After Israeli soldier is convicted of manslaughter, Times and Post portray case as isolated incident

US Politics

Update: Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has called for a pardon of the Israeli medic who was convicted of manslaughter today in the killing of an incapacitated Palestinian, a story that is generating headlines around the world. Haaretz translates Netanyahu’s statement in part:

“This is a difficult and painful day for all of us – and first and foremost for Elor [Azaria] and his family, for IDF soldiers, for many soldiers and for the parents of our soldiers, and me among them…. We have one army, which is the basis of our existence. The soldiers of the IDF are our sons and daughters, and they need to remain above dispute.”

Netanyahu reportedly does not have the power to pardon; though President Reuven Rivlin does.

Original post: 

Sgt. Elor Azaria was convicted today by a military court in Jaffa of manslaughter for the execution of Abdel Fatah al-Sharif as he lay incapacitated in the street in Hebron last March, and there were immediate calls from Israeli political leaders and the public for the 20-year-old soldier to be pardoned. The story was the lead on BBC, and the New York Times and Washington Post also promptly put up the news.

B’Tselem, the human rights organization whose video unleashed the investigation, said the case was the rare exception in which an Israeli soldier was held accountable for a human rights atrocity. There is “routine whitewashing of cases in which security forces kill or injure Palestinians with no accountability,” it said.

Amnesty International reached the same conclusion: The conviction “offers a small glimmer of hope” that others will face accountability “amid the rampant impunity for unlawful killings in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

Israeli Jews are not of that opinion. Haaretz reports calls by Israeli lawmakers for a pardon of the killer. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman termed the verdict harsh, but sought to defuse angry protest. Culture Minister Miri Regev said she’d lead a campaign for his pardon. The BBC quoted two ordinary Israelis today saying that Azaria is a “hero.” One said he was protecting women and children in Hebron, and it is a “scandal” that he is not being supported.

Here’s the original video, shot in Hebron by B’Tselem researcher Imad Abu Shamsiyah, last March 24:

Both the Times and Washington Post stories ignored the human rights groups saying how exceptional this case is and portray the killing an aberration inside the occupation. Ruth Eglash in the Post does not quote any Palestinian on the case. Isabel Kershner in the Times only quoted one at the very end of her story. After the impact of the decision on Israeli Jews has been analyzed every which way, as an afterthought the New York Times gives the Palestinians a single comment.

Ahmad Tibi, an Arab member of the Israeli Parliament, said in a Twitter post that dozens of soldiers and commanders who killed Palestinians should have been convicted. “Fifty years of occupation add up to much more than one Azaria,” Mr. Tibi wrote.

Remember that the victim in this case was a Palestinian in occupied territory. Imagine covering a lynching in the South and leaving the comments of blacks to the very end. This was always a story about occupied Palestine. Ma’an news has a crucial angle the Times and Post ignores:

Emad Abu Shamsiyya, a Palestinian activist who filmed the point-blankshooting of Abd al-Fatah al-Sharif by an Israeli soldier in Hebron last March said he “feared for his life” after the Israeli soldier was found guilty of manslaughter for the killing Wednesday.

Eglash in the Washington Post covered the widespread support for Azaria in the second paragraph of her story:

As the verdict was read, violence broke out among several hundred right-wing protesters who had gathered outside the military court in Tel Aviv to show support for the 20-year-old soldier, Sgt. Elor Azaria.

Kershner downplayed and rationalized the support for Azaria.

Many in Israel, a country where military service is a part of national identity, called for backing up young soldiers sent on dangerous missions. They said that Sergeant Azaria had been in an impossible situation and that the deck had been stacked against him, since an acquittal would have put his commanders in a bad light. . .

Appealing to public sentiment in a country blighted by wars and terrorism, and where most Jewish 18-year-olds are conscripted for up to 32 months of military service, his supporters portrayed him as “everybody’s child.”

Kershner must know that to be true; at least one of her sons has served in the Israeli Defense Forces.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman tried to tamp down the outrage over the verdict:

“This is a harsh verdict,” Liberman said, ”The first thing I ask is for everyone — those who like the judgment more, and those like me who like the verdict much less — we are all committed to respect the legal decision and to exercise restraint despite the harsh verdict”.

