Israel Encourages Cold-Blooded Murder
by Stephen Lendman
It’s been longstanding policy throughout its sordid history, intensified by Netanyahu’s ruthlessness along with other hardliners infesting his coalition regime.
On January 2, Human Rights Watch (HRW) headlined “Israel/Palestine: Some Officials Backing ‘Shoot-to-Kill’ – Calls for Extrajudicial Killings of Palestinian Suspects Proliferate,” saying:
Senior Netanyahu officials endorse lethally shooting Palestinians accused (most often unjustly) of attacking Israelis, favoring extrajudicial executions – opposing due process and judicial fairness, anathema notions in Israel when it comes to Palestinian rights.
Since October 2015, HRW “documented numerous statements…by senior Israeli politicians, including the police minister and defense minister, calling on police and soldiers to shoot to kill suspected attackers, irrespective of whether lethal force is actually strictly necessary to protect life.”
“It’s not just about potentially rogue soldiers, but also about senior Israeli officials who publicly tell security forces to unlawfully shoot to kill,” HRW’s Sari Bashi added.
In the last 15 months alone, Israeli forces murdered over 150 Palestinians in cold blood – soldiers licensed to kill unaccountably, fundamental Palestinian rights ignored.
International human rights law prohibits using lethal force except as necessary to protect life when clearly endangered. Israel ignores it with impunity. Soldiers and other security forces are encouraged to kill.
The vast majority of Palestinians accused of attacking Israelis were falsely charged to legitimize cold-blooded murder.
Palestinian self-defense against Israeli ruthlessness is called “terrorism.” State terrorism is framed as “legitimate security measures – Israel’s right to defend itself.”
Public security minister Gilad Erdan endorsed extrajudicial killings – Palestinian men, women and children guilty of no offense most often affected.
According to ultranationalist defense minister Avigdor Lieberman, “no (alleged) attacker, (guilty or innocent), male or female, should make it out of any (alleged) attack alive.”
Virtually no restraints on use of lethal force against Palestinians exist. They’re vulnerable to be lethally shot for any reason or none at all.
Instead of repudiating indiscriminate use of excessive force, hardline Israeli officials encourage it. According to HRW:
“Statements by senior Israeli officials, including those at the top of the chain of command, encourage violation of both the international standards regarding the use of force as well as the rules of engagement that Israel issues to its soldiers and police officers.”
“In some cases, officials directly responsible for the conduct of law enforcement officers have publicly encouraged them to kill rather than to arrest suspected attackers when feasible.”
“In other cases, senior political and religious officials who are employed and paid by the government have encouraged the killing of suspected Palestinian attackers, and other senior officials have failed to repudiate those statements.”
In March 2016, Israel’s chief sephardic rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, cited biblical justification for lethal force, saying:
“Whoever comes to kill you (true or false), rise up and kill him first…Let them afterward take you to the High Court of Justice or bring some military chief of staff who will say something else.”
“As soon as an (alleged) attacker knows that if he comes with a knife, he won’t return alive, it will deter them. That’s why it’s a religious commandment to kill him.”
He conveniently ignored one of the Ten Commandments, stating “Thou shalt not kill.” Endorsing otherwise justifies cold-blooded murder as a religious duty.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.