We don’t need to engage in hypotheticals when comparing the manslaughter of the Palestinian terrorist by Elor Azaria to the actions of Palestinian terrorists. They have systematically murdered Israelis by driving into them, stabbing them, murdering entire families in their sleep and people on buses with bombs strapped to them. So when an IDF soldier kills a terrorist lying prone on the ground who clearly (watch the video) isn’t a threat to anyone we can understand why a majority of Israelis want to see that soldier get pardoned.
In fact jealousy of the savagery of Arab states and terror groups is something I have come across time and again. Jealousy of the intransigence shown by Arab states in their dealings with Israel, jealousy of the freedom of action that seems to be so forthcoming for other Middle Eastern states. They can kill and no one in the world seems to care. One dodgy Israeli is taken as a sign that Israeli society as a whole is rotten. This unfairness has lead many to harden their hearts when it comes to the treatment of Israeli killers by her own courts of law.
It should not.
At times like this it’s worth taking a step back and looking at the difference between us and them.
Take a look at the strength of our nation, our economy, our military compared to those of our enemies. When someone shoots dead a man lying prone on the ground disarmed he is put on trial and punished. We have a code we live by. When a Palestinian terrorist murders a bunch of Jewish civilians he receives a stipend from the government and has streets named after him. But what have Palestinians gained as a result of this?
Maybe the code we live by, the code of justice and law and order is the reason we have been so successful in building a thriving society and their inability to condemn acts of violence and murder is the reason they are unable to do the same.
Israel’s soldiers have always stood and fought while those of our enemies have turned and run. We can stand confident in the knowledge that behind our soldiers lies a civilisation worth defending. They know that behind them stands nothing but the torture chambers their governments use against their own populace. In Israel internet millionaires succeed on the strength of an idea and the ingenuity involved in putting the idea into practise. In Gaza there is nothing but a physical and intellectual wasteland, a populace who watches their one time democratically elected government waste the money meant to rebuild their shattered landscape literally get pumped underground in the form of concrete tunnels to get Gaza ready for the next round of fighting against the IDF. Hamas is literally investing in the death of Gazans in the inevitable next conflict. A conflict Israel will win.
The ‘weakness’ we show by prosecuting Elor Azaria the ‘hero’ who killed a terrorist already disarmed while lying wounded on the ground is what gives Israel her strength. The ‘weakness’ we show by insisting on the rule of law rather than the rule of populism is the strength that has made Israel the military, economic and democratic powerhouse of the Middle East.
If this is weakness I’ll take it over the alternative every time.