Despite intensive lobbying from Human Rights Watch (HRW) and several Israeli NGOs, the U.S. House of Representatives passed House Resolution 867 on November 3, condemning the Goldstone Report as “irredeemably biased and unworthy of further consideration or legitimacy.” The resolution passed 334-36 (22 abstentions).
HRW released a statement, US: Congress Should Reject Impunity for Israel and Hamas (November 2), claiming that the “congressional resolution condemning the Goldstone report has factual errors and would help shield from justice the perpetrators of serious abuses.” Using similar language, B’Tselem, Gisha, Hamoked, Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, Rabbis for Human Rights, and Yesh Din published ajoint letter stating, “Resolution 867 contains factual inaccuracies, both about the Goldstone Report and about the measures taken by Israel to date.”
On November 4, Fred Abrahams, HRW senior researcher in the Emergencies Division, asserted that the U.S. Congress “gravely insulted hundreds of civilians who were wounded or killed in the most recent war in the Middle East.”
This opposition to the U.S. House of Representatives is part of a broad NGO effort to bolster the Goldstone Report, which is largely based on material from these same NGOs. The Goldstone Report contains more than 500 citations from NGOs (70 references for B’Tselem and more than 30 for HRW). HRW, Amnesty International, and Israeli and Palestinian NGOs have released approximately 80 statements in support of the report.
- “Congressman Berman’s Response to Goldstone on House Gaza War-Crimes Resolution,” Spencer Ackerman, The Washington Independent, November 2, 2009
- “War unchecked,” Editorial, The Washington Post, November 15, 2009
- “The Goldstone Illusion: What The U.N. Report Gets Wrong About GAZA — And War,” Moshe Halbertal, The New Republic, November 18, 2009
- “Goldstone, Gaza and (Dis)Proportionality: Three Strikes,” Laurie Blank and Gregory Gordon, JURIST, November 4, 2009