Military court handed down guilty verdict finding Sergeant Elor Azariya guilty of manslaughter. The verdict was in at his arrest, with only the formalities left to complete, in this most obvious result in the universe. The media tried this case before the first military hearing or first witness was called. There was never the slightest doubt in the media, neither the Israeli nor the world, as the left slant of the media will always side against the military because they use violence instead of talking things out in a reasoned manner like they would as the real adults who keep us safe. The media has some less than reasoned beliefs; especially when it comes to the military, law enforcement or any other use of violence performed protecting the public. It’s that reasoned thing where adults would resolve such serious and difficult problems such as the five day weather forecast, political elections, budget issues and arresting violent, armed and dangerous felons or preventing terrorist attacks; oh, wait; the media run and hide when such problems arise and only come forth to complain about how law enforcement or the media used any amount of violence in resolving such situations. We are not going to debate the verdict or whether Sgt. Elor Azariya was justified or not and will leave that to the media, they will be salivating over this, and the demonstrators who will present the opposite views. Our apologies to the few media such as Arutz Sheva which will give all sides all the print they need to tangle and dice the verdict and evidence into second-by-second slices and view them from top, bottom, right, left, front, back, outside and inside and any other manner conceivably possible.
Our concern will take us on a different tack. This verdict will place the fear of imprisonment above and beyond the already burdensome Rules of Engagement (ROE), a military hierarchy which either fears or aligns themselves with the left, political establishment which also fears the media or is elected by them, and a public which is almost as equally divided. The losers from this verdict, other than Sgt. Elor Azariya, will be the soldier in the field who when facing any questionable situation where there might be any doubt or opening for leftist outrage will have an extra question in his decision protocols, will I face charges and is it worth my life to act or simply take cover and be safe from prosecution. Remember that at the other end of the infantryman’s rifle are very often terrorists who will have absolutely no decision protocols, they simply shoot first, second and continue to shoot until stopped, stopped by that soldier working through the ROE and now the political and legal challenges which are distractions far outside the norm for soldiers in what is in all honesty a combat zone. These soldiers are actually volunteers in a manner of speaking as if any Israeli teen upon graduating High School can find a means of avoiding military service by one of three alternatives, civilian service or seek some deferment or a long overseas vacation. The most honorable is civilian service but most Israelis choose the IDF and many religious Jews apply for the elite infantry units knowing they will face the harshest of training rigors and an uphill battle to meet and exceed all qualifications as well as have to compete against one another for the limited slots available. The highly motivated, altruistic, selfless, servants of Israel carry the weight of protecting their nation and its people on their shoulders. Now they also need to gauge the emotional state of the world, the probabilities of some prosecutor deciding to make a name for themselves before leaving the service and entering the work force hoping to polish up the resume and hoping if they do decide to use their weapon, whether the media might find reason to explode an expose doubting the need for discharging their weapon.
What seems to get lost in this mix is that these young people are facing terrorists who do not have ROE, do not wear uniforms, hide behind civilians, ambush civilians, hate life and worship death. The situation often is not cut and dry; and doubt, if permitted to permeate any situation, can be fatal as when fighting terrorism, delay results in the soldier’s life. These are the truths and we can rely that as time passes this decision will cause some unfortunate soldier to delay, consider one too many consequences, figure one too many angles, second guess before shooting and never get off that saving shot. It may well cost that soldier their life or worse, watching a civilian they were sworn to protect lose their life which would haunt them for the rest of their life. These are the stakes which these youth face regularly and adding more tension to their young lives is criminal, and we do not need any trial to figure this out. Was there no other means for the IDF handling this difficult situation? Unfortunate truth is, probably not after the media made such a monstrous crime of the century uproar about the shooting of a terrorist, injured and presumably subdued though not yet restrained, who had just stabbed another soldier and attacked others at the scene. Is such a mitigating factor? Apparently not in this or any case as they are enforcing the toughest and most moral code of any military in the world. For potentially making the IDF a target for recrimination by the world, its media and propaganda for the terror masters to radicalize more and more terrorists, Sgt. Elor Azariya may end up spending the next twenty years of his life in a military prison and his life will never be the same nor likely ever recover from this ordeal.
Knowing some will demand our opinion, I will speak for myself and not the remainder of our small staff, though the staff likely would agree. Was Sgt. Elor Azariya guilty of the manslaughter charge? That I cannot tell as I am not and never was a lawyer, intellectual, judge, politician or part of a paid media. Some of the above mentioned have the legal knowledge and possibly the background to judge fairly while others are simply presumptuous enough to claim that right. I can only speak as one who has carried a rifle and was in a combat unit though I fortunately never had to shoot any enemy targets, and in war that is what all enemy are, targets. The first thing in a case where an enemy has been taken prisoner but is not yet secured as they are seriously injured requiring medical attention, one must know the mind of the enemy. Would they still pose a threat and are they sufficiently guarded to prevent such threat. From what I have read, the terrorist in question was not being actively guarded, though there were sufficient soldiers that should he become a menace by one of their judgements of the terrorist’s acts and movements, then the terrorist would be neutralized, killed. This is what occurred and what was on trial here was the danger level the terrorist posed. Here we need consider the motivation to kill us the terrorists keep within them. We know they viscerally despise and hate us wishing us all dead. They would do anything to hurt and kill us. I guess the best way I could describe the level of animosity held by the terrorists is to point out that they would be willing to die to kill a little girl’s puppy because it would make her cry and place them in paradise as is his sick, perverse and beastly interpretation of his religion, and that level of hatred is only prevented from performing more acts of hostility and illogical violence when they are completely neutralized either through restraints or death. The terrorist was not restrained, you figure it out.
Beyond the Cusp