My Team Should Have Investigated Jenin

William Nash, a retired U.S. Army major general, was one of the members of the United Nations fact-finding mission assigned to investigate what happened in Jenin during the Israeli incursion into the Palestinian refugee camp last month. Unfortunately, the team never got a chance to do its work. "Israel's need for clarification turned to obstruction and then to blockage. Our mood in turn changed from bemusement to frustration to anger," Nash writes. "There was so much misinformation about our intentions, about who we were and about whether our backgrounds predisposed us to misunderstand military necessities or the tragic circumstances of urban warfare. ... It soon became clear that the Israelis were fundamentally hostile to the very concept of finding out what had happened in Jenin. ... After our fact-finding mission was finally abandoned at the beginning of this month, we sat at the airport with a feeling of overwhelming frustration. We had the leadership, the experience and the right plan. But rather than having helped in uncovering the facts that could have dampened emotions, our thwarted mission only added to the controversy."