The case of Sgt. Elor Azaria already has been mentioned in Wikipedia as “Hebron shooting incident”. The case divided Israeli society into polarized ‘parties’ in March 2016 and generates turmoil in February 2017.
The diversity of the Israel
To be honest, Israel is always polarized thanks to its existence as the one and only Jewish state, the homeland for the religious community, the island for Jews, de facto shared with others. Among the others you find Arabs, Muslims and Christians, and a lot of ethnic groups from all over the world. Man and woman come here to approach the Bible, or in a job hunting, or to be with their loved ones (modern variants of Ruth story). The people live here practicing different rituals and supporting a variety of cultures. Thus, Israelis claim to
- follow Jewish traditions, to strengthen Judaism;
- improve the Jewish island in the Middle East;
- develop tolerance and understanding of differences;
- agree to give a part of the country to neighbors.
However, Israelis manage to find a balance: “right wing, left wing: It takes both to fly”. The state functions, inhabitants work, talk, pray, fight, smile and relax, until an event happened to provoke antagonism. You can discuss and find solutions for a contradiction; however, antagonism is hard to be calmed. Questions of life and death antagonize Israeli society, because its members realize living and surviving in different terms, while the question is rather simple: a human being able to be alive (but not “almost alive”, as in fiction) or dead. Thus, when a life is taken from a human being, Israelis from different ‘parties’ give incompatible reactions. But all of them always react, because in Israel daily routines expose your life to danger.
To please vox populi
The ‘Hebron shooting incident’ is the event of life and death in this country. The case itself is not so transparent, but not a single one. A terrorist was shot dead by an IDF soldier. The circumstances were important for Israeli Militant Police to open a trial and for Palestinians and compassionate ‘peacemakers’ – for declaring the soldier “a killer” and the Army – a murderous mob. The trial and conviction of manslaughter by the panel of three military judges blew up the country. The military judges would like to demonstrate their objectivity and independence, but the case became a manifestation of the influence of mass media and vox populi from abroad and UN. And, as always under the Sun, the attempt to please vox populi was condemned by the mob and mass media, left-wing and right-wing as well. Almost everyone in Israel was waiting; right-wing expected the sentence to be reviewed, left-wing believed in the Highest Justice. However, the war deforms laws of a peaceful society, the laws lose their relevance. The antagonism is relevant to the war.
Children of the country
Israel is a very small country. Notwithstanding the diversity, everyone is able to find someone familiar with a person, who knows Sgt. Azaria. My daughter is familiar with one of the soldiers (his nickname is Donut), who was there in Hebron that night. The youth were aware of the inevitability of punishment, not of the ruining Azaria’s life. Soldiers perceived the penalty as a representation of the defencelessness of an IDF soldier, who stands alone between terrorism and the Military Justice, betrayed by his / her commanders. In Israel, the soldiers are the children of the country. Every family understands, that sooner or later a child will become a soldier, a defender. The people of Israel demand respect and acknowledgement for the defenders, disagreeing with the objectivity and independence in the time of war. Those, who prefer tolerance and understanding of the both sides, who believe in the Highest Justice, took pride for the democracy.
The Single Truth is a beautiful dream
From my point, the Highest Justice in this case presupposes to return the feeling of security, significance and warmth to the every soldier of the IDF. The Single Truth is a beautiful dream, and as a dream, it flies away while you come closer. “Right wing, left wing: It takes both to fly” – very well, let’s fly to the balance in the society. The military judges showed their objectivity to the world; the world did not appreciate the show. Let’s do it our way. As Donut told, he felt lucky not to appear on the scene in Hebron, because you will never realize the tumult in the face of an assassin, who stabbed your friend, until you would experience the moment. Thus, the 18 months in prison became the mandatory sentence to Sgt. Azaria. Angry voices from UN, disappointment of the home left-wing are predictable. However, the state found the balance. Antagonism is tided over. Israelis continue to work, talk, pray, smile, relax, supply water and electricity to Gaza, and to cure Palestinians and Syrian refugees. Would you please mention all these activities in Wikipedia to clarify the Israeli attitude to the 'Hebron shooting incident'?