The Greeks have a problem: how physically to stop the influx of “Syrian refugees” that Turkey has unleashed upon them. Fortunately, (not for the first time), Israel has provided an answer: shoot these “infiltrators”…in the knee. It works.
When is it appropriate for sovereign state to use lethal force to resist invasion? In international law, you’d think the answer would be “always”, but some people claim that an “unarmed” mob—not visibly armed, or with only some of its members throwing Molotov cocktails—must not be resisted. In 2018, we got an angry letter from an otherwise-friendly reader distressed that we were defending Americans on Facebook who had called for lethal force to be used at the border.
VDARE.com editor Peter Brimelow replied that is was “precisely because VDARE.com is prepared to think the (to the conventionally-minded) unthinkable that we have “moral legitimacy.” He added three points:
- Firstly, we were right to nail the Daily Beast’s lie that the posts were not about “Killing Immigrants And Minorities” but about border security, specifically what to do about mobs rushing the border in force, to which the Border Patrol is only able to respond with tear gas, rubber bullets, and pepperball.
- Secondly, we were right to point out the Daily Beast is calling for censorship—the totalitarian recourse of Cultural Marxists. Indeed, that’s how we know they are Cultural Marxists—not “liberals.”
- Thirdly, we were right to point out that the Israelis do, in fact, systematically defend their border against very similar politicized public incursions with deadly force. This is one example from Wikipedia’s article “2018 Gaza Border Protests,” which I am fairly confident has been closely vetted for bias:
Seven Palestinians were killed in violent protests along the border fence, in a continuation of the "March of Return" protests. According to the IDF, "The rioters are burning tires and are hurling rocks, explosive devices, firebombs and grenades at IDF troops and the security fence". The demonstrations were arranged by Hamas, with the aid of special units formed to expand the protests. Four Palestinians were shot dead after they crossed into Israeli territory and approached a sniper's post. [Hyperlinks in original, emphasis added].
Haaretz, a Leftist Israeli paper, has just published an investigation of Israel’s defensive tactics on the border. It seems now that a lot more than seven Palestinian rioters have been killed:
Over 200 Palestinians were killed and nearly 8,000 were injured during almost two years of weekly protests at the Israel-Gaza border. Israeli army snipers tell their stories
By Hilo Glazer, Haaretz, March 6, 2020, also here.
When I say that Haaretz is Leftist, I mean that it’s anti-Israel in the sense that the New York Times and Washington Post are anti-American. Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic has described its stance as “cartoonish anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism”. He says that a lot, but he may have a point here.
Haaretz’s Glazer was able to interview several anonymous Israeli Army snipers. They confirmed that that Israel’s response to these mobbings by massive numbers of Palestinians threatening the security fence is to shoot them, carefully, in the legs.
This is not a guaranteed non-lethal tactic, but it has produced relatively few deaths (215 in two years):
The mass demonstrations on Israel’s border with the Strip began on Land Day, in March 2018, and continued on a weekly basis until this past January. These ongoing confrontations, in protest of Israel’s siege of Gaza, exacted the lives of 215 demonstrators, while 7,996 were wounded by live ammunition, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Despite the large number of casualties, the grim protests and responses along the fence continued unabated for nearly two years, until it was decided [presumably by Palestinian leadership, these are not spontaneous demonstrations, but organized attacks—JF] to reduce the frequency to once a month. Yet even in real time, the violent Friday afternoon ritual provoked little public interest in Israel. Similarly, the international condemnations – from allegations of the use of disproportionate force to accusations that Israel was perpetrating massacres – faded like so much froth on the waves.
Shedding light on this very recent slice of history entails talking to snipers: After all, they were the dominant and most significant force in suppressing the demonstrations at the fence. Their targets ranged from young Palestinians who were trying to infiltrate into Israel or who threw Molotov cocktails at soldiers, to prominent, unarmed protesters who were considered to be major inciters. Both categories drew the same response: Live ammunition fired at the legs.
