The following post was written jointly by Jameel and Lurker:
In the previous post, about the heroic civilians who killed terrorists in action on the streets of Jerusalem, DovBear asked a valid and important question:
M reached over or around armed policemen to shoot the terrorist. What do they police say about that? Why didn't they shoot themselves?
Ah, that is a million dollar question. In the IDF, we learn very clearly that one must neutralize terrorists in light of the bitter experiences of the past 17 years.
Terrorists rarely want to be captured these days, and fight to the end, including wearing bomb vests. They wait till the last possible second when there are soldiers, police, civilians around before triggering their explosion.
IDF counter-terror soldiers are constantly reminded and trained that terrorists must be shot at and neutralized and any movement can be deemed as a threat of detonating a bomb vest or grenade (all of these scenarios have happened, many times). The only way to positively ensure a terrorist's "neutralization" and our safety is when the terrorist is no longer alive; he is confirmed to be killed. For the sake of legality and publicity, the IDF does not use the term "confirmed kill" because it doesn't sound nice, but that's the bottom line.
Unfortunately what is extremely clear to the IDF, is lost on much of the Israeli police and their management. Just 2 weeks ago, former Jerusalem District Police Chief Mickey Levy* wrote an op-ed piece on YNET (see more on JoeSettler about this) decrying the immorality of "confirming the kill" of a terrorist in the field -- and his opinion is what has caused additional victims of terrorism.
The first bulldozer terrorist did his utmost best to squash and kill as many innocent victims while yelling Allahu Akbar. Civilians and policemen shot at him, and his bulldozer stopped moving. By this point, he had already flattened and overturned several vehicles and their passengers, killing one person and maiming several others. After a policeman then mounted the bulldozer, the terrorist regained consciousness and continued to drive, intent on killing more people. Instead of the policeman confirming that the terrorist was dead (properly neutralizing him), he instead attempted to fight manually to "subdue" him. During the policeman's manual struggle, the terrorist managed to continue operating the bulldozer, running over the car of Batsheva Unterman for a second time -- and this time flattening it. Unterman was apparently killed there and then. In addition, her baby son, who had been snatched out of the back seat by a passing pedestrian only seconds earlier, would have been killed as well. It was only at that point, as the bulldozer continued to threaten the safety of even more people, that "M" grabbed a gun from a security guard, reached around the policeman, and shot the terrorist 3 times in the head. That was what stopped the terrorist and the carnage.
In his article, former Police Chief Levy openly acknowledges that because the policeman opted not to shoot the terrorist, the terrorist "to my regret was able to hurt and kill another woman" [Unterman]. In spite of this, Levy insists that "the policeman could not have acted any other way". And here is the explanation he gives for this conclusion: "Had he shot the terrorist while he was unconscious, this could have been perceived as an immoral act. Yet we are a moral people, and in our Book of Books it says 'thou shalt not murder'." [See the footnote below for more information on Levy's moral values.]
This, then, is the thinking that governs the behavior of the Israel police -- straight from mouth of one of the highest ranking police officers in Israel. And this is the reason why the policeman did not shoot the terrorist himself.
[*] A bit of background info that sheds some light on who Mickey Levy is, and his humane, merciful values: There was a publicized case several years ago in which anti-government dissident Nadia Matar of the Women in Green was charged with assaulting a police officer. The officer in question was Mickey Levy, several years before he became the Jerusalem Police Commander. When Matar went to trial, the prosecution put Levy himself and seven other police officers on the stand, and they all testified to having witnessed Matar physically attacking Levy during the course of a violent demonstration at the Russian Compound. When the defense got its turn, they declined to call any witnessess, and instead produced a videotape of the incident in question shot by a Channel 2 cameraman. (Channel 2 had never aired the segment, and Matar had to get a subpeona in order to compel Channel 2 to produce the tape.) The tape clearly showed that the demonstration was completely peaceful, and that the demostrators were even standing on the sidewalk so as not to obstruct traffic. In spite of this, Levy is seen attacking the diminutive Matar without provocation in a most brutal manner, and then dragging her away in cuffs. It also showed that Matar never even raised a hand to him, neither before nor during Levy's assault. The judge immediately dismissed the charges and closed the case. Not one of the eight police officers was charged with perjury or even reprimanded, in spite of a complaint filed by Matar. And Levy, of course, got promoted up the ladder until he became the Jerusalem District Commander, and later the Israel Police Liason in the U.S.
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד