish South African and trustee of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, is a distinguished former prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal and points to the report's criticism of Hamas for "serious war crimes and crimes against humanity" as proof of the commission's even-handed approach.
Mr. Goldstone's record and good intentions aside, this formulation is both naive and mistaken.
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