Goldstone at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday.(Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

The Palestinian delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Council has stopped its attempt to forward the controversial Goldstone Report—which claimed Israel was guilty of war crimes in its assault on Gaza last winter—to the Security Council. It has done so at the behest of the Obama administration, which warned the delegation that such efforts could derail peace negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. But it seems as if Benjamin Netanyahu’s office was responsible for egging on the White House—or at least leading the PR campaign against the Palestinian initiative: Netanyahu is quoted in The New York Times saying that any Security Council action on Goldstone would “strike a fatal blow to the peace process, because Israel will no longer be able to take additional steps and take risks for peace if its right to self-defense is denied.”

Whatever legal ramifications ensue from the Goldstone Report, Yossi Klein Halevi argues in The New Republic that its very composition and global reception “may well mark the end of Israel’s limited wars against terrorist groups. Israel cannot afford to continue to be drawn into mini-wars against terrorists hiding behind their own civilians to attack Israeli civilians, given that each such conflict inexorably draws the Jewish state one step closer toward pariah status. Limited victories on the battlefield are being turned into major defeats in the arena of world opinion.”

Palestinians Halt Push on War Report [NYT]
The Goldstone Factor [TNR]