Search

 

Cablegate: Urgent Demarche Request On the Goldstone Report

VZCZCXRO9307
OO RUEHMJ RUEHSL RUEHTRO
DE RUEHC #6423/01 2870536
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 140514Z OCT 09
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA IMMEDIATE 0379
RUEHAN/AMEMBASSY ANTANANARIVO IMMEDIATE 9574
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING IMMEDIATE 0802
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA IMMEDIATE 0409
RUEHSL/AMEMBASSY BRATISLAVA IMMEDIATE 0517
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS IMMEDIATE 5187
RUEHUP/AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST IMMEDIATE 7852
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES IMMEDIATE 7759
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA IMMEDIATE 5440
RUEHCP/AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN IMMEDIATE 1081
RUEHHI/AMEMBASSY HANOI IMMEDIATE 0307
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA IMMEDIATE 5450
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA IMMEDIATE 6512
RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KYIV IMMEDIATE 1944
RUEHLJ/AMEMBASSY LJUBLJANA IMMEDIATE 6850
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON IMMEDIATE 7141
RUEHLS/AMEMBASSY LUSAKA IMMEDIATE 8277
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID IMMEDIATE 2810
RUEHMJ/AMEMBASSY MAJURO IMMEDIATE 6912
RUEHML/AMEMBASSY MANILA IMMEDIATE 2774
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO IMMEDIATE 4756
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO IMMEDIATE 3188
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW IMMEDIATE 4492
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI IMMEDIATE 7185
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO IMMEDIATE 8825
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA IMMEDIATE 6855
RUEHOU/AMEMBASSY OUAGADOUGOU IMMEDIATE 9054
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS IMMEDIATE 6659
RUEHPL/AMEMBASSY PORT LOUIS IMMEDIATE 3227
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME IMMEDIATE 2620
RUEHSJ/AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE IMMEDIATE 1371
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO IMMEDIATE 0204
RUEHVJ/AMEMBASSY SARAJEVO IMMEDIATE 2375
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL IMMEDIATE 2078
RUEHSF/AMEMBASSY SOFIA IMMEDIATE 4023
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM IMMEDIATE 8226
RUEHTL/AMEMBASSY TALLINN IMMEDIATE 0285
RUEHTV/AMEMBASSY TEL AVIV IMMEDIATE 9589
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE IMMEDIATE 6595
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO IMMEDIATE 0813
RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA IMMEDIATE 9648
RUEHYD/AMEMBASSY YAOUNDE IMMEDIATE 1562
RUEHVB/AMEMBASSY ZAGREB IMMEDIATE 3374
INFO RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN IMMEDIATE 3538
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO IMMEDIATE 3522
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH IMMEDIATE 3616
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI IMMEDIATE 0244
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM IMMEDIATE 5841
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA IMMEDIATE 9625
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 8146

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 08 STATE 106423

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM PTER IS KPAL
SUBJECT: URGENT DEMARCHE REQUEST ON THE GOLDSTONE REPORT

REF: STATE 098567 (NOTAL)

1. (U) This is an Action Request. Please see paragraph
three.

2. (SBU) Summary. South African Jurist Richard Goldstone
submitted his report on conflict in Gaza to the Human Rights
Council (HRC) on September 15. After negotiating with the
United States to reshape an initial, one-sided Palestinian
draft into a balanced resolution on the report, the
Palestinian delegation changed course on October 2, and the
Arab Group and others asked that the resolution be deferred
until next March. The Palestinians have now changed course
again, calling for an HRC Special Session on October 15-16 to
take up the report. While we do not support this session, we
have decided not to oppose it actively. Similarly, in New
York, we agreed to move forward a regularly-scheduled UNSC
meeting on the Middle East to October 14, though not to
specifically add the Goldstone report to the agenda. This
cable asks Posts to describe these developments to host
governments, and to ask them to coordinate with our Geneva and
New York missions in advance of the HRC and UNSC meetings.
End Summary.

