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General Assembly to Debate Goldstone Report Next Week

The United Nations General Assembly will debate the Goldstone report next Wednesday. The announcement is a blow to Israel, which had hoped that the report by the U.N. Human Rights Council into its military operation in the Gaza Strip at the beginning of the year would not extend beyond the Council itself. A previous attempt to bring the report before the General Assembly was derailed by a U.S.-led vote to defer the discussion. But under a barrage of intense international pressure, the report is proving to be one of the most damaging weapons against the Jewish state in recent history. It accused Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity. In particular, the report claimed that Israel used disproportionate force against Hamas terrorists, targeted the civilian population, and destroyed civilian infrastructure. Pro-Palestinian legal activists have already filed hundreds of cases under universal jurisdiction statutes in third-party countries against Israelis who served in the army during the operation. Those named in such petitions face arrest and make it impossible for Israeli leaders as well as Israeli laypeople to visit such nations.