Wednesday, June 16, 2010

IDF Soldier to be Indicted for Gaza Killing

The IDF investigations into the events of last year's Gaza operation have identified a case where an IDF soldier seems to have killed two Palestinian women in criminal circumstances, i.e beyond what can be justified by the context of war. He will be charged according to the evidence, and tried; should the evidence suffice he'll be convicted. Which is as it should be. We're a democracy and live by the rule of law.

Does this bolster the credibility of the Goldstone Report? Of course not. On the contrary. The biggest lie of the many lies of that document was that Israel engaged in a purposeful policy of killing Palestinian civilians. If anything, this case proves the opposite. Another thesis of that report was that Israel, alone among all democracies, cannot investigate itself. This case seems to say the opposite.

(If you missed it but are interested, my reading of the Goldstone Report is here).


Didi Remez said...


That's quite an empirical assertion to make based on one case. The exact opposite argument could be made using the same facts.

Why extrapolate and undermine future credibility, when the development is valuable in and of itself?

Didn't recently tell me that this kind of conclusion should only be made based on systematic analysis, not anecdotal?



Anonymous said...

I hope that the IDF will honour the millenia old tradition of convicting the soldier and then pardonning him once the noise has died down.

After all in most cases they transgressed because they cracked under pressure (fear of death, PTSD you name it) and to those the same leniency should be granted that is granted, if somebody exaggerates when, let's say, confronting an intruder into his/her home.

England had such a case recently where the perpetrator was followed by the victims and beaten up in the street real bad. The beater was convicted, after a public outcry a mitigation followed

We can and should expect soldiers to act according to professional standards but if they transgressed they can expect us to judge them as you and me i.e. could I have withstood.


Yaacov said...

Didi -

You know as well as I do that this is an example, a demonstration, not proof of some new trend or what have you. Israeli courts have been trying Israeli soldiers and officers for unlawful killings since the 1950s at the very latest. True, there aren't many such cases - but that is more likely to be because there really aren't , than that only the most egregious ones reach trial - if that's your position, you'll have to substantiate it.

Silke -

Yes, that's what's likely to happen. And I agree with you it's reasonable. It's certainly common practice in most democratic countries that investigate and try delinquent soldiers. The other countries, of course, don't count.

Anonymous said...

To Didi - "case" dismissed because ...

it is in the nature of the law at least in my country that it doesn't do "goldstoning" but operates on a case by case basis. Even if somebody died due to having been beaten up by a group the court will meticulously establish who delivered the fatal blow and judge accordingly and if it can't find out infuriate the public by what it considers a way too lenient sentence.

Based on that principle in my book Yaacov is more than entitled indeed he is obliged to generalize from one case and he would be to do that even if it had been decided that there was no case. The fact that the court or whatever in your country is investigating is proof of the principle.

But one can't of course expect Didi to have ever noticed how big investigations everywhere in every field tend to start out and how little remains more often than not as suitable for the actual trial.


Sylvia said...

The radical Ashkenazic Left won't move an inch from their previous position anymore than their ultra-Orthodox Ashkenazi brothers the racist school managers have moved from theirs in the past 62 years.
To me, they are one and the same: the pure product of a tradition that has consistently berated the impeccable rationalism of a Maimonides and the perfect and exhaustive logical thought process of a Saadia. They know not the Golden Path, and only take the dividing lane.

Anonymous said...

thanks for "Saadia" Sylvia because of this:

"In this capacity, his philosophical work Emunoth ve-Deoth represents the first systematic attempt to integrate Jewish theology with components of GREEK philosophy." (Wiki)

it took me until about 5 years ago that I first stumbled upon the fact that not ALL of what we know today of the ancient Greeks has come to us through Arab translations (a very good Homer for kids got me when I could barely read)

In Greece the Orthodox didn't interest me much and so I didn't learn about it there and other than that to this day all other channels via which Greek writing was kept alive besides the Arab one are not mentioned and if so in a barely noticeable aside.

Victor pointed out that Jews expelled from Spain have ended up smack in the evolving Renaissance (which sound highly likely to me) just as this famous guy from Mistra has and now you have supplied me with another source. Keep 'em coming!

I do not want to diminish Arab merits in any way but I want all of the story not this one-sided that we have to wipe the floor with ourselves to express our gratitude to them 3 times a day when it comes to having kept ancient Greeks alive.

As to left and right meeting - for an ism-illiterate German they are becoming more and more undistinguishable.


Rabbi Tony Jutner said...

I agree with Didi that israel is incapable of investigating war crimes committed on its behalf. If israel is committed to the rule of international law, it should deport this soldier to the Hague as well as the commanding officers who ordered this genocide against Gaza. I also think that Didi and other israeli progressives should embarass israel by asking political asylum in enlightened countries such as Sweden or Norway. That will show the israelis that they are in danger of losing their best and brightest unless they comply with international law, especially UN194, whhich guarantees the Right of Return of the Palestinian people

Anonymous said...

