Lieberman Accuses Israeli Leftists of Giving Goldstone Information

In wake of Goldstone's retraction of certain conclusions, Foreign Minister singles out New Israel Fund as group that should not be ignored for its contribution to damning report; Peres urges Goldstone to apologize.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Sunday accused certain Israeli leftist organizations of supplying Judge Richard Goldstone with information that led to the latter's damning report regarding the Israel Defense Forces' operation in the Gaza Strip two years ago, in remarks carried by Israel Radio.

In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Goldstone had expressed regret for his accusation that the IDF targeted civilian during the Gaza war.

An IDF soldier during the Gaza war

"We know a lot more today about what happened in the Gaza war of 2008-09 than we did when I chaired the fact-finding mission appointed by the UN Human Rights Council that produced what has come to be known as the Goldstone Report," Goldstone wrote, adding, "If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document."

Lieberman said Israel would have set a dangerous precedent had it cooperated with the Goldstone commission's investigation, according to Israel Radio, adding he was astounded that Israel had ignored the role of certain groups – primarily the New Israel Fund – in the judge's formulation of the report.

President Shimon Peres said Sunday that Goldstone should apologize for his report, adding that the fact-finding mission had ignored the central reason Israel had gone to war against the Hamas-ruled territory.

Peres defended the IDF as having operated out of self-defense, adding that Israel had carried out an internal probe of its own on the matter.

"Goldstone ignored the main reason for the IDF's operation in Gaza, the firing of thousands of rockets at innocent civilians," said Peres. He also said that the IDF would continue to serve as one of the most moral armies in the world.