Mothers of soldiers march in support of Elor Azaria .
(photo credit: ELIYAHU KAMISHER)
Some 75 mothers of IDF soldiers and others rallied near Habimah Square in Tel Aviv Sunday night in support of Sgt. Elor Azaria who is facing manslaughter charges for shooting an immobilized Palestinian terrorist in Hebron in March.
“My country is supposed to protect my sons who I sent to its army and I don’t want them to accuse him and blame him and even finance a trial with tens of thousands of shekels that will put this kid in prison for murder,” Batya Maron of Haifa, the mother of a 19-year-old combat solider, told The Jerusalem Post.
Maron said Azaria “was doing his job” when he shot the Palestinian attacker.
The purpose of the rally, according to organizer Zvi Yehuda, was to pressure the government to free Azaria.
“We really feel that we are Elor’s parents. We demand the government free him,” he stated.
The tense and passionate rally included chants of “He is a hero!” and “If someone calls Elor a murder, he is not a Jew!” contrasting sharply with the “United in Babylon” public music circle taking place at the same time, which filled Habimah Square with a few hundred singing and dancing participants.
Chana Cohen who marched in support of Azaria said the government was being hypocritical.
“A soldier’s job is to protect, and then the country turns around and says ‘you’re a murderer,’ I have grandchildren and they are going to grow up to be soldiers in just a few more years. I’m walking for them, I’m walking for you and I’m walking for everyone who puts their life on the line to protect us,” she said.