Execution of Palestinian exposes militarism and racism of Israeli culture

Israel/Palestine
on 29 Comments

It might have been a moment that jolted Israelis to their senses. Instead the video of an Israeli soldier shooting dead a young Palestinian man as he lay wounded and barely able to move has only intensified the tribal war dance of the Israeli public.

Last week, as the soldier was brought before a military court for investigation, hundreds of supporters protested outside. He enjoys vocal support too from half a dozen cabinet ministers, former army generals, rabbis and – according to opinion polls – a significant majority of the Israeli Jewish public.

It is worth reflecting on this generous act of solidarity.

It is hard to dispute the main facts. On March 24 two Palestinians – Abdel Fattah Al Sharif and Ramzi Qasrawi, both aged 21 – were shot during an attack on soldiers manning a checkpoint in the occupied city of Hebron in the West Bank.

Ten minutes later, the 19-year-old soldier at the centre of the investigation arrived. Qasrawi was dead and Al Sharif was lying in the road wounded. Other soldiers milled around, close by.

At that point, the soldier – who cannot be named because of a gag order – approached Al Sharif, aimed his gun at the young man’s head and pulled the trigger.

All of this was captured on video, as was a trail of blood that leaked from Al Sharif’s head seconds later.

This was not a killing in the fog of war; it was a cold-blooded execution. As Amnesty International noted, such an act constitutes a war crime.

And yet, for most Israelis the soldier is the victim of this story. Some 57 per cent oppose an investigation, let alone prosecuting or jailing him. Some 66 per cent describe his behaviour in positive terms, and only 20 per cent think criticism is warranted. Only a tiny 5 per cent believe the killing should be judged “murder”.

Should this video and the aftermath serve just one purpose, it is to open a window on the rotten state of the Israeli body politic.

The incontestable evidence of Al Sharif’s execution is challenging Israeli Jews to maintain the deception, among themselves and to outsiders, that the institutions of their tribal, ethnic state have any abiding commitment to universal values and human rights.

For decades Israel has trumpeted its army as uniquely “moral”. The claim was always risible. But in an era of phone cameras, hiding the systematic crimes of a belligerent occupying power has proved ever harder.

The past six months has seen a wave of desperate attacks by Palestinians – mostly improvised, using knives and cars – to end the occupation. Some 190 Palestinians have been killed in this period.

A number of the incidents have been captured on film. In a shocking proportion, Palestinians – including children – have been shot dead even when they posed no threat to Israeli soldiers or civilians. In military parlance, this is called “confirming the kill”.

The latest video is distinctive not only because the evidence is so indisputable but because it exposes Israel’s wider military culture.

When the soldier took his shot, his comrades registered not the least surprise that their prisoner had just been executed. This looked suspiciously like an event that had played out many times before: standard operating procedure.

Back in December Sweden’s foreign minister, Margot Wallstrom, spoke out against the Israeli army’s trigger-happy attitude. She was lacerated by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and barred from entering Israel.

Last week a letter from 10 US senators – written before the Hebron killing – was made public, echoing Wallstrom’s concerns. Netanyahu was again indignant, saying his soldiers were not “murderers”.

Wallstrom was concerned that, by refusing to investigate or condemn obvious examples of summary executions, Israeli officials were sending a message to their soldiers and the wider Israeli public that they condoned such acts.

It is therefore hardly surprising that most Israelis feel this soldier is being singled out. His crime was not executing a Palestinian – that happens all the time – but being caught on film doing so. That was nothing more than bad luck.

The Israeli public did not reach this conclusion by accident. They have been schooled in a tribal idea of justice from a young age. Palestinians are not viewed as fully human or deserving of rights.

That attitude has only intensified of late. Politicians from across the ideological spectrum have urged soldiers, police and armed settlers to kill any Palestinian who raises a hand against a Jew. The incitement has grown intense, and no one – from Netanyahu down – has spoken against it.

In fact, quite the reverse. The few Israeli organisations trying to protect Palestinian rights have come under concerted assault.

