It has happened so often: video or other media which appears to show an Israeli soldier or other security official doing something heinous, is later revealed to be a snapshot that distorts reality – either intentionally or otherwise. For when the full context of the incident in question is revealed, there is virtually no culpability on the part of the Israeli.
You might think that the world, and certainly the Israeli government, would be a bit more cautious before condemning an Israeli based on anything other than a diligent investigation.
You might think so, but you’d be disappointed.
It appears that this false rush to judgment may very well be what happened to an Israeli soldier on Thursday, Mar. 24. That soldier was responding to a stabbing attack by Palestinian Arab terrorists. The soldier has been widely portrayed as having shot one of the terrorists point blank in the head, after the terrorist appeared already disarmed – by those not directly involved – and sprawled on the ground.
A video of the soldier shooting the terrorist in the head, taken by a member of the extreme leftist NGO B’tselem, portrays the Israeli as an executioner, and that is how it was labeled and then went viral.
That soldier was not only vilified by the entire shockingly large subset of humanity which stands ready, at any moment, to brand Israelis as bloodthirsty armed villains, but also by Israeli authorities, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
That soldier, from the Kfir Brigade, was thrown in an IDF prison.
Never mind that the initial explanation for the gunshot provided by the soldier in question was that the terrorist was wearing a zipped-up coat despite the heat- which every Israeli or visitor to Israel knows is an issue of concern – that still was not enough to mollify the world audience or the Israeli leadership.
Not even that, according to weather reports, the temperature in Hebron on the day of the incident was 88 degrees fahrenheit/31.1 degrees celsius. A violent terrorist wearing a long-sleeved jacket, zipped up to the neck, should have been of concern to everyone. At least one photo, shared with the world by Hamas’s al-qassam brigades, appears to show a bulge under the jacket.
In a public statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Media Office on Thursday afternoon, Netanyahu said: “”What happened today in Hebron does not represent the values of the IDF. The IDF expects its soldiers to behave level-headedly and in accordance with the rules of engagement.”
Netanyahu was joined in condemning the IDF soldier by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.
Only Knesset Members Oren Hazan (Likud), Betzalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi) and Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) defended the IDF soldier.
Peace Now’s Yariv Oppenheimer was outraged and publicly maligned the Magen David Adom medical personnel for not endangering their lives in order to physically examine and treat the terrorist.
Less than a day after the incident evidence has emerged which could completely vindicate the action of the condemned Israeli soldier.
According to a civilian paramedic who was at the scene, those responding to the stabbing incident feared the terrorist was wearing an explosive vest and he was about to detonate it, which is when the IDF officer shot him.
This paramedic said that the soldiers and emergency personnel began to yell that the terrorist is still moving, and they think he has a bomb on him.
The eye- and earwitness said he heard it with his own ears, and that if the B’tselem video had an audio recording it would confirm that this is what happened.
Just think what would have happened if the soldier had not responded as he did in such a situation. If the terrorist did have a suicide vest, not only would the terrorist have died, but so would have all of the Israelis and Arabs at the scene. Including the B’tselem videographer.Lori Lowenthal Marcus