Those Satanic Democrats

ABC Family, No Matter What It Calls Itself, Can't Get Rid of Pat Robertson's  The 700 Club

My old boss Pat Robertson is using the latest Arab-Israeli conflict to threaten every person who doesn’t unilaterally support Israel with a curse from the Bible. Isn’t it amazing how fundamentalist Christianity uses threats of future harm as a way to manage its denizens into doing exactly what the Republican Party wants done today? Evangelicalism, at its very core, uses such fears to scare people into marching in lock step. It’s a clever ruse, because it doesn’t require proof other than its shared beliefs in interpreting the Bible.

Evangelicalism is the management of people via the threat of hell. Every pamphlet, every first contact with a sinner to “save” begins with the question of one’s future habitation. This way, you don’t have to address what’s happening to a person in the here and now. You’re doing them a favor by promising them a future in heaven. It’s how pro-lifers can dismiss what happens to all those babies after they’re born. They just don’t seem to matter, do they?

Dismissing the entire concept of grace, Robertson and his ilk have slid into legalism as their theological core. Do this, not that is the very definition of legalism within the faith, even though the Bible says “I desire mercy, not sacrifice” and “the just shall live by faith.”

Quoting from his broadcast of The 700 Club on Monday, Newsweek noted the political aspects of his screed in a piece called “Televangelist Pat Robertson Warns U.S. Will ‘Suffer Curse’ from God If Dems Don’t Support Israel

“Here’s what the Bible says in Genesis, talking about Abraham,” he (Pat Robertson) said, “ ‘I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families in the earth you shall be blessed.’ Genesis 12:3 NKJV. Now, I think the Jews have been God’s messengers. They have been entrusted with the oracles of God, and to see this rise of antisemitism which mirrors what was done in the Nazis… This is satanic.”

Robertson then named names, …calling out “Tlaib and the other members of the Squad,” meaning six young, left-leaning, POC members of Congress including Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Jamaal Bowman of New York and Cori Bush of Missouri.

“If the United States of America stopped supporting Israel…if you listen to what [the squad] is saying, and if the Democratic Party swings in that direction, and if the millennials lead America away from Israel, we as a nation will suffer the curse that God placed on those who would curse Abraham,” Robertson said.

To be clear, in the name of political expediency, Pat Robertson has just determined that the Democratic Party is the party of satan, thereby forbidding his followers from ever voting for Dems.

Zionism — to be factual, the geo-political base of the state of Israel — has carefully and systematically shifted the definition of antisemitism to now include unwillingness to be supportive of their plans, tactics, and goals. Israel is free to act in its own best interests with impunity and not those of its neighbors or even the whole region we call the Middle East.

Zionism is not Judaism, and they’re not even close.

Fundamentalist Christianity MUST support Israel, or its entire narrative crumbles. After all, its theology is based in the end times, and Israel’s resurrection in Canaan is their (Biblical) signal that Jesus is coming back soon. To deny the political nature of its Zionist government, however, is to turn a blind eye to real poverty, suffering, and death in the process of self-justification, and that, folks, is the total opposite of the commandment of Jesus to “love the Lord, ourselves, and our neighbors.”

Actor Jon Voight made a video that attempts to shame us all in the same direction. “How dare you attack the righteous souls of God’s highest truths,” he angrily chided those who stand against America’s $10 million-a-day gift to Israel, noting that Jews brought the concept of love into humanity, a claim that’s convenient but hardly true. There’s no love whatsoever in Israel for a Palestinian community it wishes would just go away.

Remember, friends, there’s a difference between freedom and license, for the former includes responsibilities to others, whereas license offers carte blanche in the acceptance and development of self-centeredness. Republicans deny their responsibilities as humans in favor of the most sinister form of selfishness ever brought forth on this planet.

Which one is God truly undergirding?