Breaking the Silence, a group helping Israeli soldiers turn whistle-blowers, was recently accused by the defence minister of “treason”. Israel is busy bullying and silencing the messengers, whether foreign diplomats or its own soldiers.

Netanyahu has left no doubt where his sympathies lie. Last week his office issued a press release highlighting that he had called the father of the soldier to commiserate with him.

Rabbis too are contributing to the mood music of this war dance.

As supporters feted the Hebron soldier as a hero, one of the country’s two highest religious authorities, Yitzhak Yosef, the Sephardic chief rabbi, ruled that Israel’s non-Jews – some 2 million Palestinian citizens – should either agree to become servants to Jews or face expulsion to Saudi Arabia.

Two weeks earlier he told soldiers they were under a religious obligation to kill anyone who attacked them.

Note something else revealing about the Hebron soldier. He was serving in the medical corps. Although his job was to save lives, he believed his greater duty – in the case of Palestinians – was to terminate life.

He is no aberration. The other Israeli medics at the scene – including those affiliated with, and supposedly obligated by, the code of the Red Cross – can be seen ignoring al-Sharif, despite his life-threatening wounds, and clustering instead around a lightly injured Israeli soldier. Palestinian and Jewish life are patently not equal to these medics.

Many recent videos tell a similar story. In November an Israeli ambulance drove past 13-year-old Ahmed Manasra, leaving him untreated, as he lay bleeding from a serious head wound after his involvement in a stabbing attack in occupied East Jerusalem.

And then there are Israel’s legal authorities.

Israeli media reported last week that the justice ministry had failed even to open an investigation into a policeman suspected of executing a Palestinian man following an attack last month near Tel Aviv, even though the moment was caught on camera.

In the case of the Hebron soldier, the military court is already refashioning the soldier as the victim. In imposing a gag order preventing his identification, they have suggested to ordinary Israelis he is equivalent to a rape victim.

Last week the prosecutors showed the pressure was getting to them – as it doubtless will later to the military judge – when they downgraded their accusations from murder to manslaughter. The army officer who presided over the hearing has already effectively freed the soldier, restricting him to his unit’s base.

The Israeli public understand that this soldier is being investigated for appearance’s sake, only because the evidence is there for all the world to see.

He may not be a victim, but he is a scapegoat. He acted not just on his own initiative but in accordance with values shared by his unit, by the army command, by most Israeli politicians, by many senior rabbis, and by a significant majority of the Israeli public.

We should judge him harshly, but it is time to extend that censure beyond the lone soldier.

Those who over many decades sent him and hundreds of thousands of others to enforce an illegal, belligerent occupation and taught them to view Palestinians as lesser beings are at least as guilty.

A version of this story first appeared in the National, Abu Dhabi.

About Jonathan Cook

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His new website is jonathan-cook.net.

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29 Responses

  1. MaxNarr
    April 4, 2016, 2:25 pm

    I guess this article fails to point out this man attacked a soldier with a knife. Also, it doesn’t make sense to me. Using the logic of the commenters on this website, the posters on here believe that it is fair game to attack and kill IDF soldiers in Judea and Samaria. So by that logic, why in the world is it wrong to shoot in the face a man that just stabbed a soldier? It’s not like the Palestinian terrorists are trying to nuetralize soldiers and civilians by non lethal means. No they are committing murder against Jews.

    • a blah chick
      April 4, 2016, 5:37 pm

      I know this is hard for so many of you Zionists to accept but everyone has a right to defend themselves, yes even Palestinians. The IDF wages war against these people every day and because of that they have every right to stab, beat, and shoot these thugs in green. Don’t like it, then get the hell out.

    • eljay
      April 4, 2016, 5:37 pm

      || MaxNarr: I guess this article fails to point out this man attacked a soldier with a knife. … ||

      What he attacked the soldier with is irrelevant. He should have been arrested, tried and held accountable, not executed.

      Or…wait a minute, are you suggesting that it’s perfectly acceptable for non-Jews to execute wounded Jews who are suspected of having “intent to kill”? Wow. Why do you hate Jews so much?

