By Gideon Levy
"Haaretz" Israeli terror is at it again. The Israel Defense Forces’ death squads chalked up another successful week: four bodies of innocent Palestinians piled up between the two Fridays. There doesn’t seem to be a connection between the four incidents in which four sons were killed, but the link cannot be broken.
In all these cases, soldiers chose shooting to kill as the preferred option. In all four cases another way could have been chosen: Arrest them, aim for the legs, don’t do anything or simply don’t be there at all. But the soldiers chose to kill. It’s probably easier for them that way.
They come from different branches of the army with different backgrounds, but they share the incredible ease with which they kill, whether they have to or not.
They kill because they can. They kill because they’re convinced that this is how they’re expected to act. They kill because they know that nothing is cheaper than the life of a Palestinian. They kill because they know that the Israeli media will yawn and not report a thing. They kill because they know that no harm will come to them, so why not? Why not kill a Palestinian when possible?
They killed a 12-year-old boy and a 41-year-old plumber. They killed a 17-year-old youth and a 20-year-old young man attending a funeral, all in one week. An Israeli slogan during the 1948 war went “To arms, every good man,” leading later to the concept of the IDF’s “purity of arms.” Four in one week, for no reason, with no hesitation, with no terrorist facing them. Four executions of young men with dreams, families, plans and loves.
None of the four endangered the soldiers, certainly not in a way that justified lethal fire. Thirteen bullets at a car driving by innocently, carrying a father and his three small children. Shooting a plumber holding a wrench and claiming that he was “moving rapidly toward the soldiers.” Three bullets at the stomach of a 17-year-old who was on his way to take his brother home.
All this can be called terror; there is no other definition. All this can be called the actions of death squads; there is no other description. It sounds horrible, but it really is horrific.
It could be less horrific if the Israeli media bothered to report on it, possibly shocking Israelis. It could be much less horrific if IDF commanders took the necessary steps given their army’s murderous recklessness. But most of the media believed that the killing of a child interests no one or is unimportant, or both, so this shocking incident wasn’t reported on.
If the soldiers had shot a dog – also a shocking act, of course – it would have attracted more attention. But a dead Palestinian child? What happened? Why should it interest anyone, why is it important?
“Are you working for the Arabs?” journalist Yinon Magal maliciously tweeted, addressing Haaretz’s Hagar Shezaf, virtually the only journalist who covered the boy’s funeral. This is the new journalistic ethos: Reporting the truth is tantamount to working for the Arabs.
Gideon Levy is an Israeli journalist and author. Levy writes opinion pieces and a weekly column for the newspaper Haaretz that often focus on the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. Levy has won prizes for his articles on human rights in the Israeli-occupied territories.
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