Friday, October 23, 2009

The Goldstone Report has re-ignited the debate over Israel's conduct in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. The controversy over the report has been fierce and often ugly. But more and more people, in and outside of Israel and from a variety of perspectives, are realizing that a credible, independent Israeli investigation into the conduct of the Israeli forces in Gaza is the only way to move forward, both to demonstrate that Israel is committed to the rule of law and to provide some justice to all those who suffered.
Such an investigation is precisely what B'Tselem and other Israeli human rights organizations have been demanding since the end of Cast Lead . U.S. support is crucial to make this demand a reality and for this we need your help. Go to campaign_KEY=2148 to send a letter to your Representatives and Senators urging them to support a credible, impartial, Israeli investigation.
At the UN Human Rights Council's first discussion of the Goldstone Report, Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner said, "[The United States] encourage(s) Israel to utilize appropriate domestic review procedures and meaningful accountability mechanisms to investigate and address all credible allegations of misconduct or violations of international law." This is the kind of support we need more of from the United States.
A recent Senate letter stated that "Israel is in the process of conducting numerous investigations for which it should be commended not condemned." Israel has indeed opened a few military police investigations into soldiers' conduct in Cast Lead. Some of these were the result of B'Tselem documentation. However, there have been no investigations into the larger questions regarding the overall aims and policies concerning the fighting: were civilian buildings and infrastructure defined as legitimate military targets and if so, by whom? Were soldiers properly instructed regarding the obligation to safeguard civilians? Why were civil police forces targeted on the first day of the operation?

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