In his response to the petition, the Military Advocate-General wrote that after the soldiers spotted suspicious figures, the machine gun operator fired eight to 10 bullets "in the direction of the highway, close to the wall of a building." In the affidavit, however, A.S. said he had ordered L.C. to fire "at the road, between the Armored Personnel Carrier [APC] and the figures," purposely aiming short.According to Haaretz, the soldiers' affidavits say that the soldiers fired at three suspicious figures. According to the Post:
• Contrary to the army's claim that the soldiers in the APC did not know (and therefore did not report) that they had hit someone, a detailed report of the incident was registered in the brigade operation's log that night. The first entry was recorded one hour after the incident and stated that "an American was severely wounded in the face by a bullet. Brian Avery is in a hospital in Jenin. They want to evacuate him to Israel."The "sources" response?
The brigade only heard of the shooting from the IDF Spokesman's Office, which called to inquire about media reports it had received concerning an American allegedly shot in Jenin. Following the phone call with the IDF Spokesman's Office, the brigade operations officer recorded the shooting in the operations log.According to the Haaretz article, however, the affidavits show that the soldiers themselves told the brigade operations officer that one of the people had fallen. Look, I don't know who is getting the material in the affidavits right -- the Post, which used its sources in the IDF, or Haaretz, which used the plaintiff's attorney. The army claims it made a thorough investigation, and the affidavits claim that the soldiers themselves were not interviewed till a year and a half after the incident. But that is how the system works. Were it not for one American's family, a human rights lawyer, and an Haaretz journalist, and the ability, interest, and time, of readers to sift through this stuff, the IDF would get away with murder. Which they do all the time...and which doesn't matter -- because no matter what they do, you will not find them criticized, certainly not by the pro-Israel supporters. The IDF is no better or worse than other armies in long-term occupations. Such occupations inevitably corrupt. For every Brian Avery there are tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians who have suffered and who will never see redress. Avery's case attracts attention because he is an American. And because there are no Americans lobbying kassams in Sderot. Believe, if you will, that Israel must act brutally, immorally, monstrously, and barbarously, in order to survive. Believe that this is the price that must be paid for a Jewish state. I disagree, but one can make that argument. But don't deceive yourself into thinking that the IDF is the most moral army in the world. You can have all the Michael Walzerian theories of just-war, served up with all the side dishes of Asa Kasherian Ethical Codes for the Army, you like. The reality on the ground -- something not even considered in the aforementioned article in Reform Judaism Magazine, which, I guarantee you, will not discuss the Avery case -- will still make any healthy person sick to her stomach. I used to believe that garbage about the IDF being "the most moral army in the world." After all, my four children are moral, and they all served in it. Heck, I am not that bad, and I served in it. Then I heard what it does on a routine basis. No, not widespread murder or rape. Only torture and thousands, hundreds of thousands, of petty humiliations -- which are part and parcel of the Occupation, every occupation. So who do you believe? Don't give anybody the benefit of the doubt.