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Israeli killer gets community service– and Ahed Tamimi gets 8 months for slapping

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Ahed Tamimi’s recent plea deal for 8 months of prison for slapping a soldier occupying her property last December coincides with yet another reduction of the sentence of Israeli medic-soldier killer Elor Azarya (now reduced to merely 9 months), a coincidence that has been hard to miss. Slapping a soldier appears to be worse than killing a Palestinian.

But there was another stark parallel, few have noticed (among them Tamara Nassar in Electronic Intifada): On Wednesday, David Muial, an Israeli who took part in a bloody lynching of Eritrean refugee Habtom Zarhum in October 2015, got a penalty of community service – not for murder, not for manslaughter – but for “abusing the helpless”, as reported by Times of Israel 

Zarhum was one of the victims of Israel’s  various ‘mistaken identity’ embarrassments.

Muial features in one of the most violent videos I have ever seen, smashing a bench against Zarhum’s head, after he is on the floor, incapacitated by a shot, and held down by another man.

The lynch mob at Beersheba central bus station had assumed that Zarhum was a Palestinian terrorist after a shooting in a bus earlier on. According to the police, the mistake was due to his ‘external appearance’ – that is, he was dark skinned.

The State Prosecution had originally pushed to convict Muial and three other lynchers for “causing injury with grave intent,” but decided to reduce to a lesser charge as part of a plea bargain, accepting his claim that he believed Zarhum was a terrorist.

Muial’s legal team said in a statement Thursday that the prosecution took into account his “sincere regret and deep pain” over the incident.

But would Muial have regretted it and felt deep pain if it was a Palestinian terrorist? Very doubtfully. The atmosphere at the Beersheba station was jubilant in the wake of the lynching. Channel 2 played an important part in that celebration. It was only shortly after that the truth began to come through – that the man who was lynched was not the man who shot.

That’s where the embarrassment and regret comes in. It’s not because you’re lynching and publicly executing an incapacitated man. It’s because it turns out he ‘didn’t deserve it’.

This is why the Azarya case is bothering so many Israelis (the majority of Israeli Jews) – because from their perspective, Azarya did no wrong in executing a suspect. From their perspective, the possibility that the suspect is not even an assailant, is not even important. These details can be worked out later, after the execution.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett suggested life in prison for Ahed Tamimi. The prosecution pushed for 10 years, and after considerable international pressure gave in to 8 months.

But David Muial is getting no prison sentence at all. He just has to be ‘rehabilitated’:

“We hope that the end of this process will help [Muial] to collect himself and move towards rehabilitation,” his legal team said.

And who will press for the rehabilitation of Israeli society?

Jonathan Ofir

Israeli musician, conductor and blogger / writer based in Denmark.

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9 Responses

  1. eljay on March 24, 2018, 3:42 pm

    There is nothing just or moral about supremacism or a supremacist state. Not only are Jewish supremacists (Zionists) hateful and immoral people but – like all supremacists – they are hypocrites for advocating and defending their preferred brand of evil while condemning similar evil committed against members of their collective.

    • Mooser on March 24, 2018, 6:58 pm

      “Terrorist attack in Beersheva this evening.
      My family and I are ok, thank God. I also asked all the kids in my class to check in and they all reported that they’re ok, although some sound shaken.”

      “Jon s” October 18th at 4:59pm

    • Misterioso on March 26, 2018, 10:43 am

      Haaretz and Reuters, Mar. 23, 2018

      “U.K. Rips Into Israel Over Palestinian Teen Tamimi: ‘Conviction Is Emblematic of the Conflict’

      “British Foreign office urges Israel to improve conditions for Palestinian minors.”

      “The British Foreign office has weighed in on the plea deal reached between the Israeli army and Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi, saying the conviction and sentence were ’emblematic of how the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict is blighting lives of a new generation.’ They also called on Israel to improve its treatment of Palestinian minors in Israeli military prisons, urging local authorities to do more to ‘safeguard vulnerable people in its care.’ Tamimi reached a plea bargain with military prosecution on Wednesday, according to which she is to be sentenced to eight months in prison.”

      • oldgeezer on March 26, 2018, 1:20 pm

        Not much of a rip.

  2. Kay24 on March 24, 2018, 7:33 pm

    And they deny they are an apartheid country. One rule for the chosen ones, and one rule for the occupied ones.

  3. JosephA on March 24, 2018, 9:57 pm

    These types of articles, about racist injustice in Israel (unequal treatment under the law, based upon religion or heritage) are no longer surprising to me. Thank you for bringing the comparison to light. Of course, murder is not equivalent to a slap, at least it isn’t in most first world countries!

    Morally, Israel is a third world country.

    • gamal on March 24, 2018, 10:42 pm

      “Morally, Israel is a third world country”

      is that because they’re black?

  4. andrew r on March 25, 2018, 4:27 pm

    The fact that the court accepted the lyncher’s defense that he mistook the victim for a “terrorist” only reminds me Zionism with its “Jewish” state is hostile to non-Jewish civilians. This ideology oozes down from the founders of the movement to its lowliest rank and file, absolving them of responsibility for the conflict they chose by pursuing a state for their “chosen” people.

  5. genesto on March 26, 2018, 1:56 pm

    Yes, but I’m sure Muial is going to be a much better person following his community service!

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