BREAKING: IDF Soldier Who Executed Unarmed Palestinian, and His Battalion Commander–Exposed
.החייל שירה בפצוע הפלסטיני בחברון הוא אלאור אזריה מרמלה והמפקד שלו–סגן אלוף דוד שפירא
UPDATE: French media report that Elor Azarya is a dual French-Israeli citizen. Interesting to note that Gilad Shalit is as well.
Yesterday two Palestinian youths attempted to stab an IDF soldier (this account is in Hebrew with some English added) in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron. The soldier was lightly wounded and treated at the scene. The two Palestinians were each wounded, one mortally. They both lay on the ground, without moving. Both were unarmed. The Palestinian who’d been wounded, Abd al-Fatah a-Sharif, lay on the ground near a group of settlers and soldiers. One of the settlers said to the soldiers: “This asshole here is still breathing.”
It goes without saying that a security gag order prohibits Israeli media from reporting the identities of the killer and his commander, which I will do below. I could not have reported this story or learned much of this information without the invaluable aid of many Israelis, who may not be named in order to protect them from the ravages of the national security state.
An IDF soldier who was a medic in the unit and who had treated the wounded soldier, asked permission from his commanding officer to “finish off” the wounded Palestinian. Apparently the commander approved. The soldier walked to within six feet of the wounded Palestinian cocked his rifle and shot him. This practice is often called ‘confirming the kill’ in the IDF. Palestinian girls as young as 12 years-old have been executed in this fashion before. Last week, Bassam Massalha, after being wounded, was executed as video filmed his murder. In one of the earliest of such incidents in Jerusalem in 2002, the police commander, Mickey Levy, ordered one of his officers to execute a Palestinian, who had been captured and disarmed before he could detonate his suicide vest.
Mickey Levy is now a deputy minister and key member of the center-right Yesh Atid party. An Israeli security institute hosted a screening of the film, Wounded Land, about a meeting between a suicide bomber and the families of his victims at the hospital where both were brought after the attack. Levy appears to have forgotten his sordid past when he told the film audience this entirely mendacious version of the Jerusalem attack in which ordered a summary execution:
“Every time I hear that a terrorist has been “neutralized” I laugh. Because you can neutralize the danger, but never the terrorist. When there is intent to injure and the danger is imminent, you certainly may shoot to kill. But once the danger is past, the situation changes.”
Levy then raises this same 2002 incident. But he makes dramatic changes in the actual story which flatter him and deface the truth. He says that when he arrived on the scene there was a terrorist who had a suicide vest still strapped to his body with the button to activate it visible. But he was in handcuffs and on his knees and a soldier stood over his body. No suicide bomber would ever be in handcuffs while still strapped to his vest. The Palestinian attempted to roll onto his belly in order to activate the bomb. Levy supposedly then asked the sapper whether he could disable the bomb. His officer told him he couldn’t because the terrorist was moving. He then ordered another soldier to kill the terrorist with two bullets to the head.
These pictures of the same incident should refresh Levy and expose the lies he told his all to gullible audience. They show the alleged attacker arrested with no suicide vest in sight. There are policemen milling about and no one appears threatened by the possibility of a bomb exploding.
Many Palestinians are similarly executed by Israeli security forces, but few in as blatant a situation is these in broad daylight and on camera.
Back in Hebron, when the shooter returned to his commanding officer, he went through the formal rituals of confirming the use of his weapon and that was the end of it, they expected. Instead, a Palestinian activist had videotaped the entire incident. He gave the video to the Israeli human rights NGO, B’Tselem, which subsequently circulated the video far and wide, after submitting it to the military censor. (If anyone has access to the uncensored version, please be in touch.) It’s been reported by media outlets around the world, including the BBC and many others.
The videographer, Imad Abu Shamsiyah, is in hiding. Settlers surrounded his home, stoned it, and shouted: “Death to Imad.” Neither Israeli soldiers nor police intervened.
The IDF, as a result of the bad publicity, arrested the soldier. Lt Col Peter Lerner confirmed that the soldier killed the Palestinian, and that his commanding officer apparently approved the killing. However, there is no word that the commanding officer himself has been arrested or detained.
Astonishingly, the IDF has all of a sudden developed a moral conscience, decrying the soldier’s act. Claims gave been made that he shot the victim on his own initiative. If you didn’t know better you’d think this sort of thing had never happened in the IDF before.
Israeli Jews are in an uproar over the incident, not because they decry it, but because they consider Azarya a hero. Indeed, there is a separate video shot just after Azarya murders a-Sharif in which Kahanist former MK Baruch Marzel walks up to the killer and proudly shakes his hand.
The City of Beit Shemesh is organizing an official municipal protest in defense of Azarya. A post to this effect graces the city website. It features his picture and full name, in direct violation of security gag orders. The text reads: “Beit Shemesh demonstrates support for the freeing of the Hero of Israel, IDF soldier Elor Azarya.” Since the announcement remains accessible at the site, clearly the security forces and IDF have refused to enforce the gag in this case, while the media still honors it. A most peculiar situation.
It should be noted that Beit Shemesh is the home of one of Israel’s noted Islamopobe bloggers, David Lange; and also the home of the Jewish Taliban, a sect which forces its women to wear Jewish versions of chadors. It’s also the city where Haredi men stoned an Orthodox woman whose clothing was deemed insufficiently modest and heckled a 12 year old schoolgirl for a similar offense. A city of true brotherly love!
There are cries against the IDF leadership for making the shooter a sacrificial lamb. On the popular London & Kirschenbaum Channel 10 TV show, a Makor Rishon (Sheldon Adelson’s pro-settler paper) reporter said the shooting wasn’t murder because a-Sharif “wasn’t a human being.” He went further to say that it couldn’t even be considered “killing.” Apparently, it’s somewhere along the lines of killing a fly. The journalist did concede however, that the worst it could be considered was “improper conduct.” This has to be the final nail in the coffin of Zion as a “Light unto the Nations.”
Further, one of the Magen David Adom ambulance drivers at the scene of the attack, Elimelech Karzen, whose crew refused treatment to both Palestinian attackers, justified his actions by claiming that on Purim (the incident happened that day) 75,000 Jews were slated for execution by “terrorists.” Therefore, “Jewish ethics” prohibit him from aiding any Palestinian terrorist who would take a Jewish life. What sort of religious ‘ethics’ approves allowing another human being to die? Is this a religion or a cult of hate?
Yesterday, I spent a great deal of time posting to Facebook and Twitter asking Israelis if they could help me identify the killer. Luckily, the Israeli far-right gossip forum, Rotter, has identified him along with pictures. He is Sgt. El-Or Azarya, a resident of the poor Israeli town of Ramleh, near Tel Aviv.
Other activists in Israel have helped further identifying him, finding Facebook accounts and photographs which document him before the execution. He is a devoted follower of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer club. The most hardcore racist Beitar fans have formed a gangland-style fan club called La Famigilia. He’s also written “Kahane was right!” on his Facebook page.
Among the pages he’s Liked on Facebook are the far-right Kahanist, Baruch Marzel; the racist rapper, The Shadow, who advocated burning Palestinians alive on his Facebook page; the La Famiglia page; Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked; and Avigdor Lieberman.
It is highly unlikely that justice will be done in this incident. Normally, the IDF claims to investigate such incidents, does so, finds insufficient evidence to prosecute, and closes the case.
Such a thing is about to happen in the case of a Black Hebrew IDF soldier, Toveet Radcliffe, who either committed suicide or was murdered at an Israeli Air Force base, two years ago. On March 27th, the Black Hebrew community in Dimona expects the IDF will close the case without either investigating it fully or charging anyone. As a result the community which suspect that she was murdered by someone unknown, will not get Justice. This is the way things go in the Israeli National Security State. To sign a petition asking Pres. Obama to intervene in this case, visit Change.org.
We have identified Azarya’s commanding officers. They are Lt. Col. David Shapira of the Shimshon Battalion and his boss, Col. Yariv Ben Ezra of the Yehuda Division. Shapira appears to be the officer who approved the murder.
I’ve compared the picture above which shows Azarya’s commander standing next to the shooter. Compare him in that picture to the one of Lt. Col. David Shapira, and I believe they are the same man.
Shapira himself has executed Palestinians. In 2008, Shapira murdered a wounded terrorist who’d attacked the Rav Kook Yeshiva. He’d heard the shooting from his Jerusalem home and rushed to the building with his personal firearm. He ignored orders by the police, who told him not to enter. An armed yeshiva student had already shot the attacker twice in the head. The media accounts say Shapira encountered the wounded gunman on the premises and “confirmed that he was dead.” That sounds an awful lot like “confirming the kill” to me. Shapira was proclaimed a hero.
Shapira lives in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof. Ironically, it used to have a Palestinian name: Deir Yassin.
Yesterday, Azarya showed that he learned the lessons well that Shapira taught him. In fact, I can imagine Shapira rewarding Azaryah with an opportunity to make his first “kill” after a-Sharif was wounded on the ground.
The shooter later told investigators that he shot a-Sharif because he was “moving,” and was afraid he would detonate a suicide vest. The victim is seen clearly on the video and he has no suicide vest. Nor does his Shapira seem to sense danger as he stands near the wounded man speaking on the telephone.
Let no one think of this is a one-off aberration. Palestinians are executed in the same fashion virtually every day. Nor are these summary executions a product of Israeli policy over the past few months alone. Such murders go all the way back to the 2002 incident I described above. The murderers are rewarded for their callousness as Levy has been, by being a respected member of the Knesset.
Some of the killings are videotaped and some aren’t. The ones that are not videotaped escape the world’s notice, except in the Palestinian community. The ones that are videotaped elicit a small measure of attention in Israel and no attention outside. The lives that are so snuffed out aren’t worth much either to the world media or to Israelis. But once in a while, if circumstances are right, when there’s a videotape that captures all the bloody action in broad daylight, then the world takes notice.
I am publishing as much about this case as I can in order to expose not just this single murder, but all of the brutal illegal violence perpetrated by Israeli Security Forces against Palestinians.
134 thoughts on “BREAKING: IDF Soldier Who Executed Unarmed Palestinian, and His Battalion Commander–Exposed – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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“He probably has an explosive on him, pay attention. Until the bomb squad comes, nobody touches him.” See audio portion of video #3.
What also supports the soldier’s claim is the attacker’s choice of warm clothing on a day the weather was in the high 20’s Celsius (77-84 degrees Fahrenheit).
“The terrorist was wearing a coat or a sweater, and we’re well aware of the weather yesterday,” a CID representative said.’
By the way, nice try but Haaretz writes:
“The soldier told military police during questioning over the weekend that he fired at Sharif because he thought he might be carrying a bomb. However, the military is treating his version with skepticism. Had he believed that the assailant was armed with an explosive device, he would have been expected to clear the scene. Furthermore, the gunfire could have set the bomb off.
In fact, the IDF’s preliminary probe into the incident found that one of the commanders on the scene had searched the subdued assailants to make sure they were not carrying explosives.”
@Bernie X: So you’re saying that the attacker’s dress code is what got him killed? If he’d worn shorts he’d have lived??? Let’s be sure to send a bulletin to all future Palestinian attackers noting this.
BTW, there hasn’t been an Palestinian attacker using a suicide vest in years. But nice try.
“Let’s be sure to send a bulletin to all future Palestinian attackers noting this.”
Key words: Palestinian attackers.
Why you’d expect anything less than death for those who choose to stab or explode random civilians is beyond me. In my country, we call those people ‘indiscriminate murderers’.
