The State Department last week successfully convinced the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) to defer a vote on the Goldstone Report, which accuses Israel of war crimes for defending itself against Hamas rocket attacks. The HRC’s vote could have led to the United Nations taking punitive action against Israel. Top State Department officials noted that the HRC has a longstanding bias against Israel. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner, who participated in the debate at the HRC, called the report “deeply flawed” and urged the HRC to discuss the weaknesses of the report, including its failure to address Hamas’ use of human shields. Additionally, Assistant Secretary of State Esther Brimmer explained, “We have serious concerns about the report’s unbalanced focus on Israel, its sweeping factual and legal conclusions, and many of its recommendations.” Further discussion of the report at the HRC will take place during the next regular session in March.

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