Israeli Pop Icons Cancel Performance at Rally for Soldier Who Shot Wounded Palestinian Assailant

Eyal Golan expresses support for the soldier but says he doesn't want to go against the military; David D'Or cancels show because he's not a 'political person.'

From left to right: Subliminal, Eyal Golan and David D'Or, set to perform at a rally in favor of the soldier who shot a subdued Palestinian attacker in Hebron.
Haaretz

A rally in support of the Israeli soldier who shot and killed a subdued Palestinian assailant in Hebron will take place at Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Tuesday, but will not be headlined with musical performances from Israeli icons Eyal Golan and David D'Or as was initially planned.

Rapper Subliminal on Monday confirmed he will to perform at the demonstration.

Golan first announced on Sunday that he will come to the rally "to support the soldier and his family."

"The soldier is like the son of the entire nation of Israel," he said. 

The accused soldier in military court in Jaffa on Thursday, April 14, 2016.
Moti Milrod

But on Monday he decided not to sing after all, saying he never meant to go against the Israel Defense Forces' chief or the military. 

"All I wanted was to sing and embrace, in the name of the art and in my own name, as a person," Golan said in a statement. "Unfortunately, some people took my desire to a political place, like I'm declaring a war against the IDF.

"I have received dozens of requests from people like me, who on one hand value the soldier, and on the other hand revere the state's and army's values," he continued. "This is why I decided to cancel my participation in the rally tomorrow."  

D'Or, who was also initially slated to perform, released a statement on Monday saying that while he wanted to express empathy toward the family, he is not a "political person." He said he was unaware of the event's political nature, and added that he "can't attend anyway" because of a conflicting show.

The rally, a brainchild of former MK Sharon Gal, comes as the soldier is due to be indicted Monday, under the charge of manslaughter. If convicted of this offense, the he is expected to serve a prison sentence.

Military prosecutors, who will present the indictment before the military court in Jaffa, maintain that the soldier shot the Palestinian, who had just moments before tried to stab other soldiers, out of revenge and not operational necessity. Among other points of evidence, they point to comments made by the soldier after firing his weapon, such as "he deserves to die."

The soldier, however, maintained during questioning that he shot the prone Palestinians out of fear, judging that he was moving to detonate an explosive device. The incident only came to light as it was captured on video and delivered to B'Tselem, a human rights group. An autopsy later determined that it was the soldier's shot to the head that caused the Palestinian's death.

It's the first time an Israeli soldier has been charged with manslaughter during operational activity in over a decade. According to the organization Yesh Din, a military watchdog, the last similar case was in 2004 when a Bedouin soldier was charged with manslaughter for killing a British left-wing activist during a protest in Rafah. 

Three years ago, military prosecutors intended to charge a soldier with manslaughter for killing a Palestinian activist from the town of Dura who tried to enter Israel via a break in the separation barrier. The soldier was offered a plea bargain however, and was charged with negligent manslaughter, eventually serving seven months in prison.

The soldier's company commander in this case was also charged with negligence in this case, but was acquitted at the end of court proceedings.