Report: German Professor Heading U.N.’s ‘Goldstone II’ Committee Accused Israel of World War II ‘Barbarism’, Removal Urged

Prior to Chairing Probe, Said Israel Was “State Terrorist” Unwilling to Investigate

GENEVA, Oct. 21 – The German law professor heading the U.N. committee to enforce the Goldstone Report has a history of comparing Israeli actions with the “barbarism” and “inferno” of World War II, and should be removed for lack of impartiality by the U.N. Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said a report submitted by UN Watch today to the world body’s Geneva office. Click here for summary and full report.

In his September 27 report to the U.N. Human Rights Council, Christian Tomuschat, a professor emeritus at Humoldt University, faulted Israel for failing to investigate allegations of war crimes by the country’s senior leadership, specifically naming Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni, who was foreign minister during the 2009 war with Hamas. The Tomuschat Committee will report to the council again in March 2011.

However, according to “Goldstone II,” the 29-page report by UN Watch, a Geneva-based monitor of the world body, Tomuschat’s credibility is severely impaired by his prior legal work for PLO leader Yasser Arafat, which Tomuschat said he “could not recall,” and by a series of public statements and writings that show his lack of impartiality on the Arab-Israel conflict.

Based on newly-translated materials, the report reveals that in German academic essays published in 2006 and 2007 on the Lebanon war, Tomuschat associated the military practices of the Jewish state with the “barbarism which was the particular hallmark of World War II.” Israel, wrote Tomuschat, “overruns a country like a steamroller,” and “butchers everything in its way.” Accusing Israel of classifying civilian targets as military, Tomuschat said its actions could be regarded “as a relapse to the Inferno of World War II.”

Tomuschat also said that “the observer gets the impression that the Israeli armed forces inconsiderately geared itself toward the overall concept of the Totalen Krieges.” This concept is most famously associated with Goebbels’ 1943 “Total War” speech delivered under a giant banner.

Other key findings from the report:

•   In a 2002 essay, Tomuschat singled out Israel as a prime example of “state terrorism,” a charge he repeated in a 2007 interview, in which he added that killing terrorist mastermind Osama Bin Laden would be “absolutely illegal under international law.”

•   Prior to heading the U.N. inquiry to assess Israel’s system of investigations, Tomsuchat had already made up his mind, saying in 2002 that Israel ordered the “systematic commission of war crimes,” and that “in such instances, there is little hope that the judicial system will conduct effective investigations and punish the responsible agents.”

·   When a German academic journal featured a debate on the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, Tomuschat was the one chosen to present the side opposed to Israel.

UN Watch