Light Sentence for Israeli Killer Soldier
by Stephen Lendman
Last March, Israeli sergeant Elor Azaiar Elor Azaria murdered Palestinian ‘Abd al-Fatah al-Sharif in cold blood as he lay helpless, wounded on the ground, threatening no one.
Video evidence showed Azaria lethally shooting him in the head at point-blank range. A nearby soldier said he “did the right thing.”
He was charged with manslaughter instead of first-degree murder, a capital offense, requiring significant punishment.
Never in Israel when a Jew kills an Arab, especially a soldier, free to murder Palestinians with impunity, or almost in the case of Azaria.
Video footage exposed his cold-blooded assassination. Just societies imprison convicted killers longterm.
Azaria was charged and convicted of manslaughter. Most Israelis consider him a hero. Supportive rallies were held on his behalf, signs displayed, saying “KILL THEM ALL” and “Free Elor.” Extremists chanted “death to Arabs.”
Netanyahu supported Azaria, saying “(o)ur soldiers are not murderers.” The so-called world’s most moral army myth was debunked long ago.
Israeli soldiers are trained to hate Arabs, to kill with impunity. If video evidence of Alor’s high crime hadn’t gone viral, he never would have been charged, tried and convicted.
He’s the exception proving the rule. On Tuesday, he was sentenced to 18 months in prison, a slap on the wrist.
He likely won’t stay incarcerated long, likely quietly released at some point to go on with his life.
In pronouncing sentence, a military judge said his offense was mitigated by being on active combat service.
It was a judicial acknowledgement of Israel’s war on Palestine – no mention of its illegality, occupation harshness, institutionalized racism, and longstanding state-sponsored terror.
After sentencing, extremist MKs called for pardoning him. It’s likely given Netanyahu’s earlier expressed support.
Peace Now head Yariv Oppenheim called his sentence “embarrassing in its leniency, and even more embarrassing is the conduct of politicians who still demand pardon for a man who shot a terrorist in the head, because he deserved it.”
Extremist education minister Naftali Bennett tweeted the “security of the citizens of Israel requires immediate clemency for Elor Azaria, who was sent to protect us.”
Likudnik David Bitan said “I don’t want him to sit a single day in prison.” His lawyers plan to appeal, requesting no imprisonment until the process is completed.
Despite committing cold-blooded murder, Azaria may spend no time in prison – or at most a token amount.
Miscarriage of justice is longstanding Israeli policy.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.