Suppose There Really Is Justice In the Universe

3 years since the murder of Abir Aramin, 10 years old.

Abir Aramin was shot in the head but nobody shot her

Please also read, A Propos IASA Letter of Refusal

Nurit Peled-Elhanan writes…

On Sunday 10 July 2011, 8 Tammuz, the legal seal of approval was given to the book “The King’s Torah” [1] by The High Court of Israel that ruled that the child Abir Aramin, age 10, who was shot in the head three years before in Anata, was struck by a bullet that came from an unknown rifle fired by unknown soldiers or police. The projectile that was found under her small body has found no home, and it might as well stop searching.

Nurit Peled Elhanan Alice Walkers Garden 2015
Nurit Peled Elhanan

In other words: the High Court has authorized the shedding of the blood of all little Palestinian girls and sent a clear message to the soldiers/police of the Israeli Occupation Forces – the murder of little Palestinian girls, especially those who are buying candy at a kiosk next to their school at nine in the morning, is not a crime. No one has been punished and no one will be punished. The allegations of the prosecution, that is, of the parents, the eyewitnesses, the Yesh Din organization, the proof and the evidence – did not make their way into the ears of the [female] judges. Are they mothers too?

This ruling is the climax of an evidently wonderfully planned and oiled campaign to render permissible the killing of Palestinians that has been conducted for decades now in newspapers, in political speeches, in literature and song, in military plans, in the formulation of the army’s ethical code and in the textbooks that explain that every massacre of Palestinians since 1948 was good for the Jews, for the Jewish democracy and for the conservation of the Jewish majority in the State of/Land of Israel in the long, short or middle run. This campaign has gained momentum since the cast lead and phosphorus massacre in Gaza two years ago. Since then everybody has found justification and rationalization for the killing of Palestinians. Retired military officers and officers who are not retired appear before schoolchildren and students in military preparatory programs, or just people who want to sleep with a clean conscience at night, and explain to them that the most moral army in the world does not do anything without moral-ethical-“value” justification, so if Palestinian children are harmed in the course of a moral-ethical-justified military operation, full of values and bursting with morality, then it was certainly the lesser evil, a necessary injustice, splinters, imposed by circumstances, a necessity that is not to be condemned – never to be condemned. Because the killing of Palestinians is always done in the name of the law – international or national, or in the name of the laws of the Torah, in the name of the sublime values of preserving non-Palestinian human life, in the name of the War on Terror, military accomplishments, the principle of deterrence, which is always justified and explained in words that do not include the human component. Dead Palestinians are a target, an objective, a “sector”, an operation, an action, a procedure.

And indeed the [female] judges of the High Court – are they mothers too? – did not condemn the murder, nor did they call for punishment for the soldiers who stuck a rifle out of an armoured jeep and aimed it at the nape of a little girl’s neck who was buying candy at a kiosk with one hand while holding her sister’s hand with her other hand, and fired with precision, a shot that left one hand raised, holding Arin’s hand, and the rest of Abir’s little body sprawled on the empty, dusty street. They did not condemn the deed or demand that the soldiers or police (since the Kfar Qasim massacre [2] the IDF has always emphasized that members of the Border Guard are police, not soldiers) be put on any trial of any kind.

They did not condemn the murderers, nor did they express sympathy for Abir’s family. Palestinian families do not experience grief – never, and so there is no need to share in their grief. They have too many children to feel grief at the loss of one of them.

And for this reason we should demand an immediate end to the harassment of Rabbi Elitzur and the other rabbis who contributed to the book “Torat ha-Melech” that explains, using the holy scripts and Jewish Hlacha, why non-Jewish children should be killed without regret or remorse, for the good of the Jewish nation, and who preach at the gate as well as in organized meetings with soldiers, in schools and in the newspapers, for the killing of Palestinian children. The harassment of the rabbis could, God forbid, be interpreted as racism or discrimination, since the High Court has certified that their preaching is kosher. Not that they need any such certification.

And the only consolation that remains for those of us who knew her, and are pained at her death and the grief of her brothers, her sisters and her parents, is that God will avenge her blood.

Translator’s notes

1. In Hebrew, “Torat ha-Melech”. A controversial book by an Israeli rabbi in which it is argued that Jews may kill Gentile children if they believe that they will grow up to harm Jews.

2. On 29 October 1956, Border Guard troops (technically police officers) killed 48 Palestinians in the Israeli Arab village of Kfar Qasim, while enforcing a curfew that had been imposed on Israeli Arab villages because of the Suez War.

A Propos IASA Letter of Refusal

Source article:

Reprinted here:

“Each year Israel’s young men and women are drafted immediately after graduating from highschool into compulsory service in the army, and are sent to carry out Israeli policy in the Palestinian occupied territories. Most Israeli boys and girls don’t question this duty because they are indoctrinated from a very young age to see it as their natural and necessary national service. They are being prepared for this service from early kindergarten, and this indoctrination continues throughout their schooling.

Israeli textbooks, either in History, Geography or civic studies and literature, serve as ideological vehicles which inculcate uncritical “patriotism” and mold Israeli students’ national and territorial identity. These books marginalize Palestinian citizens and dehumanize Palestinian non-citizens by presenting them as a “developmental burden”, a “frightful demographic problem” and as a constant “security threat”. Using discursive and linguistic strategies, as well as visual ones, the books present a racist view about the Palestinians as neutral facts. While the verbal texts describe them as a homogenous vile group, or rather as “a problem to be solved” the maps and graphs all but eliminate them symbolically from the Israeli life-world by excluding them from all reports about Israeli life – culture, economy, industry etc. – and by depicting them as either absent or marginal; their cities (including Acre and Nazareth) and villages are rarely depicted; in none of the hundreds of Israeli textbooks can one find a photograph of a Palestinian who looks “like us”; the only images of them – mostly caricatures – are as primitive farmers and nomads, refugees, or as dangerous terrorists. Their language, their culture, their poetry and music, their traditions and customs, are never reported or represented in any of these books.

On the other hand, killing or rather massacres of Palestinians are always legitimated by their long-term consequences which were favorable for the Jews, such as the Palestinian “panicked flight” from the land (the consequence of the massacre of Dir Yassin 1948) or the feeling of security these massacres brought to Israeli citizens (the massacre of Kibya 1953).

This discourse, which is the political discourse of the Zionist state from its outset, is copied into the schoolbooks and educational programs in the guise of a scientific discourse that presents facts “as they are” neutrally and objectively. Neither teachers nor students look for the subtexts of these books because they don’t know subtexts exist, and therefore let themselves be indoctrinated into racism which makes it easier for the authorities to use the them as tools for their political and racist goals. Israeli children, most of whom meet Palestinians for the first time when they are stationed in the checkpoints, regard them as nothing but terrorists, invaders and foreign elements which should be distanced or eliminated. This may explain their daily brutality, their lack of compassion and their murderous zealous conduct in Gaza and other places where the Israeli government sends them to destroy, to demolish and to eradicate Palestinian life. Some of them realize the crimes they are require to commit only after having committing them. Very few refuse to take part in this sociocide before being drafted. I believe it is essential for the well being of Israeli youngsters as well as for the Palestinian victims to make Israeli highschool students aware of the role assigned to them in the crimes against humanity committed by their government and army before they become accomplices.

Professor Nurit Peled-Elhanan”