3. (SBU) Action Request: Drawing on the background in paras 4-
6, the goals outlined in paras 7 and 8, and talking points in
paras 9-13, Missions should demarche host governments on the
U.S. position on the Report of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on
the Gaza Conflict (the Goldstone Report), and request their
support at the October 14 UNSC Open Debate on the Middle East,
and the October 15-16 Human Rights Council Special Session.
End Action Request.

Background
-----------

4. (U) In January 2009, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in
Geneva held a Special Session on the December-January conflict
in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Hamas. It mandated a

STATE 00106423 002 OF 008


fact-finding mission to investigate "all violations of
international human rights law and international humanitarian
law" by Israel. In April, the HRC President appointed South
African Justice Richard Goldstone to lead the mission. He
said he would investigate all parties to the conflict: Israel,
Hamas and Fatah (although the Council did not formally change
his mandate). On September 15, Goldstone released the
Mission's 575-page report. The USG has serious concerns about
the report, including its unbalanced focus on Israeli actions;
its sweeping conclusions of law; and the overly broad scope of
its recommendations, some of which go into areas that must be
resolved politically in the context of permanent status
negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Nevertheless, we take the allegations in the report seriously.

5. (SBU) On October 2, at a regular HRC session in Geneva,
member states of the Organization of Islamic Conferences
(OIC), the Arab Group, the African Group, and the Non-Aligned
Movement asked the HRC President to defer consideration of a
draft resolution on the Goldstone report. Until then, we had
been working with the Palestinians, Israelis and others in
support of significant edits to a Palestinian draft that would
have resulted in a balanced, de-politicized resolution calling
on all parties to the conflict to investigate allegations
through credible domestic processes. Despite the deferral,
the Palestinian Mission in Geneva has sought to hold a Special
Session, now scheduled for October 15-16.

6. (SBU) On October 6 in New York, the Libyan Mission,
supported by the Arab Group and the Non-Aligned Movement,
requested an urgent meeting of the Security Council to discuss
the Goldstone report. However, Council members felt there was
no urgency to hold such a meeting, deciding instead to move
forward the regularly-scheduled monthly meeting on the Middle
East -- the normal forum for all matters related to the Arab-
Israeli conflict -- from Tuesday, October 20 to Wednesday,
October 14. This will be an Open Debate, meaning that any
delegation -- not just UNSC members -- may speak. We expect
many NAM and OIC delegations to focus their remarks almost
exclusively on the Goldstone report and Gaza. Some may also
call for a referral to the International Criminal Court.

USG Goals

STATE 00106423 003 OF 008


---------

7. (SBU) Our broad objectives are:

-- to minimize potential damage to ongoing efforts to re-
launch permanent status negotiations that would lead to the
creation of an independent Palestinian state;
-- to keep action on the Goldstone report in the HRC in Geneva
and not the Security Council;
-- to avoid any UNSC outcome document in the event that the
report is eventually placed on the UNSC agenda;
-- to minimize damage to the HRC and to the process of U.S.
reengagement, including minimizing any sensationalized
discussion of the report in New York; and
-- to promote accountability for violations of international
law, while working to prevent any effort to use the Goldstone
report to modify international law relating to the conduct of
war.

8. (SBU) To achieve these goals, at the October 14 UNSC
session, we are asking all other UNSC members (except Libya)
and potentially like-minded nations (the action addressees to
this cable) to speak out in support of keeping action on this
matter in the HRC. It would also help for them to discuss
their views on the Middle East situation overall, as the
October 14 meeting is not just about the Goldstone report. In
Geneva, we will register strong opposition to any HRC
endorsement of the report or to a one-sided outcome. We have
no specific request regarding others' remarks there, except
that they avoid damaging the HRC or U.S. reengagement in it,
including by refraining from sensationalizing or politicizing
the report. If unacceptable resolutions are presented either
on October 15-16 in the HRC, or later on in the Security
Council, we hope to maximize the number of "no" votes. At the
same time, we must balance our efforts by promoting principles
of accountability for violations of international law and not
being seen as quashing open discussion of a high-profile human
rights matter.

Talking Points
--------------

9. (U) FOR ALL ACTION ADDRESSEES:

STATE 00106423 004 OF 008

-- The United States has serious concerns with the Report of
the UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (the
Goldstone Report). We outlined these in our September 29
statement at the Human Rights Council(HRC).

-- Nevertheless, we take seriously the specific allegations in
the Report. Israel has the institutions and ability to carry
out serious investigations of these allegations and we
encourage it to do so. Hamas is a terrorist organization, and
has neither the ability nor willingness to examine its
violations of human rights.

-- We will approach the report with openness to dialogue and
the goal of constructive and honest discussions on important
human rights issues, and ensuring that discussion of it does
not in any way impede the peace process at a critical
juncture.

-- At the request of the Palestinian delegation, there will be
a Special Session of the HRC to discuss the report on October
15-16. The report is also likely to be discussed by many
delegations during the regular monthly session on the Middle
East at the UN Security Council on October 14. (This UNSC
session is an open debate, at which any UN member, not just
Security Council members, may speak.)

-- My government asks that you instruct your Missions in New
York and Geneva to coordinate closely with ours regarding our
approach to these two sessions.

-- While we believe that discussion of the Goldstone report
should remain in the HRC in Geneva, the UN body which
commissioned it, we did not support holding a Special Session
at this time. The Goldstone Report was discussed in detail at
the September 14-October 2 HRC Fall session, where the OIC,
the Arab Group, the Africa Group and the NAM requested to
defer action on it until March. We believe that the Council's
consideration of the report should follow that calendar, to
allow for full consideration of all the issues raised by the
report.

-- That said, we have no interest in fostering conflict with

STATE 00106423 005 OF 008


the Palestinian Authority at the HRC. We do not plan to
challenge it at the Special Session, nor do we intend to try
to alter the text of any resolution the Palestinian delegation
may present. On the other hand, we will definitely vote
against any unacceptable resolution, and will be encouraging
others to do so.

-- In New York, we have supported moving the timing of the
UNSC monthly debate from October 20 to October 14. We must
keep in mind that this is not a special session on the
Goldstone report, nor has the Security Council agreed to take
up that matter. We hope your Mission in New York will focus
its remarks on the importance of the Middle East peace process
as a whole, conveying your government's views on a wide range
of issues, not only the Goldstone report. We ask that you
underscore the common interest in a comprehensive peace and a
two-state solution to the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

-- In our remarks on the 14th in New York, we plan to call
again for the urgent re-launching of peace negotiations, note
the economic and security progress being made by the
Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, and cite the threat to
international peace and security posed by the resumption of
rocket attacks from Gaza. We plan to limit our remarks on the
Goldstone report to a minimum, except to note that the HRC in
Geneva is the appropriate venue to discuss a report that it
commissioned.

-- We hope you will support us in ensuring that these issues
can be discussed openly in the right forum, the HRC, at the
right time, and with the right outcome.

Specifically, our concerns about the Goldstone report include:

-- Its failure to adequately reflect the inherent right of
States to self-defense in the context of asymmetrical conflict
and the threat posed by non-state actors that carry out terror
attacks and base themselves and their military operations in
heavily populated urban areas.

-- Its call to all countries to assert universal jurisdiction
over Israeli government actions. This could have serious

STATE 00106423 006 OF 008


ramifications for future HRC reports and other country
situations.

-- Its call to refer consideration of this matter to other
institutions inside and outside the UN system, including the
International Criminal Court.

-- Its call for the HRC to refer the matter simultaneously to
the General Assembly and the Security Council, a recipe for
overlap and potential conflict.

-- The HRC should instead deal with this report, which it
commissioned, in a sober and moderate manner -- something we
support.

10. (U) ADDITIONAL TALKING POINT FOR USE WITH NON-SECURITY
COUNCIL MEMBERS ONLY:

-- We strongly encourage you to have your UN Permanent
Representative speak at the October 14 UNSC open debate and to
focus your remarks on broader aspects of the situation in the
Middle East, especially the importance of the peace process.
The debate will start in the afternoon and will likely have
many speakers, so non-UNSC delegations should get in their
requests to speak as soon as possible.

