<!-- IMAGE -->
Israel is facing growing international pressure after the United
Nations Human Rights Council approved the Goldstone Report, which
accuses the Jewish state of war crimes against Palestinians. The
Goldstone Report also accuses Palestinian militants of war crimes
during the Gaza conflict of nearly a year ago.
British Prime Minister
Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy sent a letter to
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling on him to cooperate
with the Goldstone Report. They urged Israel to open an "independent,
transparent investigation" into alleged war crimes during the
three-week Gaza conflict last December and January.
resolution by the Human Rights Council endorses the Goldstone Report's
recommendations that both the Israelis and Palestinian militants show
the U.N. Security Council they are investigating the war crimes
Israel has rejected the report as one-sided and
biased and says the Gaza war was a legitimate act of self defense in
response to years of Palestinian rocket attacks. Israeli officials say
opening a war crimes investigation would be tantamount to accepting
But Israeli David Horovitz, the editor of the Jerusalem Post, says defiance may be counterproductive.
would have thought the last thing Israel can afford to do is to try to
simply ignore it," he said. "There has to be some kind of intelligent
response, even though the national sense of justice and pride motivates
many, I think, in the Israeli leadership to say, 'This is just so
unfair, so clearly prejudiced, that we do not want to justify it or
honor it by responding.' I don't think Israel can afford to do that."
legislator Mustafa Barghouti says Israel should be held accountable,
and he called for international war crimes trials.
committed crimes like killing children for no reason, who hurt
civilians for no reason, yes; anybody who kills children for no reason
should go to court," he said.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has
ordered officials to prepare for a long diplomatic, legal and public
relations battle explaining Israel's right to defend itself against
terrorism. As Mr. Netanyahu put it, "We will delegitimize those who try
to delegitimize us."