Liberman promised that the defense apparatus would help the soldier and his family in every way possible. “I call on public figures to stop attacking the defense system, the army, and the Chief of Staff. The calls that I heard in last half hour are fundamentally wrong. The Chief of Staff is the commander of the army, day and night, 24 hours a day, seven days a week”.

Arutz Sheva reports that Culture Minister Miri Regev says the verdict tells people that soldiers are “alone in the field.”

“I intend to act for granting amnesty to the soldier Elor Azariya. This is no way to treat one of our soldiers. It was a trial that never should have started. An incident that took place in combat where a terrorist was killed by a soldier should not be judged as a criminal act. If Elor Azariya violated procedures, he should have been called before a disciplinary hearing with the commander of the brigade.

“Unfortunately, the main court in this case was a field court, where commentators and politicians judged Elor before the military investigation of the incident ended. This conduct transmits the message to soldiers who enlist in the army: you are alone in the field. The soldiers have complex challenges in carrying out their operations. A move was committed here that abandons a soldier. I want to strengthen Elor and his family who are experiencing hard times.”

More from Amnesty International:

“Today’s conviction of a member of the Israeli forces is a rare occurrence in a country with a long record of using excessive and unwarranted force, and where soldiers who may have committed crimes under international law very seldom face prosecution,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

Mainstream American readers are sure to be surprised by the viciousness on the part of Israeli society in its fond support of a killer who shot a man lying wounded on the ground, after he had allegedly attacked an occupying soldier with a knife. The mainstream has long kept this face of Israel hidden from Americans. Maybe we will finally see the unvarnished views of rightwing Israelis?

Yakov Hirsch predicted this verdict and the split in Israeli political culture long ago.

About James North and Philip Weiss

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39 Responses

  1. Kay24
    January 4, 2017, 11:07 am

    This man will most probably (with support from Israeli leaders and public) get off very soon, and his sentence commuted, before he is back with his buddies on the streets. He went against the rules of his own military outfit, and viciously killed a “suspect” who was lying injured on the ground, and no threat to anyone around. The charges were of a lesser kind, and he would not have been taken to court had some smart person taken a video of a brutal assassination, by a soldier wearing the uniform of his country, and taking the law into his hands, while his fellow soldiers do NOTHING. Perhaps they have seen this brutality many times before.

  2. just
    January 4, 2017, 12:09 pm

    From Peter Beaumont:

    “Elor Azaria: the Israeli soldier who exposed the country’s faultlines

    The case of the ‘Hebron shooter’ who killed a wounded Palestinian attacker has elicited both sympathy and condemnation

    …His supporters relentlessly played up the image of Azaria, who was often pictured in court with his mother’s arms around him, not just as a son but as a young and immature soldier who could have been any Israeli’s child.

    It was a representation rejected by the Israeli army’s chief of staff, Gadi Eisenkot, speaking at a conference the day before the verdict.

    “An 18-year-old man serving in the army is not ‘everyone’s child’,” Eisenkot commented sharply. “He is a fighter, a soldier, who must dedicate his life to carry out the tasks we give him. We cannot be confused about this.”

    The three-judge military panel also rejected the idea. “One cannot use this type of force, even if we’re talking about an enemy’s life,” said the presiding judge Maya Heller, reiterating a key principle of human rights law in conflict.

    Instead, the judgment made clear Azaria was a serial liar who changed his stories about the circumstances of the killing on multiple occasions. His defence team – as the judges pointed out – were little better in arranging their case.

    So confident were they that he would be viewed as the victim, they did not even bother squaring the many glaring and impossible contradictions in their defence, which were pulled apart in the judgment. …

    Human rights groups were quick to point out that the focus on Azaria masked a wider problem of impunity.

    Welcoming the verdict, Sari Bashi, the Israel advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, said: “Today’s conviction is a positive step toward reining in excessive use of force by Israeli soldiers against Palestinians.”

