British Jews' anger deepens over Goldstone vote

By Jessica Elgot, November 6, 2009
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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.

The JLC and the Board had previously demanded that Britain vote against the adoption of the Goldstone Report, which found both Israel and Hamas guilty of war crimes.

But Britain abstained from the vote, and the resolution was passed by an overwhelming majority.

In a joint statement issued in the aftermath of the vote, the two organisations said: “This does not advance the cause of peace and risks the Government’s credibility as a fair broker in the region.

“The Foreign Secretary told us that the Government believes the Goldstone report should not be endorsed – but that is exactly what the GA resolution does.

“Why has the Government not demonstrated the strength of its conviction by a principled ‘no’ vote at the UN as did many of our European allies?

“We will continue to challenge the Government to take actions that reflect their stated views on the Goldstone report.”

The Zionist Federation also added its voice to the anger over lack of action by David Miliband.

A statement from ZF said: "We applaud the 18 States [who voted against the resolution] but deplores the action of the UK government in failing to oppose the Goldstone Report and believes David Miliband is being duplicitous after his statement that the government believed that the Goldstone Report should not be endorsed.

"The ZF calls on its members to write to their MPs to protest at this unprincipled action by the UK government."

The Goldstone Report’s recommendations will now be passed to the UN Security Council, although the US is expected to block the report from going any further.

Last updated: 11:38am, November 9 2009