How can you possibly be trying to defend the rights of “future Palestinian attackers”? They renounce their rights when they decide to become serial killers.
While I (like the Israeli government) cannot condone that the soldier in question disregarded IDF military regulations, the monster he killed deserves NO protection whatsoever.
Before you comment on Israel killing civilians, like I know you will, Israel does not do that. Israel kills people who have decided to try to kill them with weapons (like these recent knife and car terrorists). Those are not civilians, they are militants. Israel kills those who have used or let their homes be used as rocket launch sites (this voids their civilian status and makes them military targets). Also worthy of note is that Israel actually WARNS the latter of strikes before they happen, and they still choose not to help themselves. Israel is a lot more humane than the average country in dealing with blatant and constant attacks on it.
@ Alex K: No, actually Israeli soldiers renounce their rights when they enforce an illegal apartheid regime on Palestine. Then their lives and security are hefker, subject to resistance by Palestinians. No nation whose land has been stolen and invaded by a foreign power is under any obligaton to bow down & lick the boots of the Occupier. So I’m afraid you will continue to suffer such attacks and deserve them until you renounce your false claims to Palestine.
Azarya didn’t “disregard IDF regulatons.” He upheld them. There is shoot to kill orders in place and scores of unarmed, wounded Palestinians have been murdered in the past 6 months. Not to mention that his commanding officer approved the murder. Clearly, you have not read my blog post. Do NOT comment here before reading the post you’re allegedly commenting on.
Israel kills civilians regularly. Even Israel admits that 60 Palestinians killed in this Intifada were not attackers and were innocent civilians. SO there goes that argument out the window!
Please stop regurgitating hasbara memes about warning civilians before attacking them. All these memes are old, false and have been disproven here & elsewhere. Do NOT advance arguments which have been refuged here multiple times. There is only so long I can stand reading this swill before my eyes glaze over.
[Comment deleted: you think you’re going to rant about Hitler and mental illness & be published here???!! Think again.]
BS ! You can clearly see that he is wearing nothing, and if you look at these images as well as the others filmed from another angle (where you can see the other presumed attacker lying on the ground next to the ambulance killed by a bullet to his head too), explain to us how come soldiers as well as various settlers pass by close to him without any fear ?? If they think he wore a suicide belt.
To me what’s even more important in theses images than the killing itself: to see how the soldiers and the settlers just continue their daily business without even paying attention to the wounded lying on the ground, even after he’s executed, nobody cares. This is a sign of total dehumanization. And we’ve so may footages showing the same situation over and over again.
Not to speak about the fact that according to international law, a wounded should be treated, and we see more than one ambulance, but nobody simply cares about him.
This young man attacked a soldier of an army of occupation, Jean Moulin did so in France during WW2, and he’s considered a national hero. To me this young Palestinian is exactly the same, trying to defend his homeland from vicious settler thugs and a fascist genocidal army protectinh them.
And on a sidenote: Btselem has closed the comment section to this video now but I responded to some comments there yesterday. I’m worried to see how mostly Western antisemites use such video footage to dump their shit about “Jews”, and to see how many likes they get. The State of Israel and it’s disgusting behaviour is just “blessed bread” for such thugs, I really read things that I would have preferred not to read.
” Jean Moulin did so in France during WW2, and he’s considered a national hero ”
“How many soldiers have been killed in these attacks? ”
Captain Eilav Gelman (30)
Staff Seargent Benjamin Yaakovovich (19
Omri Levy (19)
Ziv Mizrahi (20)
Did Moulin knife to death or run over civilians? Most of these latest Jewish victims have been unarmed civilians.
I spoke specifically about this young man who was executed by a bullet to his head (so was the other presumed attacker by the way), You couldn’t miss that when you copied my sentence. Here’s what I wrote: “This young man attacked a soldier of an army of occupation, Jean Moulin did so in France during WW2, and he’s considered a national hero”.
It even seems that only his friend had a knife, but anyway. We all understand that you simply don’t care. But many in the rest of the world do, I’ve seen these images published and commented on MSM websites, and even the usual hasbaristas have a hard time defending it.
PS. And why don’t you stick to one pen name ?
@ Bernie: OMG, four Israeli soldiers out of over 200 dead were IDF! How many Palestinian civilians complete uninvolved in militancy have been killed in this Intifada? 20 times as many as IDF soldiers died. Are you shedding any crocodile tears for them?? Nah.
For your information, the French Resistance did kill civilians, esp. those accused of collaborating with the Nazis.
Not sure where this ‘religion’ thing fits in – there is clearly no God anywhere near Israel.
Zionism is a hateful ideology, from 19th century. Using Judaism to justify the massacre of Palestinians is a slap in the face to all anti-Zionist Jews.
Your Kahanist hero deserves a bullet in the head. Actually, Palestinians ought to start doing this every time the army of occupation extra judicially executes someone.
Eye for an eye, right? Maybe they’ll stop and think once IDF personnel end up getting head-shot after being incapacitated.
Its funny how in your attempt to bash anything and anybody israeli, you forget that these arabs were trying to kill soldiers. Your so self righteous. ” those evil israeli murderers” lol. When someone tries to kill people, i have a real lack of sympathy for what happens to them..
For you, im sure your eyes lit up when you saw this story. You live for this stuff, anything to bash israel
They were indeed trying to kill soldiers. Soldiers of an occupying army.
What kind of resistance would you approve of?
In the Netherlands the resistance also attacked German soldiers. As reprisal, in one case, the male population of 16 and older of an entire village was deported to concentration camps, and the farms burnt down (‘house demolition’). Very few survived. A brother of my grandmother was one of the deportees.
In the German controlled newspapers of that time, such attacks on solders were termed ‘terrorism’.
As Deir Yassin said, the perspective in Europe on such actions of the resistanceis is, in general, to see them as heroic (although also criticized for being ineffective and causing harm to the local population).
Israel does not go to these lengths yet, but is nevertheless treating such actions as if they were unprovoked terrorist attacks, deserving a totally brutal response. This is because Israeli’s suffer from the delusion that there is no occupation or oppression, and that they are morally lily-white. It is as if the whole country is detached from reality.
Did the terrorist in Merkaz Harav Kook also try to kill soldiers?
He attacked and killed students in a Yeshiva within Israel 1948 recognized borders.
@”Kack: Er, not quite. Rav Kook’s theology served as the inspiration for the settler movement & perfectly epitomizes Jewish exceptionalism. Where do the settler officers come from who execute this philosophy in the Territories on a day to day basis? Merkaz Harav of course.
Did you just justify that attack???
Ever heard of “ba’Asher Hu Sham”. Even G-D (supposely) don’t charge one for his future but about current behavior.
Since when liberals allow punishment for a future possible sin??
@ Jack Cohen: I’ll tell you what: I’ll denounce attacks against Israeli soldiers when you announce that you support a shared Jerusalem, return to 67 borders, & Right of Return. Till then, Palestinians have the right to resist a foreign army of Occupation that enslaves them.
You justified an attack against Yeshiva students as well b/c they may or may not harm Palestinians in the future.
How is that any different than Uri Elitzur and the snakes article? Let me guess, b/c you are right and he is wrong!
@ Jack COhen: that is a lie. I never justified killing yeshiva students. You are already moderated. Your next lie will get you booted.
But Torat Hamelech does justify killing Palestinian babies because they will grow up to kill Jews. You must’ve gotten me mixed up with the Yizhar rebbe??!!*!👿
Your comment is most timely. Tomorrow, Easter Sunday in the Christian world, there will be a HUGE celebration in Dublin, Ireland, of the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in 1916, an armed rebellion which started the armed struggle against British rule in Ireland. This of course involved “killing soldiers”.
The people and government of Ireland will quite rightly honour and celebrate the men and women who rose up against the occupying power and who, through their sacrifices, made possible not alone Irish freedom but showed the way to other occupied countries.
No wonder Ireland is the most pro-Palestinian country of Europe. We know what a brutal military occupation is like.
I wonder whether the Israeli ambassador will be present at the celebration of “terrorists”. If so he should have a rather red face.
@ Moshe: How many soldiers have been killed in these attacks? Very few. How severely was the soldier wounded in this attack? Not very.
But the main point which you typically miss is that your nation’s refusal to address legitimate Palestinian grievance is what induces this violence. As long as you refuse to deal, they will try to kill you.
As for the rest of your comment, it’s pure trash and lies. You don’t have a clue what my feelings for Israel are.
[comment deleted: I don’t publish comments accusing Israelis, ZIonists or Palestinians of having “mental illness.”]
“When someone tries to kill people, i have a real lack of sympathy for what happens to them..”
Thank you for that bit of confession. I suspect that “lack of sympathy” is code for general hatred of those who are the victims of Israel.
There has been some moral posturing by the IDF on this occasion (I understand that the soldier concerned was arrested) that I fear was triggered off by the fact that this video went viral on the internet. MK “Tamar Zandberg, praised the organization B’Tselem for distributing the video.“Without B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence we would have never known or seen,” Zandberg wrote on Twitter”
But the Jerusalem Post reported that the army, according to its own version of this all, had already showed its concern before the video went on the internet. Funny that the army personnel in the video showed an absolute indifference. A dog hit by a car would have elicited more concern. Nevertheless “hypocrisy is the homage vice pass to virtue”. Better that forced homage than none at all.
“that vice PAYS to virtue”
What on earth is a Lt. Colonel doing on a street patrol? Is the IDF do top heavy that there is no room at HQ for all the senior officers?
Very informative post. Interesting how some commenters find the publishing of facts to be “anti-Israel”. If you knew you were in the right you’d be happy to happy to have facts disseminated surely?
I know you won’t care hearing this from me, but let me say unequivocally that the soldier should be tried and if convicted, punished to the fullest extent of the law. This is unacceptable, period.
But 2 questions:
1. Where do you get your information that he received the OK from his commander? Every report that I have seen indicated that he acted on his own. If he got such an order, that would be very grave.
2. As for other incidents, we don’t know what we don’t know, however the Palestinians have been caught lying about this. For example, in the incident involving the 2 boys who stabbed the 13 year old on a bicycle, Abbas publicly claimed that we executed the attackers. The videos clearly showed this was not the case. Only when confronted with the incontrovertible evidence did the Palestinians backtrack and claim he was “shot in cold blood”, which was not true either.
@ Yehuda: Absolutely untrue. I value when Israelis concede errors and sins in the ways of their security forces. But I don’t understand why you don’t concede that these crimes are routine & even SOP.
As I’ve already said in this thread. A subordinate doesn’t take a gun and shoot someone standing 3 ft from his commanding officer who, btw, is standing talking on the phone & doesn’t flinch or protest. That simply doesn’t happen unless the commander has approved. What subordinate in his right mind would do such a thing, defying his commander only feet away from him? Unless he wanted to end up in prison. It’s a shame if there’s any punishment (there likely won’t be) Azarya will be the only one punished.
Palestinians don’t have to “lie” [sic] about this (& I reject your characterization of the previous incidents). THere’s a video documenting the entire execution. All of your previous incidents of purported lying are irrelevant in this case.
@Richard –“All of your previous incidents of purported lying are irrelevant in this case.”
What do you mean? It is you who asserted that Palestinians are being executed “every day”. With Israel you conclude they’re lying and covering up, because of supposed documented past cases, while regarding Palestinians, previous misrepresentations are “irrelevant”? Basically your claiming that only Palestinian testimony is acceptable.
Interesting that the soldier’s sister tries to come up with an explanation.
“An IDF soldier who was a medic in the unit and who had treated the wounded soldier, asked permission from his commanding officer to “finish off” the wounded Palestinian. Apparently the commander approved”
What do you base this on?
On what can actually be seen in the video?
“An armed yeshiva student had already shot the attacker twice in the head. The media accounts say Shapira encountered the wounded gunman on the premises and “confirmed that he was dead.” That sounds an awful lot like “confirming the kill” to me. Shapira was proclaimed a hero.”
The article you link says he killed the terrorist in a face to face battle. How did you come up with terrorist being already wounded?
@”Jack:” Read the Wikipedia article. Dadon was first to encounter him & put 2 bullets in his head. Ergo, he was dying when Shapira “confirmed the kill.”
Richarrd, my views on your feelings for israel come from the fact you find every which way to find evrything that is wrong with israel, while at the same time barely mentioning the other side. I dont know how else to see your views. Ive never seen you write anything positive about israel. How am i mistaken as to your obvious vendetta?
I dont have the exact number, but i think there has been between 20-40 israelis killed in the last six months by these various attacks. Dont try to brush them off as harmless things
@ Moshe: The key statement is “I’ve never seen.” Of course you haven’t, because you haven’t looked. But I’ve written many posts commenting favorably on aspects of Israeli music, arts, culture. My Twitter & FB accounts also add even more context.
But it’s not my job to say “positive” things about Israel. Does the lead reporter for your daily newspaper (if you read one) havve a responsibility to write about cheerful subjects every day? How boring. Would you prefer Chekhov’s plays be rewritten to be cheerful? Or how about rewrite Shakespeare’s tragedies so they all have happy endings? 1 in 10 of those killed in the current Intifada are Israelis. Do you weep for the other 9? Of course you don’t.
Richard, you are an intelligent man so lets not pretend you dont have an obvious vendetta here. You love to call anyone who defends israel a “hasbarist” ( a term i learned from your site), and much like people who defend israel have a bias, people who ONLY Write articles finding the fault in everuthing israel have an obvious bias
You throw out numbers like 1 in 10 killed in this most revent intifada are arabs, as if seeing lopsided numbers ignores the reality of what is going on. It isnt jews in the streets tryimg to stab random people who then get killed
You can say whatever you want but as someone who served in the idf, there was so much focus on doing the right thing, on not firing blatantly, and proper protocol. I know what i was taught from my commanders and the emphasis on human life.
Now, im not an idiot and i would never say individuals dong do bad things. Maybe this soldier just decided to kill the terrrorist who no longer was a threat. That should be pursued with the proper means, but maybe ur article should be about the two terrorist who tried to kill israelis. When have i seen any in depth article about jews who were killed from you? Maybe i should look in the archives? Maybe there was a long article about dafne meir killed in her home in front of her daughter?
Lets just not forget this terrorist wasnt an innoncent bystander, he was trying to kill people.
What kind of resistance would you approve of?
“Richarrd .. you find every which way to find evrything that is wrong with israel, while at the same time barely mentioning the other side”
Talking of “two sides” as if these were somehow morally equivalent is the misleading trope with which most of the mainstream media have muddied their reporting on Israel’s depredations – if they weren’t outright pro-Israel which has been more generally the case.
I am glad that shollyD brought up the Irish Easter uprising. The occupation of Ireland by the British provides perhaps the most brutal example of British colonialism. In many ways it is comparable to the Israeli occupation though the latter has not lasted as long yet (and heaven forbid it will).
I am sure that the British papers of the time also talked about “terrorism”. And so indeed did part of the British influenced Irish Press (particularly the Irish Times which was baying for the “rebels’” blood) The New York Times played apparently the same dubious role it does now as far as the Israeli occupation is concerned:
“On 29 April, a characteristically sensationalist and pro-British New York Times editorial mocked what it believed was an ingrained Irish passion for freedom. ‘What these present rebels want is not to be free of England. They pursue an ideal of freedom. England is the symbol of restraint. If it were not England, it might be a King. If it were not a King, it might be fairies that go about in Ireland, assuming fantastic shapes, to frighten people and make them do all the things they do not want to do.’”
When it is crystal clear who is the oppressor and who are the oppressed, talking about “two sides” is ridiculous. And as to your complaint about Richard never saying anything positive about Israel: why should he? Praising and defending the oppressor? There are plenty of hasbarists doing so and they are all over the internet. Google on any topic having to do with these matters and you get pages and pages of hasbara first. “The occupation of the American mind” (to quote the title of that movie) and, actually, the “Western mind” in general has been a very thorough affair and it is ongoing. Pushing back against that is in many ways a Sisyphus-job and I laud Richard for his indefatability on it.
@ Arie: Thank you. In addition, if you care about a country that is doing wrong, singing its praises and shouting hosannas is an obscenity. I want Israel to be a better country. Why not point out its flaws so that someone, someday will work to correct them?
That is laudable, but I’m not sure many of the anti-Zionist crowd here share that sentiment. I’ll let them speak for themselves, but from the nature of some the comments, it would seem that the very existence of Israel is not legitimate.
In addition to my previous condemnation of the execution, I would add that
* The Palestinians do have a “right” to resist the Israelis; attacking military targets (soldiers) is not “terrorism”; however, whether this is wise, or whether it should be violent, or whether 15 year-old civilians should be doing it, is another matter.
*Soldiers or police, notwithstanding that they may be part of a military occupation, also have a right to defend themselves. Saying that they should simply allow themselves to be stabbed, and if they use lethal force to prevent that then they’re criminals, well that, is loony and ridiculous. Nowhere are security forces held to such a standard.
*@Arie– where in divine law is it written that the stronger side in an ethnic conflict (and that is what the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is) is always the oppressor and therefore always wrong? To deny that there are 2 sides to this conflict, and that BOTH sides have committed wrongdoings and mistakes, is moral blindness and ignoring the 100 year history of the struggle. I understand the tendency to attribute the stronger side with more responsibility, given an assumption that it has a greater ability to end the conflict. But as I have stated elsewhere, this is not true here. Israel alone cannot end the conflict (other than by unilaterally disappearing).,
@Richard– before you tell me to “move on”, please note that I am responding to Arie’s editorializing and quotations of opinions. If you feel that this is a rule violation, it should be for both of us….
@ Yehuda: I too agree that if a soldier or anyone is stabbed they have a right to defend themselves. That includes disabling the attacker. But it doesn’t include executing him. Further, it is unconscionable that Israel’ emergency medical services refuse to treat Palestinian attackers. THis in effect lets them die whether they’re executed by a bullet to the brain or not.
RS: ” I too agree that if a soldier or anyone is stabbed they have a right to defend themselves. That includes disabling the attacker. But it doesn’t include executing him. ”
Richard is correct. Israel itself insists that this is an “armed conflict”, albeit not an armed conflict against another state (i.e. an armed conflict not of “an international character”).
But the rules of armed conflict that pertain to conflicts “not of an international character” is crystal-clear on this point: armed combatants are fair game until such time as they become “hors de combat”, at which point shooting that person dead becomes murder.
Abd al-Fatah a-Sharif attacked an IDF soldier with a knife, and that soldier had every right to defend himself against that attack.
But once Abd al-Fatah a-Sharif was shot and lay on the ground he was, indisputably, “hors de combat” and, therefore, Richard is quite correct to state from that point on pumping a bullet into his skull becomes nothing more nor less than an execution.
The relevant law is found in Geneva Convention III, Article 3(1)(a).
RS: ” Further, it is unconscionable that Israel’ emergency medical services refuse to treat Palestinian attackers.”
Again, Richard is quite correct.
Geneva Convention II, Article 3(1)(b): “The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.”
What kind of resistance would you approve of?
None at all, most likely. The Palestinians are , I think, literally the only people in the world who’ve been demonized relentlessly for doing what any other group of people in their position would do.
The solution, I think, is simply to disregard the whining rambling and absurd statements coming from those who think that Palestinians had to “share” over half the land with people who weren’t entitled to even a tenth of it; people who accuse the Palestinians of being “the ones who’re the real genocidal threat” in the face of the historic Israeli Jewish ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.
Perhaps Richard should be lauded for his indefeatability as well but I meant indefatigability.
@ Arie: 👍
shooting an unlawful combatant (e.g. a combatant masquerading as a civilian and using this guise to approach troops and attack them) who has been shot but is still moving and ***HAS NOT SURRENDERED*** is not murder.
Such an unlawful combatant could pose a danger to paramedics – e.g. by choking them with his bare hands as they attempt to treat him.
If the unlawful combatant surrendered – it would be an altogether different matter. Also if he was unconscious it would be a different matter.
Should a paramedic risk his life to treat an enemy who has not surrendered?
@ lepxii: a-Sharif was not an unlawful combatant. He had no connection to any terror group or even political party. He wasn’t sent by anyone. He wasn’t taking orders from anyone. HE was a civilian who took a knife and engaged in a political act of resistance against an illegal military occupier. Certainly is murder.
But I have an idea. Let’s have you agree to do a test case. Let’s send Shapira and Ben Ezra to the Hague and have the ICC judge. Then we can test whether they find it to be murder. If Israel wins the case & it’s not murder then I’ll stop claiming it is. Deal? I didn’t think so. That’s coz you’re a flaming hypocrite. You claim it’s not murder but won’t actually let your claim be tested the only place it can be.
When the IDF closes this case (& it will) and when Israeli NGOs ask the Supreme Court to take it up and they refuse (& they will), then the ICC is the only venue left to adjudicate this crime.
A-Sharif couldn’t choke anyone or endanger anyone. Also, with 50 soldiers in the immediate vicinity no disabled, wounded Palestinian attacker is going to harm anyone. So stop with this hasba-charade. It’s dumb & unseemly.
“Not surrendered?” When he’s shot, unarmed, and barely moving? That’s “not surrendered?” This is starting to annoy me. You’re wasting everyone’s time with this nonsense. If your hasbara can’t even register on the scale of credibility time to give up & move on.
“shooting an unlawful combatant (e.g. a combatant masquerading as a civilian and using this guise to approach troops and attack them) who has been shot but is still moving and ***HAS NOT SURRENDERED*** is not murder.”
What piss. Far all anyone knows, he’s a civilian who got so fed up that he took up arms against the army of occupation. He looks like a civilian because he IS a civilian.
There’s no “conspiracy” here. The IDF just does wonders when it comes to making every Palestinian under the occupation hate them, is all.
And no, murder is murder. Shooting an incapacitated , wounded person in the head casually is murder.
We can always flip the parties around and see what you think. Palestinian policeman shoots a wounded “settler” in the head after the “settler” ran at them with a knife because “dirty Arabs can’t live on Jewish land”.
” Such an unlawful combatant could pose a danger to paramedics – e.g. by choking them with his bare hands as they attempt to treat him.”
Bollocks. Shameless attempt to justify the kahanist coward shooting someone in the head,
IDF medics generally don’t treat wounded Palestinians anyways. I’ve read a number of accounts as to how they just let them lie there and bleed, because they “deserve to die”.
” If the unlawful combatant surrendered – it would be an altogether different matter. Also if he was unconscious it would be a different matter.”
Nope. Extra-judicial executions or murders are the same regardless of what state the executed person is in.
” Should a paramedic risk his life to treat an enemy who has not surrendered?”
The IDF shouldn’t even be there in the first place. Grubby little Kahanists shouldn’t even be there in the first place.
Hopefully the “paramedic” does encounter a situation he’s not able to murder his way out of. If there’s video of that then I’ll laugh my ass off.
Israeli’s can refuse to serve in the Occupied Territories. If soldiers decide to serve there, that has consequences. One of them is that they become targets. I know that they are under enorm pressure to serve, but they are not innocent kids who wandered into the wrong place by accident.
.” I understand the tendency to attribute the stronger side with more responsibility, given an assumption that it has a greater ability to end the conflict. But as I have stated elsewhere, this is not true here. Israel alone cannot end the conflict (other than by unilaterally disappearing).,”
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of this do you or don’t you agree that It is up to Israel to remove the stumbling block to further negotiations viz. stopping the expansion of settlements? And is it not the case that this is not because of the Palestinians but because of its own political inability or lack of political will to deal with the settlers? Don’t blame the Palestinians for Israel’s inability to deal with the monster it has spawned in the settler movement.
I understand that at what can be called the Annapolis conference the Palestinians came up with a map which showed the possibility of 60 % of the settlers remaining on 2 % of the West Bank. Tzipi Livni, who was then Israel’s foreign minister did not say that the map was unreasonable – she said it was not politically feasible, meaning that no Israeli government would survive if it agreed to that. The same held for Olmert’s proposal to divide Jerusalem.
But now we are already in the nitty gritty whereas I would like to have your answer to my questions.
@Arie– I will continue to respond as long as Richard allows us to continue civil discussion.
I did not vote for Bibi or the right wing parties, and I would personally be in favor of a settlement freeze, at least a temporary one, to see if it is possible to restart serious negotiations. I would do this to show that we are serious in trying to reach a peace agreement. Building only shows that we aren’t serious.
However, recall that a freeze was tried in 2009, and Abbas stalled until the freeze expired. So I remain skeptical of a positive outcome, but I would still try. Indeed you are correct that the political constellation that Netanyahu has assembled would make such a move difficult. But Abbas too is under political constraints that prevent him from making “good will gestures” if you can call them that. What could Abbas do? Unconditionally condemn the violence and stop calling the attackers “heros”. Say that under a potential agreement the Palestinians would be willing to recognize a Jewish state. Stop telling the millions of refugees that they will return to former Palestine. Etc. These would be very unpopular moves in the current climate. So all he can do is make demands for gestures from us and offer nothing
As far as Tzippi Livni, Olmert, or Barak’s offers– indeed any one of them would be politically problematic, although I believe that reconciliation can have a dynamic of its own. If an Israeli leader were to present such a serious proposal to the public, together with Palestinian concessions and a credible readiness for true peace– public pressure would support such a move, and if Bibi refused, he would be replaced with somebody who would agree. Again, this is probably not in the offing in the near future, with Hamas in power in Gaza.
This has created game theory conditions, in which both sides are locked into a “non-concession” mode whereby each side cannot be made to appear to its constituency as a “sucker” in the face to stubbornness on the other side– and this prevents each side from making a concession.
Under these conditions it is not correct to blame just Israel. In any case when this type of logjam happens the only thing that can break it is if a strong outside party FORCES BOTH SIDES to negotiate. Or, and exceptional leader on one side. I would like to see this happen, but I don’t see anybody really strong enough to do it.
I am telling you from discussions with many of my center-center right friends, that if they were convinced that withdrawal to plus-minus 67 borders would actually bring peace with a peaceful Palestinian state, it would be handed to them on a silver platter. There is just SO much skepticism and cynicism at this point that nobody believes it could happen. Most people ask themselves, “If we withdraw from the West Bank, how long will it take until rockets are fired at Ben Gurion Airport?”
In order for there to be peace- an Israeli leader needs to look Israelis in the eyeballs and tell them that they will have to give up the West Bank and E Jerusalem for peace. And a Palestinian leader will have to look the Palestinian refugees in the eyeballs and tell them that they will not be returning to Acre, Haifa, Jaffa and Lod.
Neither side has the balls and political will to do these things, unfortunately.
What kind of resistance would you approve of?
I’m not going to argue about any of the story’s details. I do not know them any better than you do. the one things that I do wish to call off as a blatant lie is this:
“It goes without saying that a security gag order prohibits Israeli media from reporting this story”…. “protect them from the ravages of the national security state.”
It seems you are very dedicated to portraying Israel as something that is just isn’t.
There is no security gag order.
This is the top news story, in every single news source in israel, since the moment it happened.
The soldier has been accused in murder charges – not by you, but by the IDF itself.
I’m not claiming Israel is a perfect country. I agree that this murder was most probably supported by the sayings of israeli right-wing politicians. but This is not north korea, or jordan, or saudi arabia, or egypt, or iran. I feel that I can confidently say that, after 5 years as a soldier and commander in the IDF and another five working for various human-rights NGOs within Israel.
I find it sad that people such as you convince others that this is a simple good-guys bad-guys situation. I wish the problem was that simple.
@ Eyal w: Wrong buddy. There is a gag order. I appear to know more than you about this story, contrary to what you claim.
You have not seen David Shapira’s name reported as the commanding officer on the scene at the time. Unless you and the rest of Israeli media don’t think it was pertinent that a Lt. Col. was on the scene and approved the execution. I know the media in the rest of the world would be going like gangbusters to report this.
The hasbarists are always first to concede “Israel isn’t a perfect country, I agree with you.” But then comes “but…”
Quel surprise that an IDF commander doesn’t see that his country is barely better than some of the worst oppressive regimes in the world.
Frankly, I don’t believe you worked for any human rights NGO. Tell us the name of one of them. Otherwise I don’t believe you. But it does seem you’re picking up some income in your spare time by working for an official hasbara apparatus. I guess the human rights NGOs couldn’t pay your salary but the MFA can??
I never said it was “good guys vs bad guys.” Palestinians do terrible things as well and I report them here. But Israel for many reasons, is far worse.
But you haven’t really answered my questions about the first move to set things going again: settlement freeze. This is up to Israel. You talk about a settlement freeze in 2009. I don’t think there was one. Netanyahu promised “restraint” but said that “natural growth” of Jewish outposts would continue. A slippery formula that can cover almost anything. Also, it was then clear that East Jerusalem would be excluded from negotiations – another obstacle thrown up by Israel.
You mention so casually that one thing Abbas could do is telling his countrymen that Israel should be recognised as a “Jewish state”. This Israeli demand only emerged around 2010 from Netanyahu’s bag of tricks and was never an official Israeli condition before. It has been seen widely as yet another manoeuvre for Netanyahu to avoid negotiations which he doesn’t really want. And it is an impossible demand. What is Abbas going to do? Declaring that 20 percent of the Israeli population doesn’t really belong there, thus helping to set the stage for its ultimate expulsion?
You talked about the private feelings of you and your friends. But the issue was the official Israeli position and whether or not this dominant party has greater power and responsibility to bring peace forward. You haven’t convinced me that that is not the case.
Read this for a narrative of what happened. There was nearly a total freeze.
Let’s say we agree that Israel should freeze building. But say they don’t. Why do the Palestinians refuse to negotiate? Why is a Palestinian precondition assumed and upheld?
You say the Israel demand for recognizing a Jewish State was only raised in 2010. But it was never a precondition to entering negotiations, only a goal for an outcome– like getting a Palestinian state. A bargaining chip.
Also, the Palestinian demand for a settlement freeze also was never a precondition for talks before 2009 either. So why isn’t Abbas accused of putting up barriers to resuming negotiations?
To a great extent, settlement and settlement building is an outcome of the conflict as much as it is a cause– if the parties came to agreement about borders Israel would have not even want to build in areas that it is going to hand over. What is cause and effect here? This is not abstract philosophy. You have to look at the repeated and failed attempts at arriving at a agreement in the past 20 years. There were just too many obstacles, and continued settlement building was the least of them. So, lacking peace, Israel just kept building, under left and right governments.
The Palestinians themselves, because of their own internal divisions and contradictions, are still unable to give up on the conflict. Example: Gaza. Abbas knows that if he were to make the required concessions, he would be thrown out of power, or worse.
So in Netanyahu’s calculus, the political price he would pay for a freeze simply isn’t worth it, because he believes that the Palestinians are not ready to give up their conflict with us no matter what he offers. But Israel has shown that it can uproot settlements. Examples: Gaza and Sinai.
So whose fault is it??
You rely on Wikipedia to claim that there was a settlement freeze. I would rather rely on what Max Blumenthal told us:
From Max Blumenthal “The settlement freeze that never was, and never will be”
“During the week of June 21, I traveled through the West Bank with Swedish photojournalist Linda Forsell to document new settlement construction and the settlers’ theft of water from Palestinian towns. Forsell took a series of photos at Har Homa, a massive Israeli settlement towering over the Palestinian town of Beit Sarhour. Her photos show ongoing construction of hundreds of new settlement units — documents of the settlement freeze sham.
Netanyahu authorized the building of new settlement units just days after he announced the freeze in November 2009. He attempted to disguise new settlement construction by drawing a false distinction between the West Bank and “parts of Jerusalem” like Har Homa that actually lie outside 1967 lines …”
“Let’s say we agree that Israel should freeze building. But say they don’t. Why do the Palestinians refuse to negotiate? Why is a Palestinian precondition assumed and upheld?”
But isn’t that obvious? The Palestinians can hardly negotiate when the very object of negotiation is stolen from under them – when those notorious “facts on the ground” are being created that make a two state solution increasingly less possible.
You make it appear as if Israel has been trying very hard over the last twenty years to reach a peace agreement.
The fact is that Israel has had fourteen years to react to the Arab peace plan of 2002 (since renewed) that is mainly a restatement of UNSC Resolution 242.
The Palestinian Authority has fully embraced it and there appears to be widespread support for it on the Palestinian side.
“The Arab Peace Plan has received the full support of Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, which even took the unprecedented step of placing advertisements in Israeli newspapers on November 20, 2008 to promote it. The Palestinian Authority published full-page notices in Hebrew in four major Israeli daily newspapers, which reproduced the text of the Initiative in full and added that “Fifty-seven Arab and Islamic countries will establish diplomatic ties and normal relations with Israel in return for a full peace agreement and an end to the occupation” (Wikipedia)
But Israel has only come up with wishy washy responses and there doesn’t seem to be public support for it. “In terms of public opinion, the Oxford Research Group has reported that attitudes range “between those who have never heard of it, and those who don’t believe a word of it.” A November–December 2008 poll by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah and the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace in Jerusalem found that only 36% of Israelis support the plan. A June 2008 Angus Reid Global Monitor poll found that about 67% of Palestinians and 39% of Israelis support it.[“35]
Yesh Atid Chairman Lapid said last year:
“Israel should not have left it without response for 13 years. The lack of response causes the world to think we’re looking not really for a solution, but rather for excuses not to reach an arrangement.”
Exactly. And is “the world” wrong in thinking that? I don’t think so.
And now pointing to Gaza as evidence of Israel’s readiness to withdraw from settlements. Frankly I am surprised that you dare to come up with it. Has Israel ever withdrawn there? Who are the jailer of that open air prison? And was that whole disengagement plan not hatched in bad faith? :
“ “The significance of the disengagement plan is the freezing of the peace process,” Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s senior adviser Dov Weisglass has told Haaretz.
“And when you freeze that process, you prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on the refugees, the borders and Jerusalem. Effectively, this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that it entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda. And all this with authority and permission. All with a presidential blessing and the ratification of both houses of Congress.”
