IDF deputy chief of staff, Major-General Benny Gantz, said Sunday that the Goldstone report on Operation Cast Lead in Gaza was "a Trojan horse taking advantage of a legal speculum that will eventually harm us".
Speaking at the 10th annual Herzliya Conference, Gantz said, "Our moral soundness is clear after dozens of investigations and interrogations. The said army doctor who visited Haiti (as part of the IDF taskforce) also took part in Cast Lead.
"Israel must make it clear that while we share a number of values with the West, there is a basic difference. We live with our values in a war zone. This fusillade does not allow us to respond any other way. We must remove this threat. We cannot remain victims."
On Friday Israel submitted to the United Nations its first official response to the Goldstone report, which accuses it of committing war crimes in Gaza during its offensive there in January of last year.
The deputy IDF chief said Israel should investigate the Gaza war "when it sees fit."
Gantz said that during the war in Gaza his mother, who passed away five months ago, told him, "Don't stop sending them food, and don't stop fighting."
"This is the essence of it all," said the deputy IDF chief, "We must remain moral, but at the same time continue to fight in the face of the threats."
Addressing the Iranian threat, Gantz said the Islamic Republic was moving forward with its nuclear program and developing capabilities to "launch (missiles) with a range of thousands of kilometers."
"Israel and the world cannot ignore (the Iranian threat). In this neighborhood you need a strong army," he said.
National Security Advisor Uzi Arad told the conference that he foresees an escalation vis-à-vis Iran and that Tehran may pay a heavy price for "defying the world."
Turning his attention to the stalemate in the negotiations with the Palestinians, Arad said it stems from the fact that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas "is always either waiting for elections, in a bad mood or is waiting for an Arab League conference."