A new initiative called
"Killing Without Consequence" wants justice for Ziad Jilani. Border
guard Maxim Vinogradov murdered him with impunity. More on that below.
Systemic Israeli crimes against humanity include neighborhood incursions,
unprovoked violence, air, ground and sea attacks, and killing with impunity.
Daily offenses are commonplace. Rule of law principles are spurned.
Palestinian lives don't matter. They're murdered in cold blood. Accountability
In 2010, B'Tselem's report titled "Void of Responsibility: Israeli Military
Policy not to investigate Killings of Palestinians by Soldiers" discussed
it. Incriminating evidence was presented.
Throughout the Territories, liberation and justice protests occur regularly.
Israeli security forces attack them with tear gas, rubber bullets, extended-range
gas canisters, other weapons, and live fire. Deaths result. Evidence
shows cold-blooded murder.
Numerous other incidents occur. Fishermen are attacked at sea. Border
and checkpoint confrontations cause deaths. Along Gaza's border, farmers
are shot in their fields. Children are used for target practice. Soldiers
have license to kill.
"The vast majority of these cases have never been investigated." Most
others are whitewashed. Guilty soldiers, police, and settlers are absolved.
Israel's Judge Advocate General's Office (JAGO) claims "the fact that
a civilian is killed during hostilities does not constitute even prima
facie proof that a war crime has been committed or that the soldiers
who were involved acted in a criminal manner."
Other Israeli officials hold similar views even if civilians are deliberately
targeted in or out of war zones. Investigations rarely happen. International
law breaches are commonplace.
Impunity encourages "a trigger-happy attitude, and shows gross disregard
for human life." Attacks against civilians warrants concern. Palestinians
experience them daily. Deaths result. Accountability demanded is denied.
A culture of impunity prevents justice. Officials to the highest levels
support it. Security forces are absolved to kill again. Palestinian
lives don't matter. Collective punishment is policy. So is license to
Fundamental international law is mocked. Israelis spurn it when other
priorities take precedence.
Killing Without Consequence explained "why this matters," saying:
Border guard Maxim Vinogradov murdered Ziad Jilani. More on him below.
"At this moment, we have a way to prevent indiscriminate Palestinian
deaths at the hands of Israeli security."
If Maxim is charged, "it will demonstrate to soldiers that there are
consequences for killing Palestinians."
When Israel (charges) its soldiers it leads to direct changes in the
behavior of other(s). When they fail to (act), soldiers perpetuate the
For example, before UN official Iain Hooke was killed, soldiers rarely
killed international activists. When no charges were brought, killing
waves followed. Soldiers, police, and other security forces know they
can kill with impunity.
When activist Tom Hurndal was murdered, killing international activists
temporarily stopped after a soldier got eight years in prison for manslaughter
and obstruction of justice.
Do it regularly and it'll stop entirely. Security forces will think
before they shoot. Killing has consequences. Getting off scot free won't
apply. In Occupied Palestine, reaching that threshold has light years
On June 11, 2010, coming home from Friday prayers, Ziad was caught in
traffic. Border police blocked the road. He accidently side swiped one
of their vehicles. Vinogradov was alerted.
Ziad left the accident scene. Police chased and opened fire. A Palestinian
bystander was wounded. To avoid violence, Ziad mistakenly entered a
blind alley. Emerging from his vehicle, police shot him twice - in the
arm and lower back.
Still alive, they approached him. According to their own testimony,
Vinogradov fired two or more times at his head at point blank range.
As he heard shots, Ziad's cousin Mahmoud ran toward him screaming. Vinogradov
fired warning shots to back off. He then beat him with a nightstick.
Hospitalization was required.
According to eyewitnesses, when an ambulance arrived, police prevented
Ziad lived in East Jerusalem. Most of his life was in America. He earned
a pharmacy degree there. His family owned an East Jerusalem drug store.
He hoped to run it when his father retired.
His real love was animals. His preference was practicing veterinary
medicine. Few opportunities exist in Palestine.
His family pharmacy failed and was sold. Ziad opened a video game parlor.
Later it became a billiard hall. After selling the business, he began
distributing massage chairs in Israeli malls.
Vinogradov considered Ziad a terrorist even though he was unarmed and
nonviolent. On April 2012, Haaretz columnist Amira Hass headlined "Israel
Police shoots first and asks questions later," saying:
Ziad was lawlessly attacked. "Neighborhood residents said police fired
heavily in all directions. A little girl sitting in a parked car was
"The Justice Ministry's Police Investigations Unit investigated, and
the State Prosecutor's Office decided to close the case for lack of
Eyewitness disagreed. They revealed indiscriminate police shooting at
point blank range. Ziad's wife Moira partitioned Israel's High Court
for justice. She wants Vinogradov and his commander indicted for murder.
On April 24, Combatants for Peace honored Ziad in a Tel Aviv memorial
service. Nearly 2,000 attended. It's almost unprecedented for a mass
Jewish audience to convene for a Palestinian.
Moira spoke lovingly with passion for justice. Killing Without Consequence
published "A Message From Moira," saying:
Vinogradov "executed....(m)y beloved husband....on June 11, 2010." Undeniable
evidence proves he "was lying unarmed and wounded on the ground, posing
no threat when....shot....point blank in the head."
Vinogradov and his commander Shadi Kheir Al-Din got off scot free. Doing
so sends a message. Palestinian life is cheap. Take it and avoid accountability.
"My daughters and I have appealed to" Israel's High Court to "bring
criminal charges against" both men. "We seek international support,
not only (for) Ziad but also to save" other potential victims.
"My husband loved life and enjoyed it to itís fullest, he loved people
and animals and he loved us, his family, with a passion. He was not
"My American citizenship has meant nothing to the Israeli authorities
and far too little to the American government."
"I would like answers and to see to it that trigger-happy soldiers and
police men serving in the Israeli military and border police are not
allowed to kill more innocent people."
Visit Killing Without Consequence for more details. So far, Moira and
her children have been denied long overdue justice. Nothing can bring
back Ziad. What means more than that.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized
Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge
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