11. (U) ADDITIONAL TALKING POINTS FOR USE WITH HRC MEMBERS
ONLY:

-- The United States will vote against any unacceptable
resolution presented at the HRC Special Session. We view the
current draft Palestinian resolution as unacceptable.

-- We ask that you join us in voting against such a
resolution, after weighing carefully its full implications.

12. (U) ADDITIONAL TALKING POINTS FOR USE WITH NATO
MEMBERS, UNSC P5, COLOMBIA, INDIA AND PHILIPPINES ONLY:

-- The Goldstone report contains serious allegations that
should be investigated and addressed through credible domestic
processes. We are asking both Israel and the Palestinian
Authority to do so.

STATE 00106423 007 OF 008

-- However, a fundamental shortcoming of the report is its
failure to take into account Hamas' terrorist status. Hamas,
a terrorist group that has seized control of a territory, has
neither democratic structures, an independent judiciary, nor
any demonstrated willingness to examine its own violations of
international humanitarian law and human rights.

-- The Report also makes extraordinarily negative inferences
about the intentions of Israeli military commanders, senior
political leaders, and the Israeli criminal justice system on
the basis of a limited factual record or conjecture. From
those inferences, it draws condemnatory conclusions of law,
including international criminal law, treating accusations and
inferences as fact.

-- In deciding how to address this matter, particularly your
potential vote on a resolution presented in the HRC Special
Session, we ask that, while joining with us in encouraging
credibly domestic investigations, you consider the
implications of the report for any conventional modern
military force faced with the difficult task of carrying out
operations against ongoing, large-scale terrorist activity in
a civilian setting.

-- It would be useful for your military experts to examine
this issue more closely.

13. (U) ONLY IF ASKED:

-- Many media reports on the October 2 outcome in Geneva
indicated that the U.S. pressured the Palestinians to defer
their resolution. Our focus was not on pressing for deferral,
but rather on seeking a consensus-based resolution in Geneva,
an objective we pursued up until the point when we learned
that the NAM and others were choosing to defer action on the
resolution. The U.S. has clear views on its response to the
Report and was communicating those to the parties. END
TALKING POINTS

Points of Contact
-----------------


STATE 00106423 008 OF 008


14. (U) Posts should report delivery of the demarche via front
channel cable to the Department and the US Missions in New
York and Geneva, slugged for IO/RHS, Kelly Razzouk and Cari
Enav; IO/UNP, Andrew Morrison; NEA/IPA, Jeffrey Giauque;
USUN/NY, Amy Schedlbauer and Ellen Germain; and Geneva, Marc
Cassayre. Substantive responses should be reported in the
same fashion and double-tracked via e-mail in light of the
short time remaining before the two meetings.
CLINTON

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

OECD: COVID-19 Crisis Puts Migration And Progress On Integration At Risk, Says

Watch the live webcast of the press conference Migration flows have increased over the past decade and some progress has been made to improve the integration of immigrants in the host countries. But some of these gains may be erased by the COVID-19 pandemic ... More>>


Pacific Media Watch: How Pacific Environmental Defenders Are Coping With The Covid Pandemic

SPECIAL REPORT: By Sri Krishnamurthi of Pacific Media Watch Pacific Climate Warriors - creative action to trigger better responses to climate crisis. Image: ... More>>

Reporters Without Borders: Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing Marred By Barriers To Open Justice

After monitoring four weeks of evidence in the US extradition proceedings against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates concern regarding the targeting of Assange for his contributions to journalism, and calls ... More>>

OHCHR: Stranded Migrants Need Safe And Dignified Return – UN Migrant Workers Committee

The UN Committee on Migrant Workers has today called on governments to take immediate action to address the inhumane conditions of migrant workers who are stranded in detention camps and ensure they can have an orderly, safe and dignified return to ... More>>