Sunday, March 25, 2007

Online summaries of Lebanon War testimony in Hebrew

This must be a first of some kind. An Israel commission of inquiry that is investigating the conduct of the Second Lebanon War has created a website where it is posting summarized testimony even before it issues a report.

Here is a Ynetnews story about the website and its contents.

Winograd Commission protocols now online

Commission probing Second Lebanon War launches website, invites public to submit information that may help investigation

Aviram Zino
Published: 03.24.07, 08:55,7340,L-3380396,00.html\

The Winograd Commission, which is probing the political and military echelons' conduct during Second Lebanon War, launched a website Friday in which it published some protocols of the testimonies that will be mentioned in its interim report next month.

The site, which does not offer an English version as of yet, includes details on the five commission members and information on its activity.

Currently posted on the site are the testimonies of Vice Premier Shimon Peres, former chief of Army Intelligence Maj.-Gen. (reserve) Amos Malka and Arnon Ben-Ami, chairman of the Israel National Emergency Economic Authority.

The testimonies of the other 71 witnesses, including Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz and former Chief of Staff Dan Halutz will be published at a later date.

On its site the Winograd Commission also responds to the petition filed by Meretz Knesset Member Zahava Gal-On with the High Court of Justice, in which she demanded that all the protocols be made public.

According to the website, “Most of the testimonies included confidential or top secret information.”

“The commission does not take the importance of transparency lightly, but opening the commission’s hearings to the public would hinder its ability to do its job properly.”

The commission further mentions on the site that its conclusions will focus on the implementation of the lessons drawn from the Second Lebanon War and invites the public to submit any additional information that may help the investigation.

--posted by Joseph M. Hochstein, Tel Aviv

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