In an interview with a right-wing Israeli newspaper, Elor Azaria, said he had “no remorse whatsoever” for killing an incapacitated Palestinian in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron in 2016. One might say that Azaria is simply a bad apple and does not reflect the behavior or attitudes of Israeli occupying soldiers. The problem is, there are many documented videos of Israeli forces behaving in such a callous way, with overwhelming support from the Israeli public.
Category Archives: Elor Azaria
“I’m glad it’s over”, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, as Elor Azarya, the soldier-medic who shot the incapacitated Palestinian suspect Abdel Fatah Al Sharif, returned home from his prison term served for ‘manslaughter’, after merely 9 months. Azarya was greeted like a real hero when arriving home, with Israeli flags and signs saying “It’s so good to have you home, the soldier of us all,” and “Welcome home, Elor the hero.”
Israeli justice is defined by two events on Monday: the military parole board further reduced Elor Azarya’s prison sentence for killing an incapacitated Palestininian suspect, and a military appeals court rejected Ahed Tamimi’s appeal for an open trial on charges of slapping an Israeli soldier occupying her home.
The Israeli paper Maariv has reported that President Reuven Rivlin might grant a pardon to Elor Azarya, the soldier-medic who shot and killed an incapacitated Palestinian at point-blank range in March 2016, despite having refused to do so last month.
55 Israeli lawmakers including the Prime Minister and several ministers have petitioned the President Reuven Rivlin to reconsider his refusal to pardon the soldier-medic-killer Elor Azarya. Azarya is likely to get out of prison next spring, but he is so popular in Israel these lawmakers don’t want him to spend the winter in prison.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin plays bad cop to Defense Minister Lieberman’s good cop. Rivlin refused to pardon former soldier-medic Elor Azarya in the Hebron execution of March 2016. Azarya’s sentence has already been cut so he will likely get out of prison next spring. Lieberman called on Rivlin to “mend the tears in society and the effect of the event and the trial upon IDF soldiers and the youth awaiting draft.”
IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot has cut Elor Azarya’s 18 month sentence by 4 months
In a recent video, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu slammed the new Hamas charter saying, “[Hamas] brainwashes kids inside suicide camps,” before throwing the document in a trash can. But Jonathan Ofir asks – what about the ways Israeli institutions are brainwashing children to hate Palestinians?
Over the weekend, an Israeli activist campaigning to pardon a soldier who shot and killed a wounded Palestinian in Hebron last year, held a costume contest for children dressed as the soldier for the Jewish holiday of Purim.
Last week, Israeli medic-soldier Elor Azarya was given an excessively lenient sentence of 1.5 years in prison for killing Abdel Fattah Al Sharif in Hebron. The military court based its conclusion in part on Azarya’s “positive personality and his being a normative person”. Yet this was the same person who wrote “kill them all” on social media as Israel considered a ceasefire with Hamas during the 2014 Gaza onslaught. This may seem to be a contradiction, but Jonathan Ofir writes the Azarya case cannot be seen as disconnected from the overall genocidal vein within Israeli society that he and his actions represent.
How did Elor Azarya’s case, shooting a Palestinian dead as he lay incapacitated in the street, drop down from murder to 1.5 years prison?
An Israeli court on Tuesday sentenced Elor Azaria to 18 months in prison, one-year probation and a demotion of his military rank, a month after the Israeli soldier was found guilty of manslaughter. Azaria shot and killed Abd al-Fattah al-Sharif in March after al-Sharif had already been shot and injured following an alleged attempted stabbing attack in Hebron. The main evidence in the case was footage caught on camera by Imad Abu Shamsiya, a Palestinian resident of Hebron who tells Mondoweiss, “There is no justice for the family. They lost a member of their family in a very brutal way, this 18-month sentence is not justice for the family, for the Palestinian people or our nation — no one got justice from this.”
Benjamin Netanyahu claims Palestinians celebrate murderers and Israel does not, but grocery bag glorifying Elor Azarya proves he’s wrong.
Israeli police and authorities have rushed to produce a ‘terrorist’ narrative of an official killing; but autopsy indicates the Israeli teacher Yacoub Abu Al-Qia’an was executed at Umm al-Hiran village last week and left bleeding for twenty minutes when there were medical vehicles at hand.
Based on the responses he has received it is clear that Jonathan Ofir’s latest article questioning the whole label of “terror” touched a raw nerve with Israelis and Israel supporters. Ofir says: The question is, what is that nerve really? And why is it so offensive?
The United Kingdom has Brexit. The United States, an incoming president Trump. And Israel now has Elor Azaria. It may not have the same ring, but ultimately the turning point could prove as decisive. Jonathan Cook writes, “The soldier’s trial, far from proof of the rule of law, was the last gasp of a dying order.”
Emad Abu Shamsiyah first started receiving death threats in March, after a video he filmed for Israeli rights group B’Tselem, which captured Israeli soldier Elor Azaria shooting dead Abed al-Fattah al-Sharif, 21, was released to the public. Now, the manslaughter ruling against Azaria has translated into anger among Israeli settlers and Shamsiyah cannot walk the streets of his neighborhood without fearing for his life. “It was already bad before, but after the court ruling, all these threats started to come in through my Facebook, telling me I will die and that people want to murder me,” Shamsiyah tells Mondoweiss.
Yoav Litvin writes: The Elor Azaria case was the ultimate trial of Israeli society. A disastrous precedent has now been set: cold-blooded murder of Palestinians has been officially sanctioned by the Israeli mainstream and the political class, and the perceived rule of law severely undermined.
Yonah Jeremy Bob writes in the Jerusalem Post: “At the ICC, Hebron shooter Elor Azaria’s manslaughter conviction may affirm the credibility of Israel’s apparatus for prosecuting its own soldiers. This is important because it is the decisive issue affecting whether the ICC will dive deeper into the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.”
Yesterday’s Israeli military court ruling which found Sgt. Elor Azaria guilty of manslaughter in the killing of Abed al-Fattah al-Sharif has revealed long-simmering fissures in Israeli society that, according to experts, point to a growing anti-democratic trend in the country and reinforce the lack of accountability for Palestinians within the Israeli justice system.
Sgt Azaria is convicted of manslaughter. Human rights organization B’Tselem says Palestinians are killed all the time by Israeli security forces and there is no accountability.
Netanyahu’s most impressive achievement is that he has associated his politics and even himself personally with sacred Jewish history and its hallowed lessons. That is why Jimmy Carter and now John Kerry must be vilified for pointing out the apartheid treatment of Palestinians. Netanyahu’s sacred construction is about to crash to the ground. Jeffrey Goldberg has already jumped ship.
The real struggle in Israeli leadership is not Netanyahu cowering before settlers, but who can control a sacred ethnocentric discourse of Jewish persecution and innocence in the face of alleged Palestinian Jew-hatred. Jeffrey Goldberg has propagated that discourse in the U.S. The inevitable conviction of army medic Elor Azaria on manslaughter charges next month represents a crisis for that discourse at last.
Why do media bystanders shut their mouths when they see critics of Israel smeared as “diseased” anti-Semites. Because of hasbara culture, a Jewish-Zionist ethnocentric way of looking at the world that is both aggressive and highly politicized.
Warnings of a civil war among Jews in Israel reflect the divide over the manslaughter trial of Elor Azaria, with Israeli generals determined to prosecute the medic. The generals want Benjamin Netanyahu gone; and a comment by Jeffrey Goldberg indicates that the Prime Minister may have lost an important American ally.