Saturday, March 20, 2010

Why An Independent Investigation of Israeli Military Actions is Required


In case you hadn't heard about it - and why would you, there has been zero coverage in the mainstream media - the parents of Rachel Corrie are suing the Israeli government and army in Israeli civil court. Rachel Corrie was the American volunteer crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer as she tried to prevent it from demolishing a Palestinian home. This was in 1992. An Israeli military investigation ruled it an accident, and that was the end of that, as far as Israeli authorities were concerned. And as far as American consular officials were concerned too. They accepted the IDF's version of events with only minimal additional questioning.

However, evidence presented in the civil trial, currently occurring in Haifa, shows that the IDF's investigation was perfunctory and amateurish almost to the point of a deliberate cover-up. It was certainly negligent. The investigator assigned was a 20 year old regular army draftee with 3 months training as an investigator. He never visited the site of the death, and never looked at the bulldozer in question - or even a similar one. He just asked questions and wrote down the answers he was given.

You can read all about it at Rabbi Brian Walt's blog. It is eye opening, and confirms more than ever Judge Goldstone's demand for an independent investigation into alleged war crimes during last years Gaza war. If the police cannot be trusted to investigate themselves, a principal firmly established in most progressive jurisdictions, then an army certainly cannot be trusted to do so. And even more-so an army that has been in a non-stop state of war and occupation duty for 43 years.

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