United Nations

Goldstone to attend barmitzvah

By Moira Schneider, April 29, 2010

Judge Richard Goldstone will be attending his grandson's barmitzvah after all.

The Washington-based judge, who authored a United Nations report accusing Israel of war crimes during Operation Cast Lead, agreed earlier this month to miss the ceremony following negotiations with the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) and the Johannesburg synagogue at which the barmitzvah is due to take place. The SAZF had reportedly threatened to protest outside the shul should Judge Goldstone attend.

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Quartet: Settlement freeze and Palestinian state in 'two years'

By Jessica Elgot, March 19, 2010

The Middle East Quartet peace mediators have called on Israel to freeze all settlement activity and say their aim is to create a Palestinian state within two years.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, who led the meeting with representatives from the US, the European Union and Russia, was the latest to condemn Israel’s plan to build 1,600 homes in Ramat Shlomo, east Jerusalem.

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UK: Extra time for UN Israel war crimes probe

By Jessica Elgot, February 26, 2010

Britain has endorsed a resolution at the United Nations General Assembly which gives both Israel and the Palestinians a further five months to launch independent investigations of alleged war crimes committed during Operation Cast Lead.

The resolution was adopted Friday by a vote of 98-7 with 31 abstentions. Fifty-six countries did not vote.

There were fewer votes than expected because some countries were hampered reaching the UN due to snow in New York.

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Military expert on Goldstone report ‘severely biased’

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 11, 2010

An investigation by an Israeli think tank has alleged that the military expert on the UN’s Goldstone Commission, Desmond Travers, was so biased against Israel that the commission’s report was a travesty of the truth.

And in an interview last week, Colonel Travers — who retired from the Irish Army in 2001 — accused “Jewish lobbyists” of strongly influencing Britain’s Middle East policy.

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No peace? Blame the EU and the UN

By Stephen Pollard, February 8, 2010

The cliché about the annual Herzliya conference is that anyone who is anyone in discussions about Israel’s security is there. But that’s not quite true. Rather, everyone is there — from the most senior Israeli politicians, soldiers and advisers to students, foreign experts and even grubby hacks.

Most years there tends to be a theme on everyone’s lips. This year, there were two.

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Analysis: Israel hands UN detailed rebuttal of Gaza allegations

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 4, 2010

Israel has handed the United Nations a detailed rebuttal of the Goldstone Report on Operation Cast Lead in Gaza last year.

The document denied the main allegations made by the committee headed by Judge Richard Goldstone: that Israel had intentionally targeted Palestinian civil infrastructures; that the IDF had committed dozens of alleged war-crimes; and that these incidents were not being properly investigated.

Israel has to inform the UN imminently what kind of commission it plans to set up to investigate the findings of the Goldstone Report.

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B'Tselem call for Gaza white phosphorus probe

By Jessica Elgot, February 1, 2010

The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem has demanded an investigation into the alleged use of white phosphorous at a UN compound in Gaza, which the IDF denies occurred.

A spokesperson for B’Tselem said: “Israel not only covered up the details of the incident but also refrained from stating, in the report, why measures had been taken against those responsible for this particular event, although many lives were lost in dozes of similar incidents throughout the operation.

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UK, US critical of new home building in Jerusalem

By Jessica Elgot, November 18, 2009

The British and US governments and the United Nations have denounced plans approved by Israel to build 900 homes in Gilo, a neighbourhood in Jerusalem.

The building has been approved by the Israeli Interior Ministry has approved the expansion of the neighbourhood in south west Jerusalem.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "The Foreign Secretary has been very clear that a credible deal involves Jerusalem as a shared capital. Expanding settlements on occupied land in East Jerusalem makes that deal much harder. So this decision is wrong and we oppose it."

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EU: A Palestinian state is ‘premature’

By Jessica Elgot, November 17, 2009

The European Union has said that Palestine is not ready to be recognised as a full state by the UN.

The current holder of the EU presidency, Carl Bildt of Sweden, said at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels that conditions were not yet right for Palestinian statehood.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said they had decided to seek recognition of the Palestinian state from the UN because of the failure of recent peace talks.

The proposal is an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital and with June 1967 borders.

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British Jews' anger deepens over Goldstone vote

By Jessica Elgot, November 6, 2009

British Jews have attacked the government and Foreign Secretary David Miliband for failing to take action against the Goldstone Report, claiming they have “lost credibility”.

In an unprecedented move, the Board of Deputies, the Zionist Federation and the Jewish Leadership Council have voiced their anger at the decision of the British government to abstain from the vote at the UN General Assembly.

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