Tag Archives: investigations

Israel Doesn’t Yet Know When To Apologize

A day after admitting there was need to investigate possible violations of proper military procedures by the Israel Defense Force in the Gaza Operation Cast Lead, the foreign ministry had to argue the invasion was proportionate to the challenge. “Israel’s resort to force in the Gaza Operation was both necessary and a proportionate response to Hamas’ attacks.” Israel definitely has an argument in support of the need to use force in response to ongoing Hamas rocket attacks, that is NOT the main criticism of the Gaza invasion. To argue killing 1,200(of whom about 900 were civilians) while losing fewer than ten people on your side suggests this is not a “proportionate” affair. Destroying vast areas of homes and businesses can hardly be justified on grounds there had to be a “response.”

Israel trots out once again the 12,000 rocket argument. No rational person would disagree with the argument there was need to response to this provocation. There were several options that were never explored such as a massive bombing focus on tunnels or occupying areas in which there were tunnels. An army which kills hundreds of innocent civilians at a loss of fewer than ten has made a serious human rights mistake.

Israel is doing the right thing in conducting an investigation into human rights violations by its soldiers, no Arab nation would engage in such an investigation. But, it is time for Israel to admit its error in killing innocent civilians and gain the respect of the world.

Israel Confronts Its Own Mistakes

The Israel government has decided to confront issues related to misbehavior on the part of members of the Israel Defense Force(IDF) during the recent invasion of Gaza. An army source angrily commented: “we do not need NGOs and rights groups to tell us to investigate ourselves. we know how to investigate on our own and have been open all along to receiving additional material from peace groups.” There is no doubt historically the IDF has been sensitive to violations of law by its members and willing to admit errors. The current investigation into fourteen cases of alleged abuses can only benefit Israel. There are allegations IDF soldiers looted Palestinian homes, beat prisoners and used Palestinians as human shields to avoid getting shot.

The good news is a decision by Israel’s military leaders that in the future civilians will be warned about possible bombings and even provide information to them on the best way to get to safety. An open trial with information publicly shared is the best defense against accusations of human rights violations.