The day when the Free world abandoned Gaza
Report of the International Alliance for the Prosecution of Criminals of War
uncovers what took place behind
the curtains in Geneva
Twenty five states in the Council of Human Rights voted on Friday, 16 October, 2009, in favor of adopting the recommendations made in the Goldstone report, six states voted against it while eleven states abstained from voting.
The Alliance disclosed in its report entitled “The Day when the Free World abandoned Gaza” what took place behind the scenes during and before the voting on the Goldstone report and the role of every group and state separately and how the United States kept away several states and how Israel bribed the delegates of some countries and threatened them with canceling trade deals with them.
The preface to the special report said: It is sad to see that there exists some governments which want the world to close their eyes to the contaminated environment and unbearable humanitarian, economic and psychological conditions of the oppressed groups of people worsening day by day, the radio-active material causing cancer and physical deformities due to particles of cesium, asbestos dust, Flying Organic Compounds (VOCs), phosphates resulting from oxidization of white phosphorus, and cancer-causing Tungsten and seeping uranium — all that diminishes the chances of survival of humans and trees while the simplest forms of protection and prevention are barred from entering the Gaza Strip because of the continuing blockade.
It is a joke that all this is being done on the plea that justice will put hurdles in the path of peace.
An accompanying list shows the final positions of states on the Goldstone report. It points out that this list does not show the conspiracies and offers and inducements coupled with threats that took place behind the scenes whereas one of the basic tasks of the Alliance is to make the international institutions operate in the right way, insure their decency and see and monitor whether the countries respect and carry out their legal obligations. They stressed that they would explain in this report the actual position of each country and regional organization separately in an effort to achieve transparency and publish the facts.
The report points out that the stand of the European Union centered on three basic points: First, the report in its present form is unbalanced and biased; Second, the report, if approved in its present form, will harm the peace process and the efforts being made for peace in the region; Third, the European proposal to the group of Arab and Islamic countries that the latter omit all what the report says condemning Israel in exchange for European Union countries abstaining from voting.
The report further said: If the European Union wants that the report drop whatever has been said in it condemning Israel in exchange for their abstention, then what is the benefit of investigation committees, or the benefit of the apparatus of justice on which the European Union countries spend millions of dollars to improve and strengthen it in other countries to keep them far from political interference.
The International Alliance sees that the stand of the European Union is in conflict with all the avowed values and principles of the Union. In fact, the situation demands taking a serious stand and questioning the policy of leaving Israel free to keep committing war crimes on an ever increasing scale with impunity and with little regard for international law.
Islamic Conference Organization and Arab League
The report said that the stand of ICO was good and vigorous and that they were very brisk in their support of the main point at issue: that the Council condemns every action that harms civilians.
As for the Arab League, the report said that their role was prominent, their co-operation with all the members constructive, and their co-ordination with the International Alliance good.
It stressed that the Non-Aligned Movement played a positive role.
The Egyptian delegation was most active of all the delegations. They were also the most experienced.
The Alliance hailed the stand of Brazil. Brazil told whoever approached it to influence it that it would vote for the report. When the Israeli delegate told the Brazilian envoy that Israel would review the trade agreement between the two countries, the envoy asked for time to contact his government. He came back and told the Israeli delegation that Brazil wanted to execute the recommendation of the Brazilian parliament not to renew the trade agreement before the Palestinian state has been set up. He also told him to communicate to his government: ‘We will not renew the agreement and that we will begin immediately doing whatever is required for not renewing the agreement and we will vote in favor of the report’.
The threat that failed
According to the report, Argentine had to face a very strong pressure from both USA and Israel. Israel even threatened to use the large Jewish community in Argentine to topple the ambassador himself. Then the Argentine Foreign Minister George Tayana told the ambassador by phone to vote against the report. But an hour later the Minister telephoned him to abstain from voting. Anyhow, the pressure from the Alliance and some other countries mounted, forcing the ambassador to contact the Vice-President of Argentine who instructed him to vote for the report.
The report noted that Nigeria voted in favor of the report and refused to bow down to any pressure despite the American threat to have a second look at some of the oil deals but the Nigerian ambassador retorted: ‘Do whatever you want to do. You need us. We do not need you’.
According to the report, Bahrain was lukewarm and did not show much zeal. Anyhow, at the end of the day it voted in favor of the report.
Sticks and carrots
The report stressed that Bangladesh faced great pressure from the American ambassador who threatened to review financing the anti-terrorism unit which Bangladesh wants to build up but the Bangladesh ambassador said that he had received very strict instructions from his government to vote in favor of the report. He asked him to contact directly with the political leaders in Dacca and not the delegation because the latter has no power to decide on their own.
The same policy of threat and intimidation was practiced in the case of Bosnia. Bosnia’s delegation had announced earlier that they would vote in favor but later abstained when they received threats from USA, saying that they would review the case of American aid to Bosnia and the lease of the proposed American military base in Bosnia. Initially, Bosnia told the Islamic group that it would vote in favor but all were surprised when actually it abstained at the time of voting!
The report also disclosed that it became a common talk among the African delegates that the ambassador of Burkina-Faso was offered a bribe of 15,000 Euros from an Israeli Foreign Ministry official if he voted against the report but he said that he could not vote against it but offered to abstain. Thereupon, the bribe was reduced to eight thousand Euros. The report said that this information had been confirmed by the Zambian delegation after it changed its mind because it had received the same offer of bribe. Anyhow, this information remained unconfirmed from the other end. The Alliance, it said, will investigate this allegation against Burkina-Faso.
The Alliance made it clear that the American stance regarding the report equaled in hostility that of Israel itself and the Americans were, in fact, more active than Israelis. Anyhow, this was no surprise to the countries of the Alliance because America did so for two reasons: their strategic alliance with Israel and the American stand in general regarding war crimes and its own action in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Israel above the law
The report added: It was quite clear that the Israeli delegation was very large and consisted of representatives drawn from many Ministries. It was very active both inside and outside the corridors of the Council. In fact, the Israeli ambassador sharply criticized the Council and even hurled insults at it for its role and even said that the report was non-professional, a shame for the Council, and that it would harm the peace process.
France withdrew from the Council hall. The French stand was one of clear hostility. It exercised great pressure to stop the resolution from being adopted and even offered to abstain in exchange for the Council dropping the condemnation of Israel.
Italy most hostile
The report noted that Italy’s stand was the most hostile of all those who were against the report. Italy worked very closely with Avidgor Libermann, the extremist Foreign Minister of Israel.