Jerusalem Violence: Why the West Doesn’t Care

Hundreds wounded in weekend of East Jerusalem violence | The Japan Times

When examining the roots of the right-wing Christian uprising in the West, observers tend to deliberately avoid the truth that Israel’s resurrection in the Middle East started it all. This is crucial to understanding the religious delusions presented as facts in the region. These fallacies are then presented to whip believers up into a frenzy over modern times and the return of Christ to the Earth. Make no mistake: without Israel, we would not have found ourselves in the predicament of the January 6, 2021 insurrection.

What can possibly make Christians give up their loyalty to Jesus and become political pawns for the GOP? That would be a fallacious faith over what they believe are urgent cues about Jesus’ imminent return to judge humanity, both dead and alive. This means they’re living lives of expectation with eyes fixed on their “reward” of salvation. Cut away all of the social and foreign policy issues that the Christian Right votes for, and they’d still be supporting Israel and the return of their Savior as justification for clinging to a group of manipulators that they’ve been told to support.

Here are the hopeful lyrics from the bluegrass gospel tune “Any Day Now” by Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver:

Just any day now our Lord is coming
He’ll be returning for you and me
Oh I’ve been watching and I’ve been waiting
Just any day now His face I’ll see

This is the anticipation manifested among certain Christian sects, and it’s a powerful motivator for political action.

This was reflected in the very first sentence of the Mission Statement of the Christian Broadcasting Network:

“The mission of CBN and its affiliated organizations is to prepare the United States of America, the nations of the Middle East, the Far East, South America, and other selected nations of the world for the coming of Jesus Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth.”

Mission Statement of CBN, circa 1980.

This could not have been anybody’s successful business strategy in the late 20th Century without the history of what now stands as the nation of Israel on land shared by Palestinians and Jews for centuries prior to modern times. Israel was given status among Western evangelists as a verifiable sign from God that the return of Jesus was imminent.

Remember that Jesus, according to their faith, comes back via Israel and Armageddon, so Israel NEEDS to be there in order for the evangelical message to seem real and relevant. It’s a big part of why we give Israel $10 million-a-day (holidays and weekends included) in “defensive” weaponry and other needs. It’s also why we perpetuate the myth that somehow Israel is the victim in the region. The reality is that Israel (with the U.S.) is the disruptive source in the Middle East, not the Arabs. Israel’s Zionist government constantly rails against the “existential threat” of murdering Arabs who want only to kill all the Jews in the area. This is a necessary position in the perpetuation of murder, maiming, harassment, intimidation, land and building seizures, property destruction, and the steady dehumanization of the Palestinian people through tactics designed to accomplish exactly that.

However, many believers refuse to look at this as Biblical prophecy fulfilled, because, well, it isn’t. Today’s version of the Jewish State is was engineered by people in the wake of the Holocaust, the systematic murder of Jews by the Nazis surrounding World War II. The Holocaust was Hitler’s “final solution” for the Jews. This implies a problem that needed solving, and that problem — known throughout Europe historically as “The Jewish Question” — was the Jews’ refusal to fully assimilate themselves into the cultures of their host countries in Europe. At the turn of the 20th Century, leadership of prominent countries had begun to seriously conceive of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. When it finally happened in 1948, smart Christian evangelists began to claim that this was “restoration” of Israel according to “everlasting” promises made to Abraham about the property. If this was the case, the thinking went, then it means that Jesus’ return was VERY near, because prophecies about that return were validated in their minds, because they claim that Jesus will return in the Holy Land, specifically Jerusalem. This is important, for these believers are easily convinced that Israel was permanently set aside for those with Jewish roots, among which they included themselves. This gave Christian evangelists a tool to use in preaching their message of “get things right, because Jesus is coming soon.” Of course, getting things right began with church attendance, tithes, and offerings, which catapulted prominent evangelists to positions of power, fame, and extraordinary wealth.

Moreover, the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine hasn’t done a thing to resolve the original “Jewish Question,” because the bulk of the Jews living in foreign lands are still right where they were. Other geo-political and business reasons now justify Israel beyond the faith of these Christians end-timers.

My views here are supported by my understanding as Executive Producer of The 700 Club in the early and mid 1980s. Israel and Israel’s future was one of the tap roots of not only The Christian Broadcasting Network, but other prominent big Christian ministries. The reality that this has gone virtually unnoticed by the press in covering events in the Middle East and even back home is a sinister form of ignorance, in part, because wealthy media owners, many among them of Jewish heritage and faith, want it that way.

