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US House Votes to Condemn Goldstone Report

November 7, 2009

On Tuesday the US House voted overwhelmingly to condemn the United Nation Report on War Crimes committed during the Israel assault on Gaza, which began late last year. Known as the Goldstone Report, the UN document demonstrates that Israel is guilty of numerous war crimes with its indiscriminant bombing of Palestinian civilians.

The vote was 344 – 46 in support of a non-binding resolution, which says that the Goldstone Report is biased against Israel. The breakdown of the vote shows that the resolution had bipartisan support, with more Democrats voting against it. Both West Michigan Congressmen Pete Hoekstra and Vern Ehlers voted for the resolution.

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The Center for Responsive Politics noted on Friday that there was substantial financial support from Pro-Israel lobby groups to members of the House that voted for the resolution. “The members of the House who voted in favor of the resolution have received $51,260 more on average from pro-Israel organizations ($81,020 versus $29,770) since 1989 than those who opposed it, the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics has found.”

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The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) made this vote an issue and encouraged their members to lobby for the resolution. Other pro-Israel lobby groups were also active in determining the outcome of this resolution. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz noted, “The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) urged Democratic members of Congress to support the resolution and denounce the commission’s report.

The NJDC stated their Pro-Israel views in a press release from November 3. The press release stated in part:  “NJDC is mindful that the Gaza incursion, like all military conflicts in urban areas, was accompanied by tragic loss of civilian life. There is a great deal of evidence that indicates that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) made extraordinary efforts to protect civilian life in the conflict. Moreover, those who call for investigations of “war crimes” should be mindful of Israel’s extraordinary record of investigation into allegations of military misconduct and to the extreme likelihood that the Hamas regime in Gaza would never undertake any credible investigation of its own misconduct.”

This voted to condemn the Goldstone report and side with Israel on a major international law issue demonstrates the near unanimous support for Israel from the US that has existed since the mid-1970s no matter which party inhabits the White House.

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