Peres: Goldstone is a small man out to hurt Israel
President tells Brazilian counterpart that Israel is a country that investigates its actions when needed.
Richard Goldstone, who authored the United Nations report accusing Israel of perpetrating war crimes in its Gaza offensive earlier the year, is a man devoid of any real sense of justice and is intent on harming Israel, President Shimon Peres told Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva during their meeting in Brasilia on Wednesday.
"Goldstone is a small man, devoid of any sense of justice, a technocrat with no real understanding of jurisprudence," Peres told his Brazilian counterpart, adding that the South African jurist "was on a one-sided mission to hurt Israel."
Referring to Goldstone's recommendation to investigate possible war crimes committed by Israel in Gaza, Peres said, "If anyone should be investigated, it should be him."
The president added that Brazil, which voted at the United Nations in favor of adopting the report's recommendations, as well as the other countries that supported the document, had made a grave mistake.
Answering calls for Israel to investigate its own conduct during the Gaza war, Peres said that, "when needed, Israel is a country that can and does investigate and question its actions. We have ejected defense ministers and army chiefs following wars."
Aside from the Goldstone report, de Silva and his Israeli counterpart also discussed the possibility of Israel negotiating with Hamas.
De Silva, who wishes to play a central role in Mideast talks, told Peres that Israel must begin negotiating with the militant organization, a suggestion that the Israeli president vehemently rejected.
The Brazilian president also informed Peres that he will be visiting Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan and Syria beginning March 10.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is due to arrive in Brazil on November 23, and Brazilian officials say Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is also planning to visit later this month.
The visits follow a July trip by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to Brazil, during which he tried to drum up support for combating Iran's nuclear program.
Peres' visit to Brazil was the first by an Israeli president in more than four decades.