Weisglass, who was one of the initiators of the disengagement plan, was speaking in an interview with Haaretz for the Friday Magazine.
“The disengagement is actually formaldehyde,” he said. “It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.”
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/top-pm-aide-gaza-plan-aims-to-freeze-the-peace-process-1.136686
Should that give the Palestinians confidence? You must be joking.
This is my last shot for the day. We are living here five hours later than you do in your place.
Arie, I suppose you live in Israel/or Europe? I fully agree with the points you make. I am so sad to read every week about new infringements on Palestinian “Lebensraum” including water resources, olive trees, etc,etc.
On the other hand, as a German I desparately want to see the survivors, their children and grandchildren, and..ggchhildren to live in peace.
Thank you for your comment. This is what it is really about (quoted from Uri Avnery):
“Since 1967, Israel has faced a simple but fateful choice: Give up the occupied Palestinian territories and make peace with Palestine and the entire Arab and Muslim world – or cling to the territories, build settlements and go on with an endless war.
This is not a political opinion. It is a historical fact.
Any true friend of Israel will do everything possible to push Israel in the first direction. Every dollar, every ounce of political influence, should be used for this purpose. In the end, the two states – Israel and Palestine – will live side by side, perhaps in some kind of confederation.
An anti-Semite pushes Israel in the other direction. Within the next 100 years Israel would turn into a bigoted, nationalist, even fascist, isolated apartheid state with a growing Arab majority, and the entire country would eventually become an Arab state with a shrinking Jewish minority.
Everything else is a pipedream.
SO WHAT is AIPAC doing?
In his monumental work “Faust”, Goethe describes the devil, Mephisto, as a force that always wills the bad and always achieves the good. AIPAC is the exact opposite.
It supports the existence of a “Jewish State” but pushes it forcefully along the road to another of the huge disasters in Jewish history.”
Here is a link to the entire article.
Thank You, Elisabeth, for the link.
I have always admired Uri (and of course we have something in common – mother tongue).
For him the past decades must have made life and thought increasingly difficult.
Many years ago I saw an Israeli film ” Because of this war” which showed briefly
Jeshajahu Leibowitz – I never forgot!
1. If you don’t want to do the time, don’t do the crime
2. Where are all the videos shot by “activists” and passed on to B’Tselem, of knifers lunging their knives into Israeli’s, eh? Why aren’t they showing us THAT?
3. They’re only showing us one side of the story, obviously: the retribution, after the crime is committed
4. If the world was able to view these knifings, the world would be more forgiving of the punishment meted out
5. And did I say, “If you don’t want to do the time, don’t do the crime”????
You should tell that murderous soldier that, if indeed he has to do time for what he did (which I seriously doubt). Legally speaking he (and perhaps his commanding officer) was the only one committing a crime there. Get it into your head that resistance against an occupying force is not a crime.
And being executed is of course not ‘doing time’!
@Arie– Sorry about the delay in response.
Whatever Ariel Sharon’s reported intentions and motives were, surely you would not argue that Gaza would be better for the Palestinians if the Israelis would be occupying it! They withdrew every single soldier and settler for god’s sake! Now you’re blaming Israel for that? As far as Israel’s blockade, don’t confuse the chicken and the egg. There would be no blockade if Hamas was not constantly trying to import war materials to make rockets to fire at Israeli cities.
If you recall, Sharon’s successor, Olmert had a follow up plan (some say it was also Sharon’s plan) to withdraw unilaterally from the West Bank as well. His election campaign openly advertised this plan (‘Hitcansut’ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Realignment_plan) and he was elected by a healthy majority with this platform.
That plan was scuttled with the fallout after the 2006 Lebanon War and Olmert’s subsequent political problems. The empowered Hamas in Gaza and subsequent wars there made arguing for a unilateral withdrawal elsewhere not credible.
So, I repeat, Israelis are willing to support a withdrawal, given the right leadership and circumstances. Just Netanyahu is not one of these leaders. A settlement freeze is child’s play compared to withdrawal.
Only a committed outside power willing and able to force BOTH sides into an agreement can change the status quo. Pressuring Israel alone will not work and have an opposite effect.
Yehuda I am getting a bit tired of this. If I want to check on right wing opinion in Israel I might as well read the Jerusalem Post. On the matter of Gaza’s blockade you are not just arguing against me but against broad international opinion that it is mainly meant as collective punishment, in the first place for the fact that the Gazans had the temerity to come up with a majority vote for Hamas. Israel’s security needs are always invoked when it comes to defending its penchant for Anti-Arab sadism.
The intention was to create such terrible conditions in Gaza that the Gazans would repudiate Hamas. That the blockade (largely of things that people in normal countries can find in any supermarket) is merely meant to block the import of weapons is a typical Netanyahu lie that you thoughtlessly take over.
You claimed earlier that the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza should inspire the Palestinians with confidence about the Israel capacity for withdrawal. Confidence in what exactly? The Gaza withdrawal had nothing to do with the acknowledgment of Palestinian rights but everything with the desire to put the peace process on ice and to mislead the world about Israel’s intentions (see the Weisglass’ testimony quoted earlier). Could one have expected anything else from Sharon? Did he ever show any respect for Palestinian rights?
If you meant confidence in Israel’s logistic capacity, the Gaza withdrawal was of course a pygmy exercise compared to the evacuation of half a million settlers among whom there are dangerous lunatics.
Undoubtedly the world considers the blockade collective punishment. But intention matters, and it is not true that it’s Netanyahus excuse. Hamas took over in 2007 and the blockade by both Egypt and Israel began then, under Olmert’s government. It was done for security reasons.
If you’re getting tired, maybe we have gone as far as we can go on this.
See you in another post
“Concerning the restrictions on goods reaching Gaza via the land crossings the Palmer report stated that they were “a significant cause” of Gaza’s unsustainable and unacceptable humanitarian situation. A Fact-Finding Mission for the UN Human Rights Council (2009) chaired by Richard Goldstone, a former judge of the International Criminal Court, as well as a group of five independent U.N. rights experts concluded that the blockade constituted collective punishment of the population of Gaza and was therefore unlawful. UN envoy Desmond Tutu, United Nations Human Rights Council head Navi Pillay, the International Committee of the Red Cross and most experts on international law consider the blockade illegal.”
According to the Times of Israel, there are over 1,000 Israelis demonstrating on behalf of this killer, including the former bar bouncer Liberman. This breaks my heart; I almost made aliyah in 1968, and would have except I still had an obligation to the US military.
Lt. William Calley had his supporters, too.
Thank you for a thorough and excellent article. I have a question about a quote.
“his commanding officer apparently approved the killing.”
What is your source for this information? I have not been able to confirm this essential fact. Here is the entire paragraph.
“The IDF, as a result of the bad publicity, arrested the soldier. Lt Col Peter Lerner confirmed that the soldier killed the Palestinian, and that his commanding officer apparently approved the killing. However, there is no word that the commanding officer himself has been arrested or detained.”
I saw video evidence that merely supports the claim, but it does not prove that the medic consulted with his commander – we don’t know from the video who the medic talked to – and that he received an approval for the action.
I have not been able to find Lerner’s comments on the approval. This is a key point as it changes the story from lone wolf to cover up of IOF policy.
@ Ian Berman: I said “apparently approved.” The basis for this is that his commanding officer was in direct proximity to Azarya the entire time of the incident. He was standing next to the victim on the phone as Azarya killed him. After the killing, the CO does nothing to indicate disapproval. Also, Israeli subordinates simply do not kill people without the approval of their commanders. That’s not the way the IDF works. I’m guessing they didn’t know they were being filmed & thought they could get away with it as scores of IDF & Border Police have in the past.
I have also consulted a usual Israeli security source on this & he refused comment. I have enough experience with this source to understand the implied message, that any comment he could make would implicate the commander & line of command and he preferred not to do that.
Further, if his CO was present at the scene and a soldier under his command violated fire regulations in his presence, then he shouldn’t be a commander.
Lerner’s tweet confirms that Azarya killed the victim and confirms his commander was on the scene when it happens. I thought I linked to his tweet. If not, I can probably find it if necessary. But you can too.
I have tried very hard to find out the name of the company commander who was on the scene. I only know the names of his battalion & division commanders.
Richard, in the midst of a powerful review, I believe you have a major flaw. I agree with the overall analysis that summary execution is likely to be unwritten IOF policy and that “confirming the kill” with implied command approval is what happened here, but how you characterized the words of an Israeli spokesman is unsubstantiated and therefore misleading on a crucial point.
You wrote “Lt Col Peter Lerner confirmed that the soldier killed the Palestinian, and that his commanding officer apparently approved the killing” which can only mean that Lerner confirmed (first half of the conjunctive removed)…. that his commanding officer apparently approved the killing.
There is no other way to read this sentence.
Further, your statement thereafter “however, there is no word that the commanding officer himself has been arrested or detained” implies that the Lerner confirmed the Israeli knowledge of the commanding officer approval, but still, Israel did not charge the commanding officer.
If you meant that it is only inferred that the “commanding officer apparently approved the killing” it should have not been part of the same sentence with Lerner’s name in it. That Lerner confirmed his commanding officer was on the scene does not provide any evidence that Lerner confirmed the commanding officer gave the approval or that Lerner stated “that his commanding officer apparently approved the killing.”
So unless you have some direct tie between Lerner and the apparent approval, you should correct the statement.
Having cited your work, both as a whole, but more importantly with regard to the implication of Israeli acknowledgement of the commanding officer approval, I am quite embarrassed by this mistake.
@ Ian Berman: People like you annoy the shit out of me. So stop wasting my time talking about subjunctives and inferences.
I already made clear to you that I based my conclusion the killer’s CO approved his killing based on far more evidence than a statement from Peter Lerner. I’m not going to repeat that evidence again. Peter Lerner’s role in confirming the commanding officer’s role was nowhere near as significant as the fact that his CO stood feet away from him as he fired. That his CO was in the killer’ sight at all times. That CO’s in the IDF do not permit medic’s to kill people as a rule unless they approve it. That the CO did not object after the killing.
You don’t know anything about how the IDF works. Nor do you know how to read the evidence I offered you earlier. Instead, you want to know how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.
I find this sort of Gotcha bullshit insufferable. So go away & stop bothering me and wasting my time. Please don’t cite my work and don’t try to make me feel you’re doing me a favor by doing so.
[Comment deleted. Off topic. Move on or move out].
PS As I have stated before, you do good work in your writing and your responses to comments. So the result of this exchange is not without regret.
1) The shot was murder.
2) It does not follow that every time that Palestinians are killed by the IDF are killed illegally.
3) The murderer briefly confers with someone (no evidence that it was a senior officer) before cocking his gun and shooting the victims.
4) The ambulance should have treated both Palestinian wounded, and their role in leaving these men to their deaths should not be discounted.
5) We cannot draw any inferences as to the behaviour of the commander. Of course he does not reprimand his man for murder in a live combat zone. He was facing away from the victim, and does not appear to anticipate the shot. His first assumption would have been that there was a valid reason for shooting. , His subsequent instinct and training is to present a united front in the field, but he does exchange words with the soldier. Remember Hebron is full of people who would like more dead Israeli soldiers. This is where Richard has veered into conspiracy theory.
There’s some hard truths for both sides.