Nobody publicly challenges this, because Jews claim the role of sole arbiter in determining who wears the dreaded outcast label of “antisemite.” Hence, the overwhelming majority of U.S. citizens avoid Middle Eastern violence or explanations other than what comes from the Israeli propaganda machine, hasbara. Exaggerations about the “miracle” of the 1967 war with its Arab neighbors have fueled it, because in war, the victors get to write the history (or at least they used to have that privilege before the internet). Israel was the smart aggressor, while the Arab armies were sitting ducks. How do you remove an existential threat? By attacking it before it can attack you.

So, if this view of a nearly sacred Israel is what’s behind all of the mischief of today, what’s to come? The answer is easy, if you follow end-times prophecies and Christian extremism. What comes next is that Jesus is supposed to come back via a rebuilt Solomon’s Temple, and what stands in the way of that today? The Al-Aqsa Mosque, which was built right on top of what’s known as the Temple Mount. Hard-line Israel right-wingers would love nothing more than to tear down the Mosque and build the new Temple, and here’s the thing. Christian groups would love it, too, so it’s easy to look the other way when Palestinian worshippers at the Mosque are ousted and even killed. Many actually believe that this is “God’s plan” for the whole region, and this is a difficult nut to crack when religious “saints” are busy telling them that they must pray for (the peace of) Jerusalem. In this view, a narrative that includes the sacrifice of any number of Palestinians is simply God doing His thing.

At the rate we’re going, this is quite likely to become reality within just a few years. Think about that. And, all because a group of religious fundamentalists want so badly for it all to be real that they’re willing to subjugate their own minds to fallacy in the name of supporting some of the most blood-thirsty and violent human beings in all of history.

Cue the shouts of anti-semitism

President Donald J. Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands following remarks at the Israeli Museum, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Jerusalem. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

I shudder and cringe when I hear the President use the United States and Israel in the same thought. Donald Trump covets the freedom that Bibi Netanyahu has to force, dominate, intimidate, and manipulate his neighbors who are purported to be “enemies,” existential even. It’s a leadership position featuring a hand out to the world for support but a stiff-necked and forceful refusal to look inside its own heart. But, heart isn’t a big feature of Zionism; it’s more the proclamation of “never again,” and the military power to back it up.

The white evangelical Christians who support President Trump feel a powerful kinship with Israel that borders on obsession. They are taught that unilateral support for Israel is close to the heart of God. How did we ever get to this point? They also believe there are Godly punishments for failure to support Zionist Israel. There’s also the not-so-small matter of belief in the bodily return to earth of Jesus Christ, and that it will occur in Jerusalem, the newly-minted home of the U.S. Embassy and one day the official capital of Israel.

Zionist eyes are clearly fixed on Jerusalem, and all the territory around the city, for their real target is the alAsqa Mosque, an Arab site for worship and one of the holiest places in the religions of Abraham. Right wing Jews want to rebuild the Temple of Solomon, which would mean destruction of the Mosque. This will happen. And, it will mean World War III, which will likely be nuclear. Think I’m hyping this? Please. Open your eyes.

The prize of colonialism is the resources, people, and especially the business and industry of the land being colonized. In this way, business moguls run the government, and this is especially true when the GOP is in charge. False arguments about abortion in this country disguise the reality that Supreme Court Justices aren’t nominated for their views on abortion but rather their friendliness to the business community. Why do you think Trump gave his fabulously wealthy business friends a $2 trillion welfare package described as a “tax cut” for everybody. These silk stockings run everything, and our government exists to have their backs in the global competitive business environment.

This is all fine until we drift from truth to devious manipulation. To whom was granted such a license? It begins with the use of force.

