Two days ago we put up the shocking video below of the shooting of a young Palestinian woman near the illegal settlement of Ariel in occupied territories as she held a knife over her head and hesitatingly approached two helmeted soldiers.
You would think that this young woman, identified as Jamila Jabbar, posed no urgent risk as she teetered uncertainly toward two heavily-armed men, you would think there would be some way to neutralize her or disarm her without shooting her. No, one of the Israeli soldiers fired into her stomach, and she crumpled.
The video is graphic evidence of the imbalance of power in the conflict, and of the desperation Palestinians feel after nearly 50 years of occupation.
The second jolt of this video is that it has not appeared in the New York Times or for that matter in the American press. “This video must be seen. There is no propaganda possible to explain this,” says Yakov Hirsch, who first posted the video on our site. “People just need to use their eyes and figure out what they’re seeing.”
Here is appropriate treatment of the video in the Italian press. And from Gideon Levy in Haaretz, in a column titled, “I thought Israeli soldiers weren’t supposed to shoot Palestinian girls anymore.” Levy’s description of the shooting:
They are armed with rifles and are well protected; she’s a slender girl with a kitchen knife, taking hesitant steps. And in the blink of an eye one of the soldiers shoots her in the stomach. She collapses onto the sidewalk…
I’d like to know: Do you really think in this case the teenager threatened the soldiers’ lives? Was shooting her in the stomach the only way to eliminate the threat? Is it possible that two Israeli soldiers can’t subdue such a girl without shooting her? Don’t they know any other way to handle the threat of a girl younger than they, when they are two and she only one?
Levy calls on the Israeli army chief of staff to put a stop to extrajudicial executions.
If you really believe what you said, give the order and behold: These executions – and there’s no other way to describe them – will stop.
The video is further proof that on any day in Haaretz, you will read coverage of Israel and Palestine that puts the New York Times to shame, though it’s the Israeli writers’ second language. Their country is now experiencing a political crisis brought on by the Palestinian knife attacks, with establishment leaders engaged in a forum on how fascistic and dangerous is Benjamin Netanyahu.
The New York Times has published only one article with any force on these matters: an op-ed from a leading Israeli journalist stating that there might actually be a coup because military leaders regard Netanyahu as having only “belligerent” solutions to problems. Just a blip, though. The Times has all but ignored General Yair Golan’s depth-charge that the country’s political culture is reminiscent of Nazi Germany. Instead, our leading paper runs novelist Etgar Keret’s confession that he is now ambivalent about Israel because of the unending occupation. But there is little sense of urgency– and only support for the idea of a Jewish state.
You must go to the Israeli press for that urgency. Uri Avnery warns that a government-by-rightwing-religious-zealots is inviting ISIS to engulf the country, and the west is aiding this self-destructive path by putting no pressure on Israeli leaders.
Or there was this piece by Ravit Hecht in Friday’s Haaretz saying that Elor Azaria, the medic who set off this political crisis by killing an incapacitated Palestinian youth on the ground on March 24, believed that he was combating terrorism; and Azaria now wants to know where Netanyahu is to support him during a trial on manslaughter charges.
[I]t’s interesting to note Azaria’s father’s cry to the prime minister, who called him early on in the proceedings and even considered meeting him. “Where is the prime minister? Where is the whole system?” Charlie Azaria asked in court. The father is calling on the premier to act against the army, the state’s most important executive branch. This amazing fact – that the head of the state himself is invoked – characterizes Netanyahu’s rule with all its attendant dangers: The father is calling on the prime minister to sabotage the very system he is in charge of protecting.
Hecht then reminds readers that it is Netanyahu who has incited violence by warning Jews about Arab voters coming out in droves, and by claiming that Hitler got the idea of the final solution from a Palestinian.
Netanyahu is actually the revolutionary dismantling the state and its institutions. It’s the engine that helps him cling to power. All Azaria did was shoot the most dangerous element of [those who are heading to the voting booths in their droves, those who gave the Nazis the idea of exterminating Jews and are now continuing their quest. In that sense, at least, Azaria is indeed just a common soldier.
Those last lines could have been cribbed from a piece we ran about Netanyahu’s ideology. And as grateful as I am that Yakov Hirsch has kept our site abreast of this existential crisis for the Jewish state, how dismaying it is that the American mainstream has tuned out the news.