The British Soldier Who Shot a Downed Terrorist versus the IDF One

April 19 2016

Yesterday an IDF soldier was indicted for shooting a wounded, prone terrorist in the aftermath of a stabbing attack. The case has sparked much controversy in Israel—along with the usual censure and handwringing abroad—as the soldier’s defenders claim that he responded to a credible threat, while others assert that he committed murder. Noting a similar, if more clearcut, case involving a British marine in Afghanistan in 2011, likewise caught on video, Ben-Dror Yemini draws some conclusions:

[The British soldier, Alexander Wayne] Blackman, was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of ten years. . . . There was no argument over the facts. The video revealed the full picture, including the fact that Blackman was aware he was violating the Geneva Conventions. . . .

The conviction intensified the protests [against Blackman’s prosecution]. The British defense secretary, Michael Fallon, ordered soldiers not to attend demonstrations in solidarity with Blackman, because these were “political” demonstrations. Fallon’s order was ignored as thousands rallied, including 700 members of the marines, both on active duty and in the reserves. Many of the demonstrators were in uniform. . . . There was a heated argument in military circles [about whether Blackman deserved his punishment].

The British case is not presented here to justify the unusual incident. Israel should be proud of the ethical norms that its commanders enforce. . . . The [Blackman] case is described here because we sometimes have to observe others to understand that we are a lot more normal than the way our media often depict us. The incident is cited here in the context of those, and there are too many of them, who stigmatize Israel. That’s enough, guys. . . . We’re tired of the endless celebration of self-made demonization.

Read more at Ynet

More about: IDF, Israel & Zionism, Military ethics, Palestinian terror, United Kingdom

The EU Violates International Law, Steals Palestinian Land, and Then Demands Compensation from Israel

Nov. 17 2017

Last month, the eight European countries that make up the West Bank Protection Consortium sent a formal letter demanding €30,000 in compensation for two classrooms with solar panels that Israel dismantled in August. The letter, as Ruthie Blum explains, ignores the fact that the structures, located in part of the West Bank called Area C, were built in violation of international law:

[The 1995 agreement known as] Oslo II, which created the Palestinian Authority (PA), divides the West Bank into three geographical sections—Areas A, B, and C—and specifies which government controls each. Area C is under the military and civil jurisdiction of Israel alone. . . . Yet, for years, there has been non-stop building in Area C, . . . in a transparent effort to populate Area C with Palestinians. . . .

[The] Middle East analyst Bassam Tawil [has] noted massive “behind-the-scenes” Palestinian construction, the goal of which is “to create irreversible facts on the ground” and completely encircle Jerusalem. He points out that while Israel is condemned for any and every attempt to build housing in the West Bank and Jerusalem [which it never does in Area A, assigned by Oslo to the sole jurisdiction of the Ramallah], the Palestinian Authority has been undertaking, with impunity, a “colossal” construction project that is “illegal in every respect.” . . .

On a recent tour of the area, [another] Arab affairs expert, Khaled Abu Toameh, explained that this ongoing construction, funded mainly by the EU and Qatar, is made possible through the “confiscation” of privately owned tracts of Palestinian land by unlicensed contractors whose interest is solely financial. . . All they want, he said, is to line their pockets at the expense of helpless landowners, who are told that they must sacrifice their property to help the Palestinian Authority populate the area for political gain against Israel. . . .

It takes particular gall for European Union representatives to express “humanitarian” outrage at Israel for razing illegal structures in the West Bank—while the EU is in league with Palestinian criminals who have been brazenly stealing Arab-owned land.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Europe and Israel, European Union, Israel & Zionism, Palestinian Authority, West Bank