Elor Azaria, the Israeli soldier convicted of manslaughter for killing a prone Palestinian assailant, is now a Purim costume for Israeli kids.
Azaria is seen as a hero by many in Israel who was unfairly maligned by the media and courts after he shot and killed Palestinian Abdel Fattah al-Sharif, who no longer posed a threat, according to the court decision.
Azaria was sentenced to 18 months in prison, which he is now appealing.
A campaign to support Azaria is hosting a Purim costume competition for the best outfit in Azaria’s likeness. Prizes include an overnight stay in a bed and breakfast, amusement park tickets and a guitar, Haaretz reported, citing Israel’s Channel 2.
“Elor Azaria is a soldier who was sent to defend us, and I am proud to see children dressing up as him,” said Ran Karmi Buzaglo, the head of the campaign, in a statement to Channel 2.
The Channel 2 report featured Israeli Luna Dayan, whose grandson is dressing as Azaria for Purim. She said Azaria shouldn’t have shot al Sharif, but that he was a hero anyway for “taking the initiative” at the scene.
Contact Naomi Zeveloff at firstname.lastname@example.org
Naomi Zeveloff is the former Middle East correspondent of the Forward, primarily covering Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
For Purim, Israeli Kids Are Dressing As Soldier Who Killed Helpless Palestinian