MK Danny Danon (Likud) returned on Thursday from a visit to the United States, where he oversaw the drafting of a lawsuit against Justice Richard Goldstone, author of the Goldstone Report.
“I just returned from the U.S.,” Danon said during an interview on Thursday with Arutz Sheva’s Hebrew website. “I sat together with Jewish lawyers and together we formulated a libel suit against Judge Goldstone.”
Goldstone, who accused Israel in his report of committing war crimes during the 2009 Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, wrote an article which was published in The Washington Post last Friday, in which he said: “If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.”
Goldstone recanted the accusation that Israel had deliberately targeted civilians in his article. “While the investigations published by the Israeli military and recognized in the UN committee’s report have established the validity of some incidents that we investigated in cases involving individual soldiers, they also indicate that civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy.”
Later, however, Goldstone said that he will not retract his report despite his admission that Israel did not intentionally attack civilians.
“It is obvious to everyone that Goldstone hates Jews, and now that he has published an article in which he claims that some of the things he wrote were not accurate, we demand a public apology from him,” MK Danon told Arutz Sheva.
He added that he and his partners to the libel suit will not settle for less than a full public apology from Goldstone.
“When the report came out I ripped it from the Knesset podium,” he said. “Now it is time that he publicly apologize for his slander. He defamed all the IDF soldiers and he should apologize for that publicly. If he does not apologize the issue will go to court, and the suit will also be filed against the other members of the Goldstone Commission.”
According to Danon, a public apology by Goldstone is important so that historical justice is done. “It’s true that the damage is done,” he said, “but if he submits an apology to the UN General Assembly it will go down in history as well. Meanwhile, as long as he does not apologize, he must be chased everywhere just as he chased us.”
On Wednesday, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said that she wanted the Goldstone Report to “disappear.”
“I’m not sure it can be amended,” said Rice. “What we want to see is for it to disappear and no longer be a subject of discussion and debate in the Human Rights Council or the General Assembly or beyond.”
Rice added that “we see no need for the Goldstone report to be considered and now that its principal author has said what he said, frankly, our view is reinforced that this should go away and that’s what we’ll work to do.”
Meanwhile, Andrew Standley, the Head of the EU delegation to Israel told Arutz Sheva on Thursday that the Goldstone Report “still stands.”
“We've read with interest what Justice Goldstone has written recently,” he said. “I think that the report still stands. What we have noticed in the comment written by Justice Goldstone is that if he had had access, at the time of writing the report, to all of the information which he now has, the report might have taken on a slightly different form. And I think that points, and he says so explicitly in his recent comment, that fuller access to information, including from the Israeli authorities, would have changed the report.”