    • Mooser
      April 4, 2016, 6:21 pm

      soldiers in Judea and Samaria.

      Where? “Judea and Samaria”? Where the […] is that?

      • Talkback
        April 5, 2016, 8:22 am

        Mooser: “Where? “Judea and Samaria”? Where the […] is that?”

        He probably meant Bohemia and Moravia.

      • eljay
        April 5, 2016, 8:42 am

        Dunno about “Judea”, but according to Google “Samaria” is a hair salon in Texas.

    • talknic
      April 4, 2016, 7:35 pm

      @ MaxNarr April 4, 2016, 2:25 pm

      “I guess this article fails to point out this man attacked a soldier with a knife”

      Evidence? None has actually been presented

      ” the posters on here believe that it is fair game to attack and kill IDF soldiers in Judea and Samaria. “

      Armed Israeli soldiers in non-Israeli territory under Israeli occupation are legitimate military targets. BTW the area was officially renamed ‘the West Bank’ when it was under the official sovereignty of Jordan

      ” … why in the world is it wrong to shoot in the face a man that just stabbed a soldier? “

      Problem, he was dis-armed, wounded, neutralized. It’s illegal under International Law to slaughter a dis-armed, wounded, neutralized person.

      BTW it’s ‘who’ not “that”. Dehumanizing humans is so Naziesque

      ” It’s not like the Palestinian terrorists are trying to nuetralize soldiers … by non lethal means. No they are committing murder against Jews”

      Armed Israeli soldiers in non-Israeli territory under Israeli occupation are legitimate military targets

      Thanks again Max, for showing readers how supporters of illegal Israeli expansionism need to twist the facts. You’re doing a great job

      • Sibiriak
        April 4, 2016, 9:36 pm

        talknic: BTW it’s ‘who’ not “that”. Dehumanizing humans is so Naziesque
        —————

        You made some fine points on the issue, but I must point out that the relative pronoun “that” is perfectly normal and acceptable with human antecedents, and in some cases actually preferred.

        Wikipedia:

        The relative pronoun that is used with both human and non-human antecedents. Some writers and style guides recommend reserving that for non-human cases only, but this view does not reflect general use.

        Counter-examples can be found in the literature: Shakespeare (the man that hath no music in himself, in The Merchant of Venice), Mark Twain (The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg), and Ira Gershwin (The Man that Got Away); and informal English, especially speech, follows an actual practice (in using that and which) that is more natural than prescriptivist.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_relative_clauses#Human_or_non-human_antecedents

        American Heritage Dictionary

        It is entirely acceptable to write either the man that wanted to talk to you, or the man who wanted to talk to you.

        Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (p.1054)

        With personal antecedents, there is a preference for who when the relativised element is subject, as in the boy who threw the dart, and for the non-wh type elsewhere, e.g . the boy that they had found hiding in the cupboard. The non-who here avoids the choice between formal whom and informal who.

        It must be emphasised, however, that we are concerned here only with preferences: a phrase like the boy that threw the dart is certainly fully grammatical.

      • MaxNarr
        April 4, 2016, 9:53 pm

        Illegal occupation of Jewish land by Jordan. Remember, Jordan held this land in belligerent occupation before Judea and Samaria was liberated by Israel.

      • talknic
        April 4, 2016, 11:27 pm

        @ MaxNarr April 4, 2016, 9:53 pm

        “Illegal occupation of Jewish land by Jordan. “

        You’re so stupid you don’t even know what an AGREEMENT is? WOW, surely not Max!

        Israel signed an Armistice AGREEMENT with Jordan, leaving Jordan as the Occupying Power over Judea and Samaria.

        Furthermore, Jordan legally annexed at the request of the Palestinians. The annexation was as a trustee only (Session: 12-II Date: May 1950) at the demand of the other Arab states per the UN Charter Chapt XI

        Which is why, unlike the UNSC condemnation of Israel’s illegal unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem, there are no UNSC resolutions condemning the legal, bilateral Jordanian annexation of the territory.