Tony Rabbi

(the country which did you know what)
investigates its own incident currently as to whether it was a war crime or not

- nothing anywhere asking for us to better do it in The Hague and that even though housing for and treatment of the accused is infinitely superior in The Hague compared to anywhere else.

As to Norway and Sweden - they might be overcome by some old and very well grounded grudges against us so that might be a bit unfair for the investigatees.

That said I suggest you contact our government and advise them I am sure they will appreciate your advice

as for the rest I am deeply disappointed by you - back there when we met with Naomi Pass I thought you might be witty after all but alas I was mistaken.


4infidels said...


Who, other an Israeli, have you ever asked to be tried for war crimes at the Hague? Americans, British, perhaps? Certainly never Hamas members or even member of Muslim armies fighting against terror groups who commit all kinds of excesses in the process. No, because they don't claim to abide by international law (except when it can be used as a tool to hammer Israel), then you see no reason to hold them to any standards at all.

4infidels said...

If an Israeli purposely killed innocent civilians, then he should be tried like any other criminal. However, I am also concerned that the Israeli government, in similar fashion to the American government, is willing to sacrifice a few of their own in order to show their enemies and critics how wonderful they are.

Anonymous said...


"purposeful killing" under the conditions of a battle zone cannot and should not be compared to everyday criminal action or rather the same rules of mitigating circumstances should apply as they do under civilian conditions. No judge in his/her right mind will somebody who acts under plausible fear of death or aftermath of a shock convict as harshly as somebody going on a rampage with a cool clear and rested mind in secure surroundings.

Militaries need to discipline transgressions but I object except for historically very rare cases to lump soldiers together with criminals - that's not where they belong (thanks to Pritzker Military Library's offerings for that part of my education)


Rabbi Tony Jutner said...

Who, other an Israeli, have you ever asked to be tried for war crimes at the Hague...I have not asked that Americans, Brits etc be tried at the Hague. Unlike the creation of America, England, etc, the creation of israel was a war crime. War crimes do not have a right of self defence. That is why you are so up in arms about the Goldstone Report. Because it recognizes for the first time that israel does not have the right of self defence, and that it is authored by a Jew, thus it is airtight agains the usual charges of antisemitism

Anonymous said...

Tony Rabbi

if you think you must make an argument try at least to be comprehensible - incoherent rambling only makes me ask what you are imbibing?
Are you maybe distilling the stuff yourself?
If yes pray be careful, people have been blinded by it.

Mommie Silke

RK said...

Wasn't it agreed on this blog several months ago that Rabbi Tony Jutner is meant to be a parody, sometimes amusing and often tedious, of Tony Judt?

Gavin said...

I have to agree with you Yaacov. The NGOs who submitted accusations about IDF 'war crimes' will be convinced that every single one of their claims is true, and a single indictment will if anything make them screech even louder. If one is true then they must all be true.... and if no indictments follow for the rest then it must be a cover-up or whitewash, right?

It's unfortunate but I can't see anything the IDF or Israel can do that will appease or satisfy the accusers. They're so wrapped up in their own self-righteousness that nothing will get through to them.


peterthehungarian said...

I also think that Didi and other israeli progressives should embarass israel by asking political asylum in enlightened countries such as Sweden or Norway.

From your mouth to God's ears rabbi...

That will show the israelis that they are in danger of losing their best and brightest...

I hope that somehow we can survive...

...unless they comply with international law, especially UN194, whhich guarantees the Right of Return of the Palestinian people

Rabbi Jutner did you participate at the Holocaust denial congress in Teheran too?

Anonymous said...

after a few doses of Tony Rabbi I vacillated

when he "advised" Naomi Pass in another thread he certainly sounded like a parody
In this thread though he sounds like my special "friend" Fake Ibrahim who yesterday came out with a grand theory that will M&W make green with envy.

Therefore I guess evil Tony is doing about the same thing I am trying at Ibrahim's, writing once in a while something that endears him to people who can never resist the lure of a joke no matter how hurtful it may be to those who have had enough of vacuous wittyness' more practical side. (wasn't it funny what Amon Göth was up to with his gun?)
He is good at it, he made me laugh back there in the other thread but just because I have been duped by somebody doesn't oblige me to stay duped forever and ever.

and next time Tony will manage to make me laugh I am sure the laughter will get stuck in my throat because I'll remember his real message which is misery and destruction to the people of Israel.


Yaacov said...

