Thursday, December 02, 2010

UN Goldstone Committee Head Resigns

From an Eye-on-the-UN Press Release, December 1, 2010 by Anne Bayefsky:

Christian Tomuschat, who headed a UN committee charged with implementing the Goldstone Report, has reportedly resigned.

He had been appointed by UN High Commissioner Navi Pillay.

Tomuschat’s credentials were questioned earlier this year, in a July 14th, 2010 article by Anne Bayefsky.

Tomuschat’s resignation is the second blow to the credibility of the UN’s efforts to implement the Goldstone report. Following Bayefsky’s July article, the UN secretariat official whom Pillay had assigned to coordinate the Tomuschat committee’s activities, Ahmed Motala, was removed from the case.

In July, Bayefsky pointed out that Tomuschat and the other two members of his committee were tainted by their close affiliation with an NGO which had been deeply involved with the Human Rights Council’s campaign to vilify Israel.

Bayefsky’s article also revealed that the UN staffer Motala appointed to work with Tomuschat doubled as an anti-Israel blogger. In the midst of the Gaza war he had written that Israel targeted Palestinian civilians in order to impress voters. The Tomuschat committee staffer wrote “What better way to gain the support of the Israeli electorate than to…kill innocent civilians”

On July 15 Jerusalem Post correspondent, Benjamin Wienthal, revealed prior statements by Tomuschat that indicated deep prejudices on the very issues he had been assigned to tackle. Wienthal reported in the Weekly Standard and the Jerusalem Post that in 2007 Tomuschat told a German newspaper that Israel’s killing of Hamas leader Sheikh Yassin was “as ruthless as the attacks of terrorists.” Later in July, Wienthal reported that Tomuschat had once provided legal advice to Yasser Arafat’s PLO.

Last month, UN Watch reported on further examples of Tomuschat bias.

Tomuschat’s resignation ought to further undermine the credibility of the report he submitted to the Council in September. In his report Tomuschat repeated the odious claim that Israel engaged in “violence against civilians as part of a deliberate policy.” Tomuschat’s report went on to criticize Israel’s legal system for failing to mount a witch hunt for “officials at the highest levels.”

Referring to a Hamas internal “investigation,” in which Hamas exonerated itself from all wrongdoing, Tomuschat’s team could only conclude that it “is not in a position to ascertain the veracity of any of these assertions.”

Following that report, the Human Rights Council reappointed Tomuschat and his other two committee members, Param Cumaraswamy and Mary Davis. They have been charged with producing yet another report by next March.

Unfortunately, many other UN authority figures, selected precisely because of their history of anti-Israel and anti-Western bias, remain.

For further information see EYEontheUN’s list of current UN authorities.

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