“The terrorist is still alive, the dog” warns a Hebrew voice on a video. Two minutes later an IDF solder shoots Abdel-fattah al-Sharif in the head, according to Gregg Carlstrom’s report in yesterday’s Times, as well as assorted pro-Palestinian sources.
“An Israeli soldier has been arrested for fatally shooting a Palestinian man in the head when he was already incapacitated after carrying out a stabbing.”
The video has been widely disseminated. From this armchair it looks as though everyone present on the scene is behaving oddly and callously.
“That terrorist is still alive, the dog! Don’t let him attack us!” one medic is heard saying after apparently seeing the Palestinian moving.
“It looks like he has a bomb on him,” shouts another voice. “Until a sapper comes, nobody touches him!”
There is an interesting below the line debate on Harry’s Place, following Marc Goldberg’s article about the incident in which he is highly critical of the soldier and cites Israel’s declining moral values.
Obviously Marc Goldberg and many other idealists would prefer it if Israel could permanently occupy the moral high ground, no ifs, no buts. Who wouldn’t?
However, the demand is that Israel must never do anything morally questionable under any circumstances. Were it possible to satisfy such uncompromising standards, it would simply be ‘bye-bye Israel’.
As it is, we’ll have to settle for the fact that the soldier has been arrested, and that Israeli spokespersons have issued statements “including from Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called it a violation of the army’s ethical code.”
Awkward, isn’t it? It could turn out like previous occasions, where the Israeli government’s initial expressions of regret are viewed as admissions of guilt. This enfeebles any extenuating circumstances that might come to light thereafter. But if the Israeli authorities don’t immediately condemn this kind of incident, it looks even worse.
We mustn’t completely lose sight of the fact that these Palestinian young men had just stabbed a soldier.
Strangely enough, the Palestinians don’t even bother to pretend of any kind of regret about their citizens murdering unarmed Israeli civilians. In fact they’re out and proud, and no-one in the Times, the Guardian, the BBC is in the slightest bit interested.
This report on the BBC website is almost unforthcoming in its robotic, staccato presentation. Uninformative is better than overtly hostile I suppose. Maybe the BBC is afraid to open its mouth. (only joking)