Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?—Ezekiel 34:2
Shortly after noon, on February 15, 2014, a man was assassinated while traveling along Tel Aviv's Promenade. A motorbike with two men approached his car. When it reached the driver's window, the man sitting behind the driver shot two bullets on the BMW-driver, who died on the spot. In Israel, BMW cars are favored by criminals.
The technique, the location, and the scale of the assassinations are important. Amnesty International has an urgent task.
In the last year, Israel is passing through a wave of assassinations; it was recently reviewed in Police Defeated by IDF. Most of them involve attaching plastic explosives, known in IDF slang as "terror-bricks," to cars. The explosives invariably originate in the IDF. The Police claims that it is beyond its capabilities to stop the violence.
The event of today was different. The location showed that the killers did not fear the state apparatus of justice. They shoot near the Israel Electricity Company station between the neighborhood of Neve Tzedek and the shoreline. On Saturday, this area is crowded with visitors.
Neve Tzedek was the first Jewish neighborhood outside Jaffa. Founded in 1877, it features an old Ottoman railway station at its center. In recent decades, it passed through an intensive renovation project. Now it is one of the most aristocratic places to be seen while enjoying a double espresso near the Mediterranean Sea. Thousands of people watching the thirsty Zionist nobles heard the two shots.
Think about the event from the operative side. The motorbike must have appeared shortly before it hit. Otherwise, the victim would have started an evasive driving slalom in order to avoid the obviously following motorbike. That would have rendered the shooting almost impossible.
The executioner hit two out of two bullets while sitting on the back of a motorbike. The target was also on a vehicle. This needs a lot of experience. It was not a violent event among petty drug-dealers. Where would they have trained for the event? It was a military commando execution.
"I know! I know," veteran readers of this website are exclaiming now. The operative technique matches Shaldag+(Kingfisher), an IDF elite commando. The current Chief of Staff Gantz started his military career there.
Shaldag specializes in the placement of electronic beamers, cameras and other espionage equipment beyond Israeli borders. Beamer is an electronic device used for guiding certain type of bombs to a target. Riding 500cc motorbikes, which can be attached to Cobra helicopters, the unit is active in Lebanon and Syria.
It is difficult to accept the claim that the military equipment and expertise needed for carrying dozens of assassinations are a lucky coincidence. It is difficult to accept the confidence of the killers, unless they knew that they would escape unharmed even if detained by the police. It is difficult to accept a Police Commissioner talking along the lines "It happens. I can't help. Let's continue the War on Terror."
The Shinawatra War
A few months after forced to leave Israel due to the Defensive Shield Operation, I was forced to witness another war. Thailand was passing through the troubled Premiership of Thaksin Shinawatra, a former police officer turned tycoon and politician.
I won't analyze here the controversy surrounding him, except for saying that he is the offspring of a political conflict that is ongoing for over a century. In Western terms, it could be summarized "Royalists vs. Republicans," though this is an oversimplification.
In 2003, Shinawatra launched a War on Drugs. Policemen shot suspects on the streets, for no other reason that "He had a criminal face. He was a drug dealer for sure." Numbers vary, but in three months roughly three thousand people were assassinated point blank by the police while denied the chance to defend themselves in court.
It distracted people from other problems. At night it was scary, gunshots disturbing this otherwise gentle and smiling land. Unluckily for Shinawatra, the distraction topic was the brutality of his government. This started the end of his regime, which was deposed by the Thai army in 2006.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch condemned the extrajudicial executions from their beginning, creating awareness and condemnation. It must be stated at this stage that the West was not overfriendly with Shinawatra who opposed the Western supported Thai army. Amnesty took a political stand, and not for the first time.$
A Thai report published in 2007 claimed that over 50% of the victims were unrelated to drugs. "I don't like his face. Shoot him!"
The Danino War
It is difficult to study the activities of Israel Police Commissioner Danino and not identify the same pattern of the Shinawatra War.
An ambitious police officer running after fame, power, and money, who would do anything, absolutely anything, that he thinks would advance his career.
One of Thaksin errors was announcing the policy. The other error was carrying it out. Ignoring the gunshots was impossible. Road blocks while removing the corpses were visible by all.
Danino learned from the Thais; it was not difficult, the two countries have close relations. Israel Police considers itself a second IDF; an army acting within the Green Line, where the IDF cannot act.
War on Terror and similar issues allow its officer to develop commando-like units, where they can play daily with special toys and terrorize people at will. The wet dream of any sadist. Addressing issues like crime distracts the commanders from their passion. "Let's kill crime secretly," Danino told his subordinates and the Danino War started with almost daily explosions of cars. "I don't like his face. Bomb him!"
Israeli politicians comply. "There is nothing the Police can do," Police officers say in interviews and don't get fired. Netanyahu is silent. The opposition is silent. This is a coordinated effort.
What a golden opportunity for Amnesty International to prove that its persecutions are not politically driven. Will you defend victims of the Israeli police in the same way you defended Thai victims of the Shinawatra regime?