“Open thy mouth, judge righteously.” Proverbs 31:9 (The Israel Bible™)
A rally in support of Cpl. Elor Azarya, a medic on trial for manslaughter after being filmed shooting a wounded Palestinian stabber, drew approximately 2,000 people to Rabin square in Tel Aviv on Tuesday evening, according to police estimates.
“Don’t neutralize terrorists, kill them,” protesters chanted in support of Azarya. Others held signs reading “A dead terrorist can’t return to murdering Jews,” and “Neutralized = Dead.”
According to Azarya’s indictment by the military prosecution, he acted against the rules of engagement and without military justification. The case has shaken Israeli society and become a hotly contested political issue.
A violent incident erupted at the rally when participants attacked a Channel 10 News reporter, Moav Vardi. The incident was quickly broken up by undercover policemen and ended without injury, stated a police spokesperson.
The event was conceived and organized by Sharon Gal, a former right-wing member of Knesset with the Yisrael Beiteinu party, who invited several Israeli pop stars to provide musical interludes between speeches given by members of the Azarya family.
“This is a far-right rally, meant to weaken the IDF values and ethical code,” said Opposition leader and head of the Zionist Union party Isaac Herzog. “No member of government will attend it.”
Commenting on the incident and the rally, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “I suggest that everyone just lower the flames.”