Olmert: There can be no forgiveness for Goldstone

Judge’s reversal of "false, vicious" charges against Israel an inadequate attempt "to cleanse his conscience," says former PM in ‘Post’ op-ed.

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
April 15, 2011 00:33
2 minute read.
Former prime minister Ehud Olmert.

Ehud Olmert 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Ehud Olmert, prime minister at the time of Operation Cast Lead, has rejected Judge Richard Goldstone’s “reconsideration” of key charges leveled against Israel in his report on that war as “too little and too late.” He has also accused the Goldstone committee and other “hypocritical organizations” of strengthening terrorist groups, weakening moderates and exacerbating the suffering of civilians on both sides.

In an op-ed in Friday’s Jerusalem Post that marks his first formal response to Goldstone’s recent change of heart, Olmert writes that the judge “cannot be released from his personal responsibility for a totally wrong and vicious description of what really happened in Gaza.”

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Olmert calls Goldstone’s April 1 Washington Post oped, in which the judge withdrew his report’s key accusation that Israel deliberately targeted civilians in Gaza, “a poor attempt to cleanse his conscience... Regretting the findings and reconsidering them is not enough and cannot be enough.” Olmert says the Goldstone committee demonstrated “a forgiving attitude to the activities of the Palestinian terror organizations” and to their abuse of the civilian population. “Subsequently, the report tainted Israel and caused it severe damage. Israeli soldiers who were sent on a justified and moral mission to defend the citizens became, as a result, wanted criminals in many countries. Is that moral or justifiable?”

“There can be no forgiveness for such a one-sided report. There can be no mercy for those who caused this damage to the State of Israel, its status, its reputation and its image,” writes the former prime minister, reiterating his conviction that he had been correct not to cooperate with a committee that was bent on “a predetermined conviction of Israel.”

Goldstone, who wrote in his op-ed that “if I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document,” complained about Israel’s “lack of cooperation with our investigation,” but also acknowledged that the UN Human Rights Council that established it has “a history of bias against Israel” that “cannot be doubted.”

Also in his Jerusalem Post op-ed, Olmert calls for “regime change” in Gaza, declaring that the populace there is “held hostage by the terror organizations” and deserves “a better future.”

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