Israeli vs. Palestinian Response to Misconduct 


A Tel Aviv court on Wednesday found Sgt. Elor Azaria guilty of the manslaughter of a Palestinian terrorist Abed al Fatah al-Sharif who had stabbed another soldier without provocation.

Many international observers, governments and political organizations compare Israel and the Palestinians after such events, despite the complaint that moral equivalence comparisons are inappropriate. But how does the rule of law stack up in Israel after a fighter is convicted of unlawfully killing an enemy?

As an Israeli soldier Azaria was subject to carefully defined and ethical rules of engagement. For breaching those rules he faced a rigorous judicial process conducted by well-trained and trusted representatives of a democratically elected government, themselves accountable to their superiors. His case was subject to intense media scrutiny and international public debate.

Additionally, an Israeli organization – the pro-Palestinian NGO B’Tselem – provided the initial video of the crime and further scrutiny of the case. Despite intense pressure from sectors of the Israeli public, three military judges who heard the case found Azaria guilty. The 18 year old’s picture appeared large on international media reports all around the world, usually with little or no specific reference to his youth, or the mitigating circumstances of 100 years of continuous terrorist and military bombardment against the Jewish people in the Middle East. Even the soldier’s own prime minister condemned his conduct in this isolated case, before calling on the president for an official pardon.

Following a conference entitled “Freedom and Dignity,” Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, a man with a long history of terrorist incitement, declared that Palestinians in Israeli prisons for killing or attempting to kill innocent men, women and children, “Must not be held accountable for their crimes. After all, they were only trying to kill Jews.”

These prisoners receive an official government “salary” from the Palestinian Authority amounting to hundreds of thousands of shekels – the more gruesome the crime the greater the payment due to a longer jail term. For example, Abdullah Barghouti, serving 67 life sentences for bomb making, has so far received more than 250,000 shekels ($65,000 or 61,000 euros). In June, a representative of the German government acknowledged that the PA pays terrorists and their families, and furthermore that the German government likely contributes to those funds. Germany is not the only Western country to make such a discovery.

Killers are not only paid, but also are highly honored in the Palestinian Muslim community. Terrorist Musbah Abu Sbeih who murdered a 60 year-old woman, a policeman and injured six, received the following praise on Fatah’s own Facebook page on Oct. 8:


The Bible has much to say about the judgment of Israel, but it is in the context of God judging, although sometimes using unwitting nations. His judgments, however, are not the business of other peoples, except to learn principles from and apply to their own circumstances.

Accountability to the international community is necessary, but only when based on godly, fair and just decisions that are proportionately applied to all peoples.

Yeshua himself said: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:1-3)

If the same standards applied to Israel were applied to other nations’ treatment of minorities, it would be enlightening to see them stand up to such scrutiny, especially Christians in Muslim majority nations, not to mention the way the Palestinian Authority treats its own people.

Clearly, many nations – especially powerful ones – have seemingly compounded problems within Israel.

Many Christians and Jews understand that Israel holds a God-given covenant responsibility to steward the state that the Lord has given her. No other nation can claim such a weighty responsibility, an assignment which only God will ultimately judge.

Psalm 28 – A Psalm of David

“To you, Lord, I call;
you are my Rock,
do not turn a deaf ear to me.
For if you remain silent,
I will be like those who go down to the pit.
Hear my cry for mercy
as I call to you for help,
as I lift up my hands
toward your Most Holy Place.

Do not drag me away with the wicked,
with those who do evil,
who speak cordially with their neighbors
but harbor malice in their hearts.
Repay them for their deeds
and for their evil work;
repay them for what their hands have done
and bring back on them what they deserve.

Because they have no regard for the deeds of the Lord
and what his hands have done,
he will tear them down
and never build them up again.

Praise be to the Lord,
for he has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.

The Lord is the strength of his people,
a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
Save your people and bless your inheritance;
be their shepherd and carry them forever.”