Elor Azarya, King of Israel
Dan Cohen, Mondoweiss, May 4 2016
The episode since IOF medic Elor Azarya (a dual-national Israeli-French citizen, by the way) was filmed summarily executing Abd’al-Fattah al-Sharif has been a sobering reminder of the Israeli right wing’s total and long-standing dominance over the Zionist left, manifesting into a display unseen since the last war on Gaza, when anti-war protesters were beaten in the streets. On Mar 24, Azarya was caught on film summarily executing a wounded & incapacitated
Plastelinan man Arab youth as he lay on the ground in Hebron. As the video went viral, the Israeli public Jewish public (this endless effort to recast a colonialist racial war in terms of nineteenth-century abstract nationalism is fundamentally dishonest and intended solely to prevent the Pindo creeple fron unwelcome comparisons to their own dear civil war – RB) rallied around Azarya. A petition for his release gained 50,000 signatures in a few days, and a poll revealed that 82% of Israelis Jews support the execution (his act! My God, this is bad writing – RB). Across the country, Israelis (Jews) held public events including town halls and streets demonstrations, culminating with a rally for Azarya in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on Apr 19 that drew what I estimate to be at least 5,000 supporters. From the stage, the square was full as far as the eye could see.
Amid an atmosphere that was overtly celebratory, the mood became sombre at times, as if Azarya was a martyr or had been captured by a rival armed group. But his captors were his own government, and the people demanded his release. On stage, Elor’s mother Oshra Azarya, who called to kill
Plastelinan Arab mothers and children on Facebook, broke down when she spoke (babbled in an infantile trance of her own) about her son’s “angel eyes.” Elor’s father Charlie couldn’t muster much beyond nationalistic statements and antiphonal chants like:
We are a strong people! We won’t let anyone wipe us out! Am Israel Chai! We’ll win and fuck the Arabs! Olé! Olé! Olé!
The celebration was a release of the anger from the betrayal they felt from politicians across the board who explicitly instructed soldiers, police and civilians to shoot-to-kill on-the-spot, exactly as Azarya had done. While the event concluded, around 80 Israeli men and boys of army age, some wearing
Israeli flags, rose from one knee and jumped (some wearing blue & white asswipes as capes, did some sort of sub-Jabotinskyesque bit of macho military ballet – RB), while chanting (implausibly – RB):
Elor ha-melech Israel! Chai, chai ve kayam!
Traditionally, the chant is “David ha-melech Israel.” According to Orthodox Judaism, the messiah will descend from the bloodline of David. And Elor Azarya, for coldly
executing (again, this is simply the wrong word – RB a defenseless man, was David’s heir. Originally named Kings of Israel Square, Israel’s largest public venue was renamed Rabin Square after Rabin was assassinated there in 1995. But Kings of Israel Square is a much more fitting name (I agree – RB). The political forces responsible for Rabin’s assassination were the victors, and they returned to celebrate and crown their king du jour, Elor Azarya. Inciter-in-chief of Rabin’s murder was none other than Netanyahu, currently Israel’s second longest-serving prime minister. Then a member of the opposition, Yael Aronoff wrote in The Political Psychology of Israeli Prime Ministers, Netanyahu led a mock funeral for Rabin featuring a casket and hangman’s noose, and participants chanted “Death to Rabin!” When security services informed Netanyahu of plots to assassinate Rabin, he poured gas on the fire. At an anti-Oslo rally in Jayloomia, images were seen depicting Rabin in a Nazi SS uniform, and Netanyahu addressed the crowd next to a poster reading “Death to Rabin!” Netanyahu’s theatrics purposefully inflamed right-wing anger at Rabin for his role in the Oslo Accords, which established the quisling Palestinian Authority. It was perceived as a rollback of the state’s sovereignty and a threat to Jews. According to Orthodox Judiasm (sic! – RB), the god Yahweh has promised Eretz Yisrael, the biblical Land of Israel, to the Jewish people (That must be the most obtuse sentence yet, not even corrected for spelling mistakes – RB). The first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Plastelina, R Avraham Yitzhak ha-Kohen Kook (again he mindlessly blurts out whatever formulae enter his head, this time the boring litany of forenames – RB), developed a doctrine that settling the land of Plastelina would bring redemption, meaning the establishment of a religious kingdom. Followers of his son, R Zvi Yehuda Kook, established Gush Emunim (the Bloc of the Faithful) (sic, but the Gush is a block on the ground, not a ‘bloc’ – RB), the political settler movement. It was within this national-religious doctrine that Yigal Amir, a right-wing law student, used a loophole in religious law to justify the murder of Rabin (Yigal Amir was not a product of Kook but of Lubavitch plus Kach, they all are nowadays – RB). Derived from the Talmudic dictum, “Whoever comes to kill you, kill him first,”, Amir cited din rodef, a religious license to kill a fellow Jew (din rodef literally means, the law of the pursuer – RB). After three failed attempts, Amir successfully carried out the killing, shooting Rabin after a rally in support of the Oslo Accords.