    Amnesty said the conviction offered “a glimmer of hope that soldiers who commit unlawful killings may no longer go unpunished”.

    But despite the conviction, other questions have not been addressed: why, for instance, was no medical aid given to the badly wounded Abdel Fattal al-Sharif?

    Indeed, why did no medical personnel approach the wounded and incapacitated Sharif apart from Azaria, a military medic, whose duty should have been to deliver aid but who instead had in mind to kill him?”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/04/elor-azaria-israeli-soldier-exposed-faultlines

    Thanks to Beaumont for his last paragraph and burning question…

    Here’s more:

    “…As the verdict was read out, Azaria’s mother shouted at the panel of judges: “You should be ashamed of yourselves.” Other members of Azaria’s family clapped as the decision was delivered, shouting: “Our hero!”

    Outside the court there were clashes between Azaria’s supporters – some notorious fans of Beitar football club – and the police. Some supporters chanted death threats against the Israeli army chief, Gadi Eizenkot, insinuating he would face the same fate as Yitzhak Rabin, the former prime minister killed 20 years ago by an ultranationalist Israeli.

    Sharif’s father welcomed the verdict. “For me, a just verdict will be one that is similar to the verdicts our sons (in Israeli prisons) get,” Yusri al-Sharif said. “[A] life sentence … But Israel is trying its own son, so there is a possibility it will be lenient.”…”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/04/israeli-soldier-guilty-manslaughter-shooting-palestinian-elor-azaria-abdel-fattah-al-sharif

    Sadly, yet predictably, executed Palestinian Abd al-Fatah al-Sharif is still referred to as a “terrorist” in the coverage that I have read.

    All I know is that one IOF “serial liar” and cold- blooded executioner was finally ‘convicted’ and that there are many in Israel that are angry and threatening at even this small measure of justice.

    Too bad US papers/media are still peddling lies and bs.

  3. DaBakr
    January 4, 2017, 12:31 pm

    oh wow. YH must be a psychic. Such a hard prediction to imagine a split reaction to the killing of somebody who was more then just “alleged” to have carried out an attempted murder of another israeli soldier MW, pw, and (((()))) can downplay that all they want to their peanut gallery but the facts are that had the palestinian not tried to knife an israeli he wouldn’t have been lying on the ground.
    Personally, I don’t see this verdict setting any precedents and as with most trials surrounded by the hysterical and rabid foreign press-it will be blown up until its over engorged and then burst into shreds of nothing. I think he may absolutely be guilty of conduct (manslaughter)unbefitting an idf soldier. And YH-it has nothing to do with your grand theory of Israeli culture. Take the same incident in the US and have a local policeman shooting a terror suspect (e.g. -somebody who just shot up a marine recruiting station) dead you will definitely have a large portion of americans supporting law enforcement.

    And of course it is no surprise that in phils mind this incident is foolishly comparable to a pre-70s era lynching of an american black a la ‘strange fruit’ style. This case is so far from a typical southern US lynching its ridiculous. He is always stretching credulity to try and make a point.

    As a counterpoint-were the four palestinians who killed, chopped up, sexually mutilated and/or eviscerated an israeli soldier they captured and then threw his remains out a second story window punished? Were palestinians by and large supportive or were they split on the ‘heroic’ nature of that act where they displayed their blood soaked palms to the world to see. did they name a plaza . playground or park after him? get real. is there bad blood? there is bad blood and YH-the rules of poker don’t really apply . predicting the israeli public will be split is about as skilled as predicting the democrats in the Us will try and stymie trump in his first year in office

    and @k
    i agree-the man who filmed this incident-while not capturing what led up to it was right in filming it and turning it over at risk to his own personal well being. it matters not wether he is arab or jew. this is one video that has proven to not be susceptible to manipulation, editing and or alternative explanations. it is what it is. it proves only that some israelis treat (or approve of) those who kill their incapacitated enemies as ‘heroes’ while others do not. Not very different then palestinians who treat the murderers of sleeping 13yr old girls or make jokes about 2 parents shot in their car with their baby children watching in the back seat as ‘martyrs’ while others thought it horrendous.

