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Is Netanyahu capitulating?
By Avraham Burg
Ynet / Israel Opinion
11 June 2010,7340,L-3903240,00.html

Israel is a state that knows how to embark on war but has no idea how to return from one. Every time, we get excited by our finest men, our leadersí courage, and the spirit of our nation; yet later on, oh dear, come the screw-ups, wars among the generals, and our leadershipís helplessness.

For many years now, it appears that part of the Israeli war procedure needs to include, by law, a commission of inquiry Ė regardless of whether the war was a failure or a success story. There is a need to institutionalize and structuralize the process of drawing lessons and conclusions and not abandon it to the caprices of political populism.

Precisely because of this point of view, which seeks to institutionalize the inquiry and self-reflection, I am surprised Ė indeed, almost stunned Ė by the new model taking shape right before our eyes. A committee (of inquiry, examination Ė call it what you will) with an international aspect. At this time itís unclear whether the global presence will take the form of observers or actual committee members, but itís clear theyíll be there.

Had this happened in a remote town whose municipal government failed and can no longer function, we would call this an appointed committee, like the ones imposed on struggling Israeli communities such as the southern town of Yerucham.

Well, it turns out that Israel has turned into the worldís Yerucham. The White House is the decision-maker on building permits in Jerusalem, the US president dictates policy and decisions to the Israeli prime minister, ministers, and advisors, and now we discover that the international community appoints supervisors on its behalf to ensure that Israelís own probe into its own actions is kosher.

Beginning of dangerous process
If we take a broader look here, this may mark the beginning of a highly dangerous process of a fundamental and significant blow to the State of Israelís sovereignty. The most rightist, national, and nationalistic government that ever served here is the first in our history to start the process of dismantling the state.

If it isnít too late yet, our prime minister, ministers, and president Ė who never ceases to chatter, but is suddenly afflicted by temporary muteness Ė must stop this process.

Only one alternative is better than the rotten option currently taking shape in Netanyahuís kitchen: A wholly Israeli commission of inquiry, comprising Israelís most dignified figures, whose honesty and quality are beyond doubt in the eyes of the world.

This issue is not about Right or Left; it is not a question that should be used for political mud-slinging. This issue in fact pertains to the very basis of statehood, independence, and sovereignty. I can imagine the personal history of our top seven government ministers. I can imagine the sophisticated personal scores that each one of them takes account of, in order to ensure the others are found to be at fault. But please, this is not the way to do it; not at our expense, and not at the price of the State of Israelís dismantlement on the altar of their personal disgrace.

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