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Israel Defense Forces

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In order to play authentic religious music commemorating Bethlehem’s native son, the Amwaj Choir and Palestine Philharmonie needed a harpsichord. That search began a few years ago in Europe and culminated in Bethlehem in late October with the unveiling of a beautiful instrument.

The United Nations Human Rights Council just issued a damning report that said Israel may have committed crimes against humanity during the Great March of Return in Gaza last year. Although U.N. investigators charged Israel with far worse crimes than anything that the government of Venezuela has been accused of, the New York Times coverage of the South American nation has been considerably more extensive.

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.

“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 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.”