The Commanding Officer of the Kfir brigade shot just a fleeing 17 year old in the back after the latter had slung a breeze block through his windscreen (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/13/video-raises-doubts-over-account-of-israeli-officer-who-killed-palestinian-teenager) – in my opinion around 2 – 3 seconds too late to not be considered manslaughter. The girls gesticulating with scissors were not posing a threat when they were shot. This wasn’t one soldier – this was a whole society gone sick, gone mad, demonstrating and waving banners angrily promoting sickness. The only thing the chain of command regret is the camera. We talk about exterminating the cancer, the only Arab is a good Arab, and of course some young kid with a gun won’t realise it was all bravado. We cannot continue like this. Every bullet needs to be accounted for, senior leaders need to be held accountable for what they say and in the case of Shomer what they do, and this unfortunate young man, who has been let down by his leaders, needs to sent to prison for decades to set an example.
And for the Palestinians there are lessons. Despite the rampant over-egged hysteria in this website, Israel is still a very well governed country. Incidents like this are rare.. But they are becoming less rare. The longer this pointless rage goes on the more self fulfilling angry overgeneralisations about possibly the military force in the Middle East with the lowest record of abusing Arab civilians and respecting civil rights becomes correct. The Israelis are losing their morality, and this is not a good thing for Palestinians.
If you want a state you could have a state tomorrow. You would not be happy with the borders of that state. Sometimes life is shit like that. Both sides have a passionate claim to the land. Blood is more precious than soil. Stop relying on the Israelis to be the grown ups, as they are becoming increasingly childish. You would be a great deal unhappier with this sorry state of affairs if you carry this on. Make a sordid peace for your children – without peace you have literally nothing.
@ SG: Hey it’s the new hasbara recruit to replace whoever was last moderated or banned. Got his ticket at Ben Gurion and took off into the printine blue & white skies only to land here per his assignment from Hasbara Central.
I have not said that. Do not put words into my mouth which I never uttered. And take this warning very seriously. Be precise & careful & do not create straw men here.
That being said, even Israel admits that roughly 1/4 of Palestinians killed were entirely innocent civilians who were not attacking anyone. So all of those (roughly 40) deaths are murder or at least negligent homicide. Further, many, many incidents in which a Palestinian has attempted to attack someone, end with the attacker incapacitated and then murdered after the fact. I’ve documented numerous accounts here of this and other credible sites have done so. There is also video documenting some of these murders. But none of the police of soldiers who murdered these Palestinians has been charged.
If you know anything about the IDF, soldiers don’t kill people without receiving orders or permission to do so. Soldiers don’t, in the very presence of their CO, kill incapacitated Palestinians. It simply doesn’t happen. But even if it did happen in this case, the CO should be removed of his command for permitting it to happen and not doing anything immediately afterward to show objection or displeasure. I’ll bet it wasn’t till they discovered that they’d been videotaped that they realized they had a problem on their hands. That’s when they went into preservation mode and realized they’d have to sacrifice Azarya.
As for the ambulance, the manager of the team that was there publicly stated that he would not treat terrorists because they were no different than Haman. Further, this is not aberrant procedure. This is the prevailing policy of all MDA emergency services. They either refuse treatment outright, or offer it in a desultory manner that violates all standards of medical ethics. Almost no one in Israel objects to this because no one wants these Palestinians to live anyway. Have you done anything to express publicly to MDA or MKs your opposition to this?
That is a lie. He was not facing away from the victim. He was only feet away from him and looking in a direction only slightly askew from the victim. Excusing the commander’s behavior is inexcusable. Nor would you permit such behavior from any commander serving under you if you were a superior officer.
When he hears the shot and sees the Palestinian was killed, what does he do? Does he immediately end his phone call and race to the soldier and wrest the weapon from his hands? Does he shout at him? Does he order him to leave the scene or detain him? None of these. He even permits him to shake hands with the settler thug Marzel.
Hebron is full of Jews who would like more dead Palestinians and achieve their wishes on a regular basis. No soldier has been killed in Hebron in a long time.
YOu’re whistlin’ past the graveyard. Israel is one of the most dysfunctional countries that are considered western democracies. And incidents like this are extremely common. I’ve documented them here along with videos: what you call “hysteria,” the rest of us call solid evidence.
Are you out of your mind? Claiming the IDF has a low record of abusing Arabs and that it respects civil rights? In what universe do you live? And comparing the IDF record to other Arab armies is a nifty trick. Shall we compare Israel’s democracy to the Arab world or to other western democracies with which it wishes to link itself? If Israel wants to be compared to Arab countries it should integrate into that world. If it doesn’t wish to do so it has no right to compare itself in any fashion to the Arab world.
You’ve committed another major offense which bugs the hell out of me. Israel and its apologists like you don’t get to tell Palestinians what they could get and how they could get it. You don’t get to say “tough shit” to Palestinians because life is like that. That sort of condesenscion drives me around the bend. Don’t give advice to Palestinians. Don’t speak for them. Don’t do anything for them. Most of all, don’t offer them advice.
Of course if you want your half life at this site to be shorter than a rare radioactive isotope, then ignore what I’ve just said.
RESPONSES IN CAPS (I AM NOT SHOUTING)
@ SG: Hey it’s the new hasbara recruit to replace whoever was last moderated or banned. Got his ticket at Ben Gurion and took off into the printine blue & white skies only to land here per his assignment from Hasbara Central.
It does not follow that every time that Palestinians are killed by the IDF are killed illegally.
“I have not said that. Do not put words into my mouth which I never uttered. And take this warning very seriously. Be precise & careful & do not create straw men here.”
I NEVER SAID THAT YOU SAID THAT. I WOULD REFER YOU TO YOUR OWN ADVICE.
I DON’T PARTICULARLY CARE IF YOU BAN ME FROM YOUR WEBSITE. IT JUST STRIKES ME AS TOTALITARIAN AND CONTROLLING IF YOU DO SO.
ON THE SUBJECT OF BEING PRECISE, I WONDER WHAT YOU MEAN BY “HASBARA CENTRAL” – IF THE IMPLICATION IS THAT I AM BEING EMPLOYED BY THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT, THEN YOU ARE BEING CONSPIRATORIALLY ANTISEMITIC, WHICH IS OFTEN A CODED TERM REFERRED TO BY THIS DOGWHISTLE “HASBARA”.
” even Israel admits that roughly 1/4 of Palestinians killed were entirely innocent civilians who were not attacking anyone. ”
AGREED. READ WHAT I WROTE BEFORE YOU GO APE. BUT THE VERY FACT THAT ISRAEL MAKES SUCH AN ADMISSION MITIGATES AGAINST YOUR CENTRAL CONTENTION THAT ISRAEL IS A TOTALITARIAN STATE.
Have you done anything to express publicly to MDA or MKs your opposition to this?
READ WHAT I WROTE. IF THAT ISN’T A PUBLIC OPPOSITION I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS. I AM NON RESIDENT SO I DON’T GET A VOTE BUT IF I DID I CERTAINLY WOULDN’T VOTE FOR NETANYAHU OR THE OTHER RACISTS.
And comparing the IDF record to other Arab armies is a nifty trick.
NO TRICK. REALITY FOR HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS. TURKISH ARMY, LEBANESE ARMY, HEZBOLAH, SYRIAN ARAB ARMY, DAESH MILLITARY, YPG. AL NUSRA, JORDANIAN ARMY, IRAQI ARMY, EGYPTIAN ARMY, SAUDI ARABIAN ARMY. NOT EVEN THAT BAD COMPARED TO US ARMY, BRITISH ARMY (BUT WILL CONCEDED OBJECTIVELY WORSE). ALEXANDER BLACKMAN ROYAL MARINE JAILED FOR DOING JUST THIS IN AFGHANISTAN. LT COLONEL TIM COLLINS WROTE ABUT AN ILLEGAL AND ABUSIVE INTERROGATION INCLUDING A SIMULATED EXECUTION HE CARRIED OUT IN 2003 IN IRAQ. GUANTANEMO BAY. I AGREE CHAIN OF COMMAND STINKS, HUGE ISSUES OF ACCOUNTABILITY AND PRIVILEGE. I AGREE WITH 70 – 80% OF WHAT YOU WRITE.
Shall we compare Israel’s democracy to the Arab world or to other western democracies with which it wishes to link itself?
BOTH I THINK WOULD BE FAIR. ANYTHING LESS SMACKS OF COLONIALISM.
what you call “hysteria,” the rest of us call solid evidence.
ANECDOTE. WE NEED A STATISTICAL MEASURE OF FREQUENCY OF OCCURRENCE.
“You’ve committed another major offense ”
DON’T PATRONISE THE PALESTINIANS. PEOPLE CAN CHOSE FOR THEMSELVES WHAT THEY DO AND DO NOT WISH TO READ AND WHETHER OR NOT THEY FIND IT PERSUASIVE. SO I AGAIN REFER YOU TO YOUR OWN ADVICE.
“Don’t speak for them. Don’t do anything for them.”
I DON’T SEE ANOTHER WAY OUT OF THIS IMPASSE AND I FIND DEAD CHILDREN ON BOTH SIDES DISTRESSING. I’D LIKE TO SEE IT END. IF YOU HAVE SOME PLAN FOR RESOLVING THE CONFLICT PLEASE DO SHARE IT WITH US. OR WOULD YOU PREFER TO KEEP YOUR INTEREST IN THE MIDDLE EAST STRICTLY CONFINED TO A BLOODY SPECTATOR SPORT?
” Get it into your head that resistance against an occupying force is not a crime.”
Sophistry. Stabbing an armed soldier is stupid, counter-productive, and usually fatal. Whether under some rarefied non-existent faintly mythical “international law” (the only enduring principle of which, if honestly examined, boils down to “might is right – however the mighty might mutually profit by agreeing to limit the violence they visit on each other.” Name one war – any way – where “international law” has been fully observed.) it is criminal or not, it is certainly immoral.
@ SG: Correction. Stabbing an armed soldier is not usually fatal…except in Israel & perhaps other totalitarian countries like North Korea. And most people in the world don’t stab soldiers unless they’re invading soldiers of an occupying army, which is what the IDF is.
International law is neither ‘faint’ nor ‘mythical’ except for Israelis who wish it were so. And Israel will be judged by international law eventually, whether you like it or not.
Name one war – any way – where “international law” has been fully observed.
Here is a helpful list of lists
Pick any war in any list and google war crimes. Now see how many of the war crimes have resulted in prosecution. Defeated and powerless countries dominate. Nobody will ever bring Vladimir Putin to justice. Never have, never will, unless there is a revolutionary Tikun Olam by God Almighty.
The obvious prerequisite for the rule of law is an overwhelmingly powerful neutral arbiter. War is the exercise of lethal power in a non neutral way. The very concept of lawful warfare is slightly sickening.
What happened to the rest of the comments?
“Richard Falk, the UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, a professor of international law at Princeton University, the author of dozens of books, writes in ‘International Law and the Al-Aqsa Intifada’:
‘Though the Israeli government and the US media persist in describing the second Palestinian intifada as a security crisis or a disruption to the ‘peace process,’ in international law, Palestinian resistance to occupation is a legally protected right…Israel’s failures to abide by international law, as a belligerent occupant, amounted to a fundamental denial of the right of self-determination, and more generally of respect for the framework of belligerent occupation — giving rise to a Palestinian right of resistance.'”
There are further links embedded in the article, so you can find the sources of the right to resist occupation under international law.
As for the morality argument, which is the act that initiates any morality? The stabbing of an occupying soldier or the invasion of the West Bank, the now 49 year occupation and the persistent transfer of populations to occupied territories.
