Goldstone. Regret
Photo: AFP
Barak. 'Blood libel'
Photo: Ido Erez
Kirshenbaum. 'Leftists hiding behind Goldstone's back'
Photo: Atta Awisat

Barak: Goldstone must face UN

Defense minister says South African judge's regret over Gaza war report is 'very important', but that Israel will 'make him' express regret in international forum as well. PM Netanyahu: We'll work to demand justice Israel deserves

Two days after Judge Richard Goldstone expressed his regret over his accusations against Israel in his Gaza war report, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Sunday that "Goldstone's article is very important, but it's too little and too late. We'll make him face an international United Nations forum and speak out."


Although Goldstone also said Israel should have cooperated with the UN investigation into Operation Cast Lead, Barak does not regret the decision not to cooperate with the South African judge's team. "It's good that we rejected it," he told reporters at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.


Barak reiterated that the Goldstone report was distorted and called the committee's appointment a "blood libel". "Goldstone was asked to look into IDF war crimes, and only a senseless government could have accepted such a thing."


The defense minister explained that "it's very important not to cooperate with a committee sent by the Human Rights Council in Geneva, which is a delusional forum of Israel's rivals."


He stressed that Israel handed the UN a report of hundreds of pages on the independent investigations it conducted after the Gaza operation. "Goldstone knew everything he needed to know, all the facts on the Israeli side, but he ignored them."


Goldstone wrote in a Washington Post article published Friday, "If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document." 


Livnat: Leftist groups must apologize

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during the cabinet meeting, "There are very few cases in which libel plotters regret their libel. This is happening now with the Goldstone Report, when all the things we said have proved to be true.


"Israel did not intentionally target civilians, as opposed to Hamas, which intentionally targeted and murdered citizens. We will work to demand the justice Israel deserves," he said.


Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat called on Israel's left-wing organizations to apologize, as Goldstone did. "Elements like the New Israel Fund, which provided distorted material, should self-examine themselves.


"I would like to see at least one of them say, 'I was wrong, I made a mistake,' at least like Goldstone did. I would like to see them work to distribute the truth worldwide."


Yisrael Beiteinu to advance probe of leftists  

Meanwhile, Knesset Member Faina Kirshenbaum (Yisrael Beiteinu) said Sunday that the vote on a parliamentary commission of inquiry into the funding of left-wing organizations should be held at the start of the Knesset's summer session.


Kirshenbaum called on the organizations that handed material to the Goldstone Committee to hold a thorough examination. "We must not forget that Goldstone wasn't acting alone. He was aided by Israeli organizations which transferred a lot of material, which painted a distorted picture that the IDF committed war crimes during the operation," she said.


The MK added that "these Israeli organizations severely harm the IDF's soldiers and commanders." She ruled that "the aid they gave to the biased Goldstone Report, whose true colors are being revealed these days, only strengthens the claim that their funding must be probed in order to understand why their activity is so radical and inaccurate, to say the least."


According to Kirsehnbaum, Goldstone "had the integrity to admit that his findings on the IDF's conduct were wrong, but those organizations are hiding behind his back and failing to admit their mistake and the fact that the information they transferred was distorted and false."


Roni Sofer contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 04.03.11, 10:52
 new comment
This will delete your current comment