Israeli Sgt. Elor Azaria Convicted of Manslaughter:
Fair or Unfair?
Israeli Sgt. Elor Azaria was convicted of manslaughter this past Wednesday for shooting a terrorist in Hebron last March. The verdict has divided Israeli society, including both the citizenry and the government. However, there is no question that the Arab terrorist's intent was to kill Jews.
Azaria acted after the terrorist and his cohort had already stabbed Azaria's fellow soldiers. One terrorist was killed, and Azaria then killed the second terrorist while he was on the ground, defenseless, according to the Israeli prosecution. Azaria had maintained throughout the trial that the terrorist might have been concealing a bomb underneath the jacket he had been wearing. Thus, Azaria acted to neutralize a potentially very serious threat.
The prosecution maintains that Azaria acted recklessly when his life was not in danger. We cannot dispute this reliably, but we can say that the facts in this case seem dubious, and given the doubts, we believe that it is incumbent upon the IDF to defend its soldiers against dubious charges, and against the wrath of those whose mission it is to smear its soldiers, and make Israel look guilty in the eyes of the world.
At the most, Azaria should have been reprimanded for not obeying orders. However, he should not have been forced to stand in front of a show trial, and he certainly should not have been charged with, and found guilty of, manslaughter. The charge and the verdict only feed into the image of a weak Israel that bends over backwards to portray itself as holier-than-thou.
Simply, when one comes to kill you, kill him first.
There have been numerous calls for Azaria's pardon, even from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. We hope these calls are acted on quickly.
Please read Caroline Glick's latest piece on this matter here: