A soldier firing from a fortified tower killed an innocent man, and seriously wounded another, for no reason. I repeat: For no reason. Despite all the lies, the falsehoods and made up stories circulated by the soldier and his lawyers.
If he was a Palestinian soldier, he would be sentenced to life in prison and another 25 years – something I am noting for the benefit of the Zionist experts on apartheid, who say there is no apartheid in Israel because there are no racial laws. You don’t need any racial laws if you can bend the law based on someone’s ethnic origins: And the soldier is a Jew; therefore he will be sentenced in a plea bargain to three months community service.
Up to this point, it’s all within the realm of the expected. The investigation is reduced to nothing, the accused is not really accused of anything, the serious indictment evaporates into the ether, the plea makes a mockery of the term bargain; we end up with community service for manslaughter – a much lighter sentence than if the soldier had stolen a 100-shekel bill.
And this show is also rare; usually it’s all resolved without a trial. That’s how it is when you’re talking about organized crime.
This time, the instigators, the good ol’ boys, the generals in the reserves, got involved to defend the perpetrator. This is how the cosa nostra operates: One for all and all for one. The organization heads come to the soldiers’ aid no matter what they’ve done. The criminal becomes a victim, and the victim becomes a non-person.
Even the political background of the character witnesses doesn’t matter: When you’re talking about generals, there’s no difference between left and right. Justifying the crime stands above all else.
The logic is clear: If the shooter is a criminal then his commanders are worse criminals. It is not for nothing that Moshe Ya’alon took pride in how his soldiers shot an American journalist in Lebanon because they thought his camera was a rocket. Let’s just say – for the sake of drawing miserable, outrageous comparisons between the junctions south of Bethlehem and the killing fields of Lebanon, and between the stone and a rocket – that Ya’alon thinks it’s all okay as long as it was unintentional.
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The killing of Ahmed Manasra shows that it was anything but unintentional. He was killed after he stopped to help Ala Rayida, who had been shot in front of his wife and daughters only because he got out of his car. There is nothing unintentional about the control the Israeli soldier exercises at this junction at the entrance to a Palestinian city; there is nothing unintentional about the fact that the soldier knows he can fatally shoot someone if he thinks they may have thrown a stone; and there’s nothing unintentional about generals rushing to his defense.
Avi Mizrahi suggested sending the soldier, A., to work in the kitchen as punishment. Yair Golan, the great promise of the Zionist left, the one who once accepted to recognize that “the revolting processes that happened in Europe” were also at work in Israel, said he “can understand how the soldier felt and the degree of pressure on him.” Did the recognizer of processes try to understand even once the souls of the Palestinians the same age as A., who are struggling against the occupation? Did he think even once about the pressure they are under, while he sent his soldiers to kill them, or to kidnap them from their beds, or when he sentences them to jail without trial?
It was a cold night, rainy and foggy when we arrived, Alex Levac and myself, to the scene of the incident at the end of March 2019, a few days after it happened. Manasra’s shocked friends, who were with him in the car on the way to a wedding, reenacted for us what happened. There was still blood splattered on the road. The shooting continued even as Manasra tried to flee for his life.
The other day, A. came on a television program on Kan and gave his version of events, all a bunch of unbelievable lies. He thought he saw stones that were never there; he thought he had shot one man and not two; he thought he was “protecting Jewish families” on a road which no Jew travels, and he is very sorry about what happened.
It was really sad. But why should A. have any regrets, if the generals are rushing to his defense? And why should he regret anything when IDF commanders and apparently a majority of Israelis want him to continue to shoot at innocent people as long as they’re Palestinians.
There’s nothing to regret, A., nothing happened. Don’t regret anything, A., the family is behind you.