Letters to the editor: Readers react to sentencing of Elor Azaria

Readers reacted to the controversial sentencing in the case of IDF Hebron shooter, Elor Azaria.

February 23, 2017 21:44
3 minute read.

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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With regard to “Calls for pardon after Azaria receives 18 months” (February 22), I am ashamed of those who sentenced this very young man. He probably saved the lives of our grandchildren and children – this terrorist wanted to kill, and given another opportunity, he would have succeeded.

My thoughts are with Elor Azaria and his family. I feel very sad about this injustice.

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Alice in Wonderland is alive and well, and must be living in Israel!

Act 1: A terrorist attempts to stab and kill IDF soldiers.

Act 2: One soldier reacts quickly by eliminating the terrorist, protecting other soldiers’ lives by doing his job.

Act 3: The soldier is judged and sentenced by a court representing the State of Israel.


Act 4: The terrorist’s family demands a much harsher sentence, receiving prominent publicity in a front-page article in The Jerusalem Post.


What’s wrong with this picture?

I was more than a little disturbed reading on the front page of your newspaper about relatives of the terrorist shot and killed by Sgt. Elor Azaria. It’s so wonderful that we can all share in their grief.

Forgive me, but am I missing something here? From this day forward, the Post should send a reporter to a terrorist’s home with a condolence basket, try to get a better perspective from his family’s viewpoint, and even go so far as to petition the Knesset to name a street in Israel after him.

I thought for a moment that I was reading Haaretz.


Was it necessary to include on your front page a photograph of the family of terrorist Abdul Fatah al-Sharif watching the TV broadcast of Elor Azaria’s sentencing, and then to quote family members as saying that Azaria deserved 10 years? On the same page, there is an analysis by Yonah Jeremy Bob (“Will short sentence cost Israel at ICC?”).

All the negative attention has been thrust on Azaria.

Al-Sharif was a terrorist, who together with another Palestinian assailant attacked Israeli soldiers with the intent to kill. Thankfully , the other assailant was eliminated before being able to carry out his attack.

And thankfully, Israeli soldiers were able to subdue al-Sharif and prevent him from further carrying out his hideous mission.

There are no moral standards to uphold when facing killers. Azaria was determined to stay alive.


As was determined by the military court, Elor Azaria’s actions violated the IDF’s code of purity of arms and rules of engagement. For this, appropriate disciplinary action is in order. However, I disagree with the judges’ opinion that his actions violated the “value of the sanctity of life.”

I believe that the sanctity of human life is not a consequence of being physiologically human, but rather a consequence of being morally human. Human life is only sanctified if it is lived according to the moral standards we expect and demand of human beings.

The use of the term “sanctity of life” when referring to a terrorist, especially by judges who are supposed to be the guardians of society’s morality, is itself a violation of the sanctity of human life.

It implies that the sanctity of human life is a result only of being physiologically human and thereby permits us to relinquish the responsibility to earn our sanctity by living up to society’s moral standards.

Azaria’s actions, as wrong as they may have been, did not violate the sanctity of human life. Quite the contrary.


Elor Azaria was tried and convicted, and is going to jail. In contrast, the Palestinian Authority names parks and schools in honor of people who kill Jews, and the murderers and their families receive pensions for life with funds provided by American taxpayers and the EU.


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