Of the dozens of snipers that we approached, six (all of them discharged from the IDF) agreed to be interviewed and to describe what reality looks like through their gun sights. Five are from infantry brigades – two each from Golani and Givati, one from Kfir – plus one from the Duvdevan counter-terrorism unit. The names of all of them have been changed. They are not out to “break the silence” or to atone for their deeds, only to relate what happened from their point of view. In Eden’s case, even the fact that he also killed a protester by mistake doesn’t rattle him. “I believe I was on the right side and that I did the right thing,” he insists, “because if not for us, the terrorists would try to cross the fence. It’s obvious to you that there is a reason that you’re there.”
Emphases added. Of course, preventing invasions by guarding borders is, as I’ve said before, what armies are for.
Glazer’s Haaretz article is full of sob stories, pictures of amputees on crutches who are unsuccessful rioters and even a picture of a whole group of ex-rioters running an amputee race on crutches.
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Glazer also claims that while some snipers—the ones he interviewed—are unrepentant, others are, according to mental health professionals (whose job it is to look for trauma), in fact traumatized.
There are repeated references to the snipers using a Ruger rifle. An IDF spokesman told Haaretz that
“In light of the change that has occurred in the nature of the disturbances, it was decided to equip the forces also with the Ruger bullet, which causes less damage.”
Glazer, not being part of what we call “gun culture” failed to specify which model Ruger—an American gun maker—or what kind of bullet.
I thought, that since these were described a sniper rifles, they meant something like a Ruger M77, a bolt-action deer rifle. But it turns out, amazingly, that the counter-riot snipers of the Israeli Armed forces are equipped with a Ruger 10/22 (in a tactical upgrade known as the SR-22) in .22 Long Rifle, a cartridge which is usually used for shooting…rabbits. So of course it’s less lethal. [Israel Adopts Ruger SR-22 in “Less Lethal” Sniper Role, The Firearms Blog, October 21, 2015, also Military steps up use of live 0.22 inch bullets against Palestinian stone-throwers, B'Tselem, January 18, 2015]
The Israelis appear to be applying a suggestion made by Colonel Rex Applegate in one of his books on riot control in the Sixties—using a .22 rifle to take out ringleaders in a mob. This is a non-lethal technique, although potentially more lethal than rubber bullets. (There are multiple versions of Applegate’s work on riots—the one I’m quoting from memory doesn’t appear to be online).
So what would it take to get Americans to defend the border like that? Mexicans are not quite as dangerous and hateful as Palestinians, but they’re working on it.
In his 1995 book Alien Nation, VDARE.com Editor Peter Brimelow described the scene on the southern border:
Usually, the illegals start to trickle across in small groups of two or three, dodging through the brush of no-man's-land. Occasionally, however, a large group will simply charge isolated officers and overwhelm them. The Border Patrol calls this a "banzai." If objects are thrown at the officers, as they frequently are on the border, this is "getting rocked."
In 2018, right at the same time that the Israelis were resisting Palestinian attempts to storm their border fence, we saw video of huge mobs of illegals—flying the Honduran flag—rushing the U.S. border.
But there’s a lot of resistance by what we call the Treason Lobby to any use of force to defend the border:
In Border Wars: Inside Trump's Assault on Immigration, by New York Times hacks Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Michael D. Shear, we learned that Kirstjen Nielsen and other disastrous Trump appointees talked him back from his impulse to use force on the border:
But privately, Trump badly wanted to find a way that they could. A few days later, in a meeting with DHS officials, the president brought up the idea again. Listen, I get it, okay? he told them. If someone throws a rock, you can’t shoot to kill. But would it be okay just to injure them? What if we shoot these migrants in the legs? To slow them down? That’s not lethal force, right? Nielsen and her aides were flabbergasted.
No, they responded quickly. That’s not allowed either.
But it is allowed—to defend Israel. And it works.
And if the US Army has a shortage of .22 rimfire rifles, they can even buy them at Dick’s Sporting Goods.
James Fulford [Email him] is a writer and editor for VDARE.com.