- Human rights organization Amnesty International on Thursday
called the Winograd Commission's final report on Israel's conduct during
the Second Lebanon War, published Wednesday, "deeply flawed,"
in its failure to address war crimes committed by Israel.
- The organization said that the report failed to investigate
government policies and military strategies that didn't discriminate between
the Lebanese civilian population and Hezbollah combatants and between civilian
property and infrastructure and military targets.
- "This was yet another missed opportunity to address
the policies and decisions behind the grave violations of international
humanitarian law , including war crimes, committed by Israeli forces,"
said Malcolm Smart, Director of Amnesty International's Middle East and
North Africa Program.
- "The indiscriminate killings of many Lebanese civilians
not involved in the hostilities and the deliberate and wanton destruction
of civilian properties and infrastructure on a massive scale were given
no more than token consideration by the commission," said Smart.
- The press release explained that that though the Winograd
inquiry committee was not vested with the powers of an official state
commission of investigation, it had the power to subpoena witnesses and
recommend the prosecution of officials it found to have been responsible
for willful or negligent criminal conduct.
- According to Amnesty International, "the [Winograd
Commission] chose to limit its work to reviewing military strategy and
political decisions...and made to effort to recommend measures for holding
those responsible for [serious violations] to account. It recommends the
development of mechanisms to ensure the effectiveness of fighting within
the framework of international humanitarian law standards [and] immediate
investigations by the army when there are concerns that international humanitarian
law was violated and better preparedness for responding to humanitarian
problems arising from military action."
- "But it essentially brushed aside available evidence
of serious violations of international law, claiming that interpretations
of international humanitarian law are controversial, that it did not have
the capacity to deal with the volume of data, that the alleged violations
were already being investigated by other bodies, and that such allegations
are used as propaganda against Israel, whereas it did scrutinize military
strategies and the conduct of certain operations in detail, including
in cases which were already being investigated separately."
- Based on its on-the-ground research and analysis of the
conduct of hostilities in 2006, Amnesty International concluded that the
Lebanese civilian population paid the heaviest price for the Israel Defense
- "Of some 1,190 people killed, the vast majority
were civilians not involved in the hostilities, among them hundreds of
children. The overwhelming majority of homes, properties and infrastructure
targeted in air strikes and artillery attacks were likewise civilian."
- "Although the Winograd Commission recommended that
the army review its policies on the use of cluster bombs to ensure that
the use of these weapons will not violate international humanitarian law
and army discipline, it did not propose any concrete measures," said
- Amnesty International called on Israel's government to
provide data on the use of cluster bombs during the Second Lebanon War,
establish an independent and impartial investigation into evidence indicating
that IDF forces committed serious violations of international human rights
and humanitarian law during the conflict, and ensure that those responsible
are brought to justice.
- Michael HOFFMAN'S AFTERWORD -
- The Talmud and halacha (rabbinic law) rule that "no
one may judge Israel." With all the perpetual hand-wringing and weeping
over the Nazi "Holocaust," Israeli war crimes are never prosecuted,
and seldom publicized or commemorated. The "Holocaust" has nothing
to do with universal human rights and everything to do with creating a
religion of Judaism for gentiles, "Holocaustianity." In the eyes
of true believers in that new religious creed, Israelis can do no wrong,
while Arabs, including Arab Christians, are always wrong. Their deaths
don't count. Their blood is cheap, like the Talmud says.