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.