South African judge Richard Goldstone has accepted an invitation to visit Israel, Interior Minister Eli Yishai told Army Radio Tuesday. The minister said that Goldstone has also promised to work to nullify his U.N. report that accused Israel of deliberately targeting civilians during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, the Associated Press said.
Yishai said he phoned Goldstone on Monday to express his appreciation for his "courageous" article in the Washington Post, in which Goldstone admitted that the report he drew up for the UN's Human Rights Commission was flawed. In addition, the SHAS minister said he invited Goldstone to tour Israel's southern communities that have sustained years of rocket fire from Gaza.
Yishai said that "as a Jew," Goldstone "has a good understanding of the Jewish people's suffering ... and it is very important for him to come and see this."
The daily newspaper Yediot Aharonot said Goldstone had informed it Monday that he would visit Israel in early July as Yishai's guest.
Yishai said that Goldstone promised to take additional steps to retract the UN report that bears his name.
MK Otniel Schneller (Kadima) has written a letter to the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee's chairman, requesting that he invite Goldstone to address the committee. Schneller said that Goldstone's article has many ramifications for Israel's defense policy in the face of the "hypocrisy and evil" displayed by what Schneller termed "the United Nations Committee Against Human Rights."