by Lital Shemesh
While the U.K. routinely criticizes the morality of the Israel Defense Forces and continues to fund countless organizations that condemn Israel, its own soldiers and government are allegedly covering up potential war crimes.
This story never made the headlines in Israel, but it has sent shock waves throughout Britain: Members of the British army's elite Special Air Service are suspected of murdering in cold blood no fewer than 52 unarmed Afghani citizens. According to the allegations, soldiers from the unit murdered civilians during raids on their homes and then planted weapons at the scene to make it look like they were Taliban insurgents.
The charges include evidence tampering, cuffing and hooding innocent civilians and falsifying mission reports. The Times reported that soldiers adopted a "shoot-to-kill" policy and in many cases relied on flawed intelligence. The classified investigation by Britain's Royal Military Police has been underway for two years and, until now, the British government has tried to conceal the details of the investigation from the general public both domestically and abroad.
This is one of the country's biggest investigations, but the British Defense Ministry ordered RMP officers to conclude the investigation by this summer. So the detectives, who had been looking into 52 alleged killings, are now investigating only one incident from 2011. How convenient. A military source told The Times that the Defense Ministry wanted to "avoid any of the detail of the accusations getting into the press and thereby undermining, in their view, national security, public trust [and] work with allies."
So while the U.K. routinely criticizes the morality of the Israel Defense Forces and continues to fund countless organizations that condemn Israel, its own soldiers and government are allegedly covering up potential war crimes. According to a report by NGO Monitor, over the past four years, the British government has directly and indirectly transferred more than 2 million shekels to the NGO Gisha, which works to advance Palestinian rights. The head of Gisha recently participated in a BDS conference at the United Nations.
The report also reveals that over the last three years, 2 million shekels have been directly transferred by the British embassy to an NGO named Terrestrial Jerusalem, which works to "identify and track the full spectrum of developments in Jerusalem." Millions of shekels were also transferred to NGOs Yesh Din, Breaking the Silence and Zochrot.
In addition to this carnival of funds, the British government also sends money to the Norwegian Refugee Council, which seeks to influence Israeli policy and circumvent democratic mechanisms in Israel. Some of the organizations participating in these subversive efforts against Israel also publicly call to intensify the boycotts against the Jewish state.
It is important to stress that the IDF is expected to investigate all violations and operate in accordance with the laws of war and its own ethical code. But it stands to reason that if the kind of conduct that is currently being investigated in Britain were to be discovered here in Israel, it would not be tolerated and certainly wouldn't be swept elegantly under the rug by the military or the state. By all means then, tell us more about the morally superior country that spearheads the majority of lawsuits against IDF soldiers and spends millions on anti-Israel organizations. Behold the worst type of hypocrisy.
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