Ayalon defends decision not to cooperate with Goldstone Commission

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon on Wednesday morning said despite the Goldstone Commission's report on Operation Cast Lead accusing Israel of war crimes in Gaza, Jerusalem made the right decision not to cooperate with the inquiry. "The report only came out because of countries like Pakistan, Libya and Saudi Arabia, who are members of the UN Human Rights Council," Ayalon told Army Radio. "The results just prove the correctness and legitimacy of the decision not to cooperate…the report was compiled without any connection to investigations of the ground." "It completely ignores all Hamas terror activity that preceded the IDF operation," he continued, stressing that the main reason for Israel's boycott of the investigation "was the presence on the commission of those who insisted that the operation was not one of self-defense, but an Israeli aggressive action." Ayalon said that Israel would now focus its energy on "making the report dissipate" and that Jerusalem was in contact with the US over the findings, emphasizing that the report could have repercussions for American troops fighting in Iran and Afghanistan. "We must remember that all Western nations opposed the inquiry commission, and our work with the Europeans and Americans can prevent the consequences," he said, asserting that the report would have negative effects on efforts for Israeli-Palestinian peace and normalization between Jerusalem and the Arab world. Ayalon concluded that there was "no one better" than Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to lead the campaign against the report and put Israel's side across.