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Thank you for the Feb. 10 article “NGOs air concerns over strife in Gaza Strip,” which mentions the U.N. Human Rights Council resolution criticizing Israel for its human rights record in Gaza. Regrettably, Foreign Ministry official Mitsuko Shino is being disingenuous when she asserts that Japan did not endorse the report because it was written up before a fact-finding mission could be dispatched.

The resolution was based on the Goldstone report, which also criticized Hamas but which placed emphasis on Israel’s killing of civilians. Despite Israel’s labeling critics of its policies as anti-Semitic, Richard Goldstone is a Jewish South African jurist and the report has been endorsed by A Jewish Voice for Peace and Israeli human rights groups such as Bselem.

By noting that the resolution was supported by Egypt, among others, the writer of the article gives the impression, however unintended, that the resolution is suspect. In reality, Egypt has been a collaborator in Israel’s blockade of Gaza and the suppression of activism by peace groups, yet it hopes that all will be forgiven with its support of the resolution.

The Japan Times would, therefore, be advised to give more space to activists like Kazuko Ito of Human Rights Now, and less to government mouthpieces who seek to bend the facts to fit their own cynical intentions.

paul arenson

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