        “before Judea and Samaria was liberated by Israel.”

        More Ziopoop. It was never Israel’s to liberate. Israel proclaimed its borders in the official Israeli Government’s plea for recognition. http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/israel/large/documents/newPDF/49.pdf

        No state has ever recognized any further territories as Israeli

        In 1967 West Bank was a part of the sovereign territory of Jordan and as such was a part of a High Contracting Power and a UN Member State. Which is why the UNSC in condemning Israel’s illegal action in non-Israeli territories, tells us GC IV applies http://wp.me/pDB7k-W8

        Go wade around in your bullsh*te somewhere else Max, you’re over your head in it and making an idiot of yourself here

      • MaxNarr
        April 5, 2016, 1:01 am

        Hi @talknic I’m on a plane right now but please bookmark this legal argument where you build up your case that Jordanian occupation and annexation of Judea and Samaria was legal. I am going to relish check mating you on this one.

      • talknic
        April 5, 2016, 9:00 am

        @ Sibiriak ” I must point out that the relative pronoun “that” is perfectly normal and acceptable with human antecedents, and in some cases actually preferred”

        I was taught in Australia in the 50’s The lesson posed a question;
        Which is correct? “the boy that sat in the rickety chair who broke was injured ” or “the boy who sat in the rickety chair that broke was injured”?

      • talknic
        April 5, 2016, 9:06 am

        @ MaxNarr

        ” I’m on a plane right now”

        Why would anyone in their right mind believe anything you say?

        ” but please bookmark this legal argument where you build up your case that Jordanian occupation and annexation of Judea and Samaria was legal”

        I gave it.

        “I am going to relish check mating you on this one”

        Sure you are Max, sure you are

      • eljay
        April 5, 2016, 9:15 am

        || MaxNarr: … I am going to relish check mating you on this one ||
        ||talknic: … Sure you are Max, sure you are ||

        I think he thinks chess is played with marbles, which is why he’s so excited. Unfortunately, he hasn’t realized yet that he’s far too many marbles short of a full bag to play it his way.

      • Mooser
        April 5, 2016, 2:02 pm

        “Illegal occupation of Jewish land”

        You can tell it’s Jewish, the hills having been regraded.

    • ritzl
      April 5, 2016, 2:46 am

      Prisoners of War: A Reference Handbook by Arnold Krammer

      Top of page 76: “…the very keystone of all previous [prisoner of war] agreements : reciprocity (Krammer’s emphasis).

      https://books.google.com/books?id=iOxW0gy-rkkC&pg=PA77&lpg=PA77&dq=execute+prisoners+of+war+reciprocity&source=bl&ots=_lKvZN3ba_&sig=DfbKdMOQ80Tv6fFIhhWnmuEX0CA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjpo8jO6fbLAhVBOiYKHbBdD-UQ6AEIIDAC#v=onepage&q=execute%20prisoners%20of%20war%20reciprocity&f=false

      There’s more on reciprocity on the next few pages. He pretty much does the math for you. You kill theirs, they kill yours. Make sure you tell the next of kin of the next Gilad Shalit that this (and apparently all similar, in NarrWorld) helpless Palestinian guy had to be executed. I’m sure they’ll understand your point completely.

      Yup. Reciprocity. Reciprocity. Reciprocity.

      Keep repeating that hollowed out mantra next time you invade Gaza and/or Lebanon.

  2. ritzl
    April 4, 2016, 2:52 pm

    Isn’t the inability or unwillingness to domestically prosecute these types of crimes one of the key criteria for compelling a trial at the ICC?

  3. eljay
    April 4, 2016, 3:02 pm

    … This was not a killing in the fog of war; it was a cold-blooded execution. As Amnesty International noted, such an act constitutes a war crime. …

    It wasn’t the first war crime committed by Israel and, sadly, it won’t be the last.

