Israel says it will refuse entry to United Nations human rights investigators who seek to probe war crimes committed in the latest 51-day military assault on the besieged city of Gaza.
The UN Human Rights Council has approved the inquiry into "all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem al-Quds and the Gaza Strip in the context of military operations conducted since mid June," focusing on the actions of Israel. Twenty-nine nations voted in favor of the investigation, with the United States issuing the sole "no" vote as usual.
As it stands, Israel and the US are still able to show the world they are an exception to international law when it comes to getting away with murder, occupation, torture, war crimes, and human rights violations. They are also able to snub the rights council's commission, and even condemn its previous inquiries, including the Goldstone Report, as a "kangaroo court." But they cannot hide from the fact that they have their limits when it comes to “dealing” with the resistance.
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu agrees: "There were many failures, failures in identifying the threat, failures in preparing to meet the threat, failures in the management of the war, and failures in the management of the home front."
The truth is that much of the world also agrees, mainly now that Tel Aviv has pulled out its troops from the Gaza border. In private, not only Israeli leaders, political analysts and army generals, but Western officials AND Israeli/Western media also acknowledge that Hamas was the undisputed winner of this war.
Israeli daily Ha'aretz couldn’t put it better: "Chutzpah (overconfidence) has its limits. You cannot lead an entire nation to war promising victory, produce humiliating defeats, and remain in power. You cannot bury Israelis in cemeteries, keep a million Israelis in shelters, wear down deterrent power, and then say, oops, I made a mistake."
No doubt Netanyahu lost the war and no doubt Israel’s “invincible” army is history. The US is a loser too, as it knew Tel Aviv had plans to attack Gaza. And it approved, cheering Netanyahu on, refusing to rein in attacks on civilian targets, sending more hi-tech weapons and munitions and using its influence at the Security Council to block an early ceasefire. The same goes to the Israeli lobby in Washington, as its stranglehold is being challenged as never before.
It is true that the rights council has disappointed everyone. But its inquiry is still a blow to Israel and its lobby. Starting from now, they will not have the chutzpah to keep their grip on occupied Palestine, and they will not be able to crush the new Palestinian uprising while the council looks the other way.
The new developments in occupied territories is a sign that Palestinians have been inspired by the undisputed victory of Hamas in Gaza: They are stepping up their campaign for freedom and self-determination, because like their brothers in Gaza, they have also come to the conclusion that Israeli chutzpah has its limits.