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Israel Wants to Change the Laws of War

The UN Human Rights Counsel endorced the Goldstone report last Friday, which alleges that war crimes were committed in Gaza last December. While the report details war crimes committed by both sides, the majority of the report focuses on the actions of the Israeli military.

It was speculated that Israel’s defense minister might recommend creating an independent panel to review the actions of the military to avoid a UN referral to the ICC, it seems like Israel is going on the offensive.

Al Jazeera reported today that Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu promised that he will block a vote on the Goldstone report if it comes to a vote in the UN General Assembly. He also said he would campaign to delegitimize the report, by lobbying other countries to reject the report. Netanyahu is also trying to garner support to change the laws of war.

Ehud Barak, Israel’s defense minister, said that changes in international humanitarian law needs to reflect the changing world situation, including a global fight against terrorism. The defense minister said that Israel’s military should have more freedom to react, without worrying about violating international laws. An Israeli official said that an independent inquiry into the war crimes allegations was not even discussed at a security cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Richard Goldstone, the South African jurist who conducted the investigation into the fighting in Gaza now finds himself under personal attack.


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