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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Netanyahu claims not to back Gaza probe

In an interview with Newsweek's Lally Weymouth that was published in Saturday's Washington Post, Prime Minister Netanyahu seemed to back an Israeli probe of Operation Cast Lead (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
Q. What did you think of the Goldstone report?

A. I thought there were limits to hypocrisy but I was obviously wrong. The so-called human rights commission accuses Israel that legitimately defended itself against Hamas of war crimes. Mind you, Hamas . . . committed four. First, they called for the destruction of Israel, which under the U.N. Charter is considered a war crime -- incitement to genocide; secondly, they fired deliberately on civilians; third, they hid behind civilians; and fourth, they've been holding our captured soldier, Gilad Shalit, without access to the Red Cross, for three years.

And who gets accused of criminal behavior at the end of the day? Israel that sent thousands of text messages and made tens of thousands of cellular phone calls to Palestinian civilians [to warn them to evacuate]. . . .

[Q.] So you're not in favor of an independent inquiry?

[A.] We're looking into that not because of the Goldstone report but because of our own internal needs.

The best way to defuse this issue is to speak the truth because Israel was defending itself with just means against an unjust attack. Serious countries have to think about adapting the laws of war in the age of terrorism and guerrilla warfare. If the terrorists believe they have a license to kill by choosing to kill from behind civilian lines, that's what they'll do again and again. What exactly is Israel supposed to do?
On Saturday night, the Prime Minister's office issued a clarification.
"The prime minister actually hinted in the interview that if something needed to be investigated, then it should be the very establishment of the Goldstone commission," the bureau said in a statement.

The bureau also released what it said was the full transcript from the interview, in which Netanyahu says Israel has already investigated 24 of the 36 cases of alleged the violations during the operation.

Netanyahu's comments triggered associates of Defense Minister Ehud Barak to declare that the minister opposes the establishment of a state inquiry into the Gaza war. They said the defense minister voiced his opposition to the move at recent meetings.

Barak said that had complete trust in the inquiries carried out by the Israel Defense Forces after the 3-week campaign, the associates said, and those that the army conducts continuously.

"Barak believes there is no other army that investigates itself like the IDF," the associates said.
I'm with Barak on this, and I believe Netanyahu is with him on it too. What Goldstone wants isn't a 'probe': It's Israeli blood. Any commission is going to find that no 'war crimes' were committed. And to Goldstone and the 'Human Rights Council,' that's just not an acceptable result.


At 2:45 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

No one in Israel thinks a blood libel deserves a response. For Israel to do an investigation would be to implicitly admit there is some truth to Goldstone. I hope that doesn't happen.

Israel does not owe the world an apology for exercising her moral and lawful right of self-defense.


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