Inside Israel and the Palestinian Territories
Israeli media reacted strongly to the report issued by the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, which criticised both the Israeli military and Palestinian militants for actions that could be considered war crimes during the December-January Gaza War. A “declaration of war” and “classic anti-Semitism” against Israel were some of the descriptions used by the Israeli media . (Read more about the report here.)
The media reports noted that Justice Richard Goldstone, a South African, is Jewish.
Media coverage in Israel generally addressed the question of the report’s factual accuracy. Commentators also cited fears in Israel that on the basis of the report, its military officers and politicians could face foreign prosecution, during overseas trips, for alleged crimes against humanity. All agreed the Goldstone report would cause further damage to Israel’s international image.
“Hundreds of millions throughout the world were exposed to [the report], and they do not read the details (in this case, the negative details), but only buy the headlines. In their eyes, we are war criminals, contemptible people, killers of small children,” wrote Eitan Haber in a commentary which ran under the headline “This is a declaration of war” in the leading Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth. “This, at the moment, is the image that is being created for us throughout the world as villains, evil, cruel, murderers.”
An opinion piece in the Israel Hayom daily called the 575-report for the United Nations as “classic anti-Semitism in liberal thinking patterns”. The newspaper described as “a hypocrisy” the appointment of Judge Goldstone, who is Jewish, to head the committee.
Goldstone’s daughter Nicole Goldstone, who once lived in Israel, said in an interview with Israeli Army Radio that her father is a Zionist.
“My father loves Israel and I think that it was hard to see and hear what he saw and heard. I think he saw, read, and heard what he didn’t expect to see, read or hear. And I know – 100 percent – that he did this with the hope of finding a long-term solution and cooperation for Israel,” she said.
(PHOTO: Justice Richard Goldstone, Head of the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, releases the panel’s findings in the UN Fact Finding Report during a news conference at the United Nations in New York, September 15, 2009. REUTERS/Mark Garten/UN Photo/Handout)