On Saturday, October 7th, a shift occurred in the Israeli-Palestinian narrative. What was a normalized, often gradual genocide, peppered by savage episodes of “mowing the lawn”, concealed by liberal Zionist propaganda and backed by a benefactor in Washington, transformed into an overt, unapologetic mass murder of Palestinians, captured vividly on video for the world to witness.
Though the genocide of Palestinian people has persisted since 1948, this latest phase of explicit brutality can be traced back to a pivotal trial balloon in which Israel’s genocidal policies were embodied, broadcast for all to see.
On Thursday, March 24th, 2016, an Israeli soldier – Elor Azaria – was filmed executing a wounded Palestinian man alleged to have carried out a stabbing attack against Israeli soldiers in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron. The videographer responsible for the filming was Imad Abu Shamsiya, a Palestinian shoemaker who later received death threats and intimidation from extreme Zionist settlers.
Though the incident was part of a wave of extrajudicial killings of Palestinians carried out by Israeli soldiers, this particular case was different. Here, the film unambiguously showed the wounded Palestinian man did not present a danger to his surroundings. Quite shockingly, not only did the film implicate the executioner; it also showed his military comrades as completely unfazed by the incident, including medical personnel. What’s more, the soldier received a wave of Israeli public support that Zionist politicians seized on as an opportunity to further erode Israeli society in a bid to serve their political and ideological interests.
I claim that particular execution and Israeli society’s response was a milestone on the long and ugly road leading to the contemporary genocide, and the future collapse of Israeli society.
A civilized society is comprised of a collective of people who share a common moral fabric, which is held together by taboos at its extremes. The moral boundaries define the mindset at the center, which represents the majority of the society’s people. These boundaries are typically codified by laws and the practices of enforcement. For example, the United States constitution defines the rights and restrictions, and it is the evolving interpretation and enforcement of these by which people are either included or excluded from the American collective.
Within societies there are constant tugs of war between forces that reside on its extremes. The fundamental goal of these forces is to stretch or shrink the moral boundaries of the society in directions that serve particular agendas: ideological economical or otherwise.
Taboos which truly anchor a society are deeply entrenched within the human psyche. Thus, the process of undermining them with the purpose of redefining a society is gradual and includes resistance on the one hand and persistence on the other.
The process of breaking taboos and redefining moral boundaries begins with experimentation – trial balloons. When such an experiment is successful, it becomes a precedent that serves to shatter a taboo. Furthermore, if experiments and the resulting precedents they set are not met with sufficient resistance, the extreme boundaries of the moral fabric stretch, shifting the society as a whole in a particular direction that can be either regressive or progressive.
Rosa Parks is known as an icon of the Civil Rights Movement. In an act of civil disobedience, on December 1st, 1955, Parks refused to relinquish her bus seat to a white passenger. Her courageous experiment served to galvanize many in the struggle against racial segregation. Parks’ case became a precedent, which shifted the moral fabric of American society in a progressive direction. But Parks was not the first to protest segregation on buses, so what made her act successful?
An experiment can set a precedent only within a broader context of a society that is primed for that particular change. In addition, an experiment must withstand a variety of challenges to its integrity. In Parks’ case, American society was ready for desegregation. Plus, she was viewed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as a good candidate to see through the court proceedings in Montgomery, Alabama. Collectively, her experiment set a precedent, which significantly helped serve to shatter a taboo.
In Israel, Zionist forces used Azaria’s filmed execution as an experiment. Their goal was to test the Israeli mainstream reaction when faced with an uncensored cold-blooded murder of a Palestinian. Thus, Israeli society faced a watershed moment. This incident passed without a firm conviction of the soldier involved (he got a slap on the wrist) and his commanders, and with no independent inquiry into the lax rules of engagement. As such, a dangerous, notorious, and graphic precedent was set. The precedent solidified the complete dehumanization of Palestinians and paved the way for ethnic cleansing and genocide, en route toward the messianic fantasy of Greater Israel.
Months later, in January 2017 Elor Azaria, was convicted of manslaughter and became a modern Israeli hero, “the child of all of us” as many Israelis referred to him. Shortly after the verdict was announced a poll showed that a whopping 70% of the Israeli public supported Azaria’s pardon. What’s more, key figures of the Israeli government unified in their call for pardoning Azaria. The judges involved in the case were threatened on social media to the point where they were assigned a security detail by the military.
A disastrous precedent was set; cold-blooded murder of Palestinians was officially sanctioned by the Israeli mainstream and the political class, and the perceived rule of law severely undermined. At that point Israeli politicians declared an open season on Palestinians, with full support from the country’s population.
Based on my articles covering this case: