Ambassador Susan Rice
Permanent U.S. Representative to United Nations
United States Mission to the United Nations
140 East 45th Street
New York, NY 10017
September 25, 2009
Dear Ambassador Rice,
The following organizations are writing to you to express their strong support for the recommendations of the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict contained in the Goldstone Report and strongly urge the United States to endorse these recommendations when they are voted on in the UN Human Rights Council on September 29.
Earlier this month, the United States assumed a seat on the UN Human Rights Council for the first time. Upon assuming this seat, Dr. Esther Brinner, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of International Organization Affairs, stated that “We can not pick and choose which of these [human] rights we embrace nor select who among us are entitled to them. We are all endowed at birth with the right to live in dignity, to follow our consciences and speak our minds without fear, to choose those who govern us, to hold our leaders accountable, and to enjoy equal justice under the law. These rights extend to all, and the United States can not accept that any among us would be condemned to live without them.”
We strongly agree with this statement and believe that the United States should put these words into action by voting to endorse the recommendations of the Goldstone Report.
The UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict did an exemplary job under adverse circumstances of investigating human rights abuses, violations of international law, war crimes, and possible crimes against humanity by all parties before, during, and after Israel’s assault on the occupied Gaza Strip in December 2008-January 2009.
The mission was scrupulously even-handed in investigating these violations. As it stated in its methodology, “To implement its mandate, the Mission determined that it was required to consider any actions by all parties that might have constituted violations of international human rights law or international humanitarian law. The mandate also required it to review related actions in the entire Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel.”
Now that this mission has delivered its report and documented human rights violations by Israel, Palestinian armed groups, and the Palestinian Authority, it is imperative for the United States to support its recommendations. To do otherwise would undermine our country’s commitment to the universality of human rights and contradict Dr. Brinner’s promise to the UN Human Rights Council: “Make no mistake; the United States will not look the other way in the face of serious human rights abuses. The truth must be told, the facts brought to light and the consequences faced.”
The UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict has told the truth and brought the facts to light. On September 29, it is time for the United States to make sure that the consequences are faced for these violations of human rights. We strongly urge the United States to vote in favor of the recommendations in the Goldstone Report.
1. US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation
2. Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights
3. Code Pink: Women for Peace
4. International Coalition to End the Illegal Siege of Gaza
5. Jewish Voice for Peace
(The letter is provided as courtesy of: US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation; for endorsing the letter visit: http://www.endtheoccupation.org/modinput4.php?modin=173)