  4. Danaa
    April 4, 2016, 3:33 pm

    Jonathan Cook does not name the murderer but his name is known – and named – throughout Israel, where he is considered a “hero”. irecommend Richard Silverstein’s piece on the murder where his name – Elor Azaria – is stated along with photo of him standing next to his approving commander, Shapiro and a screen shot of a Facebook dedicated to upholding his reputation. may be a new Tzadik? after all, many in israel, consider the murder of a wounded person by a medic as a Mitzvah – a good deed. One that can surely get one to heaven.

    http://www.richardsilverstein.com/2016/03/26/breaking-identities-of-idf-soldier-who-executed-unarmed-palestinian-and-his-commanding-officer-exposed/

    I am only surprised the defense of the killer has not defended this act of mayhem and brutality as a “mercy killing”. May be that’s the role of the medic now in israel? administer to a lightly wounded Jewish soldier, no matter how thuggish, and make sure to administer the coup-de-grace to a wounded palestinian? I mean, they kill horses, don’t they?

    Also absent in this piece is the ongoing persecution of the Palestinian, Imad, who took the video and gave it to B’tzelem. The attacks on his home, his villification by a blood-thirsty israeli public and the unbelievable vitriol directed his way are by now known facts. I read he had to go into hiding but may have been arrested by now – perhaps his crime was “witnessing the morality of the israeli Army”? or “accessory-after-the-fact”? after all, why was he there? very suspicious, indeed. Why are any Palestinians at a checkpoint? I wouldn’t at all be surprised to learn later he was tortured into confessing some ill-intent or another, even as the nurderer-in-broad-daylight is walking around under light “camp arrest”.

    • gamal
      April 4, 2016, 4:37 pm

      “where his name – Elor Azaria – is stated”

      oh Azariah

      author of “Me’or ‘Eiyanim”, “The Light of the Eyes” De Rossi , now Azariah has other associations, rather than the great iconoclastic super scholar this grim little murderer, desecration is the spirit of our age.

  5. JLewisDickerson
    April 4, 2016, 3:52 pm

    RE: “Execution of Palestinian exposes militarism and racism of Israeli culture”

    AN EXCELLENT COMMENTARY BY THIS CLEAR-THINKING, PROPHETIC ISRAELI:
    “The Ultimate Trial of Israeli Society” | by Yoav Litvin | CounterPunch.org | April 1, 2016

    [EXCERPT] . . . In Israel, right-wing forces are using the recently filmed execution as an experiment. Their goal is to test the Israeli mainstream reaction when faced with an uncensored cold-blooded murder of a Palestinian. Thus, Israeli society faces a watershed in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: If this incident is to pass without a firm conviction of the soldier involved and his commanders, together with an independent inquiry into the lax rules of engagement of the IDF, a dangerous, notorious, and graphic precedent will be set. The precedent will solidify the complete dehumanization of Palestinians and pave the way for further ethnic cleansing of the West Bank and even genocide, en route toward the messianic fantasy of Greater Israel. [END]

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/04/01/the-ultimate-trial-of-israeli-society/

    P.S. Yoav Litvin is a Doctor of Psychology/ Behavioral Neuroscience who served as a paratrooper and medic in the IDF for three years. – http://act.jstreet.org/signup/nyc_043014http://act.jstreet.org/signup/nyc_043014

    • ritzl
      April 4, 2016, 6:42 pm

      Yep. And I don’t think it’s overstating much to extrapolate that caution out to the entire post-WWII body of international humanitarian law.

      If this crime-of-occupation (grain of sand in a growing beach of Israeli genocide) isn’t prosecuted then there is nothing to be, that can be, [legitimately] prosecuted anywhere.

      Because of Israel’s globally spotlighted exemption from IHL over decades now, it’s all on the line. ALL of it. This videoed occurrence of an ongoing and worsening policy is not just the stuff of “soul of Israel” type handwringing, it’s the stuff of global handwringing. Or should be anyway.

