The New York Times has this smart op-ed by Ronen Bergman about the continuing political ramifications of the prosecution of IDF Sgt. Elor Azariah on charges of shooting dead an injured Palestinian. Excerpt:
This latest round of this conflict began on March 24: Elor Azariah, a sergeant in the I.D.F., shot and killed a Palestinian assailant who was lying wounded on the ground after stabbing one of Sergeant Azariah’s comrades. The I.D.F. top brass condemned the killing. A spokesman for Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, the chief of staff, said, “This isn’t the I.D.F., these are not the I.D.F.’s values.”
But right-wing politicians backed Sergeant Azariah. “I.D.F. soldiers, our children, stand before murderous attacks by terrorists who come to kill them,” the prime minister said. “They have to make decisions in real time.” Mr. Lieberman, then still the leader of a small far-right opposition party, turned up in military court to support the soldier. [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu also called the soldier’s father to offer support.
An I.D.F. general told me that the top brass saw the telephone call as a gross defiance of the military’s authority. . . .Watch this space.