Home   »  Our Work  »  Challenging U.S. Policy  »  Archives  »  Operation Cast Lead (2008-2009)  »  Tell Congress to take action for ...

Take Action: Support the Recommendations of the Goldstone Report on Gaza

September 22nd, 2009

Last week, the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, headed by Justice Richard Goldstone, a former member of the South African Constitutional Court and former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, released a 575-page report documenting violations of human rights and international law, war crimes, and possible crimes against humanity committed before, during, and after Israel’s December 2008-January 2009 assault on the occupied Gaza Strip.

The reactions of Israel and its supporters were swift and furious. Israel’s President said the report "makes a mockery of history." AIPAC condemned the report as “deeply flawed”
Resources:

Read the Goldstone Report (575 pages)


Read the US Campaign’s one-page FAQ about the Goldstone Report

Read US Campaign Advisory Board member Nadia Hijab’s article “Sinking the Goldstone Report” and watch US Campaign Steering Committee member Phyllis Bennis on Grit TV discussing the report on the US Campaign’s blog
and “biased.” And Rep. Gary Ackerman, one of Capitol Hill’s most vociferous defenders of Israeli occupation and apartheid, accused the authors of the report of living in a “self-righteous fantasyland.”


Members of the UN Mission.
Why are Israel and its supporters so upset by the Goldstone Report? Because it fairly and even-handedly examined the actions of all parties to the conflict and made recommendations to hold all human rights violators accountable through enforcement mechanisms, including compensation and potential prosecution at the International Criminal Court.

As you can imagine, the Obama Administration is under immense pressure to bury this report at the level of the UN Human Rights Council where it will be discussed on September 29 so that it is not referred to international bodies with enforcement powers such as UN Security Council, General Assembly, or International Criminal Court, as the report recommended.

Unfortunately it appears that the Obama Administration is caving into this pressure. Speaking at the UN last week, Ambassador Susan Rice, Permanent U.S. Representative to United Nations, characterized the report as
unbalanced, one sided and basically unacceptable.Assistant Secretary of State Phillip Crowley urged that the “report should not be used as a mechanism to add impediments to getting back to the peace process,” as if holding human rights abusers accountable and establishing peace are mutually exclusive affairs.

It’s a shame that the United States appears to be shielding Israel, yet again, for any accountability for its illegal actions in international forums. It’s even more of a shame coming so soon after the United States, for the first time, assumed a seat on the UN Human Rights Council and, in the words of Dr. Esther Brimmer,
Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of International Organization Affairs, stated: “Make no mistake; the United States will not look the other way in the face of serious human rights abuses. The truth must be told, the facts brought to light and the consequences faced.”

The Obama Administration faces a serious test of its commitment to the universality of human rights on September 29 when it will vote on whether to accept the Goldstone Report recommendations.

You can help influence the vote by taking action below.

TAKE ACTION

For individuals

Contact Ambassador Susan Rice, Permanent U.S. Representative to United Nations, before September 29 and urge the United States to vote for the recommendations of the Goldstone Report at the UN Human Rights Council.

Phone: 212-415-4062
Fax: 212-415-4053
Email: Click here

For talking points, please download our FAQ’s about the Goldstone Report by clicking here or see our open letter below.

For organizations

Join with the US Campaign, Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights, Code Pink: Women for Peace, International Coalition to End the Illegal Siege of Gaza, Jewish Voice for Peace, and many other organizations in signing on to our open letter to Ambassador Rice urging the United States to vote for the recommendations of the Goldstone Report at the UN Human Rights Council.

The US Campaign will accept signatures on the letter from organizations only please until COB, Thursday, September 24, and will deliver the letter the next day.

To read and sign the letter, please click here.

Ambassador Susan Rice
Permanent U.S. Representative to United Nations
United States Mission to the United Nations
140 East 45th Street
New York, NY 10017

September 25, 2009

Dear Ambassador Rice,

The following organizations are writing to you to express their strong support for the recommendations of the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict contained in the Goldstone Report and strongly urge the United States to endorse these recommendations when they are voted on in the UN Human Rights Council on September 29.

Earlier this month, the United States assumed a seat on the UN Human Rights Council for the first time. Upon assuming this seat, Dr. Esther Brimmer, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of International Organization Affairs, stated that “We can not pick and choose which of these [human] rights we embrace nor select who among us are entitled to them. We are all endowed at birth with the right to live in dignity, to follow our consciences and speak our minds without fear, to choose those who govern us, to hold our leaders accountable, and to enjoy equal justice under the law. These rights extend to all, and the United States can not accept that any among us would be condemned to live without them.”

We strongly agree with this statement and believe that the United States should put these words into action by voting to endorse the recommendations of the Goldstone Report.

The UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict did an exemplary job under adverse circumstances of investigating human rights abuses, violations of international law, war crimes, and possible crimes against humanity by all parties before, during, and after Israel’s assault on the occupied Gaza Strip in December 2008-January 2009.

The mission was scrupulously even-handed in investigating these violations. As it stated in its methodology, “To implement its mandate, the Mission determined that it was required to consider any actions by all parties that might have constituted violations of international human rights law or international humanitarian law. The mandate also required it to review related actions in the entire Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel.”

Now that this mission has delivered its report and documented human rights violations by Israel, Palestinian armed groups, and the Palestinian Authority, it is imperative for the United States to support its recommendations. To do otherwise would undermine our country’s commitment to the universality of human rights and contradict Dr. Brimmer’s promise to the UN Human Rights Council: “Make no mistake; the United States will not look the other way in the face of serious human rights abuses. The truth must be told, the facts brought to light and the consequences faced.”

The UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict has told the truth and brought the facts to light. On September 29, it is time for the United States to make sure that the consequences are faced for these violations of human rights. We strongly urge the United States to vote in favor of the recommendations in the Goldstone Report.

Signed by,

National Organizations
1. US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
2. American Friends Service Committee
3. American Jews for a Just Peace
4. Bangladesh Expatriate Council, USA
5. Center for Constitutional Rights
6. Code Pink: Women for Peace
7. Council for the National Interest
8. Grassroots International
9. International Coalition to End the Illegal Siege of Gaza
10. Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions--USA
11. Jewish Voice for Peace
12. Middle East Children’s Alliance
13. National Lawyers Guild, Free Gaza Subcommittee, International Committee
14. Peace Action
15. Progressive Democrats of America, Middle East Working Group
16. Radius of Arab American Writers
17. Tikkun Magazine
18. United for Peace and Justice
19. Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, U.S. Section, Middle East Committee


Alaska

1. Alaskans for Peace and Justice, Juneau


Arizona

1. Chischilly Pottery, Bisbee
2. Tucson Women in Black, Tucson


California

1. 14 Friends of Palestine, San Rafael
2. American Friends Service Committee—Pacific Mountain Region, San Francisco
3. Artios Group, Pasadena
4. Bay Area Women in Black, Oakland
5. Break the Silence Mural Project, San Francisco
6. Bright Morning Press, Fountain Valley

7. Friends of Deir Ibzi’a, Berkeley
8. Friends of South Asia, San Jose
9. IB Globe, Santa Monica

10. Institute of Islamic Sciences, Technology, and Development, Cupertino
11. International Museum of Human Rights at San Diego, San Diego
12. International Solidarity Movement—Northern California, El Cerrito
13. Keep Hope Alive, San Anselmo
14. Mariposa Resources, Mariposa
15. MAY Group, Inc., San Diego
16. Middle East Policy Advisory Council, Oakland
17. Middle East Study Group, Martinez
18. One Earth One Justice—University of California, San Diego, Laguna Niguel
19. Orange County Friends of Palestine, Costa Mesa
20. People United for a Better Life in Oakland (PUEBLO), Oakland
21. Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains, Woodland Hills
22. Progressive Democrats Sonoma County, Santa Rosa
23. School of the Americas Watch—Los Angeles Chapter, San Gabriel

24. Stop AIPAC, Berkeley
25. Surf City Market, Huntington Beach
26. Teach Peace Foundation, Davis
27. Topanga Peace Alliance, Calabasas
28. The Added Edge, Inc., Vineburg
29. The Carpe Diem Voice, Vineburg
30. The Rebuilding Alliance, Palo Alto


Colorado

1. Coherent Systems, Woodland Park
2. Colorado Campaign for Middle East Peace, Denver


District of Columbia

1. Center for the Global South, American University, Washington, DC

2. Ramsay Merriam Fund, Washington, DC
3. Sharing Jerusalem, USA, Washington, DC

Florida

1. AGSPEC Enterprises, Inc., Delray Beach
2. Law Office of Ashraf Salem, Tampa Bay
3. Pax Christi Northeast Florida, St. Augustine
4. United Voices for Peace, Gainesville
5. Veterans for Peace, Chapter 14, Gainesville
6. We Are Wide Awake, Clermont


Georgia

1. Friends of the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees, Atlanta
2. International Business Services, Atlanta

Hawaii

1. World Peace Society, Holualoa

Illinois

1. Arab Jewish Partnership for Peace and Justice in the Middle East, Chicago
2. Chicago Faith Coalition on Middle East Policy, Chicago
3. Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine, Oak Park
4. Jewish Voice for Peace—Chicago Chapter, Chicago
5. Tikkun Chicago, Chicago


