Not a drop of compassion at the military court

Elor Azaria made an error in judgement, there is no doubt about it, but the judges failed to see before their eyes a young soldier who was sent on a difficult mission in an impossible reality.
Not a single word of compassion was heard from the panel of judges at the military court in Tel Aviv towards IDF soldier Elor Azaria or towards his family throughout the entire reading of the verdict. If they had even the slightest sensitivity, they would not have stood there and read the ruling for two and a half hours, without providing the bottom line at the very beginning: Guilty. Reading 309 clauses of the ruling while keeping the soldier in terrible suspense symbolizes the court’s humiliating attitude.

The judges did not see before their eyes a young soldier who was sent on a difficult mission in an impossible reality. They did not see a shocked soldier attending to his wounded friend, who was in a state of deep fear several minutes earlier. How could this panel express any solidarity or empathy, if most of its members never experienced a combat situation?

And that is the essence of the injustice: Retroactively judging—inside a protected and air-conditioned courtroom—something that happened in a chaotic reality, while turning their backs on a person who was sent to the battlefield to defend us all. More at yNet.

The IDF’s new social contract

A pardon for Azaria would go some way toward repairing the damage the General Staff has done to its relationship with the public By CAROLINE B. GLICK.
Sgt. Elor Azaria, who was convicted of manslaughter Wednesday for shooting a terrorist in Hebron last March, is a symptom of what may be the most dangerous threat to Israeli society today.

Azaria, a combat medic from the Kfir Brigade, arrived at the scene of an attack where two terrorists had just stabbed his comrades. One of the terrorists was killed, the other was wounded and lying on the ground, his knife less than a meter away from him.

A cameraman from the foreign-funded, Israeli- registered anti-Israel pressure group B’Tselem filmed Azaria removing his helmet and shooting the wounded terrorist. According to the military judges, the film was the centerpiece of the case against him.

The day of the incident, the General Staff reacted to the B’Tselem film with utter hysteria. Led by Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot and then-defense minister Moshe Ya’alon, Israel’s generals competed to see who could condemn Azaria most harshly.

For the public, though, the issue wasn’t so cut and dry. Certainly Azaria didn’t act like a model soldier. It was clear, for instance, that he acted without proper authority and that his action was not permitted under the rules of engagement then in effect in Hebron.

But unlike the IDF’s senior leadership, the public believed that the fact that it was B’Tselem that produced the film meant that it had to be viewed with a grain of salt. More at Jpost.