You don’t kill individuals suspected in a crime, especially when they have already been shot by police and are lying on the ground incapacitated. And you don’t threaten the person who takes the video of the incident which shows the authorities walking up to the disabled and injured suspect, and shooting him in the head. It happens on the streets of Chicago but it is far worse and more frequent in the bloodied streets of Israel
By Ray Hanania
Over the past year, I have watched news reports about the brutal slaying of African American teenagers by Chicago police.
In almost every case, the victims had troubled pasts and were suspected in crimes including threatened violence. They deserved to be arrested and prosecuted in a court of law.
They didn’t deserve to be summarily executed by police.
One of the most shocking of these incidents is the police killing of Laquan McDonald, a disturbed young African American who allegedly was carrying a small knife when a Chicago police officer, Jason Van Dyke, stepped out of his police car and fired 3 times seriously injuring the 17-year-old boy, who then fell to the street incapacitated, but still alive. The officer then fired 13 more times into the boy’s body, killing him.
The killing might have vanished into the abyss of typical government bureaucracy and lies except for the fact that a police car video camera captured every moment of the killing. And it contradicted Van Dyke, who told investigators McDonald had threatened him. His police colleagues backed up his lie.
But police were forced to release the video a year later. The video showed the police and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, who was tasked with investigating it, had all lied.
Ironically, audio of the police video was apparently destroyed by the police. Many believe it was destroyed because it captured Van Dyke allegedly vowing to kill an “n-word.”
In a world where human rights are so important, we don’t kill people in cold blood because we are angry with or fear them, or because they are “accused” of crimes or a “n-words.”
But, that’s not the case in Israel.
Last week, two Palestinians allegedly attacked two heavily armed Israeli soldiers who were guarding an Israeli settlement enclave in Hebron.
I’ve been to Hebron many times. The Palestinian city has been placed under military occupation by Israel and movement by Christians and Muslims is severely restricted while Israeli settlers (who are all Jewish by the way) are allowed to do anything and everything freely and with Israeli military protection. Palestinian lands there have been confiscated from Christian and Muslim Palestinians and given to Jewish settlers. There is a lot of tension and anger as a result.
The version of the alleged attack was provided to the public by the Israeli military, which asserted the two Palestinians attacked two Israeli soldiers “unprovoked.” But, in many cases, the Israeli soldiers intentionally provoke non-Jewish civilians in order to engage in and justify brutality and violence of their own.
One of the Palestinians in the alleged attack was shot dead on the spot. The other Palestinian was seriously wounded. The wounded Palestinian was lying on the ground nearly motionless as soldiers and Israeli medical teams converged on the scene.
The Israeli soldier, who was attacked, was only slightly wounded, raising questions about whether or not the Palestinians actually initiated the incident.
But, Israel prevents objective media from covering flash points like Hebron and journalists and activists known for writing stories critical of Israeli soldiers are brutalized and attacked themselves.
The soldier who killed the Palestinian told his commander he thought the suspect had a “suicide bomb” on his body. He also admitted he was angry because the Palestinian had injured his soldier friend.
All this would have been brushed under the rug, much like the Laquan McDonald murder by a Chicago police officer in November 2014, save for the actions of a Palestinian volunteer with the Israeli civil rights organization B’Tselem. Eman Abu-Shamsiya was filming the scene showing the Israeli soldiers and medical teams and armed Israeli settlers swarming around the two Palestinians on the ground. They weren’t treating the Palestinians, they were there like bees in a growing frenzy. A medical truck drives past the Palestinian, who moves his head to the side, when an Israeli soldier fired his weapon into the Palestinians head.
Click here for the B’Tselem video. Click here to view a report on the killing of the two Palestinians by Israeli soldiers.
As the truck passes the body, you see his brains blown out on the street and blood rushing down the inclined street surface. It’s a disgusting scene.
Now, B’Tselem has come under attack by Israelis in the government, in the military and in the terrorist Israeli settler movement.
You see, like the person who filmed the Laquan McDonald murder exposing the lies of the Chicago Police and the Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez (who by the way was thrown out of office in the recent Illinois elections for her failure to act on the killing), the Palestinian has been attacked as a terrorist and his life is being threatened.
Israeli settlers want to kill Abu-Shamsiya for providing video evidence that makes it harder for Israel to brush their own violence under their immoral rug of hypocrisy.
There are of course some differences between the two incidents.
The Israeli violence doesn’t involve the “n-word.”
We know the names of the Chicago policeman and the teenager he killed. But Israel’s government controlled news media won’t publish the names of the killer Israeli soldier. And, they routinely refuse to publish the names of Palestinians murdered by Israeli soldiers, armed civilians or Israeli terrorist settlers, fearing it might expose Israel’s violence to more criticism.
But somehow, the killing of the Palestinian civilian is much more sickening. But more disturbing is how Israel tries to cover it all up, or minimize this form of terrorist violence by its own military and settlers.
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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