Lieberman: Goldstone report meant to destroy Israel's image
In first response to controversial report accusing Israel of possible war crimes in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead, foreign minister says committee 'was set up to find Israel guilty of crimes that were determined in advance', accuses members of working in service of 'countries that don't know the term 'human rights'
"The Goldstone committee is a committee that was set up to find Israel guilty of crimes that were determined in advanced, and the committee's members did not let the facts confuse them," said Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Thursday, in his first comments in response to the harsh UN report investigation the events of Operation Cast Lead.
Lieberman, who is currently on a tour of a number of Balkan states, said the committee's conclusions were predetermined, and he accused its members of serving the purposes of utilitarian countries.
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Lieberman went on to say, "I can say wholeheartedly, as can any man that examines the matter in an objective manner, that the IDF is the most moral army in the world, and it is forced to deal with the most vile terrorists, who set for themselves the goal of killing women and children, and hide behind women and children."
The foreign minister further claimed that "the Goldstone Report wishes to take the UN back to the dark ages, where it was also determined, through the leadership of utilitarian countries, that Zionism is racism."
He said, "The Goldstone Report has no legal, factual or ethical value, and more than a testament to the State of Israel, it is a testament to the writers of the report and those that sent them."
Lieberman's response is one in a long line of censure and attacks against the report on the part of senior Israeli officials, which has been continuous since the report was published on Tuesday.
The officials' defensive response is meant to minimize possible damage the document could cause Israel, officials in office at the time of the operation, and senior officers in the IDF.
It should be noted that the Goldstone committee ruled that some of the incidents of the Gaza war may carry with them personal criminal liability. Israeli experts on international law have said this could lead to lawsuits against officials in various state in which the law allows it.