    • eljay
      January 4, 2017, 3:20 pm

      || @kr: … the facts are that had the palestinian not tried to knife an israeli he wouldn’t have been lying on the ground. … ||

      The problem isn’t the wounded and incapacitated Palestinian lying on the ground – the problem is the deliberate, cold-blooded murder of that wounded and incapacitated Palestinian by a Zionist military goon.

      You appear to be saying that if a non-Jewish soldier wounds and incapacitates a Jewish attacker, the non-Jewish soldier is entitled to summarily execute the Jewish attacker. I don’t agree with that. But it does make me wonder why you hate Jews so much.

      • Mooser
        January 4, 2017, 5:49 pm

        “eljay”, you will have to excuse “dabakr”. When you belong to the most populous people on earth, a people no one else has ever hurt, and who has always run things, well, you get a little insular, a little self centered.
        It might be different if anybody had ever hurt us and we knew what it is like.

      • eljay
        January 4, 2017, 6:39 pm

        || Mooser: “eljay”, you will have to excuse “dabakr”. When you belong to the most populous people on earth, a people no one else has ever hurt, and who has always run things, well, you get a little insular, a little self centered.
        It might be different if anybody had ever hurt us and we knew what it is like. ||

        I wonder whether Zionists:
        – are truly incapable of comprehending how undermining international law and human rights and the protections they are meant to afford all people could impact all Jewish people; or
        – simply don’t give a f*ck about undermining international law and human rights and the protections they are meant to afford all people because they believe…
           i) that Captain Israel and the “Jewish State” will protect them; and/or
           ii) they have amassed sufficient Jewish cannon fodder to bear the full brunt of blowback.

      • Mooser
        January 4, 2017, 7:31 pm

        “I wonder whether Zionists:”

        Can count? No, I don’t think they can.

      • RoHa
        January 4, 2017, 8:09 pm

        But, Mooser, aren’t Zionists the only people who do count?

      • oldgeezer
        January 5, 2017, 12:00 am

        @eljay

        Bakr also assumes that because he was on the ground he must have deserved to have been shot in the first place.

        Bakr assumes that the idf wouldnt just shoot a Palestinian without cause. Bakr assumes that despite the numerous cases where Palestinians have indeed been shot without cause.

        Bakr makes the same assumption, and mistake wrt to the use of the word alleged. Alleged is indeed appropriate as no trial was ever held.

        The trial wasn’t held duebto the criminal actions of a lying cowardly murderous medic.

        A lying cowardly murderous medic who is loved and praised by the GoI and the right wing pond scum that support them.

      • eljay
        January 5, 2017, 8:43 am

        || oldgeezer @ January 5, 2017, 12:00 am ||

        TheBaker assumes because he is a Zionist hypocrite who believes that Jews are entitled to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them.

      • Mooser
        January 5, 2017, 4:56 pm

        “TheBaker assumes because he is a Zionist hypocrite who believes that Jews are entitled to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them.”

        Yup. Like I said, the poor hoodnik can’t count.

    • Boo
      January 5, 2017, 10:39 am

      May your every night’s dreams be haunted by the ghosts of Palestinians with their brains splattered on the ground, and Gazan babies torn limb from limb in their beds in the middle of the night by US weapons fired from Israeli drones. And may you join the murderers for whom you’re an apologist — in Sheol.

    • just
      January 5, 2017, 1:45 pm

      “And of course it is no surprise that in phils mind this incident is foolishly comparable to a pre-70s era lynching of an american black a la ‘strange fruit’ style. This case is so far from a typical southern US lynching its ridiculous. He is always stretching credulity to try and make a point.”

      Seems that you always miss the point and then compound your error. There is a difference~ this is your norm and is sanctioned by the GoI, your ‘leaders’, and a disgustingly high percentage of your electorate. You made him your ‘hero’ and claim him as your ‘child’~ one of your ‘sons and daughters’, too. That you dismiss this horrific execution (and all the other executions over the many decades by ALL of your armed and racist thugs) speaks volumes about your wickedness and the degree of brainwashing that you refuse to abandon. Tell me please, how are the optics of this executioner Azaria working out for you?