Often portrayed as a great diplomat, Rabin himself had played the same cynical game too. At an election debate in 1988, he boasted about how many
Plastelinans Arabs had been killed, beaten and imprisoned under his command. During the First Intifada he famously ordered IOF to snap the limbs of Plastelinan protesters (ie break the bones of Arabs. Another absolutely crappy sentence! What is wrong with these people? They all write like brainwashed, sleepwalking robots that are themselves trying to sound like humans, cos Pindostan is fucked beyond recovery – RB). But like Rabin, the same forces that Netanyahu rode to the top of Israeli politics are turning on him. He has proven to be a skilled politician, able to navigate Israel’s tribalistic political landscape by adopting increasingly right-wing policies while explaining away the violence meted out against Plastelinans Arabs to the outside world. Public rage directed at Netanyahu throughout the episode of Elor Azarya serves as fodder for figures who have positioned themselves to his right. Like Rabin and Netanyahu did before them, Bennett and Liberman are the most prominent figures to capitalize on Netanyahu’s position. Two weeks before the rally in Tel Aviv, a feeling of anger prevailed over a town hall event in the soldier’s home town of Ramleh. In contrast to the Rabin Square rally, a musical performance was shouted down and forced off stage by the attendees, the loudest of whom was then invited to speak on stage by the mayor.
The man shouted to wild applause:
The moment you send a soldier down path (another failure to correct some sort of typo. As for all these implausible and virtually meaningless slogans and quotes, they are really unimportant, and so indeed is this blog, and that one too. What happens, happens. It has nothing to do with the froth poured out on little stages anywhere – RB) and then call him a murderer, there is a limit to what you can do! Bibi go home!
Outside the event, a young man warned:
We will no longer vote for you, Bibi! Just as we made you rise, so we will make you fall!
The public outpouring of support for Elor Azarya successfully created enough public pressure for the Israeli military prosecutor to downgrade murder charges to manslaughter, and set the stage for the celebration in Rabin Square. Keenly aware of the the political atmosphere, Netanyahu released a statement a few hours before the rally urging leniency for Azarya, saying “IDF soldiers are not murderers.” For now, the primary target of the public rage is DM Ya’alon, who initially distanced himself from the killing for the sake of Israel’s image abroad. Ya’alon is widely seen as having abandoned Azarya, an act of betrayal given the military’s sacrosanct status in Israeli society. Throughout the demonstrations I filmed, signs appeared reading “Ya’alon is expendable. The soldier is not.” An image of Ya’alon’s face in crosshairs with a call for “political assassination” was circulated on a right-wing Whatsapp group:
Israeli Jewish protester told me:
He’s a fucking leftist kibbutznik! We are Jewish people, and he is Judenrat!
