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Two days after Israel submitted its response to the Goldstone report that accused the IDF of possible crimes against humanity during last year's Operation Cast Lead, prominent lawyer and political commentator Professor Alan Dershowitz said that the jurist, someone he once considered a friend, was "a traitor to the Jewish people."Opposition leader and former foreign
minister Tzipi Livni warned that such an inquiry must not be
counterproductive: Livni said Sunday that “the Goldstone report was born in
sin. It will be a mistake to establish today a commission that would
examine the IDF without ensuring that the sheer establishment of such a
commission would protect IDF officers from future lawsuits.”
Speaking to Army Radio, Dershowitz said the “Goldstone report is a defamation written by an evil, evil man."
He said the jurist "allowed himself to be used to give a hechsher, a certification of purity, to defamation," and that Goldstone is a "man who uses his language and words against the Jewish people."
Elaborating, the professor said that it would be as if the writers of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion "had asked a prominent Jew to read the report and sign it" to give it approval.
"I regarded him as a friend, but I now regard him as an absolute traitor," he said.
When Dershowitz was asked if he would agree to serve on an internal inquiry committee into last winter’s operation, he responded that he’d be happy to help but that “it would be better if it consisted of Israelis.”
He said the committee should be headed by a “distinguished Israeli,” suggesting former Supreme Court presidents Aharon Barak and Meir Shamgar.
Meanwhile, former minister and Meretz head Shulamit Aloni slammed Dershowitz’s remarks, saying he “certainly does not represent the entire Jewish community.”
She called him “an abnormal patriot to the IDF who is always extreme,” and said his remarks about Goldstone were “shameful.”
“It’s simply hatred and lashon hara,” she went on. “Anyway, I know how he relates to the left-wing, so he’s unimportant in my eyes.”
Aloni said that while she understood Israel’s need to retaliate for attacks from Gaza, it “doesn’t justify” the army’s “use of phosphorus and its bombing of schools” in the territory, which she said were “against international law.”
She called Defense Minister Ehud Barak a “dangerous man” and a “shady character.”
While stressing that she had not read the Goldstone report, the left-wing activist said that if the jurist didn’t properly clarify the details of what went on during Operation Cast Lead, that could be due to Israel’s refusal to cooperate with the UN inquiry.
“We aren’t innocent, just look at what’s happening in the West Bank,” she continued, citing the “price tag” policy of extreme settlers.
She concluded by saying that Israel “must set up its own inquiry” into Operation Cast Lead, and that she would prefer Aharon Barak to head it.
Livni, who served as foreign minister during Operation Cast Lead, was
speaking amidst reports that the government was seriously mulling the
establishment of a non-military commission to examine allegations
leveled against the IDF by jurist Richard Goldstone in the
UN-commissioned report he penned following the campaign.
“[Ensuring that any commission would defend IDF officers from future
lawsuits] can and should be done. Without ensuring this – will
unwittingly legitimize the distorted report. I have full faith in the
IDF and any government must protect its soldiers and citizens without
legitimizing organizations or individuals whose sole aim is to bash .”