This is an open letter to Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin.
And the purpose is to ask for the kind consideration of a pardon for Israeli Soldier, Elor Azaria.
Elor has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for killing a terrorist that had stabbed an Israeli soldier last year.
The terrorist had already been incapacitated and lay on the road when Elor, just aged 19, fired the final shot to the terrorist’s head.
While I certainly don’t condone excessive use of force, I think it is important to take into consideration the context of the times when this happened, which was virtual daily terrorist attacks, including stabbings, shootings, vehicle rammings, and homicide bombings across the country, and especially in and around the eternal capital, Jerusalem.
No one knows how to fight terrorism better than Israel, which has suffered since it’s founding in 1948 by enemies who have sought its destruction and throwing it’s entire populace–dead or alive–into the Mediterranean Sea.
The IDF soldiers who defend the people and country are heroes not only to Israelis, but to all of us around the world who support the Holy Land, and especially the establishment of a homeland for Jews, 70 years after the Holocaust wiped out 6,000,000 Jewish men, women, and children.
As Jewish people, we follow the Torah’s commandments and pride ourselves on the adherence to the highest standards of morality, in all situations.
Yet even as we cling to the strictest of moral compasses, G-d commands us to “utterly wipe out Amalek,” and the oral law teaches us the general dictum that “If someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first.”
The IDF is known as one of the most humane armies in the world, despite the circumstances where they are literally fighting for their existential survival every day.
While perhaps, we can sit in judgement and exclaim that Elor should not have taken that fateful shot that day, surely under the circumstances of the time, we can understand why he would want to fully neutralize the enemy, who very possibly could’ve been hiding explosives for a suicide bombing, which are common terrorist tactics that Israelis have suffered more than their share of.
Growing up, I remember many of the major Israeli wars as well as the Intifada, wars of attrition–and throughout, we around the world worried most anxiously, prayed to the L-rd for his mercy, and gave charity as the dead and wounded piled high to the point where basically every Israeli family has been personally and profoundly impacted.
For a year now, Elor has suffered through the courts and the press and has also been demoted to a private…he has suffered enough in defense of his people.
Yes even terrorists have rights, but we must remember that the victims must have more rights, and the IDF need to be given the benefit of the doubt in their self defense and the latitude to do their most difficult of jobs defending the people of the Promised Land and by extension all people of faith.
If we don’t defend the defenders, then in essence we are aiding the terrorists and those that seek our own destruction.
I ask for the sake of people all over the world under attack by the wave of global hate and terrorism that Elor be pardoned, so that we uphold the IDF in the highest esteem and with the utmost gratitude for protecting us from the true evil that targets and threatens all of us. 😉
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)