The public trial of Elor Azariya over the shooting of a terrorist in Hevron was a grave mistake and never should have occurred in the first place. The IDF should have dealt with the issue in the way militaries usually deal with such matters, i.e. an internal investigation and, if deemed appropriate, the requisite disciplining of the soldier for whatever was deemed to be his wrongdoing, if indeed such wrongdoing were found.
Instead, the Hevron shooting was turned into a national and international media event, which served only to demoralize the country, most notably our defense forces, and empower and embolden our enemies, who caused this entire debacle to begin with. This was not a regular criminal trial but the result of a terrorist attack, a pertinent fact that some have incredibly dubbed irrelevant.
This was not a regular criminal trial but the result of a terrorist attack, a pertinent fact that some have incredibly dubbed irrelevant.
The Arabs are already bristling with the usual self-righteous anger, threatening to convert this into another international instance of lawfare against Israel by taking Azariya to the Hague. Honestly - who can blame them? Israel repeatedly hands our enemies its own head on a silver platter and then wonders why things are not going so well. Our deeply provincial, callous, and inept leftist media and our self-righteous judicial class are incapable of taking anything else into account other than appearing “holier than thou”, determined that nothing is more important than following their own convictions, even at the cost of national security.
Israel’s enemies, in the West and in the Arab world, will have a field day with this verdict. They will use it to humiliate Israel, while self-righteously touting their own anti-Israeli causes as having always been correct. “See” they will belt out for the world to hear, “We were right all along about Israelis being war criminals. Don’t blame us for saying so. After all, the Israeli courts say so themselves”.
No one will love Israel for this verdict, admiring what so many in the Israeli establishment falsely believe to be about a higher level of ethics (there is nothing remotely ethical about throwing a young soldier to the wolves, whatever his perceived wrongdoings), and certainly no one is going to break out in song about Israel’s moral virtues and the righteousness of its courts.
Quite the contrary. This verdict makes Israel look weak, ripe for the taking in yet another round of Arab and NGO-led lawfare. It endangers Israeli security, as it gives terrorists encouragement to go right ahead and do their worst, no worries – Israeli courts will have their backs. It would have behooved former generals, such as former defense ministers Moshe Yaalon and Ehud Barak to consider these issues, before they ventured forth in the press with the public sacrifice of one of their own soldiers.
It is a real shame, almost too great for words, that the supposedly adult officials in charge of our country, have such little consideration for the ramifications of their actions, while finding it so easy to carelessly throw a young soldier to the wolves.