Ben-Ari asks UN to probe US for war crimes

National Union MK calls for probe into WikiLeaks allegations against US military in Iraq; Netanyahu associate calls request damaging.

Michael Ben Ari 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Michael Ben Ari 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari urged UN Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon on Monday to investigate actions by the American military in Iraq that may constitute war crimes as alleged by the WikiLeaks website.
Ben-Ari suggested the investigation be headed by former South African 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 USlead 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 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 even suggested the use of arrest warrants against US government agencies and officials, including senior 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 liable to damage the fragile US-Israel relationship.