South African Judge Richard Goldstone
intends to visit Israel
in July, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Tuesday. Goldstone said he would tour the southern city of Sderot and towns in the Gaza vicinity.
The announcement came after Interior Minister Eli Yishai invited Goldstone to visit Israel in a Monday evening telephone conversation. Goldstone recently retracted his findings on the Israel Defense Force's actions during Operation Cast Lead.
Yishai stressed that a visit to the Holy Land would show Goldstone the extent of the suffering that the Israeli public has been subjected to due to Hamas terrorist
attacks. The judge's visit, Yishai said, would bear significance in light of the findings published as part of the controversial Goldstone Report.
Goldstone said that he would be honored to visit, noting that he loves both Israel and the Jewish people.
Israel's former ambassador to the UN, Dan Gillerman, who also took part in the telephone conversation, praised Goldstone for his courage in publishing the retraction, which was printed in the Washington Post this past Friday. He urged Goldstone to take additional measures to make sure that the UN Human Rights Council and other human rights organization take heed of his statement.
Goldstone suggested in response to first let the dust settle, but said that he would look into what goes on in the UN council.
Yishai sent two letters to Goldstone in recent weeks, the first of which criticized the judge for not taking a stance on the terror attacks in Itamar,
Jerusalem and Gaza vicinity towns.
Yishai sent the second letter this past Sautrday, commending Goldstone for his audacity to admit his mistakes.