Israeli intellectuals seek inquiry into war in Gaza Strip

Morning Star Online,July 23, 2009

Prominent Israeli intellectuals have signed a petition calling on Tel Aviv to launch an independent probe into last winter’s brutal Gaza offensive.

The signatories included authors David Grossman and Amos Oz, the organisation Rabbis for Human Rights as well as former Meretz party MP Yossi Sarid and 25 academics, actors, musicians and public figures.

It reads: “We, citizens of the state of Israel, whose army is the IDF, demand to know the truth regarding the fighting carried out in our names, our money and at the price of danger to the lives of our loved ones.”

The petition follows the publication last week of statements from 30 Israeli soldiers who took part in Operation Cast Lead.

The soldiers confirmed that the Israeli Defence Force had a “shoot first” policy, used white phosphorus smoke bombs in built-up residential areas and forced Palestinian civilians to act as “human shields.”

The petition noted that the testimonies made the Israeli military’s official stance, that it is the “most moral army in the world,” appear “detached from reality.”

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