AJC Condemns “Grotesquely Distorted” UN Report on Gaza Conflict

September 15, 2009 – New York – AJC condemned the official report of a UN Commission on the recent conflict in Gaza, saying that it “grotesquely distorted Israel’s defensive operation against the terrorist Hamas regime as a war against Gaza’s civilian population.”

“Most of the Palestinian casualties were Hamas terrorists, not civilians,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. ”Despite this basic fact, the Commission reached the astounding conclusion that Israel’s defensive operation, which came after literally years of Israel’s restraint in the face of relentless rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza aimed at Israeli towns and villages, was a total war on Gaza’s civilian population. By the Commission’s spurious logic, how could any country defend itself against terrorists who deliberately embed themselves in the civilian population? At the same time, Israel took unprecedented steps in an effort to avoid harm to civilians, while regretting the loss of innocent lives."

Harris noted that the very mandate of the Commission was biased against Israel. “Let us not forget that this Commission was a creation of the Human Rights Council, arguably the UN’s most flawed body. The Council has consistently demonized Israel, while giving a free pass to some of the world’s worst tyrants, from Sudan to Iran. Its investigation was based upon a resolution which judged Israel to be guilty of ‘aggression’ from the get-go, yet blithely ignores Hamas terrorism against Israel’s civilian population.”

The four-person Commission, headed by South African Judge Richard Goldstone, included Christine Chinkin, a British academic who accused Israel of committing war crimes in Gaza in a letter to a British newspaper last January. “One member of the Commission had already made up her mind before the Commission had even begun its work,” noted Harris. “That should say it all. Therefore, while we are not surprised by its conclusions, the biased mandate of the Commission means that this report amounts to just one more sad chapter in the history of unfair UN attacks against the State of Israel.” 

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