Actually, Silke, I suspect that the rabbi, besides not being a rabbi, may well be staunchly pro-Israel in his (her?) everyday life. He rather consistently takes the positions of the loony left so far further that nothing remains but ridicule. I"m not certain that isn't his point.

If he's got one at all.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Yaacov, I think one can also suspect him of in fact working for/being kind of in the pay of the holier-than-thou NGOs i.e. testing the water how far the "public" will jump the wagon first by finding him funny and then ...

Him being a Her sounds really good to me, because
"Tony" reminds me of the 68er students I had to "club" into doing some office work in the early 70s while they lectured me on the general evil of men as well as my being oh so dumb as I actually worked for a living.

They must by now all have reached retirement age and thus have ample time to devote themselves full-time to the promotion of the Weltbild they cherished way back then.


Anonymous said...

4infidels and others

the interviewee tells in the last third that he considered himself to be a combatant at the age of 15 (fifteen)!!! (shrewd choice of age, there are some international voices who put the limit for child soldier 15, not when they are Palestinians of course)

But never mind would a regular soldier have killed him the media would write "another child ..."

towards the end she asks him about 9/11 - AlQaeda didn't have the means, Osama is talking and the CIA does bad things.

Last but not least all women should pay good attention of what a cultured peaceful moderate against violence Taliban has in store for us.

"Lyse Doucet talks to a man who was once one of the Taliban's most prominent public figures. Abdul Salam Zaeef was the Taliban's ambassador to Pakistan at the time of the attacks of 11 September 2001. Back then he gave daily press conferences to the world.
He was then later taken to the American detention centre at Guantanamo Bay for about four years and now he's living in Kabul under Afghan government protection.
So what does he think of the Taliban today? Find out as he talks to Lyse Doucet in The Interview"

Rabbi Tony Jutner said...

Dear all
In your blind stupidity, you dismiss me and my NewJudaism movement. I am a well known San Francisco rabbi who founded NewJudaism, which is dedicated to the true principles of Judaism, not the land based idolatry of zionism. We are influenced by the late Yeshayahu Leibowitz, who coined the term Judeo-nazi to describe modern israel. As you know, his grandson Shammai Leibowitz, is being held as a prisoner of conscience in the US. We believe that the message of Judaism, which is universal justice, international law, and economic justice, can best be established without the distractions of statehood. Thus, we think that people you consider bogeymen, such as Helen Thomas, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Recip Erdogan are actually friends of the Jewish people because they know that the message of Judaism can only be perpetuated in exilte. I am disappointed by Naomi Pass and Didi Remez that they havent formally endorsed my vision, but they will as soon as they tire of the fallacy that a Jewish state can be democratic and a light to the nations. Join NewJudaism now. You have nothing to lose except your blue JNF boxes

Anonymous said...

"Tony" perpatai ta sinefa!!*)

besides that he is trying to lure the he/she-is-satire crowd once again - I stick with my longer broader memory

*) (Greek saying if somebody claims he/she can do without the necessities of life like a ground to walk on.
Sinefa = clouds
perpatao - I take a walk but also remember that there was a school of Peripatetiker which gives the Greek way of strolling a lot of depth)


Morey Altman said...

I generally agree with your last statement, although there really are two different matters: a) self-examination of government policy, which Israel has done much better than most, and b) investigations of violations of the Ethical Code by individual soldiers, which happens, but not often enough. This isn't an Israeli problem; soldiers of every army on the planet are reticent to betray comrades for unethical behaviour. Sometimes this is the result of the highly subjective nature of warfare (my sense of a life-threatening situation may be very different than yours) or there is a fear of being unfaithful to a unit or its commander. It's a complex subject and probably only those who have served can understand the emotional conflict.

It goes without saying that I've written on the subject over at my blog:

Anonymous said...

I followed Morey's link and liked especially his two observations about Turkey.

your observations on soldiers made me remember what I learned in my own "studies" of military action about unit cohesion and how that is vital to give the men (and women?) the courage and the determination to go forward and face "it".

So it seems to me that there is a dilemma built in to telling on a comrade
- on the one hand you need unit cohesion more than anything else to be able to face it on the other hand you are supposed to keep enough distance from your buddies so you may accuse them???

Looks like a bit of a requirement to be superhuman to me. (most of all I was surprised by anecdotes how men comforted eachother when the going got tough - never imagined you guys had that one in you ;-)

To repeat myself I think it is not evil-covering-up-collusion that makes them keep mum it is the necessity of keeping solidarity while in action up to the level that makes feats possible at all.
After all the same guy who comforted you or another when you cracked up a bit may have crossed a border a minute later due to misjudgment or even due to fury taking the better of him - are you going to tell? Would I? I hope not! (and that's my personal explanation why investigations are rare and no matter how un-ideal that is should remain so i.e. remain reserved to at least at first seemingly unambiguous cases)