      The proverbial “straw”…

    • JLewisDickerson
      April 4, 2016, 7:59 pm

      P.P.S. HYPERLINK CORRECTED: Yoav Litvin is a Doctor of Psychology/ Behavioral Neuroscience who served as a paratrooper and medic in the IDF for three years. – http://act.jstreet.org/signup/nyc_043014

  6. Kay24
    April 4, 2016, 5:55 pm

    An article from Alternet, which also mentioned Phil and MDW. This is regarding the call for an investigation from Sen. Leahy. It seems Ben Cardin is doing some dirty work for his masters.

    “The joint condemnation was met with sharp criticism from Ben Cardin, the ranking Democratic member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a top recipient of contributions from the pro-Israel lobby. “There’s no comparison here,” Cardin told the publication Forward, according to an article published Sunday. “Israel has rule of law,” Cardin continued. “They have a system that will hold those individuals accountable… There’s no equivalency here.”

    Netanyahu lashed out last Wednesday, declaring: “The IDF and Israeli police do not engage in executions. Israel’s soldiers and police officers defend themselves and innocent civilians with the highest moral standards against bloodthirsty terrorists who come to murder them.”

    At 972 Magazine, Dahlia Scheindlin called Netanyahu’s response a “strange string of lies.” A report released by Amnesty International in February 2014 found that Israel is killing and wounding Palestinians with impunity, including children. Those findings were soon followed by Israel’s 51-day military assault on the Gaza strip, in which it killed at least 2,145 Palestinians, the vast majority civilians and at least 578 of them children.

    According to Defense for Children International – Palestine, at least 28 Palestinian children were “fatally shot by Israeli forces in 2015,” due in part to Israel’s implementation of a shoot-to-kill policy in response to rising tensions and resistance.

    Leahy also hit back against Netanyahu’s claims, arguing on Wednesday that “The Leahy Law, which has existed for nearly 20 years, applies uniformly, worldwide—no country is exempt—and it applies to specific military personnel and units, not to general security forces, when U.S. aid is involved.” He continued, “This is only fair to U.S. taxpayers, and it is necessary in upholding the rule of law that our country stands for.”

    http://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/heres-what-happens-when-us-senator-calls-israel-be-held-accountable-atrocities

    So what is the response to this vicious execution by the zionists, by the United States of America? Wouldn’t Obama and Congress have condemned it by now had the situation
    been reversed? Shouldn’t Sen. Leahy’s call for a thorough investigation into Israel’s continuous crimes be taken seriously by now? Cardin’s “Israel has a rule of law” is such a stupid statement.
    Here we see terrible killings, land theft, and a out of control occupier, and that is his idea of “rule of law”? What those shekels can do.

  7. just
    April 5, 2016, 6:24 am

    Burg:

    “The IDF: The Most Semi-moral Army in the World

    If half of the Israeli population is racist, violent, bloodthirsty, aggressive and ultra-nationalist, does that mean that half of the Israeli army is, too?

    Avraham Burg Apr 04, 2016 8:35 PM

    The lives of most human beings are full of contradictions, and that’s wonderful and enriching, as long as they are aware of that and admit it. But usually, most of them don’t invest time in thoughts and ideas, preferring to live within reassuring and comforting clichés. They feel comfortable with the headlines that define them concisely and spare them the effort needed for self criticism or, God forbid, change, moral commitment or political activism.

    That is true of the statement: “The Israel Defense Forces is the most moral army in the world.” Already at the start I would like to cast doubt on the validity of the statement. Who checked? Who participated in the inspections? What were the criteria? How many years does the study cover? And in general, who was the control group? In short, it’s simply a meaningless statement, no more than lip service. Because in their heart of hearts anyone who understands that an army is a crucial political device owes himself an accounting about the way in which his country administers this central resource of power. And we know: There is no purity of arms, but to our misfortune some of those who bear them are polluted.

