Israel shouldn’t be allowed to whitewash the killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh with one more sham ‘investigation’.
The one doable response to the hasty offer Israeli Overseas Minister Yair Lapid made to the Palestinians to conduct “a joint pathological investigation” into the killing of famend Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh might be rage.
Such “investigations” carried out by Israel serve to not uncover the reality however to bury it, to not set up accountability however to protect impunity, to not indict the perpetrators however to guard them.
That the supply for a “joint investigation” into the killing of Abu Akleh got here instantly from Overseas Minister Lapid – and was later repeated by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett – speaks to the magnitude of Israel’s concern concerning the public relations disaster it’s now dealing with. Such affords for “investigation” and “evaluation” are usually left to lower-ranking officers in Israel’s whitewash equipment.
Certainly, Israel solely engages in such high-level whitewash if it believes the killing of a Palestinian can harm the nation’s picture. In any other case, it doesn’t even trouble with such empty gestures.
B’Tselem tried in good religion to have interaction Israel’s home investigation mechanisms for many years. Through the years, now we have made tons of of functions to related authorities for circumstances of Palestinians killed by Israeli safety forces to be investigated, however significant accountability was by no means realised. Six years in the past, we concluded that what we have been coping with isn’t merely a dysfunctional investigation mechanism however an organised, systemic whitewash operation. In consequence, we made the choice to proceed our work on such killings – however with out ever participating in Israel’s so-called “investigations”.
Israel’s investigation mechanism is clearly a charade. Even when an investigation into the killing of a Palestinian by the hands of Israeli forces is opened, it nearly by no means conclude with somebody being charged. The complete mechanism is a charade as a result of its flaws are, in reality, its important options – those that allow it to ship impunity. To start with, the military is tasked with investigating itself. Troopers are usually interviewed with out being challenged, nearly no effort is made to gather exterior proof, and “investigations” are drawn out for years. On prime of all this, even the sham described above is directed solely at low-ranking troopers – those that make the insurance policies that allow troopers to tug the set off on Palestinians by no means face any scrutiny. All this, regardless of in lots of circumstances fatalities being prompted not due to any deviations from the insurance policies of the Israeli army however the prison insurance policies themselves.
Take, for instance, the circumstances of Israeli snipers taking pictures at unarmed Palestinians on the Gaza fence in the course of the Nice March of Return demonstrations. Israel carried out “investigations” into sure particular circumstances of taking pictures by snipers. However nobody investigated – and nobody in Israel will – the foundations of engagement themselves.
Israel’s army advocate normal – the exact same particular person accountable for Israel’s army investigations – is tasked with giving the inexperienced mild for such insurance policies. Thus, clearly, no person is being held to account for giving snipers these flagrantly unlawful orders.
Israel wants impunity to keep up its apartheid regime. It can’t preserve management over a subjugated inhabitants with out state violence. Thus it’s important for the regime to offer itself with blanket impunity – whereas performing what appears to be like like investigations, to appease worldwide expectations.
Impunity paves the best way for extra killings. Don’t fall for Israel’s propaganda, its guarantees to “examine”. Israel won’t maintain itself to account, similar to its apartheid regime received’t dismantle itself. Worldwide stakeholders who don’t name this out merely solid themselves as a cog in Israel’s whitewashing machine. The grotesque US strain on Palestinians to simply accept a “joint” investigation and the statement by US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides vaguely “encouraging” an investigation, solely demonstrates the extent to which the Biden administration continues to function such a cog.
Shireen Abu Akleh as soon as mentioned whereas it “may not be straightforward to alter actuality”, she might not less than convey “the voice of the folks to the world”. To maintain that voice alive, to honour her legacy and to demand justice, please: Say no to Israeli propaganda, view actuality with readability, and exhibit to Israel that the time of accountability has lastly – even when belatedly – arrived.
The views expressed on this article are the writer’s personal and don’t essentially replicate Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.