Saturday, June 20, 2015

Accountability: where does the buck stop?

Haaretz has this fascinating article on a current Israeli controversy: where does the buck stop in assigning accountability? It begins:
Israel's fight against the upcoming UN Human Rights Council report, and claims from other international organizations about harming Palestinian civilians during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza is not the real story. It’s only a front. 
Forget the international arena. The fiercest battle is an internal one. It’s the Israel Defense Forces against the Shin Bet security service and those above it (in the government). When suspicions of war crimes abound, what is the practical significance in the chain of command? Where does the buck stop? Who are the responsible ones that are liable to be arrested should they set foot in a foreign airport?
It's a complicated tale, with a long history. The article is worth reading, including its discussion of the U.S.'s brand-new Law of War Manual.

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