Ben-Ari asks UN to probe US for war crimes
LAST UPDATED: 10/25/2010 13:42
National Union MK calls for probe into WikiLeaks allegations against US military in Iraq; Netanyahu associate calls request damaging.
MK Michael Ben Ari Photo: Ariel Jerozolimski
National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari wrote to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday to urge him to form a probe to investigate the actions of the American military in Iraq that the WikiLeaks web site alleged were war crimes.
Ben-Ari suggested that the probe be headed by Judge Richard Goldstone, who investigated Israel's handling of Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip.
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"The latest revelation of US military documents regarding the war in Iraq detailing torture, summary executions, rape, and war crimes by US and US-lead security forces in Iraq, paint a terrifying portrait of US abuse and contempt of international treaties," Ben-Ari wrote.
In his letter, Ben-Ari cited statistics from WikiLeaks indicating that there have been 100,000 civilian causalities in Iraq and that during the course of the war, 31 innocent Iraqi civilians, were killed every day.
"That the Pentagon is looking to cover up these crimes from the world shows the US government has that much more to hide," Ben-Ari wrote the secretary-general. "I look forward to your call for an urgent hearing at the UN regarding these latest abuses as well as the insidious attempt by the US government to sweep these crimes under the carpet." Ben-Ari event suggested the use of arrest warrants against US government agencies and actors, including senior US military officers. Arrest warrants have been issued in Britain for top Israeli politicians and generals involved in Cast Lead and the Second Lebanon War.
"Fortunately, there are human rights organizations here in Israel that are experts in the investigation and judicious prosecution of war crimes," Ben-Ari wrote. "[I have] no doubt that they too will be ready and eager to be at the United Nations' service." Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's spokesman declined to comment about Ben-Ari's letter. But a source close to the prime minister called it "crazy" and said it was liable to damage the fragile US-Israel relationship.
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