Israel Doesn't Believe UN Will Rescind Goldstone Report

Despite Netanyahu's fervent demands that the entire damning report be annulled, Foreign Ministry sources say that at best, Israel could try to convince Goldstone to turn his Washington Post op-ed into an official letter to the UN.

Foreign Ministry sources said Sunday that Israel will most probably be unable to bring about the cancellation of the damning Goldstone Report on its conduct during the Gaza war in 2008-09.

Following Judge Richard Goldstone's op-ed in the Washington Post in which he voiced regret about blaming Israel for the intentional targeting of civilians in the report he authored on the Gaza war, Israeli leaders immediately called on the United Nations and international institutions to cancel the damning report.

Richard Goldstone in UN Human Rights Council

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded that the entire report be annulled and assigned National Security Adviser Ya'akov Amidror to set up a joint team of staff from the Foreign, Defense and Justice ministries with the task of formulating political and legal recommendations following Goldstone's article.

Netanyahu said that "we will try to undo some of the damage caused," and that it was his goal "to see the report canceled."

Foreign Ministry sources however said that in the best of circumstances, it might be possible for the UN General Assembly to adopt a new resolution concluding that an earlier resolution, passed a year ago, which fully adopted the Goldstone Report, is no longer valid.

"In the current international realities, in view of Israel's standing and the standstill in the peace process, it is hard to imagine that such a scenario will recur," a Foreign Ministry source said, commenting on the previous instance in which a UN resolution was reversed - in 1991, with the revocation of the infamous 1975 General Assembly Resolution 3379, which equated Zionism with racism.

The Foreign Ministry sources explained that the 1991 move was made possible due to the initiation of the peace process in Madrid and the collapse of the Soviet Union. "The United States took the matter as a project and carried it out to the end," said a Foreign Ministry source.

Officials working on the matter estimated that at the most, Israel could try and convince Goldstone to turn the Washington Post op-ed into a letter to send to UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki moon and to the UN Human Rights Commissioner. In this way, the article will turn into an official document and have greater political and judicial importance.

Israeli officials hope such a letter could aid in blocking future moves in UN institutions regarding Operation Cast Lead. Moreover, Goldstone's article could be used in the defense of senior Israeli officials should an indictment be served against them.