      Kate posted this today~ read it, if you dare:

      “Analysis: Hebron shooter Elor Azaria is indeed the norm / Amira Hass Haaretz 5 Jan — Over the past year and a half, dozens of Palestinian men, women and children have been killed, even though they could have been overpowered while they were still alive. The difference between them and Azaria is that he was videotaped — There’s one thing on which Palestinians agree with Elor Azaria and his supporters: that he wasn’t the only one, he just had the bad luck to be videotaped without his knowledge. …” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2017/01/verdict-international-criminal/#sthash.bJ4Ss0zK.dpuf

      For your listening pleasure:

    • Misterioso
      January 5, 2017, 4:26 pm

      DaBakr

      Conspicuous by its absence is any reference whatsoever in your comment to the important fact that Israel is belligerently, illegally and brutally occupying East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

      A film produced by a group of Australian journalists has sparked an international outcry against Israel after it explicitly detailed Tel Aviv’s use of torture against Palestinian children.
      The film, titled ‘Stone Cold Justice’ documents how Palestinian children, who have been arrested and detained by Israeli forces, are subjected to physical abuse, torture and forced into false confessions and pushed into gathering intelligence on Palestinian activists.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uDPeeD_RPk
      Precarious Childhood: Arrests of Jerusalemite Children
      This film addresses the process of arrest, interrogation, and the policy of house arrest and their effects on children. The film provides accounts of children who were arrested in order to highlight a larger policy of persecution and targeting of Palestinian children in Jerusalem.

  4. just
    January 4, 2017, 12:49 pm

    Gideon Levy:

    “… Take a good look at the trial of soldier Elor Azaria: That’s what death throes look like. That’s what the death throes of good government and the last spasms of a healthy society look like. That’s what the façade of equality before the law —(what would have happened had Azaria been Palestinian?) — looks like when most of the masks have already been torn off, including the cloak of shame. That’s what a democracy looks like when it thought it could continue to exist undisturbed even as a brutal military tyranny existed in its backyard. That’s what an occupation army looks like when it still insists on a few religious rituals of law and values.

    It’s all racing in the same direction, and the runaway gallop has spurred a last-ditch effort to wrap it in a guise of fairness, in the form of the Azaria trial or the evacuation of the Amona outpost, for instance. When Moshe Ya’alon and Gadi Eisenkot, two military commanders responsible for war crimes and occupation, have become the guardians of law and morality in Israel, the situation is beyond despair.

    It’s worth taking a good look at them: Soon they, too, will no longer be here. Their places will be taken by people who are even worse. Yesterday, the masses threatened: “Gadi, Gadi, beware, Rabin is looking for a companion.”

    Perhaps we’ll yet miss Eisenkot. It’s hard to believe, but he too, is already an endangered species. Even television anchor Dany Cushmaro was a target for the rabble yesterday. How ridiculous.

    In court, a military judge read out a detailed, reasoned verdict, self-evident and unavoidable, and it was completely disconnected from what was happening outside. Inside the courthouse, the defendant was greeted with applause, while the broadcasters vied with each other over who could show more compassion and empathy for him (for what, exactly?). And outside, hundreds of demonstrators were threatening to storm the court, the army and the media, as the politicians’ chorus of incitement egged them on.

    The ministers of culture, education and the interior are already pardoning Azaria. Zionist Union MK Shelly Yacimovich (!) has already joined them. Norms are being inverted one after the other: A person convicted of manslaughter is a hero; the chief of staff of the occupation army is a teacher of morality; cabinet ministers are subverting the justice system and the military. And the opposition is nonexistent.

    What a long road Israel has traveled since the pardon granted to Azaria’s predecessors, the perpetrators of the Bus 300 attack, back in 1984 when two Palestinians who had hijacked a bus, were captured alive by the Shin Bet security service, and later put to death. At least they didn’t become heroes. Perhaps they even felt a moment of shame over their actions.