Ian. The only people who believe in international law are international lawyers, whose actual role is that of a partial propagandist.
The obvious prerequisite for the rule of law is an overwhelmingly powerful neutral arbiter. War is the exercise of lethal power in a non neutral way. The very concept of lawful warfare is slightly sickening.
SG: “Ian. The only people who believe in international law are international lawyers, whose actual role is that of a partial propagandist.”
No, the “only people” who believe in international law are those who believe that taking a principled and structured path to international relations leads to greater order and certainty in this world of ours, and that is in and of itself A Good Thing To Promote.
The “only people” who don’t believe in international law are those who don’t care that their actions lead to greater disorder and increased uncertainty in the way in which nations go about the business of looking after their national interests, and they believe that because They Think That’s For Schmucks, And They Are Not Schmucks.
SG: “The obvious prerequisite for the rule of law is an overwhelmingly powerful neutral arbiter.”
No, that’s nonsense. International Law is much more like domestic civil law than it resembles domestic criminal law.
You welch on a handshake and it is very unlikely that you will get thrown into goal for it. But if you keep doing that then you will find it increasingly difficult to find anyone who is willing to do business with you.
You are in a profession, and you engage in practices that are unethical or amoral. You’ll probably get away with it. Probably a couple of times. Maybe even many times. But eventually you will be regarded as beyond the pale, and when that happens then there isn’t much you can do to redeem your professional reputation.
That’s pretty much how international law works: you can flout it once, probably many times. But eventually you will be regarded as being a rogue nation that can not be reasoned with, and at that point the world becomes a very lonely place.
SG: “War is the exercise of lethal power in a non neutral way.”
A meaningless statement if ever there was one.
SG: “The very concept of lawful warfare is slightly sickening.”
It seems to me very much preferable to the concept of “anything goes in war!!”
Start from first principles: do you believe that prisoners of war should be summarily executed because… well… for whatever reason the captor cares to give?
If the answer is “no, there is no excuse for executing prisoners of war” then you have just accepted the notion of “lawful warfare”.
If the answer is “yeah, any captor should be able to shoot their prisoners” then you might have a bit o’ a problem with the rest of the world.
You seem to believe in crowd sourced international justice.
(a) There is a tendency of large countries to dominate international affairs. If 100 countries believe waterboarding is wrong, and the USA belives it is right then the USA will (in the current millieu) prevail. Without any loneliness.
(b) International relations have never revolved around the pursuit of justice but of power. Even democratic governments are not elected to advance the interests of justice but of their own people. When the two conflict, self interest dominates. Thus, the UN general assembly will never provide a neutral forum for mediating between the Palestinians and the Jews. Around 1% of the world’s population is Jewish, and around 35% is Moslem.
The idea of a consistent and structured approach to disputes between nations is lovely. It reminds me of a nursery rhyme of my niece. “Isn’t it nice when everyone is nice”. It is. But everyone isn’t nice. War is the resolution of disputes by application of power rather than reasoned argument. How can you possibly state with a straight face that there is a legal and illegal way to blow someone else’s face off?
I’m sorry to hear that you think that a neutral and empowered judge is not central to law (civil or criminal). There is no equivalent in disputes between nations.
Do I believe prisoners of war should be summarily executed: no. But you are conflating personal morality for the rule of law. In conflicts between nations, the victor is accountable to God and history alone.
@ SG: Your logic such as it is, is completely wrong. During the Bush era the U.S. did consider waterboarding proper. The rest of the world and much of the U.S. disagreed. Guess what, now U.S. policy prohibits waterboarding and other forms of torture. So as usual you are far too facile in your arguments.
Your cynicism marks you as the perfect hasbarat. That’s a hallmark of all of you who come here. Israel is OK because the it’s a dog-eat-dog Hobbesian world out there. I’ve got news for you. You’re welcome to be cynical to your heart’s content. But everyone here knows your full of shit. You don’t fool anyone. We know what you’re up to. Cynicism is not welcome here when it pimps the interests of an unjust State.
And if you think I’m being harsh, I am. Israel-apologist-cynics like you really crawl under my skin.
SG: “You seem to believe in crowd sourced international justice.”
And you appear to believe in fairytales.
Honestly, you are in serious need of a simple primer on what international law actually is.
Nations are, gosh!, “sovereign”. There is nothing above them unless they have agreed to having something above them, and at any time they are perfectly free to withdraw that agreement.
Because, you know, they are “sovereign”.
But here’s the thing: no nation stands alone.
Each one is but one of 192 nations on the Planet Earth, and they have to learn to interact with each other in ways beyond simply attempting to Crush! Kill! Destroy! each other.
So nations interact with other nations. And when they do they don’t reinvent the wheel every time Nation A has to have dealings with Nation B.
There are protocols, deals, agreements, precedents, customs and, yes, treaties that define the principled way in which nations are expected to interact with each other.
The flip-side is that there is an unprincipled way for nations to act, and by acting in that way they
Because the alternative is It’s A Jungle Out There! and that’s a pretty unappealing prospect even to the most war-mongering of people.
So nations do interact in familiar ways and, yes, some nations act in an unprincipled manner because they think they’ll get away with it and will suffer no short-term consequences for it.
And, often, they are correct.
But all the nations on Planet Earth accept a simple notion: every time they do act in a principled way that action helps to bring a little more order and certainty to the world, and every time they act in an unprincipled way this brings a little more turmoil and uncertainty to the world.
So short term gain, but long term turmoil, and a nation – any nation – has to decide if the allure of that instant gratification is worth the long term cost of pushing the world a little closer towards world-wide anarchy.
They all understand that though you, apparently, do not.
Q: So what is “international law”?
A: It is the sum of all those rules – both treaty-based and “custom” – that nations feel they must obey because transgression brings with it an unacceptable risk of retribution.
It doesn’t have to be the fear of a military response that compels a nation to follow a principled path to international relations, nor does that response have to be like-for-like e.g. that compulsion towards conformity can come from a fear of being chastised, or being shunned, or being sanctioned, or even being laughed at for being The World’s Biggest Bunch Of Buffoons.
Really doesn’t matter: what matters is if the nations of the world collectively act in **this** way because they feel compelled to behave this way then you have “international law”.
Because – du’oh! – that’s what “international law” actually is.
You can call that “crowd sourced justice” is you want, but all you are doing is displaying a stunning ignorance of how world affairs actually are conducted.
Honestly, none of this is going to sink in, is it?
You may regard stabbing as justified by national aspirations. I do not see how it does anything at all to advance the conditions of the Palestinian people. As a form of strategic protest it garners far more international opprobrium then it garners. Post 9/11 and ISIS, ostentatious weakness isn’t as strong as it used to be. At a tactical level the odds are overwhelmingly stacked in the soldier’s favour, even given the IDF’s lower tolerance for casualties relative to that of their attackers. I do not see how the Palestinian people can stab themselves out of the occupation (which I willingly submit is immoral, unconscionable and disgraceful).
Who is to judge? ?History teaches us that ultimately economic and military power (and for theists such as myself God) alone mediates conflicts between nations.
1948 – Present, might makes right
1933 – 1945, not so much
Disagree. 1933 – 1945 were might makes right as well. The allies couldn’t realistically have charged their own war criminals (Arthur Harris who directed indiscriminate area bombing of German cities killing hundreds of thousands of civilians comes to mind) as their victorious populace would not have accepted it. Stalin was a monster.
By the time it gets to war, almost by definition, justice is replaced with might.
You make a good point.
Much of what has become The Laws Of War (aka International Humanitarian Law) has been formalized precisely because the survivors dug themselves out of the rubble of WW2, dusted themselves off and said “Whoah! Does everyone else think we went a little crazy there?”
The important thing to understand is that it was the v.i.c.t.o.r.s. of WW2 who set up the bulk of these laws, regulations, and customs of war i.e. it wasn’t the guys who played under those rules and lost who wanted the rulebook tightened up.
No. It was the guys who won who wanted the rulebook tightened, precisely because they were disgusted with the way in which they – along with everyone else – got dragged into the gutter.
What SG is saying is a commonly-held belief, but it is also an astonishingly shallow belief because he doesn’t understand where it will take everyone.
It’ll take everyone back to the way it was in 1939 when nothing was beyond the pale and everyone – even those nations who pride themselves on their virtue – got down and fought dirty.
I would consider that a tragedy.
SG appears not to have considered it at all.
Thank you Yeah, Right for an enlightening comment.
Under SG’s logic, he would not object, God forbid, if Palestinian Resistance got a hold of a mustard gas mortar shell or shells and shot it off above an IDF or other security installation in Tel Aviv, regardless of the harm to civilians.
After all, there is no international law, but brute power.
Of course I would object. But that would be me objecting. You can have a personal moral framework, but to claim the objective impartiality of the law with regards to the exercise of brute force is the sanitising propaganda of the victors who almost inevitably have committed excesses of their own which will go unpunished. You cannot be prosecution lawyer, judge, jury and executioner with any credibility. You cannot impose law on war, War is the settlement of dispute by might rather than right.
It may be that we need to promote this mythical conception of international law in order to deter from committing atrocities. Certainly we should punish war criminals. It just has no credibility as a universal legal framework.
I repeat: the allies did not prosecute their own war criminals after WW2. Arthur Harris has statue up outside Parliament, with no commemoration to the hundreds of thousand of innocent men women and children he firebombed.
@ SG: I’ve already responded to you about how pernicious, wrong-headed & just plain false your claims about international law are. You are done on the subject and done in the thread. If you repeat similar comments about international law in future, you will be walking right up to the line leading to moderation.
Just because the Allies did not prosecute Allied war criminals is no argument that Israelis, because they are more powerful and closer to western nations get off scot free. In fact Allied impunity is an argument that the world must not make the same mistake twice.
[comment deleted: I have responded to your comment. Find my response. You will not like it and I do not care. If you comment on this subject again it will be deleted.]
Ian, you have to go to the end, and then click on ‘older comments’. When there are many comments they get divided over different pages and you first see the new page. I had that problem too and had to figure it out.
Thank you Elizabeth.
My apology for the allegation that Richard removed the comments.
Still, Richard could have pointed that out on my multiple inquiries of what happened to the comments.
I have reverted my final comment to the older post. (Click on “Older Comments” at the bottom and search for “Lerner”)
[Comment deleted: you may not like things I do or say. But it’s not my responsibility to satisfy you. You seem a bit obsessive. You’ll have to move on whether you like it or not. Either move on by leaving or move on by commenting on other threads if you wish to remain. Entirely up to you. Do not post again in this thread.]
There are some very naive posters who believe atrocities ended in 1945 at Nuremberg, In fact one of the worst regimes in history – Stalinist Russia – sat as a judge!
Here is a list of wars since 1945.
Every single one without exception involved atrocities.
The concept of a just clean war is very appealing in theory. In practice, there is no clear division between civilian and combatant, between the battlefield and the home front, and between right and wrong. It is a spectrum. Blowing someone’s head off is always an act of the utmost brutality.
By all means prosecute murderers like this one. But cut out the self righteousness. The whole concept of war crimes betokens a pristine standard which simply do not exist in any known reality,
@ SG: No one here or anywhere argues there is such a thing as a “just clean war.” That’s precisely why there is international law. Which, btw declares there most definitely IS a clear distinction between civilian and combatant. Now, if you don’t believe it you’re free to peddle that bullshit. But not here. We believe in international law here. If you want to argue against the concept you go somewhere else to do it.
