(Senate - April 14, 2011)

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[Page S2554]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Foreign 
Relations Committee be discharged from further consideration of S. Res. 
138 and the Senate proceed to its immediate consideration.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The clerk will report the resolution by title.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A resolution (S. Res. 138) calling on the United Nations to 
     rescind the Goldstone report, and for other purposes.

  There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the 
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the resolution 
be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motions to reconsider be 
laid upon the table, with no intervening action or debate, and any 
statements be printed in the Record.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The resolution (S. Res. 138) was agreed to.
  The preamble was agreed to.
  The resolution, with its preamble, reads as follows:

                              S. Res. 138

       Whereas, on January 12, 2009, the United Nations Human 
     Rights Council passed Resolution S-9/1, authorizing a ``fact-
     finding mission'' regarding the conduct of the Government of 
     Israel during Operation Cast Lead between December 27, 2008, 
     and January 18, 2009;
       Whereas that resolution prejudged the outcome of the fact 
     finding mission by mandating that it investigate ``violations 
     of international human rights law and international 
     humanitarian law by the occupying power, Israel, against the 
     Palestinian people'';
       Whereas, on September 15, 2009, the ``United Nations Fact 
     Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict'' released its report, 
     now known as the ``Goldstone report'', named for its chair, 
     South African Jurist Richard Goldstone;
       Whereas the report made numerous unsubstantiated assertions 
     against Israel, in particular accusing the Government of 
     Israel of committing war crimes by deliberately targeting 
     civilians during its operations in Gaza;
       Whereas the report downplayed the overwhelming evidence 
     that Hamas deliberately used Palestinian civilians and 
     civilian institutions as human shields against Israel and 
     deliberately targeted Israeli civilians with rocket fire for 
     over eight years prior to the operation;
       Whereas the United Nations Human Rights Council voted to 
     welcome the report, to endorse its recommendations, and to 
     condemn Israel without mentioning Hamas;
       Whereas, as a result of the report, the United Nations 
     General Assembly has passed two resolutions endorsing the 
     report's findings, the United Nations Secretary-General has 
     been requested to submit several reports on implementation of 
     its recommendations, and the Human Rights Council is 
     scheduled to follow up on implementation of the report during 
     future sessions;
       Whereas the findings of the Goldstone report and the 
     subsequent and continued United Nations member state actions 
     following up on those findings have caused and continue to 
     cause extensive harm to Israel's standing in the world and 
     could potentially create legal problems for Israel and its 
       Whereas Justice Richard Goldstone publicly retracted the 
     central claims of the report he authored in an op-ed in The 
     Washington Post on April 2, 2011;
       Whereas Justice Goldstone wrote in that article that if he 
     ``had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would 
     have been a different document'';
       Whereas Justice Goldstone concluded that, contrary to his 
     report's findings, the Government of Israel did not 
     intentionally target civilians in the Gaza Strip as a matter 
     of policy;
       Whereas, in contrast, Justice Goldstone states that the 
     crimes committed by Hamas were clearly intentional, were 
     targeted at civilians, and constitute a violation of 
     international law;
       Whereas Justice Goldstone also conceded that the number of 
     civilian casualties in Gaza was far smaller than the report 
       Whereas Justice Goldstone admitted that Israel investigated 
     the findings in the report, while expressing disappointment 
     that Hamas has not taken any steps to look into the report's 
     findings; and
       Whereas Justice Goldstone concluded that ``Israel, like any 
     other sovereign nation, has the right and obligation to 
     defend itself and its citizens'': Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) calls on the United Nations Human Rights Council 
     members to reflect the author's repudiation of the Goldstone 
     report's central findings, rescind the report, and reconsider 
     further Council actions with respect to the report's 
       (2) urges United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon to 
     work with United Nations member states to reform the United 
     Nations Human Rights Council so that it no longer unfairly, 
     disproportionately, and falsely criticizes Israel on a 
     regular basis;
       (3) requests Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon to do all in his 
     power to redress the damage to Israel's reputation caused by 
     the Goldstone report;
       (4) asks the Secretary-General to do all he can to urge 
     member states to prevent any further United Nations action on 
     the report's findings; and
       (5) urges the United States to take a leadership role in 
     getting the United Nations and its bodies to prevent any 
     further action on the report's findings and limit the damage 
     that this libelous report has caused to our close ally Israel 
     and to the reputation of the United Nations.