This is not going to go over well, but Rep. Ilhan Omar is right about Israel. Trump’s language at his recent North Carolina reelection rally was blatantly racist as he accused Omar of supporting terrorism, a strategy often employed by the Israelis. However, even the Anti-Defamation League — recognizing the danger to its narrative by this — condemned the language. Here’s a portion of the ADL’s Johathan Greenblatt’s statement:

While ADL has publicly disagreed with these congresswomen on some issues, the president is echoing the racist talking points of white nationalists and cynically using the Jewish people and the state of Israel as a shield to double down on his remarks. Politicizing the widespread, bipartisan support for Israel and throwing around accusations of anti-Semitism is damaging to the security of Israel and the Jewish community. He should lead by example, stop politicizing these issues and stop smearing members of Congress.

The Trump administration has a Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating anti-Semitism. Israeli hasbara agents offer their “guidance” on anti-Semitism throughout the world, including and especially social media companies, because social media allows people to directly communicate with those outside the sphere of its influence. For Israel to be Israel, it must control even minute aspects of its narrative, and that includes youTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media companies. No other country claims or is granted this right.

Here are just a few of the things Israel does in the name of guarding that narrative:

  • Israel and the United States are the aggressors in the Middle East, not the Palestinians, Arabs, or Persians.
  • Israel builds so-called settlements on land it doesn’t own in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
  • Israeli citizens are permitted to kill Palestinians at will and regardless of their activity in disputed regions.
  • Israel claims the threat against it is and always will be “existential.” This justifies any type of behavior deemed “defensive.”
  • Israel’s treatment of others is irrelevant to white American evangelicals, because a little bit of evil is considered necessary in order to usher in the return of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem.
  • Israel’s leadership — primarily Bibi Netanyahu — is held in reverential esteem by white evangelicals.
  • Israel fights against “incitement,” which begins with deciding what is or isn’t inciting.
  • Israel murders innocent people in “extrajudicial executions”. Shoot first, ask questions later.
  • Israeli murderers are honored for their courage and faithfulness.
  • Israel holds Arab parents and extended family responsible for acts of their children.
  • Israel bulldozes the homes of those families whose children perform acts the Israelis determine to be terror.
  • Israel “stink washes” entire neighborhoods to keep people in fear.
  • Israel uses middle of the night bullhorns, tear gas, flash grenades, and live ammunition to intimidate and break up public gatherings of Palestinians.
  • Israel imprisons frightened children who are permanently traumatized by such treatment.
  • Israel destroys olive trees that Palestinians have tended for generations in a clear violation of Talmudic laws.
  • Israel owns and operates the utilities that serve Palestinians and uses them to intimidate and oppress, robbing them of fresh water and electricity, especially in times of need.
  • Israel gets $10 million in aid every day (including weekends) from the U.S.
  • Israel has seized most or all of the Biblical sites in order to profit from tourism.
  • Israel launches attacks on foreign soil in the name of existential threats.
  • Israel is drifting farther to the Fascist right with each election.
  • Israel operates a propaganda machine (hasbara) that is constantly selling its narrative that its “defensive” status provides a home for threatened exiles from throughout the world going back to the Holocaust.
  • Israel celebrates the Holocaust as grounds to justify its violence towards its neighbors, who, of course, had nothing to do with the Holocaust.
  • Israel lies with impunity, because its narrative is more important than truth.
  • Israel uses Jewish ties with big media including the New York Times to manipulate and control the public narrative about its evil practices.
  • Israel doesn’t permit its allies to criticize its “defensive” practices.
  • Israel’s biggest false witness is that it is an innocent representative of democracy in the Middle East.
  • Israel rejects international law without debate.
  • Israel is home to many wonderful people, but its political system governs everything.
  • Israel reserves the right to define anti-semitism in a way that serves Zionism’s political structure.
  • Israel will be the author of its own inevitable destruction.

In their blind loyalty to Israel, white Evangelical Christians will be held accountable for these sins against humanity, and that’s not an ignorant warning. Until Christianity begins to more closely resemble Jesus, they are in serious trouble with their God. ‘Nuff said.

If the above is anti-Semitic, then you have my permission to call me an anti-Semite, which is really quite ridiculous. I’m merely a guy who sees through all this BS that enables the American business community to dominate the world, in a large part thanks to the behavior of Israel in the Middle East.

