Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-General Gabi Ashkenazi remain adamantly opposed to launching a probe based on the allegations cited in the Goldstone Report, which has been accepted by the United Nations. The two senior officials absolutely refuse to compel officers and soldiers who placed themselves in mortal danger to now justify their actions. Some government ministers, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu are not as opposed to the concept.
In the meantime, while Goldstone and his delegation were immersed in their anti-Israel mission, the IDF did indeed conduct its own internal probe, as it does following an operation of this magnitude. The probe was ordered by Judge Advocate General Brigadier-General Avichai Mandelblitt, headed by Brig.-Gen. Yuval Halamish. Most of the baseless allegations listed in the Goldstone report were addressed in the military probe. 80 PA residents were interviewed (which by the way is significantly more than Goldstone bothered to interview) and 150 incidents were investigated, once again, more than Goldstone and his team investigated. The military probe sought to address a number of aspects of the fighting, including strikes against uninvolved civilians; allegations of abuse during interrogations [including the ISA (Israel Security Agency – Shin Bet)]; strikes against civilian infrastructure; and strikes against public buildings and factories.
After Goldstone’s report, it was learned that many of the allegations mentioned by Goldstone are nothing more, because he and his team never bothered to probe, accepting the word of the accusers. The IDF on the other hand reviewed the report and then against probed, amending its findings after completing its investigation. 26 of the 36 cases listed by Goldstone had already been investigated by the IDF and dismissed as unfounded. Goldstone has admitted that he did not probe the cases mentioned. Even more startling perhaps is the ten complaints are unidentified, that is to say the report mentions “a soldier killed a civilian” but there are no names, nothing to permit verifying the facts as Goldstone boldly reports them. There are other similar claims, of strikes against civilian infrastructure, without mentioning where or what. IDF officials’ report they did not find a single instance of soldiers intentionally seeking to strike civilians as Goldstone would like to have the world believe.
Goldstone made a big splash of Israel striking the Gaza flour mill, seeking to lead one to believe it was a premeditated attack, when in actuality, Israel admitted the facility was destroyed, but during a battle, presenting photographic evidence of the gunfire emanating from the structure, a simple fact ignored by Goldstone.
Sadly, much of the information contained in the report was provided by some 16 radical organizations, Israeli organizations, some labeling themselves “human rights watchdogs”, feeding the enemy with untruths on a silver spoon, much funded by the generosity of the New Israel Fund.
[Such organizations include but are not limited to Machsom Watch, ACRI (Association for Civil Rights in Israel), and Ford [Israel Fund] Foundation. Activities include sponsoring weekly protests against the growing Jewish presence in the eastern capital, against chareidim and their agenda, High Court petitions to permit Arabs on Hwy 443, fighting for Gaza workers to receive employment compensation, and an array of other left-wing agenda issues].
The completed IDF report was distributed to a small number of officials in Israel, the prime minister, defense minister, the director of the prime minister’s bureau, and Ministers Moshe Ya’alon and Dan Meridor. A small number of IDF generals also received a copy along with a select few in the diplomatic corps, requesting they show it to the appropriate state officials prior to the release of the official version, including the Governments of the United States, the UK, Germany and China.
In Jerusalem, the atmosphere is a realistic one and no one is expecting those who have already made up their minds to change in Israel’s favor, but there is hope of infusing an element of factual evidence to counter Goldstone’s baseless anti-Israel document, which contains slanderous unfounded allegations.
The cabinet overall remains opposed to Israel launching an inquiry into the Goldstone Report to satisfy the UN. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is still wavering and is expected to announce his decision this week. At present, it appears he favors a board of inquiry.
Harvard law professor, Dr. Alan Dershowitz had some harsh words for Justice Richard Goldstone, the man behind the baseless report. “Goldstone is an evil man and no one should be confused about this…he uses his language and words against the Jewish People. I regarded him as a friend. I now regard him as an absolute traitor”.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)