'Goldstone owes Israel apology for war crimes accusations'

Peres says retired judge ignored reasons for Cast Lead, Israel still one of most moral armies; Barak: Goldstone apology is too little, too late; Lieberman: Report is the price for Israel's commitment to justice.

April 3, 2011 09:17
2 minute read.
President Shimon Peres in Switzerland

President Shimon Peres in Switzerland 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Denis Balibouse)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Addressing a recent op-ed by Richard Goldstone, President Shimon Peres said that the retired South African jurist should apologize to the State of Israel for accusing it of war crimes during Operation Cast Lead, Israel Radio reported on Sunday.

"Goldstone ignored the central reason for the IDF operation in Gaza," Peres said, "the firing of thousands of rockets at innocent Israeli citizens."

Comment: Goldstone the belated penitent
Netanyahu: Throw Goldstone Report into dustbin of history
Livni: Cast Lead was justified with or without Goldstone

He added that the IDF acted in self defense, investigated its own actions and will continue to be one of the most moral armies in the world.

Goldstone, in an op-ed Friday in The Washington Post, said that if he had all the information available today at the time he wrote his report on Operation Cast Lead, that it would have been a completely different document. He said that it is now clear Israel did not have a policy of targeting civilians and that Hamas clearly continues to commit war crimes.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that the regret expressed by Richard Goldstone over his report was "too limited, and comes too late," reported Army Radio on Sunday.

According to the report, Barak said the damage caused by the Goldstone report could not be undone.

"The state of Israel announced that the report was fundamentally distorted. The Goldstone commission was based, from the beginning, on blood libels. It did not pretend to determine whether there were in fact war crimes, but in advance meant to determine which war crimes that Israel allegedly led."

Barak also explained the Israeli decision not to cooperate with the Goldstone commission, saying "Goldstone wanted us to give him facts, however we didn't have facts, because at the time we hadn't conducted our own investigation."

Added Barak, "there is no basis to the claim that Israel kept information from the committee, to the contrary- we submitted a report consisting of hundreds of pages that brought forth our opinions on every incident.  The committee took our report into its hands, and instead used the our arguments against us."

Barak concluded, "every country would have acted like Israel did if an international body came and blamed it."

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that the steadfastness of Israel to its goals of justice and its willingness to pay the price caused Richard Goldstone to change his conclusions, in an interview on Israel Radio on Sunday.

The foreign minister asserted that if Israel had cooperated with Goldstone's investigation, it would have set a dangerous precedent. He added that he doesn't want an apology from Goldstone. He did, however, continue his attack on Israeli left-wing organizations, "primarily the New Israel Fund," who he claimed gave information against Israel to the Goldstone Commission.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night