While the Democrats today seem content to press a social agenda, our business community continues to bully the rest of the world into submission, just like the colonial thinkers long ago who “discovered” the new world on behalf of their quest for new resources for creating and growing businesses.

It’s a whole lot more insidious than most people realize.

When Journalists Accept Confusion

As regular readers here know, I have Palestinian in-laws and grandchildren, for my oldest daughter is Muslim (of which, I highly approve) and is married to a man who was born in Palestine but was forced to relocate to Jordan in the wake of the six-day “war” in his homeland. This has forced me to do my own study of the history of the conflict in the region, because my window to the world is likely quite different than yours. I’ve nothing to “sell” in this regard; I’m simply being the journalist I was trained to be and practiced for 45-plus years in the industry.

Image result for activist Alison Weir
Alison Weir

In viewing videos from California activist Alison Weir (and Executive Director of If Americans Knew) via YouTube, I’ve found a kindred spirit whom I wasn’t aware existed until now, thanks to my son-in-law. And, her explanation of the ignorance she once knew is very similar to my own. The timeframe for this quote is the mid-2000s:

“Five years ago, I guess it was, I knew almost nothing about Israel and Palestine. I skimmed the headlines on the topic. I accepted the confusion of what I read, and like most people, I just moved on. It seemed distant and really irrelevant to my daily life.”

After seeing images of children throwing rocks against Israeli tanks during the second infatata, Weir began to take it seriously and wonder what was really going on. Her research as a journalist lifted the veil of ignorance and opened her eyes to the truth, that American media provides only a HIGHLY propagandized — and therefore one-sided — version of reality in the Middle East.

I’ve had the same revelation, and I’ve come to believe that this is available to anyone who searches for it. It begins with this statement by Ms. Weir:

“I accepted the confusion of what I read.”

This is a remarkable admission for any journalist. What is it about confusion that favors our just giving up on it? Accepting confusion is a terrible habit, especially if that confusion is fed by somebody’s lies, but if I’m to be truthful, I must admit to the same acceptance prior to 2006. That’s when I visited my daughter’s family in Amman, Jordan, where my confusion was multiplied by stories of oppression and violence by the Israelis that bordered on the unbelievable. No wonder I was confused. Among these seemingly preposterous exclamations was the story of armed Israeli settlers who roamed the roads in the West Bank in automobiles, shooting and killing Palestinians at will. I simply couldn’t bring myself to accept what I was being told.

Confusion, it seems, is a balm given to those who look the other way in the face of evidence to the contrary. I’d rather be confused than accept that reality is really quite simple. I need it to be confusing, because I need to embrace Israel as the birthplace of my faith. Poor, innocent, lovable Israel.

After I returned stateside, I began investigating the particular claim I’d heard. I found that the NBC News Bureau in Israel was run by a former coworker of mine during my years in Milwaukee, so I called him one day. To my utter amazement, he confirmed completely the story I’d been told in Amman, that cars filled with armed Israeli “settlers” regularly drove around the West Bank killing Palestinians with impunity. How, I asked him, was it that I’d never heard of, much less seen, such a story? Why, I asked, didn’t he do stories on such things? “We do them all the time,” he responded, “but they get spiked in New York.”

So there it was, right in front of me, and I still had trouble believing such atrocities. I began to look deeper and seek out sources of information beyond the mainstream. My family was a great help, for the entirety of the Arab press wrote about such. I found Mondoweiss, an online publication specializing in stories about the Palestinian crisis but told from the perspective of non-Israelis. It is quite an eye-opening experience to subscribe to the daily Mondoweiss newsletter. There’s little attempt at balance here, but reading it helps me realize that there still is a remarkable “other side” to the story we are fed by Netanyahu, the Israelis, and the American press.

