For a Red Democratic Palestine from the River to the Sea

The Murder

11 months ago on March 24, 2016, in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron, Abdel Fattah al-Sharif, a Palestinian youth, stabbed an Israeli soldier of the occupation force. He was shot and wounded. No medical attention was offered  after he was immobilized by the gunfire. While he was lying bleeding on the ground he was shot again in the head by Elor Azaria, a sergeant medic of the Israeli Oppression Forces.

This was a cold blooded murder that was captured on camera by a human rights activist. Azaria was arrested and was charged not of murder, but of manslaughter. He was found guilty by a military court in Tel-Aviv. The court stated that his defense was based on lies. 

Firstly, he claimed that al-Sharif was lying there dead. Then he claimed that his victim was a threat, that he had a knife. But that knife was some considerable distance away. Then Azaria said al-Sharif may have been wearing a suicide vest and that’s why he responded the way he did. But this was 11 minutes after al-Sharif had been shot by other soldiers and was left neutralized on the ground, bleeding. He was bleeding on the ground as the ambulance staff was attending to the Israeli soldier who had minor wounds[1].

Azaria smiled as he got sentenced to a year and a half in prison. This is worse than a caricature of justice, it is a message that killing Palestinians is not very nice but not too bad. In Israel when a Jew kills a Jew, he is likely to get 10-12 years in jail. When an Arab kills a Jew, he is likely to get 20 years, when a Jew kills an Arab, he is likely to get 18 months and is likely to get pardoned and maybe serve a one year sentence.

Two thirds of the Israelis, according to polls, sympathize with Azaria and a vocal minority calls him a hero. According to the Israeli mass media, Azaria killed a Terrorist. 

In January this year the police killed Yacoub Abu al-Qiyan, a teacher in the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran. The police was there for the demolition of homes in the Negev village. According to police, the civilian who was killed,  was a terrorist who deliberately ran over and killed a policeman, 37-year-old Erez Levi, and injured another.

Within hours after the incident occurred, Gilad Erdan the Minister of Public Security had said: “This was a grave incident for our forces and for the whole country. A terrorist associated with the Islamic Movement sped toward our forces with the intention of killing as many police officers as possible before the start of the eviction. Since then, I have been hearing more and more calls of incitement that are distorting the picture of what really happened. I call upon the Knesset members from the Joint List: ‘Stop the incitement”.[2]

By now it is clear that the police fired at Yacoub Abu al-Qiyan‘s car before it hit two officers and because of it he lost control after being shot. The Video footage of the incident, taken from a police helicopter, shows at least one police officer opened fire on the driver as the car was moving slowly. An officer to the front and right of the car runs towards it and appears to shoot at least three times from several yards away.

On February 1st the Israeli police evacuated settlers from a West Bank outpost. The settlement was built on Palestinian private properties. The Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the stealing of proven private land is illegal and the government was forced to remove the settlers. 

The Israeli police wearing no helmets and carrying no weapons evacuate the settlers very gently. At the same time far right Zionist youngsters smashed tiles, gathered rusty metal bars and large rocks to erect makeshift barricades to slow their advance. Some protesters threw rocks at police , while others set fire to tires and trash piles.Activists gathered in homes, praying, singing religious songs and dancing.

So the question to ask is who is a terrorist? Is a Palestinian Bedouin whose house the Israeli government demolished a terrorist or the police who killed him, in cold blood? Is a Palestinian youth who had enough with the daily oppression and attacked the army of the occupation a terrorist or the Israeli army and in particular Sergeant Azaria who killed him in cold blood? Are the Palestinians whose land has been stolen the terrorists or the settlers who are stealing the Palestinian lands?

During the British rule and in particular after the World War II the Zionists wanted to force the British to open the gates of Palestine to European Jews, and opposed the White Paper of 1939, which outlined the government policies which placed restrictions on Jewish immigration and land purchases.

The government declared the intention of giving independence to Palestine, with an Arab majority, within ten years. The Zionist and in particular the Irgun of Begin and Lehi of Stern attacked British targets including British soldiers. Yet in the Zionist books these actions were not terrorist activities but justified revolt. 

From a revolutionary working class perspective the Zionist military activities could not be supported because their aim was not to remove colonialist occupation, but to prevent the independence of the native Palestinian majority in order to build a Colonialist settler society that its logic led to the Nakba-the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.

No wonder that the Zionists definition of terror is not the normal understanding of terror as activities against uninvolved civilian population but any action that defies the Zionist supremacy. A person who fights an occupation of his country by colonialists is not a terrorist but freedom fighter. A person who kills in cold blood a wounded immobilized person who lies on the ground is not a hero, but a murderer and those who sees him as a hero and those who call to pardon him and first of all Binyamin Netanyahu are racist freedom haters.

Needless to say Azaria is a product of settler society not different From South Africa during the Apartheid regime. Those who rule this country are much guiltier than Sergeant Azaria Elor The military court that sentenced him to 18 months after the found him guilty of killing with intention to kill is responsible for sending the message that murdering Arabs is an accepted policy in Israel.

This is the real Israel that will continue to kill Palestinians as long as it will exist. A different society must replace the Zionst Apartheid regime. A society that will be a real democracy not only politically, but socially.

For a Red Democratic Palestine.



[1] Al Jazeera:

[2] Almog Ben Zikri, “Israeli Public Security Minister Backtracks on Whether Cop’s Killing by Bedouin Was Terror” Haaretz Feb 22, 2017

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