US: It was mistake to say we will block Goldstone

By Jessica Elgot, September 24, 2009
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The White House has claimed reports that the Goldstone report would be blocked by the US from going to the International Criminal Court, were a mistake.

White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said an anonymous official "misspoke" when he told Jewish organisations that the US would not allow the report’s recommendations to go beyond the Human Rights Council.

Mr Vietor said the US policy towards the Goldstone report remained the same as was given in the statement by Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the UN.

Ms Rice said the US thought the report was: "unbalanced, one sided and basically unacceptable”.

Unbalanced, one sided and basically unacceptable

US ambassador Susan Rice on the UN Goldstone report

She said: “We have very serious concerns about many of the recommendations in the report. We will expect and believe that the appropriate venue for this report to be considered is the Human Rights Council and that is our strong view."

But Ms Rice did not refer to what the US policy would be were any action to reach the ICC.

The UN fact-finding mission, headed by South African judge Richard Goldstone, was set-up to investigate the conflict in Gaza early this year.

The investigation produced a 574-page report which concluded: "Israel committed actions amounting to war crimes, possibly crimes against humanity.”

Last updated: 5:55pm, October 6 2009