Department of Excuse-Making

Implied by Netanyahu’s persistent claim that Israel stands as the only Western representative among the Arabs willing to uphold America’s blessed values, the Israeli government prides itself on being the only “true” democracy in the Middle East region. In comparing Israel’s perceived struggle with the United States’ revolutionary past, it is only fitting that an icon such as George Washington be viewed as the model for any observances of American value and ethic. After all, Washington was at the forefront of the establishment of a nation for those desperately feeling unfit and unwelcomed by a host imperialist power. Israeli-Zionist ideology draws a stark parallel to such desperate feelings.

However, regardless of how high Washington’s ideals (or any iconic American’s ideals for that matter) are held in the rhetoric of Israeli narrative, there is undoubtedly one thing which his Israeli followers refuse to accept.

It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.
— George Washington

Ever since Isreal’s inception into the realm of international politics under the leadership of David Ben-Gurion, Israeli officials and governing bodies have managed to use every conceivable excuse to brush off almost all responsibility directed towards them regarding their actions against the Palestinian people. As a matter of fact, Israeli Defense Force (IDF) Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi confirmed Central Command’s findings in an investigation of the deaths of four Palestinian protesters in the West Bank villages of Iraq-Burin and Awarta. Israeli ground forces were ill-prepared, each finding claims. Nobody is sure how live ammunition fired from an Israeli weapon when soldiers were instructed to only use rubber bullets, they also claim. That’s their excuse. ‘Independent investigations will continue’. That’s Israel’s latest mantra.

The findings appear to have given Israeli authority yet another ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card, in effect protecting both the government and the soldiers involved from any repercussions. Even though a Central Command official called the attacks “unnecessary operational occurrence[s]”, the soldiers were neither punished nor indicted for engagement violations. Instead, they received a notice-of-misconduct to be metaphorically attached like a post-it note to their ‘service files’, as if such a move would actually perturb a commanding officer from utilizing them in combat. If anything, Disciplinary notice: Aggressive tendencies towards unarmed Palestinians might actually excite the officer. But that proves to be the worst – and the least – of the soldiers’ worries. One was assigned to another detail, but the logic behind this move is counterintuitive. Instead of maiming unarmed civilians here, he will instead be able to do it there. Disciplinary action in the form of an Israeli court marshal would have made much more sense, and would have probably saved Central Command from having to make the effort of searching for a new excuse.

Of course, this excuse is not Israel’s first attempt at hushing a tactical error that took the lives of innocent civilians. Just like every time, investigative probes were quick to provide the Israeli Army with an alibi before any international attention could surface. This has definitely become a trend. For being the fourth most advanced military force in the entire world, Israel certainly does claim ‘strategical error’ more times than its fair share. Funded by $700 million on a daily basis, one would expect the IDF to be the most accurate, trained, and well-equipped fighting force in the world. However, those funds must be going towards the hidden Department of Excuse-Making.

Had George Washington been alive, he too would ask, How do you accidentally kill two unarmed civilians in two separate occasions? But he would avoid asking Central Command for an explanation, though. He never liked excuses.

Sami Kishawi

For reference: (Ynet News)


There is one comment

  1. Becky

    It really makes one question the validity and effectiveness of these investigations when official service record notations and a reassignment are deemed appropriate repercussions for the loss of four lives.
    They were four unarmed innocent lives. Gone. Just like that.

    “…military commanders must prepare their troops for missions in a manner which will allow them to avoid unwanted operational situations.”
    I doubt the instances were unwanted. The investigations, maybe.

    Very well written post.
    Keep it up, I look forward to reading more!

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