The confusion lifted, and my view became clearer and clearer the more I investigated via the web. One thing that had colored my view was my history working with Pat Robertson and The 700 Club. We owned a radio station in Lebanon and gave aid to the Marjayoun Hospital (of which the IRS was concerned). We were “with” the Israelis every step of the way, but not because we were in the least concerned about the conflict involving Palestinians. Rather, we were in for a pound, because we preached (as did other evangelicals) that 1948 was a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy regarding the return of Jesus Christ for his 1,000 year reign (depending on your view of the Rapture). Israel had to return to Jewish Nation status before this would happen, so we preached that the end was near. Moreover, his return has to be in Jerusalem, which is why Christians are so happy with Donald Trump for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol.

Zionism, the political movement, and Judaism, the religion of the Jews, are not the same thing, no matter how the Netanyahu government presents it in discussions of antisemitism, the expressions of those who “hate” the Jews. Israel is not a theocracy, and its government is certainly of man. It’s okay to criticize Zionism without being automatically labeled anti-Semitic, although Netanyahu wants the two connected for propaganda purposes.

The defense of Zionism begins with the Holocaust, and Israel’s right wing is quick to reference it and to do so with regularity. Zionists need the connection to maintain any semblance of moral high ground in denying Palestinians any rights whatsoever. Consider the IDF celebrity Elor Azarya, who served just nine months in prison for the extrajudicial execution (a.k.a. murder) of Palestinian teenager Abdel Fattah al-Sharif. He was convicted of manslaughter, but the people of Israel refused to accept it. Here’s a part of what I wrote in December of 2017:

The people of Israel — not just the government, the people — want Azarya released, because they view him as a hero and his extrajudicial execution of a Palestinian teenager in the streets of Hebron last year as completely justified. I’m serious. Azarya was 19‐years old when he blew the brains out of an incapacitated and bleeding Palestinian who was lying prone on his stomach in a pool of blood. Azarya pulled his rifle, walked a few steps to get close to his victim and shot him in the head. All of this was caught on videotape. This blatant murder was reduced to manslaughter with Azarya sentenced to 18 months in prison, four months of which was immediately suspended. The people of Israel want him released, and the latest news is that Israeli President Reuven Rivlin might just pardon him. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called Azarya, “Everyone’s son” in calling for his release. You should also know that there are questions about the belief that Azarya’s victim was, in fact, the man who attacked an Israeli soldier with a knife on the day he was executed. The whole mess stinks, and yet Azarya’s smiling face is plastered all over the country as a symbol of the fine young men who defend Israel and her government.

Forensics revealed that it was Azarya’s bullet that killed al-Sharif, but it didn’t matter. This is a blatant example of Israeli treatment of Palestinians but by no means unique. Many of these murders have been captured on videotape, but no one in the West is moved whatsoever. It’s just too darned confusing.

Americans ARE confused by events, because everything we read is driven by the Israelis and their propaganda practice, hasbara. Although Zionism has been around since the 19th Century, it was the 20th Century and the German Holocaust that energized it in such a way as to bring about the modern nation of Israel. For Israel to be justified, it must continue to lean on the Holocaust in such a way as to present itself as a lamb surrounded by wolves.

It is hardly that. Israel has nukes. Israel has a powerful military with cutting edge technology and weaponry that’s the envy of the world. It also receives from the U.S. $10 million each and every day (weekends included) to sustain its edge in controlling its corner of the world.

And, so, the question that needs to be asked most is “what do we get out of this?” It’s a fair question and one that journalists shouldn’t be prohibited from asking. And, perhaps if that happened, we wouldn’t be nearly so confused as we are.

Remember the name: Emad Abu Shamsiya

The mainstream press won’t do this, so I will and proudly.

Regular readers know that I am a supporter of Palestinian rights and a staunch anti-Zionist. I have Palestinian family that lives in Amman, so my view is outside the mainstream. Anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism, and therein is the problem, for supporters of Israel must believe they are one in the same. They are not, and the events that take place in the region daily are badly — and deliberately — distorted by influential groups who are manipulating truth for their own gain. This is especially true in the United States, where we send staggering resources in support of an Israeli government that is badly out of control. It’s the duty of certain American evangelical Christians to look the other way, because they believe Zionism is Biblical prophecy fulfilled. With such a belief in place, it’s necessary to deny any narrative that disputes this, no matter how logical, reasonable, or validated it may be. So deeply held is this belief that their ears are utterly shut to all but the Israeli narrative.