As for self-righteousness, you exhibit is spades: cynicism=self-righteousness.
Let’s assume you’re right SG and there is and should not be any international law for countries or combatants to file.
Would you object, God forbid, if Palestinian Resistance got a hold of a mustard gas mortar shell or shells and shot it off above an IDF or other security installation in Tel Aviv, regardless of the harm to civilians.
After all, there is no international law, but brute power.
Since you ignored the question the first time, allow me to pose another. What is the basis to your objection to the Holocaust? I know what mine is. Yet under your logic, there should be none.
You confuse objective law with subjective morality (and moralising). One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter etc. There is no honest judge to adjudicate.
We see this young soldier shoot a helpless assailant in the head and of course it militates against justice. It is wrong. But from this soldiers point of view I am sure he believes he is delivering justice Beitar Jerusalem style.
I am not defending his violence. You should not defend the senseless violence of the stabber.
This is where abstraction of justice leads the normal human revulsion to violence.
There was someone just like you here before. Same moral obfuscation. What was his name again? Arie Brand blasted him.
I don’t claim ineffability and I.am happy to be corrected by anyone whose ideas accord better with the facts. But thanks for the blast of unreasoned hostility, you have made my point better then I could.
@ SG: Please follow the comment rules and do not publish more than three comments in any 24 hour period. The hasbara crowd tend to monopolize the threads given half an opportunity.
I got it now: You remind me of Yehuda the Tribesman, for whom there is no truth or justice, only ‘narratives’. Maybe it is out of desperation, having to champion an unjust cause, that you allfall back on the same immoral arguments. Quite telling, really.
When you cut the bullshit and recognize a Palestinian state, withdraw to 67 borders and share Jerusalem as national capital and recognize the Right of Return, then others will stop defending legitimate resistance. Till then, you revolt me.
What he said.
By dismissing international law, you are defending the actions of the medic for there is not grounds to hold him accountable.
In your opinion there is no enforceable law, and therefore no law at all, so there is no question of what is correct or not. So there is no reason not to support a Palestinian defending his land against an occupying soldier. Yet you call it “senseless” without basis.
Which brings me back to the questions you ignore. If there is no law, then why not the most extreme actions? There is no law, no relative moral standard to judge by, only conflict by lethal force, so why have any limits? There is no way to apply your logic except as it serves your argument in this situation.
He offended against Israeli law. A non politicised neutral judge backed by the overwhelming power of the state is available. Recourse to notions of international law is not required.
For enemy war criminals I do believe in victors’ justice.
@ sg: YOu are so deeply full of it. A “non-politicized, neutral judge”…in a case involving the IDF. SInce when is that possible. You’re pissing on our backs and telling us it’s rain. That sort of charlatanism is totally fake and transparent.
If Israeli law does not fully examine, prosecute, convict & imprison all personnel who were involved in this murder (not just Azarya) then international law is indeed required.
For the avoidance of doubt I am arguing for a more intuitive less abstract notion of atrocity. Attempting to stab a soldier by reference to a debatable and abstract notion of justice is understandable if it would achieve anything. It achieves nothing. Escalating the level of violence when one side is far stronger than the other is an offence against reason. If Palestinians instil a greater level of fear amongst Israelis of their ethnic group the results are obvious and horrifying. It won’t be heavily armed and armoured soldiers who suffer.
@ sg: OK, you’re now officially done in this thread. That means you may post in other threads, but no longer here. And a hint: when I tell you a hint that an argument of yours really pisses me off, it’s best to take the hint.
I’ve already told you that I find your willingness to replace the jdugement of oppressed Palestinians with your own not just stupid, but offensive. But here you’ve done the exact same thing again. So let me explain how things work here: it’s not an echo chamber. You actually listen to what I write and act accordingly. If you attempt to go blithely on your way ignoring me, you will not be long for this particular part of the world.
You don’t get to determine what Palestinian resistance achieves. You don’t get to make the determination “it achieves nothing.” No Palestine has asked your opinion, and we here care even less (if that’s possible).
I also find the claim that Palestinian resistance “is an offense against reason” to be offensive. Consider this a very clear warning.
My concept of international law rather accords with that of the prophet Samuel (Samuel 1 15:33) and with Agag’s wry comment on the process.
@ sg: Then you are little more than a butcher. You disgust me. Readers, how much longer do you want to bet I can stand this horse manure? Too bad, he just landed from Ben Gurion two days ago & already wearing out his welcome here. You might want to prepare your successor. My crystal ball says your shelf life here is almost at its limit.
[comment deleted: you clearly like the sound of your own voice. The rest of us…not so much. If you repeat the same claims & ideas ad nauseam it will annoy me. Repetition is the hobgoblin of small Zio-minds.]
“By dismissing international law, you are defending the actions of the medic for there is not grounds to hold him accountable.”
Yes there is. Israeli law. Neutral judge backed by the power of the state.
– that was so funny, I couldn’t even read the rest.
See the firebombing of the Dawabsheh family
Just curious, how much is Hasbara paying you?
Ian. It strikes me as conspiratorial antisemitism to suggest that I am being paid. The word Hasbara is associated with this idea. For the avoidance of doubt I hold views different from your own without there being a conspiracy. I am not motivated by money. I am not paid. Under the comment rules this was an offensive ad hominem by someone who had lost the argument but as Richard himself indulged in such rule breaking (demonstrating in microcosm the importance of a neutral arbiter) I can hardly blame you
I don’t know what you are trying to prove by your facebook link. Two men are awaiting trial.
Step out the echo chamber and smell the fresh air.
Now you’re violating another commment rule. Please go directly to the comment rule page and read it carefully. You may not exploit terms like anti-Semitism in the sloppy false way in which you have. Just as the left can’t be sloppy with charges of “Nazi,” etc against Israel.
Nor do you know what “ad hominem” means. It has nothing to do with suggesting you are paid which, given the fact that the Israeli government is spending nearly $100-million per year on propagandizing the web & social media, is not at all out of line. When you espouse all the same thoughts, ideas and language it’s hard not to believe that it’s coordinated by external sources. You are but one in a long line of the hasbarati here. So don’t flatter yourself that you’re unique or even an individual. You are, unfortunately, a type we’re quite used to.
Complaints about me purportedly breaking my own rules, as you’ve claimed, are also as old as the hills, and leave me stupefyingly bored. Comments must be substantive and directly deal with the post topic. This one didn’t. Make sure that all future ones stay on topic.
SG, Let’s not play selective with the facts.
The two men were known from the beginning. Other conspirators who aided were also known, but nothing has happened to them. They were free for a long time while the Minister of Defense long held a position that they would not prosecute.
Finally, most likely due to international pressure, they arrested the two men. Yes they are awaiting trial, but what took so long? The “neutral” court system of Israeli “justice?”
If the two were Palestinian, Israel would have destroyed the homes of families of the perpetrators within days of the attack and might have launched offensives against the West Bank first, and then Gaza.
That’s okay with you though because there is no international law, even if Israel signs such laws, and collective punishment is something that many regimes have done over time. I can’t seem to remember that one from 1939 – 1945 that did it. Doesn’t matter. I guess you would have been okay with that too.
Goodbye Richard. I will not be posting on your authoritarian, hypocritical, conspiritorial, anti Semitic blog again.
If only that were true! You will be back under another name. The hasbarists all do. That’s why it is often so hard to distinguish you guys from one another.
And suspecting that some or all of you are coordinated or paid is not strange at all. Richard’s blog has attracted a lot of attention in Israel, for one thing, because he does not obey Israeli gag orders. It is also known that Israel spends money to monitor and influence online discussion about its policies. You think they would skip his blog? Not very likely!!
“anti Semitic blog”
Anti-Semitic used to mean things that were Anti-Jewish. Now it means things that some Jews don’t like. (Paraphrase without source.)
Addios apologist for crimes against humanity.
That is a quote from Hajo Meyer: “‘Vroeger was een antisemiet iemand die niet van joden hield; nu is het iemand waar de joden niet van houden.”
(An anti-semite used to be someone who didn’t like Jews: now it is somewone whom Jews do not like.) He later changed the last part to: “someone detested by certain Jews.”
Richard, you are piling bullshit upon bullshit.
” French media report that Elor Azarya is a dual French-Israeli citizen. Interesting to note that Gilad Shalit is as well.”
Why on the earth is it interesting? Shalit comes from a relatively wealthy family from a Western Galilee moshav, they are left wingers, while Elor Azarya is from the South, they are so called simple people, most probably of Mizrahi origin. Azarya is a member of Beitar soccer club – they are well known right wingers and Arab haters.
“An IDF soldier who was a medic in the unit and who had treated the wounded soldier, asked permission from his commanding officer to “finish off” the wounded Palestinian. Apparently the commander approved.”
This is a sheer lie. How you dare? There were two officers on the spot and it all happened so fast that they both could do nothing. After the soldier finished the critically wounded assailant (before that, he got at least six bullets from the soldier he attempted to kill), Azarya was asked by the stunned officers what the hell was it supposed to mean. The answer was: He tried to kill my friends and as such he does not deserve to live. The officers filed report to the superiors, the soldier was arrested and tried by the military police – hours before the documentary went on air.
These are the results of the initial army investigation, it is open – everybody can read it,if he is not lazy and/or has fantasies of his./her own. (Why the officer was not arrested as an accomplice, eh?)
@ Maxim Reider: Anytime an Israeli accuses you of “bullshit” know that it’s almost always pure bluff, as in this case. They always go all macho and employ English expletives thinking they can intimidate someone. Back off, bub. Now let’s recount your errors:
1. Azarya, according to Israeli media sources, is not “from the south,” but rather from Ramleh. Again, yes, a poor area and I’ve already said he is probably Mizrahi, so you haven’t offered any illumination there either.
2. My observation that they are both French was just that–an observation. And accurate.
3. The Shalits are no more “left-wingers” than Tzipi Livni or Hillary Clinton is left-wing. They are not right wing like you are–that makes them left-wing in your eyes. But right-wing assholes like you always see the world in a politically insular manner. Whoever disagrees with you and is even a smidgen more liberal than you becomes a “left-winger.”
4. The video actually shows something quite different than what you claim. The incident didn’t happen “so fast” at all. In fact, the murderer stepped up to the victim and as he did his CO stepped away so that he wouldn’t be too close to the scene when shots were fired. Scores of Israelis have actually analyzed this video footage and disagree completely with your account, as do I. Further, IDF medics don’t simply take the law into their own hands and execute prisoners unless they do so with the approval of their commanders. And if they do, the commanders should be relieved of command.
Your further interpretation is merely lifted from the standard pro-IDF narrative: he was a lone wolf. His commanders couldn’t have known what he was capable of. Blah, blah. No one knows who said what to whom after the killing. “Stunned officers?” How do you know this? Did you use a magnifying glass to examine the looks on the COs faces? Because no one else I know has found those looks you did. Or is it possible you’re just making it up as you go along.
Nor does anyone arrest Azarya, detain him or even wrest the weapon from his hands indicating disapproval of his action.
You are a music critic. Best to remain where your little expertise lies and not delve into areas where you’re clearly out of your depth. It is telling though that you write for Jerusalem Post, though I didn’t know their music critics were allowed to branch out into political grandstanding.
And if you ever dare accuse me of lying without proof, I’ll ban your ass so fast your head will spin.
It makes perfect sense Dimi Reider is your nephew. He once accused me of being an asset for Israeli intelligence. Is this some kind of family vendetta you have?