Monday, May 09, 2016
Whether justified or not, shooting a captured attacker in the head is poor PR. No wonder the Israeli defense ministry is bucking public opinion and putting one of its own soldiers on trial. The video of the service man apparently shows an unprovoked incident where the trooper levelled his gun and drilled a Palestinian. Israeli public opinion has turned against Palestinians because of their continuous attacks on Jews, but the situation is complex. Palestinians are confined to a near ghetto existence having been kicked off the land over decades. Israel claims the territory as a divine right. The two sides have not agreed on anything and are pitted against each other. Israel wins the face-off with greater resources but it can't stop Palestinian attacks. Hence the occasion for mistreatment of attackers is an ever-present threat to the rule of law that Israel supports. To sustain its image, Israel cannot afford to stoop to the level of the attackers, but that is hard to do. Each incident where a soldier is out of bounds is a blow to the country's image.