WASHINGTON, April 4, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) - along with its international affiliate, the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ) - is calling on the United Nations to rescind a deeply flawed report accusing Israel of war crimes in a conflict in Gaza in 2009. The ACLJ, which presented arguments before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in support of Israel, says now that the author of the Goldstone Report, Judge Richard Goldstone, is now recanting his initial findings makes it clear that Israel did nothing wrong in defending itself and never intended to target civilians in the conflict.
"This stunning reversal clearly underscores the fact that it is time to put this deeply flawed and biased report to rest," said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ and ECLJ. "From the very beginning we argued that the damaging allegations against Israel were false and without merit. The author of that report now admits that his findings were flawed and concludes that there was no evidence that Israel deliberately targeted civilians while, as he put it, 'it goes without saying' that Hamas did indeed intentionally target civilians. It's time for the United Nations to rescind this report and close its unfounded inquiry against Israel without delay."
In an opinion editorial published over the weekend in the Washington Post, Judge Richard Goldstone, who conducted a probe of Israel's Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in 2009, wrote that "if I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document."
Goldstone now admits there was no evidence to suggest that Israel "intentionally targeted" civilians during the conflict. At the same time, Goldstone admits that Hamas, unlike Israel which spent tremendous resources conducting its own investigation, did nothing to investigate its own crimes which, as Goldstone now concludes, "were intentional . . . its rockets were purposefully and indiscriminately aimed at civilian targets."
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is calling for the Goldstone report to be withdrawn: "Goldstone himself said that all of the things that we have been saying all along are correct – that Israel never intentionally fired at civilians and that our inquiries operated according to the highest international standards," said Netanyahu. "Of course, this is in complete contrast to Hamas, which intentionally attacked and murdered civilians and, naturally, never carried out any sort of inquiry. This leads us to call for the immediate cancellation of the Goldstone Report."
Sekulow added: "It's time to set the record straight. There's no stronger evidence than the author of the damaging report who now admits he got it wrong. Writing an opinion editorial is one thing, but what Judge Goldstone needs to do is formally withdraw the report at the U.N."
The ACLJ and ECLJ presented both written and oral arguments defending Israel's actions during the Gaza conflict. In January 2010, the ECLJ filed its written statement and supporting memorandum on its analysis of the Goldstone Report with the U.N. Human Rights Council.
In those filings, the ECLJ highlighted the systematic biases throughout the Goldstone Report and its failure to adhere to U.N. Guidelines and the International Bar Association Guidelines for proper and objective fact-finding. The ECLJ written statement is posted here. The memorandum is posted here.
Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice focuses on constitutional law and is based in Washington, D.C. and the European Centre for Law and Justice is based in Strasbourg, France.
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SOURCE American Center for Law and Justice