Ex-IDF legal adviser calls for external inquiry into Cast Lead

"The army has nothing to hide."

By MATTHEW WAGNER
July 29, 2009 23:43
1 minute read.

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

After stepping down from his position as legal adviser to an IDF combat unit, Prof. Eyal Benvenisti is urging the Israeli army to request an external inquiry into suspicions of war crimes allegedly committed during Operation Cast Lead. It would be impossible to conduct an objective inquiry into soldiers' combat from inside the IDF, he said at a Rabbis for Human Rights conference Wednesday. "I arrived at the conclusion that it was against the IDF's own interest not to call for an external inquiry to be conducted," said Benvenisti, an expert in international law at Tel Aviv University. "It gives the impression that the IDF is trying to hide something when it has absolutely nothing to hide." "In the past there was no real need to conduct independent inquiries," said Benvenisti, during a conference entitled 'Is that us?: Law, morals and religion in Operation Cast Lead,' organized by RHR at the Van Leer Institute. "But today we are waging a war for public opinion, and conducting a proper external investigation is part of the war effort." He added that some international courts obligated all military forces to conduct external investigations. "I believe the IDF has nothing to hide and many of the accusations leveled at the IDF can be easily cleared up after a transparent, external inquiry is conducted. If we do not allow for such inquiries by truly objective investigators, we will end up having Europeans with an anti-Israel agenda conducting the inquiry." However, Col. (res.) Daniel Reisner, head of the International Law department between 1995 and 2004, said that it was unrealistic to expect the IDF to allow a totally independent inquiry into Cast Lead. "There is no army in the world that permits such scrutiny, and military investigations are almost always classified. "I do believe that some external investigators and experts can be integrated into IDF inquiries after passing security clearance. My opinion does not necessarily reflect the IDF though." The IDF boycotted the conference in protest against RHR's call for people to sign a petition demanding an external inquiry.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN