Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Greatest Threat to Israel Today

...comes from within.

Four days ago, I posted this to The Times of Israel. The first paragraph stated:
I fully expect this post to be rejected (as a few of my posts have been) but I don’t care…because this time I’ll have my say…even if it is rejected, even if it is buried. I won’t hold back; I won’t look for words that will pass through left glasses.
It was not rejected. I was told I had to change the word "journalist" because, said the Times of Israel editor, the person is not a journalist. So I edited "journalist" to "blogger/new media editor" and resubmitted it...and it was published and got almost 900 shares, was seen by many more, and had over 70 comments...TODAY it was taken down.

Originally posted to the Times of Israel on March 27; removed on March 31....

A Palestinian stabbed an Israeli soldier in Hebron, one of the sources of violence for 6  long months. A soundless video made "coincidentally" by a B'Tselem who just happened to be there. The soundless part here is the key. What you can't hear is what proves the truth. But the truth has never been a priority when it comes to B'Tselem.

Times of Israel, like others, shared the video and then an employee went on Facebook and accused, tried, and convicted the 19-year-old soldier...more, she sentenced him to "rot in jail."

I was very upset. She is a loving mother, a gifted writer, photographer. She is kind and sweet...and she's also quite left wing. She loves Israel, wants peace and usually open-minded enough to believe that even those who disagree with her politically can be good parents, good writers, good photographers, love Israel, and desperately crave peace.

A second video, this time with sound surfaced. You can now hear eyewitnesses call out that the terrorist, who is wearing a closed jacket on a relatively hot day, might have a bomb and is moving. She went on Facebook and cited the second video with the word, "Important."

What she did not do is apologize to the 19 year old soldier that she had convicted and sentenced as a cold-blooded murderer. She didn't actually call him a cold-blooded murderer...but who else but a cold-blooded murderer or the vilest of human beings would you want to rot in jail? I asked her to apologize. She refused. "I'm not apologizing until a trial exonerates him," she responded.

And that took my level up to outrage. Those words can only mean one thing - this boy is guilty until proven innocent. That is not the way MY Israel works. That's not the way democracy works. That's the way Palestinian society works but thank you very much, this is Israel not Palestine, not Gaza or Iran.

People came forward saying that the soldier was correct. The IDF says it's investigating...and then, according to the Times of Israel, "The IDF rejects the claim that the soldier believed the Palestinian he shot in the head was armed." The article says even if he truly did believe the terrorist was armed - which is unlikely since the "assailant" had already been cleared by the IDF - the soldier still broke protocol.

Notice the word - "assailant"...who just STABBED a soldier...assailant... BBC/CNN/Reuters would be so proud of the Times of Israel, but here in Israel, we call them TERRORISTS...

So this statement, that the IDF is maintaining that the terrorist was checked makes no sense for several reasons:
  • if someone checked the terrorist, the medics were then required to treat him and there were no medics around the wounded terrorist. So, is the IDF investigating this. The soldier was not badly wounded so by IDF/MADA protocol, why was the unarmed assailant not being treated?
  • The officer couldn't clear the terrorists without opening his jacket and why would he then button the jacket back up on a day when it was 70+ degrees? When shot, the terrorist was completely dressed. That's not the way it works. In Israel, they remove the terrorist's clothing to look for wires, etc.
  • If the officer checked the terrorist, why did at least two separate people cry out a warning (“That terrorist is still alive, the dog! Don’t let him attack us!” and “It looks like he has a bomb on him,” and “Until a sapper comes, nobody touches him!”). You want us to believe a soldier went over, checked the terrorist, nicely dressed him back up (all without being noticed), didn't call the medics over and didn't tell the medics that the field was clear and safe?

We've been in this latest intifada for 6 months. Do you know how many pictures of terrorists I've seen after they've been checked? Dozens? Hundreds? Not ONE of them still had their jackets on. In fact, most of them weren't wearing pants any longer either. I have never seen an IDF soldier carefully re-dress a known terrorist and this one was known to be a terrorist because he was shot in the act and the medics were in the process of treating the bleeding soldier he had just attacked.

If our 19-year-old soldier shot the terrorist without the information that the terrorist had been cleared, the fault lies with the commanders on the scene because without that critical piece of information, the soldier acted quickly to neutralize a threat that could have killed them all

This Times of Israel employee then wrote:
He should not have shot the neutralized Palestinian assailant in the head. Say it with me: He should not have shot the NEUTRALIZED Palestinian assailant in the head.
Friends, please: all evidence clearly indicates this soldier did something terrible. For goodness sake, stop calling him a hero.
The IDF is full of heroes - some of them are your very own children. Let's honor THEM. Stop defending him.
You're HURTING Israel when you defend him. You're hurting our parents and our children and our HISTORY and our FUTURE.
The evidence suggests the soldier (and the medics calling out the warnings) were not told anything about the terrorist being checked and therefore the threat was not neutralized. And the condition of the body of the terrorists suggests the Times of Israel report is inaccurate as well. No way in hell was that terrorist checked.

Having lived here more than 23 years and gone through two intifadas (at least), I've learned enough to know that when you think that someone has a bomb on them, you neutralize them fast and if you've got medics treating wounded nearby, you don't have the option of pulling everyone back fast enough to be safe so yeah, you shoot the terrorist dead before he can reach his bomb and yeah, you might shoot him in the head because if you shoot him through his clothes, you might set off the bomb.

All we can conclude is that the soldier didn't know the terrorist had supposedly been cleared and therefore acted correctly with the information he had on hand - what was shouted to him by the eyewitnesses that agree he did the right thing...this 19 year old boy we've turned into a soldier.

I have one son who is 20 and in a combat unit...and there but for the grace of God, it could have been my son. If that soldier knowingly shot an unarmed terrorist, than this woman is correct. In our society, we would not consider him a hero. But in our society, we value justice and justice is not decided by a journalist who has never served, who is sitting hours away doling our judgment on our soldiers. Not just judgment - sentenced. He is to rot in jail.

He's guilty until proven innocent? The only person hurting Israel is this employee and the people she convinces with the influence and power given to her by the Times of Israel. Not the parents and children who want to believe in justice, who want to believe we send our sons and daughters to the army to serve and the army will protect them until they prove themselves not worthy of that protection.

Shame on Netanyahu and Ya'alon for passing judgment without the facts. And shame on this Times of Israel employee for being heartless and causing pain to a 19-year-old boy who is a hero and to his family and others, until proven otherwise. Until we know otherwise, and we still don't, he stepped forward to protect the people who were there.

It's very easy to talk about the days when your children will serve...when your kids aren't even 10 years old...but when you watch your son pick up a gun and a huge pack and swing it on his shoulder and you give him a kiss and watch him walk off...knowing you won't see him for a week, terrified they'll call and say he's been hurt or God, please no, never...or worse...then, ONLY then, will you understand what you've done, who you have maligned, and who you have hurt.

He's 19 years old. In America, he'd be screwing around, driving too fast, drinking too much, cutting classes and figuring out what he's going to do this summer. Here, these 19-year-olds ARE heroes because we give them guns and we train them...oh my God, do we train them.

They carry it a certain way, knowing they are targets every minute between base and home. And then they walk in the house...but they still have the gun and the obligations and the rules. So you get a quick kiss and he goes upstairs to his room, where he dismantles it and locks the pieces away. Only then does he come down to start eating everything you've made, to tell you of his week.

Then he wants to go out with his friends and he's going to Jerusalem so you watch as he slips a magazine in his belt or his pocket and puts the strap around his neck. He's 20 years old and he's guarding our borders and you have the nerve to hang him out to try because YOU've decided? You don't know anything. You weren't there.

You've got B'Tselem, may they rot in jail, and a soundless image, saying he did the wrong thing from 50 meters and a shaking hand, and you've got eyewitnesses right there who saw the whole thing saying he did the right thing. You won't apologize? So I will.

Dear Israeli soldier, dear dear boy...on your way so fast, too fast, to being a man, on behalf of this woman, I apologize for her lack of faith and all those who have no faith in you, for those who think you could be compared, even for a moment, with the terrorist you neutralized to save others. You did nothing you weren't trained to do. weren't given the right information - IF that is the case, this TERRORIST'S death is on your commanding officers, not on you.

You are a son of Israel. You have grown in this land and have dedicated these next years to serve Israel. Don't listen to the voices who condemn you. Listen to the love of a nation. You are our son and we do not abandon our children. We do not hang them out to dry on the ropes of international opinion and we don't hang them out to dry to chalk up visitors to our websites. You are a son of Israel and Israel thanks you.

You will not rot in jail. May God bless you and your family and all who serve.


Maoz said...

Again, every word you write here is spot on.

Anonymous said...

Bravo for the words of support and courage.

J.Niclas W. said...

Paula warm thanks to for writing, YOU`re spot on !
Warm wishes for the 19 year old soldier and his family.... HE did RIGHT and it`s heart-wrenching to see what the authorities has put him and his family trough.
My salutations to yourself and to all our chayalim <3

Anonymous said...

and yesterday there was a terrorist attack.
On the 17:00 News they announced, no injured, and the terrorist is safe and healthy.

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