Letter from Israel: Soldier cleared of Gaza killing

Dear Editor,

I read the following on the BBC’s web site: “An Israeli soldier accused of shooting a British cameraman dead has been cleared by a judge of any wrongdoing. James Miller was killed in 2003 at the age of 34, as he filmed a documentary in the Rafah refugee camp. Israel had already said the soldier – known only as Lt H – would not be prosecuted over the death.” Having read the article it made my blood boil so I had to say something.

If you have lived in Israel as long as I have the outrageous decision of the judge will come as no surprise. It is a sad fact, but I’m afraid a true one, that no Israeli soldier will ever be found guilty of killing a non-Jew in Israel. It will/does not matter if that unlucky person is a poor Palestinian protesting the uprooting of his olive grove that has been in his family before Ariel Sharon’s forbearers were most probably exploiting Russian peasants, just as their infamous offspring exploit and steal from the real owners of this God-forsaken place called Israel/Palestine, or an American woman who foolishly thought that if she stood in the way of an Israeli bulldozer, she could stop it from demolishing a Palestinian’s home. Well, she found out the hard way, that not even an American, yes a citizen of the United States of America, whose country supplies Israel with every thing it has from F16 war planes to the bread on my table, can stand in the way of the sacrosanct Israeli army and its soldiers.

Kids in this country are brought up believing that Tzahal, short for the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) in Hebrew, and its soldiers are beyond reproach, they are holy.

The parents of the murdered British cameraman are going to sue the IDF. I wish I could contact these poor parents who lost their son, and try and convince them that they are only going to make their heartache worse, and lose a lot of money, and worse they may have their lives made miserable by certain people working for the Israeli government.

I understand them, being British myself, and having been brought up to believe in justice and fair play. But dear Mr & Mrs Miller, we don’t play cricket in Israel. At Israeli football matches they don’t sing “You’ll never walk alone”. The chant is WAR WAR WAR!!!

It really breaks my heart for the parents of these people who came here, either trying to seek justice, or report the truth to the outside world.

I'll relate a little story that is absolutely true. A nice Jewish boy, from a well-to-do family decided he did not like his friend, so he killed him. He did not just murder him; he cut up his body with a chainsaw. He was caught, and duly charged. But knowing that in the land of freedom and democracy and Christianity, human beings, that the good book teaches us are born full of faults and must be saved, are judicially murdered by the state for being just that!

So what is a nice Jewish boy who is surely going to “fry” – as those bastions of culture put it – to do? Well, run away to Israel of course, where as far as I know extradition proceedings are going on, and on, ad infinitum.

I hope, dear readers, you have got the point I’m trying to make. The good book (yes it’s that book again) says we are all born equal, but if you read it carefully it says that some of us (I can’t use the J word, or I might be accused of something), are just that little bit more equal than others.

So if there are any good people out there thinking that they can find justice in Israel, forget it. Here the State is always right.

One hears a lot of very bad things about the former Soviet Union. Well, I can tell you from a very personal basis – my wife who I have mentioned before, was born and lived there for 25 years – that on some non-political levels one could find more justice there than even in my old beloved Britain. Not everything under soviet style communism was so bad!

Yours,
Mordachai Peargut,
Israel, April 14, 2005