Iowa

1. Iowans for a Free Palestine, Cedar Falls
2. People for Justice in Palestine, Coralville

Kentucky

1. Louisville Committee for Peace in the Middle East, Louisville


Louisiana

1. American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee—New Orleans Chapter, New Orleans

Maine

1. Clark University Students for Palestinian Rights, Freeport
2. Ellsworth Area Peace and Justice, Surry

Maryland
1. AG Patents, Silver Spring
2. Howard County Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Columbia
3. Peace Action Montgomery, Olney
4. The MPRC Group, Bethesda


Massachusetts

1. Baza Jewelers, Milford
2. Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights, Boston
3. North Shore Coalition for Peace and Justice, Gloucester
4. United for Justice with Peace, Cambridge
5. Watertown Citizens for Environmental Safety, Watertown
6. Women's International League for Peace and Justice, Boston Branch, Newton

Michigan
1. A&C International Linguistic Consultants, Menominee
2. Ann Arbor Justice in the Middle East Advocacy Group, Ann Arbor
3. Ann Arbor Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East, Ann Arbor
4. Green Party of Kent County, Grand Rapids
5. Middle East Work Group of the Presbytery of Detroit, Detroit
6. MidEast: Just Peace, Cedar


Minnesota

1. Center for Interfaith Encounter, St. Cloud
2. Northfielders for Justice in Palestine/Israel, Northfield
3. Students for a Democratic Society, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

Missouri

1. Citizens for Justice in the Middle East, Kansas City
2. St. Louis Women in Black, St. Louis
3. The American Muslim, Bridgeton


New Jersey

1. Palestinian Heritage Foundation, West Caldwell


New Mexico

1. Another Jewish Voice, Santa Fe
2. Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel, Albuquerque

3. Lutheran Peace Group, Jemez Springs
4. New Mexico Muslim Women’s Association, Abiquiu
5. Sadaqa, Sandia Park


New York

1. Adalah-NY, New York
2. American Iranian Friendship Committee, Armonk
3. Blauvelt Dominican Sisters, Social Justice Committee, Blauvelt
4. Brooklyn for Peace, Brooklyn
5. Central New York Campaign to End the Occupation of Palestine, Ithaca
6. Middle East Committee--WESPAC Foundation, Pleasantville
7. Peace Action Staten Island, Staten Island
8. Students for a Just Peace in Israel/Palestine, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson

9. Ursulines of Tildonk for Justice and Peace, New York
10. WESPAC Foundation, Pleasantville
11. Western New York Peace Center, Buffalo

North Carolina

1. Coalition for Peace with Justice, Chapel Hill


Ohio

1. Cincinnati for Justice in Palestine, Cincinnati
2. Cincinnati Palestinian Rights Meetup, Cincinnati

3. Circleville Friends (Quakers), Circleville
4. SOS Art, Cincinnati


Oregon

1. Al-Nakba Awareness Project, Eugene
2. Families for Children of Oregon, Portland

3. Individuals for Justice, Portland
4. Socialist Party of Oregon, Portland
5. West Hills Friends Church (Quaker) Peace Committee, Portland

Pennsylvania
1. Fisher’s Tax Service, Philadelphia

Texas
1. AJ Processing, Austin
2. Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, San Antonio
3. Interfaith Community for Palestinian Rights, Austin
4. Palestinians for Peace and Democracy, Stafford
5. Pax Christi--Austin, Austin
6. Total Truth Sciences, San Angelo


Utah

1. Utahns for a Just Peace in the Holy Land, Park City


Vermont

1. Kids 4 Peace Vermont, East Ryegate
2. Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel, Burlington

3. Why Not News, Lincoln

Virginia
1. Pentagon Area Pax Christi Group, Arlington


Washington

1. Olympia Friends Meeting (Quakers), Peace and Social Justice Committee, Tumwater

2. Poets West, Seattle
3. Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, Olympia

4. Voices for Middle East Peace, Bellingham


Wisconsin

1. Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies, Appleton
2. Madison Area Peace Coalition, Israel/Palestine Task Force, Madison
3. Madison-Rafah Sister City Project, Madison
4. Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition, Milwaukee
5. Peace Action Wisconsin, Middle East Committee, Milwaukee
6. Wisdom’s Well, Madison


International
1. British Arab Lawyers’ Association, London, England
2. Centre for Conflict Resolution, Lagos, Nigeria
3. U.S. Citizens against War, Florence, Italy

4. U.S. Citizens for Peace and Justice, Rome, Italy


Have your organization endorse this letter by clicking here. Again the deadline for signing this letter is COB, Thursday, September 24.


If you appreciate the work that the US Campaign does to challenge U.S. policy toward Palestine/Israel to support human rights, international law, and equality, then please consider making a generous tax-deductible donation to us today by clicking here.