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Occupation magazine - Commentary

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Red Rag column - Elor Azaria - lament for the dead in Jerusalem
By: Gideon Spiro
13 January 2017

`The son of all of us`

Elor Azaria is not my son, nor are any of those other armed `soldiers/children` who serve in the Occupied Territories, shooting at the civilian population and extra-judicially executing people, any children of mine. They are citizens who need to be persuaded to stop being members of the Israeli Occupation force.

Azaria, based on the verdict of the military court, is a low-level criminal, who must pay the price for executing a prisoner of war; but above him stand high-ranking criminals, including air force pilots who have liquidated entire families by dropping bombs on Gaza, who have executed hundreds and thousands of human beings, and they and their commanders have not been brought to justice.

The Azaria trial is a misrepresentation to a great extent, because it creates the impression that the army is investigating its crimes, which it is not doing. The military justice system is an inseparable part of the machinery of war-crimes of the Occupation, and its judges need to be brought to justice at least as much as Azaria.

The reality of the Israeli Occupation emphasizes the fact that a low-ranking soldier has been punished, and his criminal commanders have gotten off without a scratch. The Azaria trial throws into sharp focus the importance of human rights organizations that spare no effort to document the crimes of the Occupation. If not for them, foremost among them B`Tselem, [1] the extra-judicial execution would not have come to the attention of the public.
The conclusion is clear: as long as the Occupation continues, Israeli and Palestinian peace activists must be equipped as much as possible with cameras to document the crimes of the Occupation. The documented material can eventually be housed in Israel`s Museum of Shame, which will be created one day.

The most corrupt newspaper in the country

The publisher of Yedioth Ahronoth, Noni Mozes, and Prime Minister Netanyahu met in order to discuss, one corrupt bully with another, a deal according to which Yedioth Ahronoth would begin to give Netanyahu more friendly coverage in return for forcing the `Bibiton` (Israel Hayom) [2] to be sold to customers instead of distributed for free. [3] The meeting of those two Mafiosi strengthens my long-standing conviction, based on personal experience as a columnist in the Yedioth Tikshoret newspaper chain (My article in the Haaretz weekend supplement of 16 June 2000, in which I expressed solidarity with the locked-out Yedioth printing-press workers led to my dismissal), that Yedioth is the most corrupt newspaper in this country.

The tears that are now flowing from the eyes of senior journalists at Yedioth, like Nahum Barnea and the McCarthyist Ben-Dror Yemini, as if they did not know what a violent media swamp they were inhabiting, are crocodile tears.

Lament for the dead

Three hundred cadets from the Occupation army`s officer school went to Jerusalem for what is referred to as an `educational tour`, to learn about `United Jerusalem`. The tour was cut short by a vehicle attack, which left 4 killed and about 20 wounded Ė too high a price to pay to learn that Jerusalem is not united.

What motivated the driver of the attack vehicle? We will never know, because he was shot and killed. I would guess that the driver, who was born into the reality of the Occupation, racism and discrimination, saw every day how his city was neglected and flooded with soldiers, police and plundering settlers, and maybe a relative of his was killed, or arrested or tortured. Year after year hostility piled up, which at any time could accumulate into a critical mass at which point it all blows up. In a fraction of a second, a young Palestinian goes from being an anonymous truck driver, Fadi Ahmad Hamdan al-Qunbar, to a guerrilla fighter for liberation from the Occupation. The demolition of his family`s house will render his wife and small children homeless. The Lieberman-Bennett-Netanyahu government are thereby taking care to ensure that the driverís children will be the next generation of the guerrillas of revenge, thereby perpetuating the conflict. This is apparently the governmentís policy: more and more graves.

The cadets too were born into the reality of the Occupation, on the side of the occupier, and the educational trip was intended to brainwash them in the framework of the Jubilee of the Occupation and the annexation.

Speaking as one who was part of the force that occupied East Jerusalem in June 1967, I am aware of the lie with which young Israelis grow up, called the `liberation of Jerusalem`. The vehicle attack could have been prevented if instead of the perpetuation of the lie of the `liberation` and `unification` of Jerusalem, a peace agreement had been signed according to which Palestinian Jerusalem would be the capital of the State of Palestine.

Generations of Israeli governments were and are willing to pay with the blood of their sons and daughters on the altar of religious fanaticism, which is nothing but the worship of stone idols.

Translatorís notes


2. `Bibiton`, a reference to the newspaper Israel Hayom (Israel Today), is a pun combining the words iton (newspaper) and `Bibi` Ė Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahuís nickname. It is so called because it strongly supports Netanyahu. It is financially backed by Sheldon Adelson.


Translated from Hebrew for Occupation Magazine by George Malent

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