[News] Israeli Campaign Ad Stars Former Soldier Lauded for Executing Palestinian Suspect

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jan 25 17:03:29 EST 2019


https://theintercept.com/2019/01/25/israeli-campaign-ad-stars-former-soldier-executed-prone-palestinian-suspect/


  Israeli Campaign Ad Stars Former Soldier Lauded for Executing
  Palestinian Suspect

Robert Mackey - January 25, 2019
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yaron Mazuz, Israel's deputy environment minister, shares a laugh with 
Elor Azaria, a former soldier who killed a prone Palestinian suspect in 
2016. Yaron Mazuz, via FacebookYaron Mazuz, Israel's deputy environment 
minister, shares a laugh with Elor Azaria, a former soldier who killed a 
prone Palestinian suspect in 2016. Yaron Mazuz, via Facebook

_Elor Azaria_, a former Israeli Army medic who became a hero to that 
nation’s far-right by publicly executing a wounded Palestinian suspect 
<https://theintercept.com/2016/03/24/israeli-rights-group-releases-video-soldier-executing-wounded-palestinian-suspect/> 
in the occupied West Bank in 2016, is the star of a new political 
advertising campaign for a deputy minister in Prime Minister Benjamin 
Netanyahu’s government.

The former soldier, who was convicted of manslaughter based on video 
evidence of the crime 
<https://www.btselem.org/video/20160324_soldier_executes_palestinian_attacker_in_hebron>, 
served just nine months in jail before being released last summer. In a 
poster 
<https://www.facebook.com/YaronMazuz/photos/a.1657504661202568/2459418081011218/?type=3&theater> 
and video message 
<https://www.facebook.com/YaronMazuz/videos/2250829618531630/> published 
on Facebook this week by the deputy environment minister, Yaron Mazuz, 
Azaria is seen grinning and shaking the politician’s hand.

In the video, Mazuz, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, urges 
supporters to vote for him in a primary election next month, so he can 
be a candidate in the April general election.

“I am sitting next to my friend Elor Azaria, whom we enlisted in our 
primary campaign, and with God’s help, together with him, we will 
succeed,” Mazuz says in the video, according to a translation 
<https://www.jpost.com/Israel-Elections/Likud-deputy-minister-enlists-Elor-Azaria-in-primary-campaign-578417> 
by Lahov Harkov of The Jerusalem Post.

Mazuz also gave Azaria a paid position on his campaign, The Post 
reported, and called the former soldier’s crime justified. “We have to 
support our soldiers and let them act according to the threats they face 
in the battlefield,” Mazuz told Israel’s Channel 12 News. “We cannot tie 
their hands and neuter them when facing vile murderers.”

Video recorded by a Palestinian witness on March 24, 2016, left no doubt 
that Azaria did execute the incapacitated suspect, Abdel Fattah 
al-Sharif, after the Palestinian had stabbed an Israeli soldier at a 
checkpoint in the occupied city of Hebron. By the time Azaria arrived at 
the scene, the Palestinian had already been shot by another soldier and 
was stretched out on the pavement, unable to move. Azaria was caught on 
camera cocking his rifle and firing a single bullet into the suspected 
attacker’s head, killing him.

When Israel’s Army put the young medic on trial, he was quickly lauded 
as a hero 
<https://theintercept.com/2016/04/19/thousands-israelis-rally-support-soldier-executed-wounded-palestinian/> 
by a large swathe of the Israeli public.

The latest celebration of Azaria horrified Elizabeth Tsurkov, an Israeli 
rights activist, and Khaled Elgindy, a former adviser to the Palestinian 
leadership in the West Bank.

    The horror. The soldier caught executing a prone Palestinian
    assailant in Hebron Elor Azaria, is now a celebrity used to recruit
    votes in the Likud primaries. The ad for Likud MK Yaron Mazuz reads:
    "Elor Azaria has joined me, you join too!" https://t.co/dQBSweO6t2

    — Elizabeth Tsurkov (@Elizrael) January 23, 2019
    <https://twitter.com/Elizrael/status/1088152227364114432?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw>

Last July, following his early release from prison, Azaria was given a 
hero’s welcome 
<https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-elor-azaria-receives-hero-s-welcome-at-hebron-shooting-scene-1.6242150> 
back to the scene of the crime by Israeli settlers in Hebron.

As Tsurkov noted, earlier this week the Israeli Army’s former chief of 
staff Benny Gantz, who is considered the only serious rival to 
Netanyahu’s re-election as prime minister, started his own election 
campaign. Three of the first four ads for Gantz celebrate his record of 
killing Palestinians, during the Israeli offensives on Gaza in 2012 and 
2014.

    Time and time again, Israel's Center attempts to reach power by
    presenting itself as more anti-Arab & more savage than the Israeli
    Right. This strategy usually fails, but helps further demonize
    Palestinians. Why try to make peace with people whose homes deserve
    to be obliterated?

    — Elizabeth Tsurkov (@Elizrael) January 21, 2019
    <https://twitter.com/Elizrael/status/1087457105399947264?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw>

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