The irony of this is that Zionism — which was born of a response to the Holocaust — has produced in Israel a clone of the Warsaw Ghetto from which the Jews fled in the first place. This ghetto is where Israel “allows” Palestinians to live in the occupied territories, a euphemism for land the Israelis possess illegally. Israel wants all of that land for itself, and American Christians support it, because God promised them everything from the sea to the Jordan River. Of course, this promise was tied to righteousness, which is nowhere to be found in the current State of Israel. But I digress.

The shooter, Elor Azraya

The shooter, Elor Azraya

I’m a reader of Mondoweiss, a publication that reports about the Middle East from a perspective that asks hard questions about the Zionist narrative. Well-intentioned Americans may think of the daily events in these territories as reflecting on our own “wild west,” but the law in the west never sanctioned extrajudicial executions of outlaws by lawmen. This is why a disturbing video by Emad Abu Shamsiya last Thursday of such an execution in the streets of the Hebron ghetto has raised such alarm. The photo to the right is Elor Azraya, a young Israeli soldier who executed a wounded, immobile, unarmed, and incapacitated Palestinian named Abed al-Fattah Yusri al-Sharif. According to the Israelis, the victim and an accomplice had stabbed another Israeli soldier.

The shooter, Azraya, claims he thought the victim might have had a bomb and shot him when the semi-conscious man moved. This documented event is causing turmoil not only in the occupied territories but on the streets elsewhere, for we have seen this kind of atrocity coming for months. Azraya’s real crime was getting caught on video, but even his lawyer says it was justified, that Azraya “acted in accordance with the rules of engagement as suggested by his superiors.” Mondoweiss reported recently that “the practice of Israeli medics abandoning triage protocol is increasingly prevalent and has support among medical professionals and some in the government.” The abandonment of internationally recognized triage protocols means death for the Palestinians, and death outside judicial oversight.

I’ve seen the video a dozen times. Here, I’ve isolated frames of the video, so that you can see for yourself what happened. This is murder in the streets, in a ghetto created by Israelis to support its expansionism.

The Palestinian is on the ground (arrow), just beyond an ambulance that is moving slowly. Azraya is circled. He’s speaking with another soldier who some suggest is a superior. Watch what happens, and note the two soldiers closest to the Palestinians. They are talking on the phone and are 3–4 feet away, and yet they do not suspect any sort of threat.

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This is the frame in which the gunshot rings out and the man on the ground’s head explodes. After the ambulance passes, we see streams of blood flowing from the man’s head. It’s hard to watch and not be affected.

Mondoweiss interviewed the man who shot the video a few months ago as part of an ongoing series of reports about life in the Hebron ghetto. He has been threatened many times, and especially since the release of the above video last week. The latest insult today comes from two Israeli Hebron settlers who suggest that the shoe cobbler who shot the video was acting in concert with the two dead Palestinian attackers in the hopes of capturing on video exactly what he did. They call it “naïve” to think otherwise:

Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bentzi Gopstein, far-right settlers and followers of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, have filed a complaint with Israeli police against Emad Abu Shamsiya, the Palestinian videographer who captured the execution of an incapacitated Palestinian suspect in Hebron.

In their letter to the police, they claim that Abu Shamsiya’s presence during the killing is no coincidence, but was coördinated with the alleged attack in order to capture damning video.

Remember the name Emad Abu Shamsiya — the shoemaker. He will be in the news again.

And so the story advances, with only one side being told in the West. The Israelis have charged the shooter with murder, but there is no evidence whatsoever that he will be held accountable, despite the public pronouncement of Israeli leaders. This is simply political chest-beating, while the real story takes place in the streets, where shoot-to-kill is the order. Such is the dehumanization of Zionism’s opponents.

And if you can get quiet enough, you’ll hear the voices of the brave Jews from the ghetto of Warsaw crying out in shame, “How could you?”