    It’s been 13 years since the last time an Israel Defense Forces soldier was convicted of committing manslaughter during operational activity, and that time, it was a Bedouin soldier, who spent six years in prison solely due to international pressure (he killed a British photographer). Operations Cast Lead and Protective Edge in Gaza, with their hundreds of unnecessary dead, ended without any convictions. Executions of girls with scissors and boys with knives also went by without anyone being put on trial, on Eisenkot’s watch.

    “Are there judges in IDF headquarters?” Virtually none. Azaria wasn’t the first executioner, and he also won’t be the last.

    It’s good that he was convicted. If he is given a fitting sentence, perhaps this will prevent a few other criminal killings. But there’s nothing to get excited about. The cameras of B’Tselem — that organization of traitors and liars — forced the IDF to put him on trial. The evidence compelled the court…

    And this was the swan song. There will be no more Azaria trials. The politicians and the masses won’t let it happen.

    The root of it all is hatred of Arabs. Azaria is virtually a national hero for one reason only: He killed an Arab (the lines between Arabs and terrorists are blurred in Israel). He did what many people would have wanted to do themselves and what many more think he should have done.

    This was a murder born of pity: the self-pity of the occupier over the bitterness of his fate. How wretched is the soldier Azaria, who was forced to stand at a checkpoint in Hebron. How wretched are his commanders, who sent him there. How wretched is Israel, which is forced to erect checkpoints in the very heart of a Palestinian city and strangle its residents. But for this, nobody has been put on trial.

    Azaria is neither a hero nor a victim. He’s a criminal. But above him are even bigger criminals.”

    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.763045

    • Rob Roy
      January 4, 2017, 9:51 pm

      Well said, just. I’ve been watching the JBS TV station here lately and realize there is no hope whatsoever for Israelis to understand their crimes. On this station, only Jews talk with other Jews. Period. A Palestinian “side” is NEVER heard. An interviewer may ask a decent question such as something about the illegal occupation, but the answer is always diversion, as are all explanations for the crimes perpetuated on Palestinians in the Palestinians’ own land. There have been comments here stating that the Palestinian who was shot dead when he was on the ground had tried to attack the soldier with a knife. When I hear that story and the story of “he threw rocks” I don’t take it as the truth. I personally witnessed an IDF soldier shoot dead a Palestinian and THEN take a knife out of the soldier’s own clothing and place it beside the body. The story that there has been an attempt on a soldier’s life with a knife is one you should never believe outright and never without proof. One settler in the middle of a Palestinian city said a five year old threw a stone at him. The crying child was torn away from his parents, arrested and abused for three hours. No point in telling a Jew events like these…he/she will always come back with a story that puts the Arabs in a bad light. ISRAELIS ARE NEVER WRONG. The only way this rouge immoral state will be stopped is with the rest of the world absolutely stopping them, trying them for war crimes, jailing the criminals…that’s Netanyahu, etc. and making them serve long, long sentences. And giving the Palestinians back their property. If the Palestinians want to share their country, they can, and I suspect they will. How do I know this? Unlike the Israelis, I actually talk to Palestinians.

      • echinococcus
        January 5, 2017, 2:12 am

        Rob,

        there is no hope whatsoever for Israelis to understand their crimes

        If that ain’t the first truth to write under the gate, to be read by anyone dreaming of any concessions by Zionists. Not “Israelis”, all Zionists everywhere. They have stopped raising their poor kids in the normal world, for the last 2-3 generations now.

      • Misterioso
        January 5, 2017, 4:29 pm

        Ever faster and deeper, Israel is descending into the abyss of fascism.
        It could only be thus.

    • ritzl
      January 5, 2017, 2:25 am

      Thanks just.

  5. Eva Smagacz
    January 4, 2017, 1:10 pm

    I cannot comprehend why he was found to be guilty of “manslaughter”, and not of murder.
    What were the mitigating circumstances to reduce the charge??!!

    • John O
      January 4, 2017, 1:47 pm

      The “mitigating circumstances” were that, if the original charge of murder had remained the basis of the prosecution, there would have been no trial at all.

      • Eva Smagacz
        January 4, 2017, 2:11 pm

        Sorry John, I don’t understand – could you explain, please?

