Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Monday that the international community “owes Israel an apology” for allegations it targeted civilians in operation Cast Lead in late 2008 and early 2009, after Hamas itself had admitted hundreds of its gunmen had been killed.
He spoke of the delegitimization of Israel resulting from the Goldstone Report, and noted that he had called it “a modern-day blood libel” when it was published, and that it has since been exposed to be exactly that. The report to the United Nations accusing Israel of high numbers of civilian casualties in counter-terrorist Operation Cast Lead, written by retired South African Judge Richard Goldstone, was later proved untrue by Hamas itself, the prime minister contended.
He pointed out that the terrorist rulers of Gaza themselves complained bitterly recently about the hundreds of Hamas fighters who had been killed during the Cast Lead war. About a week ago, Hamas revealed for the first time that at least 700 of its operatives died in the fighting.
Netanyahu spoke in New Orleans to the General Assembly of the Jewish Communities of North America.
He focused on Iran during much of his speech, stressing that “a nuclear Iran is the greatest threat to Israel and to the world.”
The prime minister told the crowd that ultimately, the threat of military intervention from the United States might be needed to stop Iranian nuclear proliferation.
He expressed essentially the same message to Vice President Joe Biden in their talks on Sunday, according to the Associated Press.
Netanyahu was interrupted at least five times by young hecklers during his address.
The demonstrators, who shouted “Stop the occupation!” where taken from the hall by security teams. The prime minister's entourage is working with security officials to clarify how the hecklers managed to infiltrate the hall in violation of the event regulations.