Two murders that captivated the people of Israel and divided the nation have been resolved in guilty verdicts, thus testifying to the strength and independence of the Israeli justice system.

The first was the murder of a 16-year old Jewish teen, Shira Banki when she participated in the 2015 Jerusalem Gay Rights Parade. She was knifed by an Ultra-Orthodox Jew and died of her wounds. This was the second time this particular Haredi had attacked gay rights advocates.

The second was the killing of a Palestinian terrorist by an Israeli soldier, Sgt. Elor Azaria, who testified that the terrorist “deserves to die.” Azaria was convicted of manslaughter for the lethal shooting. The shooting was “captured on video by a Palestinian human rights activist and widely distributed.” (see article) The video showed the soldier shooting the disarmed and incapacitated Palestinian terrorist who lay wounded on the street after he had attacked and wounded Israeli soldiers in the strife-torn city of Hebron. The soldier’s deed was immediately condemned by both the Israeli Defense Minister and Prime Minister. Now, Israeli politicians from both the ruling coalition and the opposition are calling for a pardon.

The reaction by Israelis across the country to these two events reflects the deep schisms in Israeli society itself. The verdicts affirm that Israel is a nation ruled by law and the court system.

Life sentence for Jerusalem pride parade stabber who killed teen girl 16-year-old Shira Banki – Jerusalem Post, June 26, 2016

Guilty as Charged Israeli Soldier Convicted of Manslaughter for Lethal Shooting of Wounded Palestinian Assailant – Haaretz, January 4, 2017