ITALY: GOLDSTONE FOLLOW-UP ACTION

Identifier: 
10ROME212

C O N F I D E N T I A L ROME 000212

SIPDIS

IO COURTNEY MUSSER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/24/2020
TAGS: PREL, IO, PHUM, UNGA, IT
SUBJECT: ITALY: GOLDSTONE FOLLOW-UP ACTION

REF: STATE 15722

Classified By: Political-Military Counselor J. Liam Wasley for reasons
1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (C) On February 25, Poloff discussed reftel points with
Middle East Office Director Davide La Cecilia regarding the
impending vote on the Palestinian-drafted UNGA resolution
related to the Goldstone Report. While the Italian position
is the same as before (Italy voted "no" on the October 16 HRC
resolution and "no" on the November 5 UNGA resolution), he
said "a major realignment is taking place" in Europe in a
post-Lisbon effort to increase the EU's relevance. The
Europeans, he said, are attempting to avoid a "triple split"
(some no, yes, some abstain) and are working with the
Palestinians to "soften" the text so that all Europeans might
abstain. La Cecilia said he had no instructions at the
moment, and that the final decision would ultimately be a
political one. As a red line, he said, "we will not accept
abstention unless there is unanimity on abstention." He
thought an across-the-board abstention would be very
difficult to get, however, given that many states "see no
reason not to vote yes," as they had done before. If efforts
to bring all Europeans to abstain together fail, La Cecilia
suggested the GOI would likely vote no.

2. (C) In the GOI view, La Cecilia said, the current
resolution is already "softer," more procedural, and contains
less offensive rhetoric than prior resolutions: it does not
formally endorse the Goldstone report but rather recalls
resolution 6410 of last November; it does not, according to
him, refer the report to the UNSC, but only to the UN
Secretary General. Nor does it propose a timeline for
investigations, or refer to Operation Cast Lead.
THORNE