World

Israel asks for Goldstone Report to be repealed

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel said Sunday it was launching an international campaign to push the United Nations to rescind a scathing report on Israeli war conduct in the Gaza Strip two years ago, after the report’s author backtracked from key allegations against the Jewish state.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet that he had ordered the diplomatic offensive in response to the new admissions from international jurist Richard Goldstone, who said over the weekend that his most serious accusation against Israel — that it deliberately targeted civilians — appeared to have been wrong.

Writing in the Washington Post, Goldstone said that in hindsight his report would have looked very different.

Addressing his Cabinet, Netanyahu said Goldstone’s comments vindicated Israel’s wartime conduct and that Goldstone’s report, which accused both Israel and Hamas militants of possibly committing war crimes, should be scrapped.

“There are very few instances in which those who disseminate libels retract their libel. This happened in the case of the Goldstone report,” Netanyahu told his Cabinet on Sunday. “This leads us to call for the immediate cancellation of the Goldstone report.”

He said he was forming a special committee of top officials “to minimize, in even the smallest way, the great damage this smear campaign has caused the state of Israel.” The committee will be chaired by Netanyahu’s new national security adviser, Yaakov Amidror, and include officials from the foreign, justice and defense ministries.

“I expect their recommendations in the coming days. We will act on the public diplomacy front and on other fronts with the international community and the U.N. in order to demand the justice that is due to Israel,” he said.

The Goldstone report, released in September 2009, concluded that both Israel and Hamas committed potential war crimes and possible crimes against humanity. The findings triggered outrage in Israel and a personal campaign against Goldstone — a respected South African Jewish jurist with close ties to Israel.

Israel attacked the Gaza Strip in an offensive known as “Operation Cast Lead” in December 2008 in response to years of almost daily rocket fire from the Gaza Strip at southern Israel.

During the three-week campaign, some 1,400 Palestinians were killed, including hundreds of civilians. Thirteen Israelis were killed as well. Israel has blamed Hamas for the heavy civilian toll, saying the militant group staged attacks from heavily populated residential areas, as well as mosques and schools.

Israeli Cabinet Minister Moshe Yaalon said the experience of the Gaza war showed that traditional laws of war that differentiate between civilians and combatants have been blurred. Yaalon, a former Israeli military chief of staff, said laws “should be adjusted to (recognize) the rogue elements who do not consider international law.”

Goldstone’s team traveled to Gaza to collect evidence, but Israel refused to cooperate with the investigation, accusing the panel of bias. It was commissioned by the U.N. Human Rights Council, a body that has a long record of attacking Israel.

The report accused Israel of using disproportionate force, deliberately targeting civilians and destroying civilian infrastructure, and using people as human shields. It also accused Hamas of deliberately targeting civilians and trying to spread terror through its rocket attacks.

The report called on each side to conduct independent investigations into the allegations.

Israeli President Shimon Peres called the report a “blood libel” against the Jewish people, and Goldstone himself faced criticism from Jews around the world — with even threats of protests against him in South Africa before his grandson’s bar mitzvah.

In Friday’s op-ed, Goldstone agreed that the U.N. Human Rights Council that set up the panel had a “history of bias against Israel” and that a U.N. committee of independent experts found that Israel has since carried out investigations into more than 400 allegations of misconduct in Gaza.

He complained that in contrast, Hamas has not carried out any credible investigations.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Goldstone’s about face was “too little and too late” and that the time has come to renounce his report publicly and not just in a newspaper.

“I think that now is the time to … start working much more seriously how to correct the international rules, norms and laws in order that it will enable both us and others to fight against terrorists even if terrorists are acting from within heavily condensed civilian populations,” he said.

In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said “Goldstone’s retreat is reprehensible.”

He said the Palestinians called on the U.N. to implement its report despite Goldstone’s backtracking. “These reports are based on facts and meetings with families of victims as well as the honest, documented work of human rights institutions,” he said.

  • kingfish

    Our government (ALL departments) is completely infiltrated with Dual-citizen zionists, starting with Obama’s cabinet, and they are NOT loyal to “us”! Their loyalty is to Israel and keeping Americans’ taxes flowing into Israel to pay for their their war-mongering and their arm-twisting our Congress (which their lobby AIPAC OWNs). Israel has been trying to drag us into a war with IRAN for at least 2 years and they finally got their way when Lieberman called Obama FROM ISRAEL and DEMANDED a No-Fly Zone in Libya. Next step – IRAN.

    The Mossad is heavily involved in ALL the false flag attacks against this country, to include 911. They’ve admitted sinking the USS Liberty killing more than 100 servicemen. On 911, there was a group of 5 Mossad dancing in the streets of NY, giving hi-fives, and filming the WTC towers. Neighbors called the police and they were arrested, along with 2 others in a van filled with explosives on a D.C. bridge (they had not detonated yet). These Mossad were jailed for 6 weeks, then quietly went back to Israel. Google “DANCING ISRAELIS”. Over 4,000 Jews working at the WTC did not show up for work that day!

    The Zionists also occupy the top positions in most major banks, corporations, and news media. When Americans are polled and respond that this country is heading in the WRONG DIRECTION, that is WHY — this country is being lead into a DITCH by the zionists who prefer to hide the fact they are directing this TRAIN WRECK! And yes, there was a halocaust, but NOT in the numbers Israel would have us believe! They use the “poor us” and anti-Semite labels to make us feel sorry for them. Many of those so-called “survivors” have proven over time to be lying”.

    Americans SHOULD be asking WHY the U.S. and all the other countries INSIST on verifying Iran’s nuclear arsenal, but NOT Israel’s. You can BET their nuclear arsenal is HUGE…and they’ve vowed to take the entire world down with them; yet there’s no verifying israel’s nuclear arsenal. It’s a double standard and since Americans are paying Israel’s war-mongering bills, BOTH countries should be verified. I bet they’d HATE “that”!

    THEY DARE NOT SPEAK ITS NAME
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlEX1xD1wtM

  • kingfish

    5.8 MILLION ISRAELIS GET 100 BILLION IN US TAX DOLLARS WHILE AMERICAN STATES ARE FALLING

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvNxEPQ0Ae0

  • kingfish

    Netanyahu also asked the US for $20 billion more dollars for “safety”, at a time when Americans are jobless, homeless, and hungry. ISRAEL and its war-mongering leeching on Americans makes me sick!

    • patrick

      You can argue, with merit, that the US ought decrease foriegn aide. You can argue that it should be eliminated. However to say that Isreal warmongers exposes your bigotry or stupidity. You tell me.

      Isreal gave the Palestinians Gaza. What did the Palestinians do? Installed Hamas, imported rockets, and terrorized Isreal. To what end? Isreal could destroy the place in 48 hours. Why do it? Here is why: Palestinians are professional victims. They only know graft and fleecing idiots who buy the company line of them being repressed. They have no desire to initiate their own economy. They want handouts. They are not stupid though. That is saved for those that pity and fund them.