      • John O
        January 4, 2017, 5:10 pm

        @Eva

        Azaria was originally charged with murder. There was an outcry in Israel, just as there is now that he has been found guilty of the lesser charge. I suspect that, had the original charge been allowed to stand, the will of the mob would have wrecked the judicial process altogether.

  6. just
    January 4, 2017, 1:27 pm

    “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that he supports pardoning Elor Azaria, the soldier convicted earlier in the day of shooting dead a prone Palestinian assailant in Hebron last year.

    In a short statement released by the prime minister, he said that: “This is a difficult and painful day for all of us – and first and formost for Elor and his family, for IDF soldiers, for many soldiers and for the parents of our soldiers, and me among them.”

    Netanyahu called on the public to react with responsibility to the IDF, its officers and the chief of staff. “We have one army, which is the basis of our existence. The soldiers of the IDF are our sons and daughters, and they need to remain above dispute.”…”

    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.763054?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    “We have one army, which is the basis of our existence.”

    There you have it!

    “The soldiers of the IDF are our sons and daughters, and they need to remain above dispute.”

    Once more, for good measure and in case you didn’t get it!

    Not one itsy- bitsy word of condolence/apology to the family of the brutally executed Palestinian. Not a whisper… perish the thought!

    • just
      January 4, 2017, 1:56 pm

      “Soccer Hooligans in Suits: Israel’s Ruling Party More Dangerous Than pro-Azaria Mob

      Outside the Defense Ministry compound at the Kirya in Tel Aviv, the hooligans – several hundred far-right activists, people from the racist Lehava organization and La Familia supporters of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team – let loose. They beat journalists, blocked roads, cursed the judges and the army, and sang to the IDF chief of staff: “Gadi, Gadi, watch out, Rabin is looking for company.”

      These thugs were reined in and arrested by the police. They can be contained. The more dangerous behavior, and greater danger to Israel’s democracy, took place inside the Knesset, in the halls of government and on Twitter. The ruling party, which long ago shed any pretense of statesmanship, looked in large part like the parliamentary arm of Lehava and La Familia. The riled-up mob spit at and hit people, while the politicians in their suits and ties incited and poured fuel on the fire. …”

      http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.763031

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.763031

    • Mooser
      January 4, 2017, 2:03 pm

      .“We have one army, which is the basis of our existence. The soldiers of the IDF are our sons and daughters, and they need to remain above dispute.”

      ROTFL. Sounds very Wiemar!

      • echinococcus
        January 5, 2017, 3:07 am

        Weimar? It sounds past that by years. Already the bunker in Berchtesgaden.

      • Mooser
        January 5, 2017, 3:05 pm

        During the Wiemar period, the German Army General Staff was at pains to make the Army appear to be a national German institution, not aligned with political parties. In reality, the Army had made it’s choice long ago, it supported the Right. And ended up supporting you-know-who.

        “Above the dispute”? Doesn’t the IDF enforce the illegal occupation?

      • echinococcus
        January 6, 2017, 12:34 am

        Mooser,

        Not only the invasion and occupation of Palestine, but also the dispossession and genocide of its owners are definitely above any inner-Zionist dispute. A Weimar comparison never applied to the Zionist entity.

    • Maghlawatan
      January 4, 2017, 9:57 pm

      The Israeli Army leadership know how dangerous the Azaria sympathy mob is. The only reason this went to court was the video and the story is toxic. Jews with guns lynching goys is not good TV and terrible PR. Kershner gives good hasbara headlines and will always oblige but the one bad apple approach won’t work. 40% of Israeli Jews are nuts and this sector will keep on killing Palestinians extrajudicially. Israel is not house trained. Israel is far less civilised compared even to 20 years ago.

  7. AddictionMyth
    January 4, 2017, 2:09 pm

    It would be like Trump pardoning Dylan Storm Roof. It’s the same thing and people will very soon start to see it. Americans are generally unforgiving of police shooting unarmed black people. That includes Trump himself! (He expressed sympathy for the victims in a ham-fisted attempt to woo Bernie/BLM supporters.)

    Having said that, both boys are products of their societies. The reckoning is nigh.

