Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Even a high-ranking associate of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas is criticizing Abbas' decision to withdraw support for letting the UN General Assembly consider the Goldstone Report on Israel's conduct during the three-week war last January against the Palestinians in Gaza.

Rory McCarthy reports in the

"A senior Palestinian official admitted today it was a "mistake" to drop support for a UN human rights council resolution that called for investigations into Israel's conduct in the Gaza war.

"Frustration and anger has been mounting against Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, for his surprise decision not to endorse a highly critical UN inquiry into the January war. The inquiry, by the South African judge Richard Goldstone, accused Israel and Hamas of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity."

South African Judge Goldstone has a reputation for fairness and lack of bias. His report put most of the onus on the IDF for its indiscriminate shelling and shooting of Palestinian civilians in Gaza. Since the report was published several weeks ago, Israel and the Israeli government under PM Netanyahu have been putting pressure on countries to ask the U.N. to postpone dealing with the explosive report. For some reason, Abbas went along.

Palestinian groups and human rights organizations have condemned the postponement and Abbas' involvement in it.

Writes McCarthy:

"There have been several demonstrations against the decision in the West Bank, as well as protests from human rights organisations. Syria cancelled an official visit by Abbas, criticising the Palestinians for backing down.

"In a joint statement, 17 Palestinian human rights groups "strongly condemned" the decision, saying the justification for delaying the vote was "inappropriate" and that accountability was needed as part of a peace process. "Justice delayed is justice denied. All victims have a legitimate right to an effective judicial remedy, and the equal protection of the law," it said.

"Mustafa Barghouti, an independent Palestinian MP, said the decision was a "grave and horrible mistake" that had damaged the Palestinian Authority's credibility. "The only beneficiary of this postponement was Israel and it happened at a time when there was an opening to hold Israel accountable." He added that it left the Palestinians in a weaker position in peace talks with the Israelis."

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