The Israel Democracy Institute’s Dr. Amir Fuchs came out against the statement by Minister Naftali Bennett that Elor Azaria should be immediately pardoned, even if convicted by the military court. Azaria shot a terrorist who came at soldiers with a knife, after the terrorist was disarmed. Fuchs said that Bennett’s proposal is unadvisable.
According to Fuchs, Bennett’s proposal is dangerous from three perspectives:
- It turns the court hearing into a "playact" if we know that in the end the solider will simply be pardoned, without even expressing remorse or guilt for his act.
- The statement casts doubt over the legal system, purporting that judges are incapable of just rulings based on influence by outside statements and by virtue of how the legal system is run. This opens up a can of worms that can lead to similar claims in any well-publicized court case – from the controversial gas deal to criminal cases, for example.
- The ethical statement by Bennett that the solider should not be punished even if he is convicted of such a terrible crime as manslaughter is very problematic for IDF soldiers and the future of their ethical conduct.
Dr. Fuchs is available for interviews.