«The Goldstone Report is a great victory for terror. We have no chance against the built in majority against Israel in the United Nations».
This is the words of Israeli President Shimon Peres In an interview with Newsweek published on Saturday. Peres said that «Never before did any terrorist organization gain such recognition, in the most unfair way», referring to the UN-commissioned report on Operation Cast Lead, which accuses both Hamas and Israel of committing war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity.
«We have a problem in the United Nations: There is a built-in majority against Israel. Israel doesn’t stand a chance to win any single issue because the Muslim and the Arab nations and the ones who follow them are a majority», Peres said.
«The terms of reference were one-sided: to investigate the war crimes of Israel. And the conclusions, they’re one sided. There are 26 recommendations. Not one deals with terror. The terrorists are flying free and high. It’s unbelievable. Israel does not occupy Gaza. We left Gaza completely. We are the only country that forced our own settlers and army without any foreign pressure to leave Gaza. And for eight years we restrained [while they fired missiles]. No reference to it,» said the president.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Washington Post that Israel was looking into the possibility of opening an internal investigation into the accusations, but not because of the Goldstone Report.
When asked whether he supports an internal Israeli inquiry into alleged war crimes committed during the IDF operating in Gaza, Netanyahu replied that it was being looked into such an option, «not because of the Goldstone Report but because of our own internal needs».
Speaking the truth was «the best way to defuse this issue» the prime minister said, because «Israel was defending itself with just means against an unjust attack».
«Serious countries have to think about adapting the laws of war in the age of terrorism and guerrilla warfare. If the terrorists believe they have a license to kill by choosing to kill from behind civilian lines, that’s what they’ll do again and again. What exactly is Israel supposed to do?»,Netanyahu said.
Also in the interview published over the weekend, Peres said Netanyahu was no longer a rightist.
«He came from the right, but he’s no longer a rightist. He agreed to a two-state solution and to what no other prime minister ever agreed to, to freeze settlements», Peres was quoted as saying.
Peres told Newsweek he may have had «a certain influence»upon the steps that Netanyahu has taken.« don’t expect him to take everything that I say. My advice is simple: We have to make peace. We shouldn’t postpone it,» the president said.
Netanyahu, for his part, said he believes his government represents «a consensus of the Israeli public».
He went on to blame the Palestinian Authority for preventing the resumption of peace talks by setting preconditions. «We just wasted six months because of the Palestinian effort to place preconditions on the negotiations, preconditions that weren’t there for the last 16 years … it’s freezing the settlements, it’s committing in advance to the results of the negotiations».
The prime minister claimed that «the gist of the problem is that for 62 years the Palestinians have refused to recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people».
Source: Newsweek and Jerusalem Post