Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Canadian Defense Staff Chief on Goldstone: When attacked at home, responsibility to protect oneself & civilians.

(idfspokesperson).The Canadian Armed Forces Chief of the Defense Staff, General Walter J. Natynczyk, finished a three day professional visit to Israel yesterday, October 20th, 2009. In an interview with the IDF military journal BaMahane (”In the Camp”), the general commented on the Goldstone report, saying:

“I’ve got to look through the whole report and read it through myself. But I fully understand how when someone is attacked from houses, family houses, and so on, that there is a responsibility to protect oneself and protect civilians. I want to have a look at the report myself and understand the full context. I have just had a great education in terms of where weapons were fired from and so on. I want to look at the report in terms of how does it describe it… My impression of the Gaza Strip up to now has been through media reports. Now I got to actually see the size, the space, the context… It just puts into perspective many of the reports and also the operations that were conducted before.”

Gen. Natynczyk arrived in Israel on Sunday for a three day work visit as guest of the IDF Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi. Over the course of the three days, Gen. Natynczyk held meetings with Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi, and Israel’s Minister of Defense, Mr. Ehud Barak, and toured Israel.

General Natynczyk related to the similarities between what is required of Israel and what is required of his country as part of the battle against terror, saying: “I’m not sure if the Israeli standpoint is that much different than the Canadian standpoint, having had the experience in Afghanistan.” The general also said: “We have really come to understand and appreciate what the Israeli forces have had to counter for quite some time and the techniques, the way and the procedures that the Israeli military has adopted and evolved over the past few decades.” He added: “We’re learning what can we adopt from Israeli forces that will enable us to reduce risks to our people”.