Strategically there are two ways to look at this: 1. Either they are going to “go for it” and Israel will be charged. Having a Jewish Judge head the panel will blow holes in Israeli’s claims of “bias” 2. Perhaps nothing will come of this and the “judge” was placed to lead the panel because this investigation will go “nowhere”
take your pick, story below:
UN names Jewish judge to lead Israel-Gaza probe
Richard Goldstone, former chief prosecutor for war crimes in Yugoslavia and Rwanda, to head high-level mission to investigate alleged crimes committed by IDF during Operation Cast Lead
The United Nations says a Jewish judge from South Africa will lead a high-level mission to investigate alleged war crimes committed by Israel in the Gaza Strip.
The global body says its former chief prosecutor for war crimes in Yugoslavia and Rwanda, Richard Goldstone, will head the probe ordered by the Human Rights Council in January.
According to the mandate, the investigation will focus only on Palestinian victims of the three-week war between Israel and Hamas earlier this year.
Israel has refused cooperation with previous council probes, calling them biased.
“It is in the interest of all Palestinians and Israelis that the allegations of war crimes and serious human rights violations related to the recent conflict on all sides be investigated,” Goldstone said in a statement.
“I am confident that the mission will be in a position to assess in an independent and impartial manner all human rights and humanitarian law violations committed in the context of the (Gaza) conflict,” the president of the Human Rights Council, Nigerian ambassador Martin Uhomoibhi, said in a statement.
Goldstone will be accompanied by British human rights professor Christine Chinkin, Pakistani lawyer Hina Jilani and retired Irish Army colonel Desmond Travers.
Here is a bit more on members of this “4 person team” led by Goldstone, from the Institute for International Criminal Investigations website:
Richard J. Goldstone is a former member of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and the former Chief Prosecutor of the United Nations Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. He is the author of For Humanity: Reflections of a War Crimes Investigator (Castle Lectures in Ethics, Politics, and Economics) (Yale University Press, September 2000), with a foreword written by The Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor.
Desmond Travers is a recently retired Colonel of the Army of the Irish Defence Forces. His last appointment was as Commandant of its Military College. In a career spanning over forty years, he served in various command and instructional appointments in the Infantry Corps. He was a founder of two of the Forces’ teaching and training institutions.
He also served in command of troops and in key operational appointments with various UN and EU peace support missions. These were in the Middle-East (Cyprus, Lebanon) and in the Former Yugoslavia (Croatia and Bosnia and Hercegovina).He is a student of military history and his works are published internationally from time to time.
Hina Jilani is a lawyer of the Supreme Court of Pakistan experienced in constitutional and human rights litigation. A founder of the first womenâ€™s law firm and legal aid centre in Pakistan, she is also a Founding Member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, and has been a special representative of the UN Secretary General on Human Rights Defenders, a member of the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur, and a member of the Eminent Jurists Panel on Human Rights and Counter Terrorism, appointed by the International Commission of Jurists.
She serves as Chair of the International Council for Human Rights Policy, Geneva, has written extensively on human rights and democracy, and is the recipient of numerous honors and awards.
And information on Christine Chinkin, taken from the London School of Economics and Political Science website:
Professor Christine Chinkin
Department Position held
Department of Law
Professor of International Law
Centre for the Study of Human Rights
Experience keywords: human rights law and institutions; international dispute resolution; dispute resolution; women’s human rights; international human rights; united nations law; public international law; feminist legal issues
I will remain skeptical until proven wrong.
UPDATED: Well this is a bit encouraging, from March 16th 2009 LINK HERE
UPDATED X2: This is very interesting indeed. It seems the Israelis are none too pleased with this new group that was created in January in response to the genocide in Gaza. Perhaps Goldstone will do the deed properly. Note what he has to say in the piece below:
The Israeli government has in the past refused to co-operate with UN human rights council investigations, including one led by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
It is not clear whether Israel will co-operate with the new investigation.
“This committee is instructed not to seek out the truth but to single out Israel for alleged crimes,” said Yigal Palmor, spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
He said the council was a discredited body.
Mr Goldstone is a former UN chief prosecutor for war crimes in Yugoslavia and Rwanda. He is also a former judge at the South African constitutional court.
He is also on the board of governors at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Mr Goldstone said he was “shocked, as a Jew”, to be invited to head the mission.
“I’ve taken a deep interest in what happens in Israel. I’m associated with organisations that have worked in Israel.
“And I believe I can approach the daunting task that I have accepted in an even-handed and impartial manner.” SOURCE
UPDATED X3 Well maybe not LOL, look at how the the JTA is reporting this:
(JTA) — A Jewish South African with close ties to Israel will head a U.N. inquiry into war crimes during Israel’s recent war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
He said his Jewishness and ties to Israel were added values. “I’ve taken a deep interest in what happens in Israel,” he said. “I’m associated with organizations that have worked in Israel. And I believe I can approach the daunting task that I have accepted in an evenhanded and impartial manner.”
Again, time will tell us all………….