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Strength of Conviction

A court has convicted a former IDF soldier who killed an ISM terror-enabler, of manslaughter.

A court convicted a former Israeli soldier of manslaughter Monday in the shooting death of a pro-Palestinian British activist, the first time a soldier has been found guilty of killing a foreign citizen during more than four years of Palestinian-Israeli violence.


Wahid Taysir, a member of the Bedouin Arab minority, was accused of shooting Tom Hurndall in the head during an army operation in the Gaza Strip in April 2003. Witnesses said Hurndall, 22, a member of the International Solidarity Movement, was helping Palestinian children avoid Israeli tanks.

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Taysir also was convicted of obstruction of justice, submitting false testimony, obtaining false testimony and unbecoming behavior. Taysir, who is to be sentenced in mid-August, faces up to 20 years in prison.

Despite the fact that the soldier was convicted and will be put in jail, this is not enough for some. Like the terror-enabler’s sister.

Hurndall’s sister, Sophie, praised the verdict, but said the army must change its practices. “This kind of thing needs to stop happening. Until that has changed … we won’t really have won,” she told Sky News TV.

How about groups like the ISM changing their practices of constantly entering closed military zones, hampering IDF operations, assisting terrorists, and endangering their own lives?

 

Furthermore, I wonder what Hurndall’s sister would have to say about the “justice” of the PA, which involves terrorists being put in jail at the insistence of the US and Israel, only to be released again. Probably nothing.

 

Of course, others, like “I-hate-Israel-but-some-of-my-best-friends-are-Jewish” blogger dAWK go on a predictable rant.

While one youth killing another youth and then getting sent to jail for it is not really something to celebrate, at least there is the recognition of wrong-doing present.  As Tom’s father noted, Taysir’s actions were just symptoms of a larger issue – that is the Israeli army’s practice of targeting and killing civilians with impunity.

 

Had Tom been a Palestinian, rest assured his death would not have been investigatedA recent Human Rights Watch report found that Israel has looked into less that five percent of Palestinian civilian deaths that it was responsible for.

Since the current Palestinian uprising began in 2000, Israeli forces have killed or seriously injured thousands of Palestinians who were not taking part in the hostilities. However, the Israeli authorities have investigated fewer than five percent of the fatal incidents to determine whether soldiers were responsible for using force unlawfully. The investigations they did conduct fell far short of international standards for independent and impartial inquiries.

Like the torture at Abu Ghraib, the main responsibility and culpability falls on those who implement and approve of the actions carried out by their foot soldiers.  Taysir is guilty, sure, but the real blame rests with Sharon and company who create the atmosphere where such actions are permitted.

I have to make a number of points, all of which dAWK will undoubtedly brush off, since he has no answers, and facts don’t interest him.

 

Firstly, dAWK talks of an “Israeli army’s practice of targeting and killing civilians with impunity.” I think the falsehood inherent in this statement is manifest (for a start, if the IDF did adopt this practice, we would be dropping bombs on the PA areas, rather than entering them on foot, at great risk to our own soldiers). But furthermore, isn’t it interesting how dAWK has nothing to say about incidents like the recent murders of Avichai Levi and Aviad Mantzur.

 

 

Innocent young men, deliberately targeted by murderers – just for being Jews. Yet dAWK, and indeed the mainstream media, prefer to focus on the death of a terror enabler who put his own life at risk.

 

Admit it, dAWK. You do not value the blood of Jews like the blood of those who kill them. How else do you explain your fixation on PLO Arab and ISM deaths, and no mention of the cold-blooded murder of innocent kids?

 

Secondly, dAWK’s statement that “Had Tom been a Palestinian, rest assured his death would not have been investigated” is palpably false. The IDF is known for investigating the deaths of PLO Arabs at the hands of the IDF. It just so happens that in many cases, the investigations reveal that either the soldiers’ actions were justified in the circumstances, or that the PLO Arab was actually killed at the hands of their own people.

 

Furthermore, the Human Rights Watch report that he quotes does not distinguish between the deaths of PLO Arab terrorists and the deaths of civilians. The IDF investigates those deaths which warrant investigation, and not the deaths of every PLO Arab, the majority of which were either combatants, or used as human shields by combatants (I previously posted more on this issue here).

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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