    Another cliché is “The IDF is the army of the people.” Because of it there is quasi-anti-Semitic public pressure against the ultra-Orthodox to become part of the new, Israeli-Jewish people. And the very same tool is used to exclude the Arabs from the Israeli whole (since for the Jewish majority, including Deputy Minister Eli Ben Dahan of Habayit Hayehudi, only a Jew is Israeli). But alas, almost half of this nation — as has been found in all the surveys, studies, examinations and institutions — is racist, persecuted, persecuting, violent, simplistic, bloodthirsty, belligerent, aggressive and ultra-nationalist. So if half the nation is like that, does that mean that half of the army is like that too?

    And let’s say that all those people leave those opinions of theirs at the army induction base and store them at home every time they report for reserve duty. In other words, in civilian life they are Baruch Marzels, La Familia and shadows of The Shadow, but the moment they don a uniform they immediately become the most moral soldiers in the world. Because the army’s orders are something exceptionally moral. Let’s say. Immediately a new problem in logic crops up: The army is no more than the country’s weapon, and its operating system is government policy. And that, woe is me, is corrupt to the foundations.

    All of Israel’s governments are based on two foundations. One is incomparably moral, and the second is the quintessence of impurity. On the one hand — every nation (Jewish or Palestinian) that so desires has a moral right to define itself as it wishes, and therefore the demand of the Jewish people to renew its collective sovereignty is worthy and moral. But on the other hand, the road to realizing this sovereignty is paved with objectionable intentions and immoral acts, from the war crimes of 1948 (see S. Yizhar’s book “Khirbet Khizeh” and the events of Tantura, Lod and other spots), and up to the disgraceful use of the army of defense for every indecent ideological mission.

    Even if we accept another hollow cliché from the study hall of settler Zionism, that “a nation cannot be a conqueror in its own land,” and the land really does belong to the Jewish people only, it is the owner of the asset, and the only one permitted to treat it as an owner — isn’t it subject to the international laws to protect the tenant? Since when is the landlord allowed to turn his tenants into slaves? To deny their most basic rights: freedom of expression and freedom of movement, freedom of association and the right to liberation and self-determination?

    There is no moral way to explain the reality except with a somewhat more accurate statement: “Even if the Jewish people is not a conqueror in its own land, it can and does act as conqueror over its non-Jewish inhabitants, and in any case, an army that serves these deceptive goals is an army in the service of falsehood, an impure weapon sent on unacceptable missions, and activated by patently immoral leaders.”

    The finger on the IDF trigger is an immoral finger, and when it fires, the shooting is manifestly immoral. In short: The heart wants to believe that we are still merciful, and don’t do to others what was hateful to us. But the reality attests that that is not the Jewish political teaching of our time. And the conclusion: The IDF is not the most moral army in the world, and by definition cannot be. Some of its soldiers still are, and fortunately we still have the other half of the nation, which ensures that … is “the most semi-moral army in the world.””

    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.712716

    95% of Israelis approved of the massacre of Gaza and Palestine in the Summer of 2014… that’s when the bell was rung and what’s brought us to today. That’s way more than 1/2 of Israelis. The folks from Breaking the Silence may be the only ones of the IOF/IEF with an ounce of redemption left in their souls.

    (http://www.breakingthesilence.org.il/)

  8. Marnie
    April 5, 2016, 9:42 am

    “And yet, for most Israelis the soldier is the victim of this story. Some 57 per cent oppose an investigation, let alone prosecuting or jailing him. Some 66 per cent describe his behaviour in positive terms, and only 20 per cent think criticism is warranted. Only a tiny 5 per cent believe the killing should be judged “murder”. ”

    No matter what the narrative is, if an israeli Jew is involved, he or she is the victim. Always. If it is white Jew v white Jew it might get tricky and come down to sabra v olim (olim perp). If it’s askenazi v mizrakhi, askenazi is victim, mizrakhi perp. If it’s ashkenazi v ethiopian, ashkenazi is victim, ethiopian perp. If ashkenazi, mizrakhi, ethiopian, russian v Arab israeli, Arab israeli is perp. If ashkenazi, misrakhi, ethiopian, russian v Palestinian Arab – Palestinian Arab, family and friends are perps and homes will be demolished. And no one will bat an eye, except MaxxxNarrr, who’ll be apoplectic with joy.

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