When state inquiry commissions come easy

It all depends on the victims and the politicians' vested interests.

baruch goldstein ap 88 (photo credit: AP [file])
baruch goldstein ap 88
(photo credit: AP [file])
The government of Israel hurried to appoint a state commission of inquiry immediately after Israeli Arabs complained that the police had shot at them "without any reason" in October 2000. Of course, there was a reason. Hundreds of Arabs rioted blocking main traffic arteries in the North. They sowed destruction in order to join in and encourage the war of terror that Yasser Arafat had just launched. Facing what amounted to a violent insurrection during a time of war, Police commanders like Alik Ron knew authorized the use of life fire when necessary - which cost lives. The state commission of inquiry appointed by prime minister Ehud Barak dragged him, together with the minister of Internal Security, Shlomo Ben-Ami, and others through in-depth investigations - all to make sure that the strident Arab radicals were satisfied. The Or Commission it was called, and in its work it exposed the dark and evil animus the Arab radicals bear in their hearts against the Jewish state. In 1994, Dr. Baruch Goldstein cruelly murdered dozens of Palestinians worshipers in the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. The terror attacks by the Palestinians that multiplied during that period in wake of the Oslo agreements, many of whose Jewish victims Goldstein cared for, could under no circumstances justify the mad and horrific act of murder he carried out in the Cave of the Patriarchs. Yitzhak Rabin's government hurried to appoint a full state inquiry to investigate how Goldstein was not hindered from murdering innocent Palestinians. The commission of inquiry interrogated numerous people, functionaries and public figures, on live television. In September 1982, members of the Christian Phalangists units in Lebanon murdered about 700 Palestinians in the neighborhoods of Sabra and Shatilla. The Labor party and the Left immediately grabbed the opportunity to exploit the tragedy, labeling prime minister Menachem Begin and defense minister Ariel Sharon "murderers." Menachem Begin protested: "Gentiles kill gentiles - and the Jews blame themselves." In the flames of political hysteria that were fanned at that time, and among the claims that Israel had had some role in the massacre, Begin hurried to establish a state commission of inquiry into the murder of Palestinians. It determined that no Israeli soldier, officer or minister had been involved in it. IN OTHER words, in three tragic events in which Arabs were killed or murdered - in Lebanon, Judea and Israel - our governments hurried to appoint full state inquiries. However now, in the second war in Lebanon when mainly Jewish blood was spilled (without of course forgetting the non-Jewish victims that were killed and injured too), the government is contemptuously and arrogantly dismissing its obvious duty to establish a state commission of inquiry. For the first time in the history of the state, a million Jews became refugees in their own country, forced to flee or hide in damp and smelly bomb shelters and protected spaces. Israeli towns and cities were bombed, something not seen here even in the war of 1948. Courageous reserves soldiers came home with shocking stories and are now demanding a state commission of inquiry. Haven't they earned the right to learn from a full state inquiry exactly what happened? Is the blood of the Arab rioters of October 2000, or the victims of Goldstein in Hebron or of the Palestinians in Sabra and Shatilla redder than the blood of the angry and aching Jews of the summer of 2006? ALL THIS clearly points to the sick state of affairs of the current Israeli government, one that seeks to remain in power at any price, with the support of a Knesset as riddled with corruption as it is. The Jewish state was established first and foremost to enable the Jews to defend themselves. So how is it that commissions of inquiry are immediately established when Arab victims are involved, but when Jews claim that they have been abandoned, the government contemptuously ignores their cries? It is interesting to note that the very same media and political personalities that have mobilized to defend the government's decision not to establish a state commission of inquiry are for the most part the same ones that hurried to support just such a commission of inquiry for Sabra and Shatilla, Hebron and the October riots. In other words, with them, it is not a matter of justice and law; it is only politics. A full state inquiry is justified only if it enables them to present themselves to the world as seemingly enlightened people, defenders of the "defenseless Arabs" or to hound a despised political leader or - as in the present case - to defend a disastrous government, because of the social and political advantages it offers them. he government of Israel has reached a state of moral and judicial bankruptcy. When Jews are the victims, in a Jewish state, there is no need for judges - an "investigative probe" of dubious authority is sufficient. The government is behaving as if it were looking out only for itself.