MFA ex-aide: Is­rael must re­spond to UN re­port

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY BERNARD JOSEPHS

IS­RAEL MUST face up to the fall­out from a UN re­port ac­cus­ing it of war crimes in Gaza, a top in­ter­na­tional lawyer and for­mer Is­raeli diplo­mat told the JC this week.

Alan Baker, for­mer le­gal ad­viser to Is­rael’s For­eign Min­istry and ex-am­bas­sador to Canada, dis­missed hopes in Jerusalem that the doc­u­ment, pre­sented last month to the UN by South African judge Richard Gold­stone, would be shelved.

“It can­not be ig­nored by Is­rael. It is too dam­ag­ing to be ig­nored. I think that Gold­stone’s own in­ten­tions were hon­ourable but the re­port will be used in an at­tempt to pros­e­cute and con­demn Is­rael.”

Mr Baker was speak­ing af­ter he had de­liv­ered a For­eign Of­fice-spon­sored lec­ture to mark the 60th an­niver­sary of the Geneva Con­ven­tion.

He told his au­di­ence of diplo­mats and aca­demics that the find­ings of the Gold­stone in­quiry were the open­ing of “le­gal war­fare” against the Jewish state.

Mr Baker said that Is­rael should set up a com­mis­sion to in­ves­ti­gate the re­port’s find­ings. “Gold­stone said the in­quiry would be im­par­tial but it was not,” he said.

There had been no men­tion in the Gold­stone re­port that Is­rael had acted in self-de­fence, he said.

“It says that the Ha­mas rock­ets were crude and in­ef­fec­tive, but 8,000 of th­ese ‘crude’ rock­ets were fired at Is­rael in a com­pletely in­dis­crim­i­nate way, and it was just pure luck [that there were not more ca­su­al­ties].

“This is a prob­lem that in­ter­na­tional hu­man­i­tar­ian law does not want to deal with.”

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