Editorial |

Investigate the Israeli Security Guard

Woe unto Jordan if one of its guards were to kill two Israelis after being mildly wounded, and it dared follow Netanyahu's current example in portraying the guard as a hero

Haaretz.
Haaretz Editorial
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu embraces the security guard who shot dead his assailant in Jordan's capital of Amman, July 25, 2017.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu embraces the security guard who shot dead his assailant in Jordan's capital of Amman, July 25, 2017.Credit: Chaim Tzach
Haaretz.
Haaretz Editorial

The Israeli government has an obligation to its emissaries, certainly those in a difficult and dangerous posting like Amman. It’s good that the security guard in the Israeli Embassy in Jordan’s capital, who was stabbed and shot his assailant and landlord to death, was not given up to Jordanian justice. It’s also good that the need for a quid pro quo to resolve the crisis led to the removal of the metal detectors from the Temple Mount. But the glorifying of the guard’s heroism, presided over by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is simply too much.

In the incident, whose circumstances are still not clear, the security guard struggled with a local youth who had come to his apartment to do some carpentry work. The facts as published to date are that the Jordanian youth stabbed the security guard with a screwdriver, and the guard shot the youth with his pistol, killing him, and also shot and killed the landlord who was present. The rented apartment is located on the embassy compound, and Jordanian police were not allowed access quickly enough to freeze the situation after the incident.

It could be that the security guard’s version of events is correct, but to confirm it there needs to be a criminal investigation by the Israel Police in cooperation with the Jordanian police. Political considerations in diplomatic garb must not prevent an effort to get at the truth.

It’s easy to imagine how Israel would have responded if the situation was reversed – if a security guard at the Jordanian consulate in Tel Aviv who got into a fight or, as he said, was attacked by him, would have killed him and another Israeli. One can assume there would have been an aggressive police investigation, since Israeli blood will not be spilled idly. Woe unto the Hashemite kingdom if it had dared portray a security guard after Netanyahu’s example, as a hero who defended himself against attack and foiled his enemies.

Netanyahu acted as if the return of the embassy staff to Israel was a successful rescue mission by the elite fighters of Sayeret Matkal at the end of a heroic military operation. The forward commanders monitored the situation on high alert. Here’s the convoy of embassy staff, evacuated in Netanyahu’s typical haste, heading for the border. There, they’ve crossed it. After the border was crossed, there was an immediate phone call to the “commander in chief” and a warm embrace the next morning. “We knew you’d be back,” said the prime minister. A poor man’s Entebbe.

Out of his longing for applause from the right and to offset the embarrassment of what rightists saw as defeatism on the Temple Mount, Netanyahu demonstrated insensitivity to the situation of the Jordanian regime, which is under extreme pressure from the Muslim Brotherhood, the tribes in the south and the Palestinians. Now, as if that wasn’t enough, it must explain why the security guard was allowed to leave before the Jordanian investigation was completed.

Israel and the entire region need leadership that is thoughtful in its actions and moderate in its messages, which is the opposite of how Netanyahu behaves.

The above article is Haaretz's lead editorial, as published in the Hebrew and English newspapers in Israel.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott