The Goldstone Report: The UN Blood Libel

The Mandate: Israel is the Villain, Hamas is the Victim

"Human Rights Council... Decides to dispatch an urgent, independent international fact-finding mission, to be appointed by the President of the Council, to investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by the occupying Power, Israel, against the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, due to the current aggression, and calls upon Israel not to obstruct the process of investigation and to fully cooperate with the mission".

This mandate of the Goldstone Inquiry is from Resolution S-9/1, entitled: "The Grave Violations of Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory including the recent aggression in the occupied Gaza Strip".

It was adopted on 12 January 2009 at the Human Rights Council 9th Special Session.

The vote on the resolution was 33 in favor, 1 against (Canada) and 13 abstentions (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cameroon, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland).

Despite Goldstone's claims that he has changed this mandate by informal conversations with unknown UN actors, the Human Rights Council set the mandate of his inquiry by resolution and has never changed it. Goldstone, a lawyer and former judge, knows full well that he has no jurisdiction or authority to change the mandate either alone or in informal conversation with anyone. His claims to the contrary, therefore, are a serious ethical and legal breach both to the critics who have accused him of assuming a position tainted from the outset, and to the Council itself.