Israel cannot be its own judge and jury

Once again, the White House has set aside right in favor of Israel’s self-interest.

The United Nations and the majority of its member countries seek an international inquiry into the killing of eight Turkish activists and one American of Turkish origin who tried to break Israel’s blockade on Gaza. Turkey is adamant that an independent, transparent process should take place and demands that the siege be lifted.

But Israel rejects calls to end its blockade and says it would not cooperate with any such investigation. Instead, it plans to investigate itself. Nothing surprising there! But it is certainly galling for those who care that justice is seen to be done that the United States has apparently blessed Israel’s plan, which is akin to allowing an individual accused of murder to set up his own court of law and try himself. No other country on the planet would be given a similar green light.

Moreover, the White House has endorsed Israel’s rejection of an international inquiry with a statement that reads, “Israel has a military justice system that meets international standards and is capable of conducting a serious and credible investigation.” This is simply laughable. When has anyone in the Israeli Defense Forces been held accountable for anything apart from minor infractions during past decades? Even the few declared to have done wrong get away with a rap on the knuckles.


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