Saturday 26 March 2016

Fine Line of Duty

“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) 

It’s odd that this incident echoes the new series of “Line of Duty”, in which an armed policeman shoots and kills a disarmed criminal. We’re given to believe that as the story unfolds, this is not the cold-blooded execution it appears to be. We’ll have to wait and see how it pans out, no?


  1. Harry's Place if just another collectivist blog. I stopped visiting a few years ago when SarahAB told me to f**k off for making observations about muslims which in the intervening years can be seen as quite prescient.

    1. I had a similar experience - they are very PC and used to tie themselves up in knots trying to maintain there was a credible, fully peaceful interpretation of Islam and that that was mainstream Islam. They also were not prepared to accept that different immigrant groups - e.g. Roma, Somalis, Ugandan Asians, Bangladeshis, and central European Jews might make varying contributions (positive or negative)to the culture, civic life and economy of the UK. Again, just PC orthodoxy. I haven't been there ages but doubt it's changed that much. The irony was they used to have a banner saying something like the only free speech worth having is the freedom to offend or some such.

    2. John,

      No-one likes being told to fuck off, but I think it’s understandable that at a certain time - perhaps pre-Rotherham, pre I.S., pre rampant terrorism, they feared being discredited by what they saw as Islamophobic comments.

      I think Harry’s Place is the best blog around. Certainly the most interesting. The comments are rich and varied. Yes, its ‘editorial’ comes from a left-leaning perspective, and yes it used to be far more politically correct than it should have been to truly to justify its freedom of speech manifesto.

      Recently, reality has caught up with it, both above and below the line. It’s now much truer to its ideals. It’s a sort of canary if you like. A litmus test, showing that public opinion is gradually, gradually, shifting away from total insanity.

      Things evolve. Maybe you should go back and lurk for a while.

  2. Even if this is as ugly as it's been made to appear, the fact that it's presented as a violation of the IDF's ethics code and that the soldier could face punishment for it is proof that Israel strives for a higher standard. Not only is there is no such thing in any Muslim group, never mind Hamas or Fatah or any Palestinian gang, but all their supporters in the West condone the imbalance.

    It's one guy in one situation, not a battalion mowing down a crowd of unarmed, injured civilians. Only Muslims do that in this century, yet only Israel is held to any moral standard at all.

  3. I haven't seen the video but the stabbers often have other means of dealing death. The Belgian security forces shot the terrorist at the tram stop didn't they?

  4. The world always seems to hold Israel to a higher moral standard than the rest of the world. This might be taken to mean that somehow we expect more from Israel than the Palestinians. In fact we do, although the BBC would never admit this. Yet it never seems to translate that way.

    1. The soft bigotry of lower expectations, yes. However, that's only half of it. The general feeling that Israel is not a legitimate State at all, often exacerbated by anti-Jewish sentiment, means that Israel cannot, must not be allowed to be seen as doing anything other than evil.

    2. I have never worked out how Israel is supposed to be less legitimate than states like USA, Canada, Australia and South Africa that were actually built on extermination of indigenous peoples.

    3. Don't open that can of worms. There are plenty who will tell you they're not much more legitimate. The only difference being Israel is the only country currently carrying out genocide, whereas the genocide done by the others is largely in the past (they will say, not me). South Africa has since been purified, of course, so shouldn't be included.


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