Recently, I wrote a post about two Palestinian teenagers murdered (Hebrew) by the IDF near Tulkarem. I said in my post that the IDF story that they were killed as they threw fire bombs at an IDF security post made little or no sense. Now, Gideon Levy not only confirms this, he adds an even more damning charge that the boys were executed by the Haredi IDF unit.
He writes in Haaretz that the four boys who began the walk from their home village to the security tower to protest the death of a Palestinian prisoner were visible from the tower over a mile away. He notes that at no point did the soldiers attempt to stop the boys as they made their way, as they could easily have done. Levy adds that the firebombs never posed any threat to the outpost nor its occupants.
The soldiers essentially waited in ambush for the teenagers. They killed one boy immediately. Then, after the others fled unarmed, the assassins pursued one boy who ran into a leather factory. There they shot him in the back at close range, execution-style.
Levy says that the IDF will never identify the murderers, nor will they ever be punished. In fact, it’s much more likely they’ll be promoted, where they can execute this policy of willful murder on an even broader basis.
There may be commenters who attempt to argue that fire bombers deserve the death penalty. So I’ll note that even in the trigger-happy IDF it’s against regulations to use live fire in such a situation, let alone shoot an unarmed boy in cold blood.
Israeli media coverage noted that the IDF unit which executed these children is composed of Haredim. This means that not only are they ultra-Orthodox, but they are much more likely than the average soldier to be from settlements and/or embrace the extreme ultranationalist attitudes of this community. In other words, while any soldier might’ve possessed the racist, homicidal views necessary to perpetrate such cold-blooded murder, Haredi soldiers would be more likely to do so.
It’s also ironic that one of the major issues facing the current government is how to increase the number of Haredim serving in the IDF. We can certainly expect many more such episodes if Haredim begin serving in larger numbers instead of shirking service as many do now with a yeshiva deferral.
Once again, one of the IDF’s finest hours and truly representative of “the most moral army in the world” as liberal Zionists would have you believe.
A final bit of context for Levy’s column: it is titled “Every Soldier Has a Name.” This refers ironically to the fact that the murderers of Amer Nassar and Naji Bailbisi do not have names. Further, the title is also an echo of the Israeli poet Zelda’s poem, Every Man Has a Name. This powerful spiritual message declares that every human life has a meaning and purpose; and that it is our responsibility to discover what those are for each of us. In that sense, Levy’s headline is an even more damning indictment of the murders since he’s saying both the IDF and the killers are concealing their crimes behind anonymity and impunity. Thus they are refusing to accept responsibility for their acts, nor are they grappling with their destiny or fate as Zelda demands. This is an even harsher betrayal of the message of the poem.