IDF soldier who shot a neutralized Palestinian terrorist in Hebron being led into court, March 29, 2016.
(photo credit: NOAM AMIR)
The soldier under fire in last month’s Hebron incident acted against the laws and values that bind and strengthen Israeli society, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said on Tuesday, as he spoke with high school students in the Jordan Valley settlement of Ma’aleh Ephraim.
“Those who back the soldier don’t back our laws and values,” Ya’alon said.
He spoke with the students on the same day that a military hearing was held about the detention of the soldier who on March 24, fired the fatal shot at an already wounded Palestinian assailant.
“It’s important for us to both win and remain humane,” Ya’alon said and added, “if we lose our morality we will lose our way.”
He spoke against the demonstrations in support of the soldier and warned that the subject could be easily manipulated for harmful ends.
Ya’alon condemned the soldier’s actions, but stopped short of calling him a murderer.
“No one is calling him a murderer.
This is a soldier who did not act as he was suppose to,” Ya’alon said. The IDF prosecution intends to charge him with manslaughter.
The soldiers actions that March day were filmed by a B’tselem volunteer and widely circulated in the media and on Youtube.
“But even before anyone saw the video his commanders saw that his actions were improper and began an investigation,” Ya’alon said.
The term “murder” was introduced into the situation only after the legal proceedings against the soldier began, Ya’alon said.
Still, he said, when one talks about the ethic of “kill or be killed” one should also speak about “do not murder.”
With regard to the larger Israeli- Palestinian conflict, he said, that there was no partner on the Palestinian side because no one is willing to recognize that Israel is the homeland of the Jews.
“That is the source of the conflict,” he said.
Ya’alon added that he did not believe it was resolvable at this time.
“We as modern Western people, have the mistaken idea that there is a solution to everything. Sure, we made it to the moon which gives us the idea that everything is possible,” Ya’alon said.
“I contend that not every problem is solvable, not in mathematics and not in medicine. Even in our personal lives, we live with problems that we manage but cannot solve.
Only when it comes to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict do we insist that there must be a solution.
“And if there is a solution, why can’t it happen now. That is dangerous, God has solutions, but we don’t. We live in the world of instantaneous solutions. If you are hungry, you can go into a fast food restaurant. At home you can put food in the microwave. Just like we want food now, we want democracy for the Arab world now, we want peace now, there are those who want the Messiah now.
“I suggest that we be cautious against these intellectual hurdles, he said.
One has to wonder that if the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is so well-known, why has no one made it happen over the last one hundred years, he said.
“I don’t think time is working against us,” he said.
Separately, he spoke about the importance of doing a better job of integrating Israeli-Arabs into society.
Later while still in the Jordan Valley, Ya’alon spoke in support of the settlements there and said that the region had an important role to play in the nation’s future.