Nicole Goldstone, the daughter of Richard Goldstone, whose report on Operation Cast Lead alleged that Israel committed war crimes in Gaza, maintained on Wednesday that her father "is a Zionist and loves Israel."
Speaking from Toronto, where she now lives, Nicole told Army Radio she had many conversations with her father when he was asked to head the UN inquiry into the Gaza conflict.
"I know better than anyone else that he thought that however hard it was to accept it, he was doing the best thing for everyone, including Israel," she said. "He is honest, tells things how he sees them and wants to uncover the truth."
Nicole, who said she had read the first 300 and last 10 pages of the report, conceded that it contained some "very harsh" allegations against Israel.
She joked that she was hosting her parents for Rosh Hashanna, and that speaking with her father following the report's release, he had asked her, "Are you sure we can still come?"
Goldstone maintained that had her father thought that his inquiry would have been to Israel's detriment, he would never have agreed to head the UN commission.
"I know that if he thought what he did would not somehow be for the sake of peace of everyone in Israel or that it would have hindered such efforts, he would not have accepted the job," she said.
Nicole insisted that the fact that the report also accused the Palestinians of crimes against humanity showed that her father tried to be balanced.
"I am not angry with him, I love him and respect him," she concluded. "He is a Zionist. My dad loves Israel and it wasn't easy for him to see and hear what happened. I think he heard and saw things he didn't expect to see and hear, and I am one hundred percent sure he did it [conducted the investigation] in the hope that the Israelis would come to cooperate, and he wanted to help find a long-term solution for the state of Israel."
Nicole, who has spent time living in Israel, said that the country "is the most important thing in my life, my heart is there…I love Israel more than my family and friends and anything else."
Meanwhile, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gabriela Shalev said that the UN report would hamper Middle East peace efforts.
Speaking to Army Radio, Shalev added that "the international atmosphere is very influential. We have already begun a public diplomacy campaign in world capitals in order to explain the extent to which the report is biased, one-sided and political."
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said Jerusalem made the right decision not to cooperate with the inquiry.
"The report only came out because of countries like Pakistan, Libya and Saudi Arabia, who are members of the UN Human Rights Council," Ayalon told Army Radio. "The results just prove the correctness and legitimacy of the decision not to cooperate… the report was compiled without any connection to investigations of the ground."
"It completely ignores all Hamas terror activity that preceded the IDF operation," he continued, stressing that the main reason for Israel's boycott of the investigation "was the presence on the commission of those who insisted that the operation was not one of self-defense, but an Israeli aggressive action."
Ayalon said that Israel would now focus its energy on "making the report dissipate" and that Jerusalem was in contact with the US over the findings, emphasizing that the report could have repercussions for American troops fighting in Iran and Afghanistan. "We must remember that all Western nations opposed the inquiry commission, and our work with the Europeans and Americans can prevent the consequences," he said, asserting that the report would have negative effects on efforts for Israeli-Palestinian peace and normalization between Jerusalem and the Arab world.
Ayalon concluded that there was "no one better" than Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to lead the campaign against the report and put Israel's side across.
Israel's former ambassador to the UN Danny Gillerman said that the UN Human Rights Council report contained "blatant, one-sided, anti-Israel lies."
"Members of the UNHRC include countries like Zimbabwe and Libya that spend 90 percent of their time on Israel and don't deal for example with the Darfur massacre," he told Army Radio.
Gillerman also said that the UNHRC should never have been set up in the first place.
"We and the US were only ones who voted against the body being established. We knew it would be very one-sided and anti-Israeli," he said, adding that former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan had said that allowing the UNHRC's establishment was one of his biggest mistakes.
Gillerman said Israel was right not to cooperate with the inquiry, saying, "The findings would never have been objective."
He stressed that while soul searching was being done by Israel and would continue, Operation Cast Lead was conducted to protect a million southerners from rocket attacks.
"We went to lengths no other country would have gone to in order to avoid civilian casualties," he went on, adding that the IDF embarked on an operation any other country would have carried out under the circumstances, but that other militaries would have caused greater collateral damage.
On a positive note, Gillerman said that the Israeli media was getting "more worked up" by the report than others. "I haven't seen other media outlets around the world dedicating so much time to the issue."
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