by Anne Bayefsky
On September 29, Richard Goldstone presented his report on the
At its core, the report repeats the ancient blood libel against the Jewish people. Or as Goldstone casts this abomination for a modern audience,
The report claims to be a human rights document but never mentions the racist, genocidal intent of the enemy which
After the report was presented, the Council resembled an assemblage of vultures moving in on their prey. But instead of adopting a resolution intended to implement the report's recommendations, on October 1, the matter was tabled until the following Council session in March 2010.
Reports indicate that the American administration told the Palestinian Authority to back off. So the delay is not an indication that the hysterical Goldstone report went too far even for the UN. After all, this lead human rights body is populated by the likes of
What is less clear, however, is what the breathing space will mean. Does President Obama plan to use the opportunity to extract concessions from
The Bush administration refused to lend the Human Rights Council any credibility. While aware of the fact that the Council had adopted more resolutions and decisions condemning
Given the Council's preoccupation with
But when the
The Goldstone report, however, has forced the Obama administration to recognize that the leverage over
So the report presents the president with a dilemma: how to avoid alienating his new friends in the Arab and Muslim world while keeping the peace process percolating? Moreover, sooner or later the Goldstone "rules" of engagement could well be turned against American action in
The Obama administration needs to make a policy decision on the Goldstone report quickly. There are likely to be various attempts to insert references to the report at the UN General Assembly this fall.
Goldstone himself can be expected to continue seeking the limelight. In September, he made the unprecedented move of commandeering the UN Headquarters' press room in
The president, therefore, should be under no illusions. Waxing eloquent about multilateral engagement will not make the report and its progeny all go away - if that was ever his game plan.
Unfortunately, it appears that the president may have a different agenda. Speaking at the Council in the presence of Goldstone, the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Michael Posner said that the
In language similar to Goldstone's trashing of the Israeli judicial system, Posner asked the Council to adopt a resolution telling "
Now is the time for concerned Americans and members of Congress to demand that this scandalous report be buried permanently and immediately, and that it not become a weapon in behind-the-scenes struggles between
Anne Bayefsky is a professor at
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