  8. RoHa
    January 4, 2017, 7:10 pm

    Psst! You’re slipping, Phil. Should say “NYT and Washington Post” in the headline.

  9. Maghlawatan
    January 4, 2017, 10:04 pm

    The NYT pass is the equivalent of bad parenting. Indulging Israel with favourable media coverage, nukes, UN vetoes etc has not helped Israel. It has developed a monster. Behind all US Jewish support for Judistan is the assurance that Jews wouldn’t do that. And Israeli Jews would. And then some.

    Part of this is class driven. Most US Jews are middle class and educated. US Jews assume Israeli Jews are too. And they aren’t. Israeli Jewish society is more ignorant, more violent and more working class.

  10. Maghlawatan
    January 4, 2017, 10:10 pm

    Poor Elor Azaria. Probably sephardi. Brainwashed. Poorly educated. From a violent town which was ethnically cleansed in 1948, Ramleh. With his made up Zionist name. Even if he is pardoned he is a loser. Family may have been Iraqi or Yemeni. Grandparents or great grandparents were sold promises of milk and honey. Reality fell short.

  11. ritzl
    January 5, 2017, 2:16 am

    The enforcement mechanism outside the courts for quelling this behavior is reciprocity. With its attitude on this the Israeli mob/body politic is screaming “It’s perfectly acceptable (i.e. we grant you the right) to execute us as prisoners.” How much more barbaric/ISIS can you get?

    What a country. What gifts it brings to the world.

  12. italian ex-pat
    January 5, 2017, 9:00 am

    I don’t know why, but this whole trial smells fishy to me. We know that, had the incident not been captured on camera and gone viral, the world would have never heard about it. But since it was, and the shooter clearly identified, what choice did the Israeli government really have?
    It HAD to show they are impartial in carrying out justice, whether the victim is Jewish or Arab.
    By prosecuting this ONE soldier, they are telling us that this happens every time a Palestinian is murdered even when injured and posing no danger to the shooter. Ha!

    I’ve also been re-watching the original video several times, I wish I could see it in slow motion. It’s only natural that watching it for the first time the viewer’s attention is drawn to the body on the ground and the actual shooting moment. But if you can take your eyes away from that and focus on the back of the scene, you can see Azaria stepping into the camera’s frame after the first ambulance takes off, walking over to another soldier who I can only guess is his superior, there’s a brief exchange between the two, actually the second soldier seems to be handing something to Azaria or perhaps releasing the weapon safety, immediately after which Azaria cocks the gun – you can hear the click – and proceeds to shoot the still alive man on the ground. While it was clearly obvious to his buddy what he was about to do, he makes no move to stop him. In fact, I think he might have given him the ok, if not actually the order..

    I’ve always wondered, was Azaria made to take the fall and protect his superior, if that’s who he was? That would explain the murder charge being downgraded, and Azaria’s probable pardon or extremely light sentence. Stay tuned.

    • John O
      January 5, 2017, 12:25 pm

      As Kate reports in her latest round-up of events, Israel’s desire not to be hauled before the International Criminal Court must be a strong incentive to have Azaria properly tried and sentenced, After all, he’s only a pawn in their game.

  13. Ossinev
    January 5, 2017, 1:25 pm

    @Italian ex-pat.
    I too have tried to find specific reasons as to why the charge was downgraded from murder to manslaughter and have read somewhere that it was due to the perception that he” would not remain a threat to potentially kill others”.

    This by any stretch of the imagination is absurd. It is the equivalent of saying that the murderer despite his act of premeditated murder , his subsequent lies and his general demeanour throughout has effectively self rehabilitated even before the trial and verdict.

    As has been regularly pointed out in this forum these Zioloons inhabit a parallel world when it comes to universally accepted norms of justice and equality before the law and yet continue relentlessly with their victimhood whining and about having the most moral army and being the only democracy in a sea of tyranny and what about such and such a neighbouringcountry etc etc yawn yawn crap crap.

    Same old script , same old play – only the actors are changing and very much for the worse.

    Imagine the same criteria being applied to Nazi war criminals !

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