In a statement to be sent to supporters, J Street, the pro-Israel-pro-peace American Jewish lobby group, is urging members of Congress to significantly modify a resolution condemning U.N. investigator Richard Goldstone’s report into war crimes committed by Israel and Hamas during last year’s conflict. That resolution, strongly supported by other American Jewish organizations, fails to call for, among other things, “independent investigations by both Israelis and Palestinians.”
J Street focuses less on what’s wrong with the Goldstone resolution and more on what it wants to see in changes to the resolution, using language that largely tracks with the rest of the American Jewish lobby community in defense of Israel. In particular, the progressive organization says it favors a resolution that calls on the Obama administration to “veto in the [United Nations] Security Council any resolution which refers charges against Israel and Israelis to the International Criminal Court.” The full statement, after the jump.
J Street is unable to support House Resolution 867 regarding the Goldstone Commission report on Operation Cast Lead.
J Street would be able to support a resolution that:
· Recognizes the history of bias against Israel at the United Nations, the flaws in the original mandate to the Goldstone Commission and the dangers in pursuing resolutions in multilateral fora with a track record of anti-Israel bias;
· Condemns the series of one-sided resolutions adopted by the UN Human Rights Council;
· Expresses support for the people of southern Israel who were traumatized by years of constant rocket and mortar fire as well as for the people of Gaza who are suffering greatly from the effects of both the military operation and the ongoing blockade of Gaza;
· Correctly acknowledges that the Commission’s original mandate was adjusted by Judge Goldstone himself and accepted by the Human Rights Council to include a focus on the conduct of both sides, and that the report included the first-ever exposure by a UN body of war crimes and human rights violations by Hamas;
· Calls on both the Palestinians and Israelis to launch independent investigations into their conduct during Operation Cast Lead;
· Calls on the US government to attempt to defeat in the General Assembly any resolution which unfairly focuses only on Israel and
· Calls on the US government to state unequivocally that it will veto in the Security Council any resolution which refers charges against Israel and Israelis to the International Criminal Court.
We urge members of the House to consider changes in the Resolution in line with the positions above and to call for independent investigations by both Israelis and Palestinians, adding their voices to those in Israel such as Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor.
J Street further urges the Obama Administration to make every effort to oppose and defeat the one-sided and biased resolution that is likely to be presented next week in the General Assembly and to work actively for the adoption of a better, balanced resolution. We urge the United States to make clear that it will use its veto to prevent any referral of this matter to the International Criminal Court.
Finally, we urge Congress to express support for the President’s efforts to prioritize swift resumption and conclusion of permanent status negotiations. No matter what happens at the United Nations, Israel’s future as a democratic home for the Jewish people depends on achieving a two-state solution before the window of opportunity closes and the Administration must urgently press forward toward a comprehensive regional peace.
Update: J Street emails to say that they’re not actually telling members to oppose the resolution, but rather to modify it a whole lot, along the lines described in the statement. I’ve modified this post, including the headline — which previously used the verb “Opposes” — as a result.