The Israeli incursion into the Gaza Strip produced various allegations of human rights abuses on the part of the IDF and naturally there are counter-allegations against Hamas. The UN Human Rights Council decided, sensibly, to do an investigation into these allegations. And they decided, cleverly, to ask South African judge Richard Goldstone to head it up. Goldstone is highly credible, widely respected, an expert on international humanitarian law. And he’s Jewish, so it would be hard to label any criticisms he might make of Israeli conduct as motivated by antisemitism.
Unfortunately, Mark Goldberg reports that Israel has decided not to cooperate with the investigation.
I think this is a serious mistake. As Mark says, it’s only going to lead outside observers to the conclusion that Israel feels it has something to hide. The IDF leadership and Israeli politicians have loudly proclaimed that IDF conduct was of sterling-pure morality. But in the real world, the way you know an organization takes an issue seriously is that they make a serious effort at monitoring. If the IDF were really “the most moral in the world” it would be eager to participate in this sort of exercise, not just to clear its name but because the way you achieve moral conduct is precisely by rigorously investigating allegations of misconduct. By trying to shout down or block out efforts to inquiry, all the Israeli government is doing is signaling both to outsiders and to insiders that they don’t genuinely take these concerns seriously.