It's Impossible for Israel to Ignore Goldstone Report

Israel's allies put pressure upon the country to investigate UN allegations of possible war crimes by its army during its operation in Gaza last winter.

Britain's UN envoy urged Israel to hold "full, credible and impartial" investigations, echoing similar calls from his US and French counterparts.

A report by a UN mission led by Richard Goldstone accused both Israel and Palestinian militants of war crimes.

The UN Human Rights Council is set to discuss the report again later today, BBC News reports.

It was also reported, the UN Human Rights Council is set to reopen a debate on the Goldstone report.

Thursday's session comes at the request of the Palestinian Authority, which had initially agreed to defer a vote on the UN-sanctioned Goldstone report but later backtracked after coming under heavy criticism.

The debate in Geneva is to come a day after the UN Security Council also discussed the report, during which the Palestinian Authority demanded that Israel be punished for war crimes, reports.

In the meantime, Israel's decision not to cooperate with the Goldstone Mission was calamitous. In revealing correspondence pointedly repreoduced in the report, Justice Goldstone all but gets down on hands and knees to beg Israel to allow it to balance the report with on-site visits to rocket-torn Sderot, extensive direct testimony from victims of Qassam attacks, and first-person accounts and explanations of soldiers accused of violations of international law. Israel says no. Benjamin Netanyahu won't even go so far as to answer Goldstone's letter.

Now the report is out, alive and ticking, and Israel - in its desperation to deflect the monster, no matter the consequences, has already managed to hand it as a stick to Hamas, to beat and perhaps eventually defeat Fatah, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Palestinian Authority.

Produced under unrealistic constraints of time and evidence, the report is easy to critique but impossible to ignore. Befitting its subject matter, it is zealous, suspicious, and bleak, asking tough questions which both sides should long ago have asked themselves, Ha'aretz reports.

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