H.Res. 867: Calling on the President and the Secretary of State to oppose unequivocally any endorsement or further consideration of the "Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict" in multilateral fora

H.Res. 867

Calling on the President and the Secretary of State to oppose unequivocally any endorsement or further consideration of the "Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict" in multilateral fora

Date
November 3, 2009 (111th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

H.Res. 867 is expected to be considered under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority for passage. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) on October 23, 2009.

Bill Summary

H.Res. 867 resolves that the House of Representatives:

•  "Considers the ‘Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict' to be irredeemably biased and unworthy of further consideration or legitimacy;

•  "Supports the Administration's efforts to combat anti-Israel bias at the United Nations, its characterization of the ‘Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict' as ‘unbalanced, one-sided and basically unacceptable', and its opposition to the resolution on the report;

•  "Calls on the President and the Secretary of State to continue to strongly and unequivocally oppose any endorsement of the ‘Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict' in multilateral fora;

•  "Calls on the President and the Secretary of State to strongly and unequivocally oppose any further consideration of the ‘Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict' and any other measures stemming from this report in multilateral fora; and

•  "Reaffirms its support for the democratic, Jewish State of Israel, for Israel's security and right to self-defense, and, specifically, for Israel's right to defend its citizens from violent militant groups and their state sponsors."

 

Background

According to the resolution's findings, on January 12, 2009, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a resolution which authorized a "fact-finding mission" regarding Israel's conduct of Operation Cast Lead against militants in the Gaza Strip between December 27, 2008, and January 18, 2009. On September 15, 2009, the report, headed by Richard Goldstone, a South African judge, was released- making unsubstantiated determinations that the Israeli military had deliberately attacked civilians during Operation Cast Lead. This report never noted that Israel had the right to defend its citizens from the repeated attacks committed against civilian targets in southern Israel by Hamas and others operating from Gaza.

The UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution endorsing the Goldstone Report, condemning Israel, and encouraging other UN bodies to take action on the report. The President of the UN General Assembly has indicated that the General Assembly will consider the report before the end of the year, and the Report itself called for further action by the Security Council, the General Assembly, and the International Criminal Court, among others. Secretary of State Clinton has assailed the report's mandate, and President Obama instructed the United States Mission to the UN and other international organizations in Geneva to vote against the resolution which endorsed the report and condemned Israel. Members may be concerned that the report reflects the bias at the United Nations against the democratic State of Israel, a strong U.S. ally.