Jerusalem – Tension is mounting in Israel as it awaits the publication of the Goldstone

Commission’s report, which inquired into allegations directed against Israel relating to Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip. The report is set to be published in the next few days.

The commission, headed by a South African judge, was established by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and is largely regarded as anti-Israel. Israel has refused to cooperate with the commission and argues that it has predicated much of its findings on false and biased information that it obtained from Hamas. There is concern that the findings will be quite harsh and serve as a basis for litigation against Israel for “war crimes”.

UN High Commissioner of Human Rights Navanethen Pillay, the South African judge, who hosted the anti-Israel Durban 2 conference last April, has already made clear her hope that the UN will ask The Hague to begin proceedings against Israel.

Pillay’s position is based on the Darfur precedent, since Israel has not ratified the international court’s charter and is not a member of it. The UN Security Council is authorized to order the start of litigation against countries that are not members of the court, and in the case of Darfur, the council did indeed instruct the court to start procedures against senior Sudanese officials for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide. She said she hoped that the UN Security Council would respond in kind if the Goldstone Commission found possible war crimes.

Meanwhile the current president of the UN Human Rights Council rejected the demand of the “UN Watch” that British jurist Christine Chinkin be disqualified from the Goldstone Commission. The group argued that statements and articles by Chinkin in which she accused Israel of war crimes even before the commission had begun its work, which indicated that she held a predetermined bias.


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.