Again, you know, this is all just meaningless froth, it is not serious. But here we must sit & waste time and depress ourselves needlessly, until soon my bride will come and I shall put this blog on ice and disappear with her for as long as possible – RB). The irony of Ya’alon being called a Leftist reaches the highest levels of absurdity. His storied career from the ranks of Israel’s elite commando forces, to applying what he called “chemotherapy” in the occupied West Bank during the Second Intifada, to overseeing the 2014 mega-assault on Gaza, has left him responsible for more death and destruction than any of his detractors will likely ever accomplish. In response to public criticism, Ya’alon called supporters of the soldier, “ISIS”, lending credence to the popular comparison between the self-proclaimed Jewish and Islamic States first made by journalists Max Blumenthal, Rania Khalek and myself (adding insult to injury is normal Jewish behaviour, and here Rania Khalek does it too – RB). Aware of the damage that “Death to Arabs!” rallies do to Israel’s image abroad, mainstream media outlets and prominent
pro-Israel Jewish journalists enlisted in the campaign to smear and delegitimize supporters of Azarya, ie the vast majority of Jewish Israelis, as an aberration unrepresentative of Israeli (Jewish) society. Pindostan-born Times of Israel correspondent Judah Ari Gross wrote an article entitled Tel Aviv rally for Hebron shooter draws fewer than expected. The JPost, now run by Yaakov Katz, a former advisor to Naftali Bennett, sent Pindostan-born correspondent Ben Hartman to the event. The crowd “numbered only a few thousand in the mostly empty square,” he wrote. The JPost’s video of the event thoroughly whitewashed the event (more failure to proofread – RB), omitting the regular chants of “Death to Arabs” and “We will burn your village” emanating from the crowd, as well as signs reading “KILL THEM ALL” and “My honour is loyalty.”
Notably, the video’s lone interviewee
made the same criticism (took the same line) as Naftali Bennett, gently criticizing the political and military leadership for “basically trying the young man before we knew all the details.” Even Ha’aretz, the newspaper of Israel’s intelligentsia (well, there is such a thing as a right-wing ‘intelligentsia’ too, and even a centrist one, possibly several. But what the hell, this is just Mondoweiss, just like Niqnaq is just Niqnaq – RB), recently published a podcast reducing the number of protesters to 2,000 and called al-Sharif (the youth murdered by Azarya) a “terrorist” who “wasn’t innocent at all,” despite the Israeli police investigation finding that he didn’t carry out the attack.
Even if Al-Sharif had carried out the stabbing, an attack on an occupying soldier is legal under international law (This is just one of the many stupid, empty, provocative statements the Left keeps making – RB). In sharp contrast to popular media portrayal, Azarya’s family and the crowd were inspired by the strong turnout. Charlie Azarya said to the crowd:
You can not believe the amount of people here! All the sane people are here!
Tablet correspondent Yair Rosenberg, who hails from NYC, dismissed the mob as “extremists”:
Host and former MK Sharon Gal was well aware of the rage towards the media. He shouted:
We came to love! They’re trying to make us look bad!
Even before Gal’s incitement, crowds of young men and boys attacked at least three journalists. A video of David Sheen went viral immediately. Sheen has since uploaded his own footage and combined it with the original viral video. If Ya’alon’s ISIS comment and mainstream media’s marginalization of those in support for Azarya prove anything, it’s that Mizrahim are subject to the same anti-Arab racism that is so prevalent throughout
Israeli (Jewish Ashkenazi) society. Indeed, Mizrahim are the most vocal supporters of Azarya, and that’s because it is Mizrahim who are likely to find themselves the same role Azarya found himself in: tasked with using deadly force to control a civilian population while Ashkenazim primarily enlist into the revered air force, or disseminate orders from air-conditioned offices in the Kirya. For now, no one should be surprised by an attack or even murder of anyone accused of being a Leftist (That is not a very smart thing to say, but this person is sitting in his own air-conditioned comfort in Pindostan, being twice as hypocritical as the people he just condemned in Tel Aviv – RB) Incitement by Israeli officials Jewish boxtops have made B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence into (objects of popular scorn), even more so than anti-Zionists or supporters of the BDS movement. Self-identifying as “pro-Israel” or “pro-peace” won’t save anyone, not even the prime minister (I don’t know what that last sentence means, either – RB).