Good Day Friends,
All the talk of today centers around the damage control concerning the United Nation's Goldstone Report about the Israeli military operation titled Cast Lead in Gaza.
Today the Israeli cabinet met to discuss the possibility of establishing a commission of inquiry into Judge Goldstone's Report.
The office of the Attorney General for the State of Israel and the Foreign Ministry have come out in support of the move. They are hoping that doing such will help Israel as it faces international pressure and criticism over it's actions in Gaza.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed that if the report does reach the UN Security Council – Israel will see to it that it is vetoed.
So how does Israel deal with Goldstone report?
By establishing a commission of inquiry it gives the impression to governments that Israel is struggling against the Goldstone report and it's conclusions. But, it also shows that they are working to investigate it's claims.
All this is done in order to stop the international pressure. And by doing things this way, Israel remains in control of it's image and, more important than ever, the content of the inquiry. In so doing they aim to stifle the critics and prolong any further actions, both direct and indirect, against the State, it's politicians, and military officers.
Some critics here in Israel have pointed out that Israel is now obliged to ask the tough questions, under a kind of dishonorable pressure, and that they should have done an investigation immediately after the operation when accusations were beginning to be raised.
The Israeli Defense Force has conducted numerous reviews and inquiries into various claims of misconduct. The problem with these is that a body cannot investigate itself objectively.
So at this point Israel is solely interested in disproving the Report, and is willing to 'take a hit' on humility to do so. It is in Israel's interest to project that it has nothing to hide – even though it refused to cooperate with the UN on the investigation.
Now, any decision Israel takes, as far as it's concerned, is a choice between bad and worse. But the objective in this instance is clear: minimize the damage.
Middle East Correspondent