I agree with the Palestinians about the Azaria case

Recently, in the West Bank, a young Israeli conscript by the name of Elor Azaria shot and killed a wounded Palestinian prisoner. He was just sentenced in Israeli military court for manslaughter. 

Israel is divided about this case. A whole lot of Israelis think this was a case of an inexperienced conscript in a supercharged situation. One man in a BBC report said he thought Azaria's commanders should have backed him up, taking a conviction in his stead if necessary. If they put him into a position for which they didn't prepare him, I'd agree with that assessment. 

But while the Israelis are fighting about whether the young man should have been sentenced, there's another issue, and that's the sentence itself:

Eighteen months. 

The argument shouldn't be over whether the conviction should stand, it should be over why there's such a short sentence for manslaughter. 

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Comment by JMac1949 Today on February 21, 2017 at 7:47am

Mitigating circumstance... last year one Israeli soldier shot and killed a wounded Palestinian. Last year in the USA 957 people were killed by police, over 700 were shot and 34 percent of the unarmed people killed in 2016 were black males, while black men make up only 6 percent of the U.S. population.  Fewer than 17 police officers were convicted of manslaughter or murder in any degree. 

Comment by JMac1949 Today on February 21, 2017 at 9:38am

BTW: Today SCOTUS is considering another case with mitigating circumstances - In June 2010, Sergio Hernandez, 15, was killed in Mexico by shots fired from US Border Patrol Officer Jesus Mesa Jr. in El Paso, TX.

Hernandez's death, who was unarmed and posed no apparent threat to the officer, provoked anger on the Mexican side of the border, but U.S. officials refused to extradite Mesa to face charges in Mexico. They also decided against prosecuting him under U.S. law.  Sergio’s parents then sued Mesa, alleging the shooting was an unjustified violation of the Constitution.

Mesa has been exonerated by US Justice and received no disciplinary action from the Border Patrol.

Comment by koshersalaami on February 21, 2017 at 12:24pm

The problem in Palestine is that the population is in essence under military occupation, whereas the Blacks you reference are citizens. That's why the territories are called Occupied. A proper comparison would be American Blacks to Israeli Arabs, who also certainly face discrimination.

As to the nature of that occupation, that's a longer question. I am in favor of the foundation of a Palestinian state. 

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on February 21, 2017 at 2:09pm

The sole 'Palestine' is a name given ancient Israel by Roman invaders. It means 'Rocky Place'. It has no intrinsic, contemporary, meaning save for a tendentious political one promoted by entities w little or no historic roots in the land. It's ironic, at best, that those who speak for the well-being of co-ethno-religionists, people who are disdained and summarily off-loaded by the leaders of Muslim states who could easily support them and do not...proudly use an ancient term of oppression to promote what they call self-determination.

Comment by Drew-Silla on February 21, 2017 at 2:35pm

Mr. Wolfman; after reading your comment I Googled "Palestine, etymology" and so far every one of the numerous results I have read, including one from the Jewish Virtual Library, says the name means Land of the Philistines or, as per ancient Egyptian and Hebrew usage, something aproximating Land of the Nomadic Invaders, the latter term itself being understood to be a reference to the Philistines.


There seems to be little debate about this issue among serious scholars, so, being somewhat of a history and linguistics geek, I find it interesting that you claim an entirely different etymology for the name. If it's not rude of me to ask, why do you make that claim, sir? 

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on February 21, 2017 at 5:03pm

From Paleo (Rock), Latin. 

I am sure that it's possible that Romans could have also used similar terms for early peoples there, tho of that I am not as sure. 

In any case, Palestine, as a word, has no connection to the people claiming the land and demand Jews leave it....nor do the ancient Philistines, do they? 

Ancient Hebrew clans, (Ivrim) have such a connection. Yet the real point is that the Hebrews' descendants, Jews, have not asked for the land to be exclusively theirs; numbers of Palestinian orgs have said now for 3 generations and more that no Jew may live there.

Muslims, until abt 400 yrs back, had seemingly no issue living among and next to other Peoples. I don't know all of how and why that changed, and that openness, to a large degree, survived the cruel idiocy of the Crusades. To my knowledge, Jews did not have a hand in the Crusades.

Comment by koshersalaami on February 21, 2017 at 5:27pm


I'd actually heard Drew-Cilla's version, that the Romans named the area Palestine specifically to designate it as historically belonging to an enemy of the Hebrews, the Philistines. I hadn't heard the rock version. 

What changed when and where is a longer explanation. Muslims and Jews have lived without too much strife considerably more recently than four hundred years ago. At the turn of the last century about a third of Baghdad's population was Jewish. 

The Jewish role in the Crusades in Europe was to be slaughtered by the thousands. They were the non Christians close to home. The Jewish role in Palestine (?) was to fight alongside Saladin against the Christian invaders. 

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on February 21, 2017 at 5:35pm

i am aware of that crusades part, kosh

Comment by koshersalaami on February 21, 2017 at 5:54pm

Yeah, but others aren't. 

Comment by Drew-Silla on February 21, 2017 at 6:19pm

I'm not sure what you mean by "Drew-Cilla's version" Mr. Salaami. Mr. Wolfman claimed, inaccurately, that Palestine was a place name coined by the Romans  meaning "Rocky Place," and while pointing out his error I said absolutely nothing about the Romans, citing in fact ancient Egyptian and Hebraic etymologies for the word which predate the Romans' appearance in the Eastern Mediterranean by thousands of years. I sometimes wonder why it is that seemingly erudite persons are so often so astonishingly ignorant about well-known historical realities, but witnessing as I  just did  your apparently intentional lack of reading comprehension skills, I'm starting to understand how it happens.  


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