Unfortunately, neither the US nor the UK governments appear to be taking this issue seriously. Judge Richard Goldstone's UN Human Rights Council report on the Gaza conflict, which concluded that Israel committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, has been marginalized by both the US and UK. The US House of Representatives rejected the report in a non-binding resolution as "irredeemably biased" although the report also condemned armed militant groups in Gaza. Britain has similarly prevaricated. UK Ambassador to the UN Peter Gooderham declared: "We cannot fully endorse the report and cannot vote for the resolution as tabled." The UN News Centre summarizes as follows:
""The mission finds that the conduct of the Israeli armed forces constitute grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention in respect of wilful killings and wilfully causing great suffering to protected persons and as such give rise to individual criminal responsibility,' the report's executive summary said. "It also finds that the direct targeting and arbitrary killing of Palestinian civilians is a violation of the right to life.'
"It went on to criticize the "deliberate and systematic policy on the part of the Israeli armed forces to target industrial sites and water installations,' and the use of Palestinian civilians as human shields.
"On the objectives and strategy of Israel's military operation, the mission concluded that military planners deliberately followed a doctrine which involved "the application of disproportionate force and the causing of great damage and destruction to civilian property and infrastructure, and suffering to civilian populations.'
"On the firing of mortars from Gaza, the mission concluded that they were indiscriminate and deliberate attacks against a civilian population and "would constitute war crimes and may amount to crimes against humanity.' It added that their apparent intention of spreading terror among the Israeli civilian population was a violation of international law."
Independent human rights groups like Human Rights Watch support the Goldstone report's findings and call for the establishment of independent investigations by Israel and Hamas into the allegations.
Ongoing US-UK attempts to defend the indefensible in the Israel-Palestine conflict fatally undermine their credibility in the region, and lend fuel to the efforts of terrorists to recruit. The new tape, whatever its origin, only confirms this further. The failure of American and British governments to fundamentally re-evaluate their unconditional support for Israel only exacerbates the dangers of terrorism.