The IDF likes to reverse the old saying: “Let no good deed go unpunished.” It likes to ensure that no war crime goes unrewarded. Col. Ilan Malka, who was named by the Goldstone Report as possibly responsible for two sets of war crimes during Operation Cast Lead (one of them was the murder of the al-Samouni family, resulting in the deaths of 20 civilians including women and children), just received a promotion from the IDF chief of staff. He will be the new chief of staff of the Central Command, assigned to protect settlements and provide the security necessary for expanding the settler enterprise in the West Bank. He will rise in rank from Colonel to Brigadier General.
Malka was one of only two officers who were ever investigated for their murder of civilians during the war. The worst punishment he received was to have further promotions put on hold since 2010. Now, Brig. Gen. Gantz has freed him from this military Purgatory and he can continue to work his way up the ranks to his own level of incompetence. Or should I say “competence,” since the IDF appears to view soldiers who kill civilians as being supremely competent. How else to explain this promotion?
Once the IDF saw that Judge Goldstone had emasculated his own report by disavowing major elements of it, the army realized it had nothing to fear and the investigative files against these two officers were closed last May. The only soldier who was ever disciplined was one shlump who stole a Gazan’s credit card.
There may not be justice in Israel for this general, but Turkey has just indicted most of the IDF command involved in Cast Lead. So he may still get his day in court.