IDF Officers Believe Cast Lead ‘War Criminal List” Leaked Internally
The IDF magazine, Bamachaneh confirmed today that the list of IDF officers who served in Cast Lead and allegedly committed war crimes, was leaked through an army source. This contradicts attempts by Israel apologists to rebut the charges and information contained in the list by saying some of those listed didn’t serve in that Operation.
The army’s department of information security is now exploring how such a leak could have occurred but has very few leads. Some IDF elements are attempting to argue that much of the information was secured through social networking sites and internet forums. While others believe the leak is internal to Tzahal:
It could be anything [or anyone]. We’re talking about details which are difficult to secure, with numerous [security] obstacles placed in one’s path. We can’t determine whether the adjutant corps or another party that might have access to the details.
Bamachaneh’s review of the names indicates that the lion’s share (20%) of those exposed serve in the elite paratroopers unit. Givati and Golani follow just behind. Most of the Dirty 200 serve in either the infantry or armored units. 85% of the list are officers, most of those, lower-ranking. A very small number of those named are women (seven). The article notes that this is the first time that lower-level officers are named as war criminals, thus indicating the battle in the international arena is becoming more comprehensive.
IDF military prosecutor Mark Perry went so far as to say:
It’s not yet to the point that a soldier going into battle needs a lawyer next to him, but perhaps the telephone number of one will suffice. Every soldier must know that he is likely to be called to give evidence. I don’t see any reason that anyone will be charged with a crime, but if someone is called in for an investigation it’s a good idea to have an attorney.
Israel’s Justice Ministry released a statement confirming that the IDF operates according to international law and did so during Cast Lead:
The publication of the names of those who supposedly committed war crimes during their service in Operation Cast Lead is a perverse act by those who do not have the good of the State of Israel at heart, but rather seek to damage the good name of Israel, its army and soldiers. The publication of the name of an officer and soldier does not constitute a legitimate basis for filing a legal action in a foreign court. The Justice Ministry and military prosecutor will follow such legal proceedings brought against those act on behalf of the nation in its war against terror organizations and will take the necessary steps to the extent they are necessary.
Lt. Col. Shuki Ribak said that while the leak of the names doesn’t trouble him personally:
What does bother me is the fact that the source of the leak comes from the army [itself]. Clearly, this comes from an internal source. It even includes the name of someone who served in Cast Lead only in the role of a substitute [officer]. It’s not pleasant to have to explain to your son why you appear in a list of war criminals. But I have no worries about traveling abroad.
I should add that Israeli newspapers collude or at least acquiescse in an IDF demand that they not picture veteran officers of Cast Lead for fear of just the sort of legal campaign outlined in the Bamachaneh story. That is why his image is pixellated above. If a reader can find a clear image of him or anyone featured in the Bemachaneh article, please let me know.
Another officer said that he was worried about travel abroad but at peace with what he did [during the war]:
It angers me but there’s nothing to be done [about it]. It’s something you just have to accept [as the price you pay]. The State sent me to protect the residents of southern Israel and I don’t regret that.
A junior officer whose name was revealed said:
Deep inside I worry whether this will have a harmful impact in the future for example during a travel tour or work interview.
The IDF is warning its soldiers not to publicize their private information at social networking sites. It seems that this is yet another constraint placed upon the lives of Israeli soldiers; yet another price they pay, albeit small, for participating in morally tainted acts on behalf of their country.
With every new revelation like the Dirty 200 list, the moral noose is tightened that much more around those who engaged in misdeeds during Cast Lead. The shroud of impunity is lifting every so gradually. The notion of accountability is affirmed in an ever-stronger fashion. This is a battle of inches on behalf of international law and Israeli responsibility. Gradually and eventually every Israeli soldier will realize the price they are paying for their nation’s futile, failed folly in pursuing all-out war against Palestinian civilians in Gaza during Cast Lead and the inevitable next war as well.
The notion of Israeli immunity from judgment is cracking ever so slowly like the shards of an ancient mirror. Eventually, anyone who looks into the mirror will see the distorted fragmented version of their own self-image mutilated by this disintegration. Let anyone placed in such a position take notice. There is a way to face justice and do the right thing. Tell your superior officer that you will serve to defend Israel but not project its aggressive policies onto defenseless Palestinian civilians in Gaza or elsewhere beyond Israel’s borders. Yes, the IDF makes servuvniks pay a high price for their refusal, but what is the alternative? To face justice in a foreign land for a crime you committed on behalf of a depraved policy advanced by your own government, its politicians and generals? What kind of devil’s bargain is this?
And the fact that such a list was leaked from within the IDF indicates a further erosion of that self-confidence, even hubris for which the officer corps is known. When the guy standing next to you could be the very one “ratting you out” to the world, it kinda puts a damper on things.
4 thoughts on “IDF Officers Believe Cast Lead ‘War Criminal List” Leaked Internally – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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i know most of your readers cant read hebrew…but you can
and the article confirms nothing…it says that some in the military believe the leak came internally…it does not confirm that allegation
i know that turkey makes one sleepy…but come on richard…if you are going to post a report, translate it correctly.
Not quite, it quotes a Lt. Col. who served in Cast Lead & ASSUMES that the leak was internal & provides convincing proof for his belief. Or did you miss that part? And are you placing yrself & yr ‘knowledge’ above his? For me, this is confirmation enough of the fact. If it’s not good enough for you why don’t you find a high ranking officer who has some theory for the leak you find more convenient that isn’t as embarrassing to the IDF. Until then, I’ll be content with my characterization of the article.
The report confirms that this senior IDF officer & others within the IDF believe the leak was internal. Translation accurate. As usual your shot falls wide of the mark. You remind me of my 9 yr old who barraged me with snowballs during our latest snowstorm here in Seattle today. His shots too, generally fell pretty wide of the mark. But at least he has the excuse of being only 9. What’s yours?
YOu’re also wrong about my readers. I’m ranked about 7,000 in Israel by Alexa and have a great many Hebrew speaking readers. At any given moment, anywhere from 5-25% of my readers are from Israel depending on how relevant my current posts are to internal Israeli political developments. Not “most” readers perhaps. But a significant number nonetheless.
I can tell the Army’s Department of Information Security people what the source of the leaks was 100%: karma. It’s SO annoying, isn’t it?? But, in all honesty, of course the leak was internal. They are trying to allude to other possible sources, but there is no way in hell I am going to believe that an entire army could engage in an Operation like that without someone needing a psychologist and much more after. You likely needed one before if you’re even capable. Doing the actual deed is something else on its own.
And I suppose if you can’t bear to have your young son’s scrupulous morals weighing down on you like you’re a sack of excrement, then maybe you shouldn’t engage in acts that go definitively beyond defense and the realm of what is legal.
Depleted uranium, in and of itself, without regards to anything else that was used in Cast Lead, is dispositive evidence that Israel had highly illegal intentions and engaged in similar behavior as a result. Can you imagine being at a job interview and something like that comes up? At least you can tell your interviewer you’re in a list of other important people, like Stalin, Saddam Hussein, et. al. The bullet points would read like a UN resolution on the resume, and wow, what a cover letter!
Thanks for an excellent post. I didn’t realize at first it was Ba-Mahane! Wow, the publishers of the “dirty 200” list couldn’t have asked for better publicity. What idiots the IDF are sometimes. Well, most of the time.
As to your moral dilemma posed to IDF soldiers: the problem is that most soldiers and officers still think (or convince themselves) that the policies are justified – or at least, that Israel is the good and the Arabs bad. Believe me, when most soldiers think the policies are corrupt and immoral, the thing will tumble down like a house of cards.
What the accountability pressure *can* do, is gradually, as you say, eat away at this wall of brainwash.