Yawns at the Israeli Army's Death Squads
By Gideon Levy
August 02, 2021"Information
Israeli terror is at it again. The Israel
Defense Forces’ death squads chalked up another
successful week: four bodies of innocent
Palestinians piled up between the two Fridays.
There doesn’t seem to be a connection between
the four incidents in which four sons were
killed, but the link cannot be broken.
In all these cases, soldiers
chose shooting to kill as the preferred option.
In all four cases another way could have been
chosen: Arrest them, aim for the legs, don’t do
anything or simply don’t be there at all. But
the soldiers chose to kill. It’s probably easier
for them that way.
They come from different branches
of the army with different backgrounds, but they
share the incredible ease with which they kill,
whether they have to or not.
They kill because they can. They
kill because they’re convinced that this is how
they’re expected to act. They kill because they
know that nothing is cheaper than the life of a
Palestinian. They kill because they know that
the Israeli media will yawn and not report a
thing. They kill because they know that no harm
will come to them, so why not? Why not kill a
Palestinian when possible?
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They killed a 12-year-old boy and
a 41-year-old plumber. They killed a 17-year-old
youth and a
20-year-old young man attending a funeral,
all in one week. An Israeli slogan during the
1948 war went “To arms, every good man,” leading
later to the concept of the IDF’s “purity of
arms.” Four in one week, for no reason, with no
hesitation, with no terrorist facing them. Four
executions of young men with dreams, families,
plans and loves.
None of the four endangered the
soldiers, certainly not in a way that justified
lethal fire. Thirteen bullets at a car driving
by innocently, carrying a father and his three
small children. Shooting a plumber holding a
wrench and claiming that he was “moving rapidly
toward the soldiers.” Three bullets at the
stomach of a 17-year-old who was on his way to
take his brother home.
All this can be called terror;
there is no other definition. All this can be
called the actions of death squads; there is no
other description. It sounds horrible, but it
really is horrific.
It could be less horrific if
the Israeli media bothered to report on it,
possibly shocking Israelis. It could be much
less horrific if IDF commanders took the
necessary steps given their army’s murderous
recklessness. But most of the media believed
that the killing of a child interests no one
or is unimportant, or both, so this shocking
incident wasn’t reported on.
If the soldiers had shot a
dog – also a shocking act, of course – it
would have attracted more attention. But a
dead Palestinian child? What happened? Why
should it interest anyone, why is it
“Are you working for the
Arabs?” journalist Yinon Magal maliciously
Haaretz’s Hagar Shezaf, virtually the
only journalist who covered the boy’s
funeral. This is the new journalistic ethos:
Reporting the truth is tantamount to working
for the Arabs.
Gideon Levy is an Israeli journalist and
author. Levy writes opinion pieces and a
weekly column for the newspaper Haaretz that
often focus on the Israeli occupation of the
Palestinian territories. Levy has won prizes
for his articles on human rights in the
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