About a week ago, an Israeli occupation soldier executed a wounded Palestinian youth with a shot to the head. The act was caught on camera by Palestinian activist Emad Abu Shamsiya. The video is extremely disturbing, but you must force yourself to watch, to see, and to realize the inhumanity and nonchalance behind the act. The scene is quite clear: two Palestinian young men bleeding on the floor; one is dead, the other seems to be groaning in pain, immobilized, incapable of posing any kind of threat whatsoever, but still alive. 

According to military spokesmen, the two Palestinians were involved in a stabbing attack against an Israeli soldier stationed in the occupied territory of Hebron, who was lightly wounded.

A settlers is heard saying to the soldiers: “This asshole, here, is still breathing.”

According to Tikkun Olam blog, a soldier asked permission to “finish off” the wounded Palestinian. With the apparent approval of his commander, the soldier proceeded to walk within six feet of the immobilized youth, cocking his rifle, and shoot him in the head.

As revolting as this video may be, perhaps the most terrifying display of disregard for human life and international law succeeded this criminal act. Instead of taking the time to engage in an examination of the practice and philosophy behind the occupation of Palestine, this is how large segments of Israeli society and government have responded:

At first, it was reported that the soldier in question was suspended with pay pending an investigation.

In the meanwhile, Mondoweiss reports, that two ultra-far-right Israeli "settlers" (who are criminals under international law), Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bentzi Gopstein "have filed a complaint with Israeli police against Emad Abu Shamsiya" for having captured the attack on camera, insinuating that he was somehow there as part of a coordinated smear campaign against Israel. Emad "has received a number of death threats, as well as gatherings outside his home of Israeli settlers threatening to harm him". Not only he was told "by the Israeli police and military that they will not protect him or his family from the settlers", but proceeded to raid his house in the night of March 29th.

Upholding his tradition of complete disregard for international law, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has failed to address the systemic practices of ethnic cleansing and assassination of Palestinians by the Israeli "Defence" Forces. Instead, he praised the morality and ethics of the Israeli occupation forces, stating that "Any challenge to the morality of the IDF is outrageous and unacceptable,” and that “The soldiers of the IDF...maintain high ethical values while courageously fighting against bloodthirsty murderers under difficult operational conditions”.

Uproar in Israel

Although there has been condemnation for this act by Israeli Human Rights groups, and progressive Israeli newspapers such as Haaretz, this doesn't seem to reflect the wider public opinion. Over 50,000 Israelis have signed a petition to award the soldier a medal. A poll conducted by the Israel's Channel Two found that 57% of respondents opposed investigating the murder, and 68% disagreed public criticism of the act. Only 32% agreed that the murderer should have been arrested and investigated over the execution.

This comes less than a week following a declaration by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) condemning Israel on five counts of Human Rights abuses. 

The tautology is clear: Israel is ethical, so no matter what Israel does, it must consequentially be ethical. It doesn't matter if this causes cognitive dissonance - it is easily resolved with the incessant defence of the clearly indefensible, and with the recalibration of one's moral compass to justify atrocities. Israel's government and society at large have become masters at this process, and are sowing the world how far they are willing to extend it. #Middle East #Foreign Policy #World Politics