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APN on H. Res. 867 (the Goldstone Resolution)

Today APN issued the following statement regarding H. Res. 867, the resolution introduced in the House of Representatives "Calling on the President and Secretary of State to oppose unequivocally any endorsement or further consideration of the 'Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict' in multilateral fora:"

APN has serious reservations about H. Res. 867.  We do not believe that Israel or the cause of peace is aided by a Congressional effort that, however well-intentioned, is focused solely on denouncing the Goldstone Report and its authors and dismissing its findings. 
 
APN is not a human rights organization, nor an organization that has any resources on the ground to judge the veracity, or lack thereof, of the information detailed in the report.  We therefore do not presume to make any such assessment.
 
However, there is much in the resolution that reflects legitimate and longstanding concerns about the UN Human Rights Council and its treatment of Israel.  The recent US decision to join the council is a promising development.  The resolution, too, accurately reflects serious and legitimate concerns about the original mandate of the Goldstone mission, as well as the implications the Goldstone Report and its findings may have for Israel in the international arena.  We urge the Obama Administration to show leadership in the UN and other multilateral fora in order to ensure that the Goldstone Report becomes a basis for moving forward toward peace and reconciliation, rather than a new obstacle to peace or a new weapon for some in the international community to wield to cynically attack Israel.
 
We believe that the correct course now is for Israel's government to launch its own independent investigation of alleged violations of human rights and international law that may have taken place in the context of the Gaza war, including those documented in the Goldstone Report.  We strongly believe that such an investigation is in the interests of Israel. 
 
We believe that the correct course for friends of Israel in Congress is to focus now on moving forward toward negotiations and peace.  In doing so, they can ensure that Israel will not find itself in a similarly untenable situation with respect to Gaza or any of its neighbors in the future.

Regardless of how one judges the Goldstone Report and its findings, the report serves as a clear reminder of both the horrors of war and the critical importance of President Barack Obama's efforts to renew peace talks.   Whatever Members of Congress may feel about the Gaza war or the Goldstone Report, the reality is that absent progress towards peace, it is only a matter of time before another war breaks out and more lives are lost.  We believe that H. Res. 867 does not serve the cause of peace and therefore, regrettably, cannot support it.