As Goldstone report debate rages, more Israelis call for investigation
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet still refuses to set up an investigation into war crimes allegations made in the Goldstone report, but some Israelis say his government should change course.
The controversy surrounding the Goldstone report – which found that both Israel and its Hamas opponents committed war crimes in last winter's Gaza war – is growing hotter, as allies and critics of the Jewish state are ratcheting up the debate over how Israel should respond to increasing pressure to conduct its own investigation into the war.Skip to next paragraph
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The Israeli government's initial reaction to the United Nation's four-member investigation, headed by Judge Richard Goldstone, was to go on a full-blown diplomatic campaign aimed at discrediting the report and its authors as inherently biased.
But five weeks later, cracks are appearing in Israel's resolve not to be pushed into launching its own commission of inquiry. And Mr. Goldstone, a Jewish South African, has in recent days gone on his own personal campaign, giving numerous interviews and publishing opinion pieces aimed at explaining his decision to head the commission as a moral one that is part and parcel of his Jewish identity.
On Tuesday Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet decided not to discuss an internal probe on the Gaza war and asked the US to block any further action on the report. But the furor has many legal experts in Israel calling for action.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak has led the charge against an internal evaluation of whether war crimes were committed in Gaza and blocked a planned cabinet discussion on whether to launch such a probe. The Israeli army says it is conducting its own international investigation into the war, in which over 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis died.
But others in Netanyahu's cabinet have begun to voice their skepticism over Mr. Barak's approach. Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor says Israel should establish its own independent committee to investigate the war in Gaza, according to an interview published Wednesday in Haaretz, Israel's left-leaning newspaper of record.
"Today, with the development of international law, one of the best means of defense is for a state to investigate itself," said Mr. Meridor, one of Netanyahu's long-time contemporaries from the right-wing Likud Party.