Politicians reject conducting probe of IDF's role in Cast Lead

Politicians reject condu

Although Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu seemed to support the idea floated Wednesday of Israel establishing an independent investigative commission to probe the IDF's activities during Operation Cast Lead, politicians from across the political spectrum opposed the establishment of such a panel. In addition to coalition partners, whose top representatives voiced their opposition during a cabinet meeting, opposition parties on the Right and Left alike slammed the idea. "This all stems from a basic desire to please the world, and a lack of understanding that nothing that Israel does will ever satisfy them," explained National Union spokesman Harel Cohen. "The Goldstone Commission is no different from the Peel Commission or any other commission. And so any kind of an internal inquiry would not satisfy, just as the expulsion from Gush Katif - another step taken by Israel to satisfy the rest of the world - didn't satisfy anyone and in fact, led to the operation itself," he continued. "Those who support the idea think that [former Supreme Court president] Aharon Barak will say that we did something wrong and then everyone will like us throughout the world." On the opposite side of the political spectrum, the explanation was different, but the conclusion was similar. "I don't really have much faith in that type of committee," said MK Ahmed Tibi (Ra'am-UAL). "The conclusions and recommendations are never carried out and even when officers are cited, they will eventually be pardoned as they have been in similar conditions in the past. "Immediately after the operation, there should have been a governmental probe, but it wasn't done, in an attempt to brush the bitter truth under the rug," added Tibi. "War criminals in the whole world are punished. Israel shouldn't be outside of that accountability, thus the process that has already begun according to international law. But if Israel tries people for war crimes it will prevent international proceedings against it." The idea also was blasted by Kadima, the party in power during the Gaza operation. Opposition chairwoman Tzipi Livni said that she opposed such an initiative, and MK Nahman Shai (Kadima) accused the government of cracking under international pressure. That the government would establish an investigative commission to probe Operation Cast Lead "two weeks after the same government responded with fury to the Goldstone Commission Report is to climb down from the ladder that they climbed up, and is grasping hold of the investigative committee suggested by Goldstone in order to dam the floodwaters released by the report," said Shai. "As usual, the government is inconsistent, and its decisions are taken recklessly and under pressure. Israel's international standing is too bad to undergo experiments such as this one." Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.