There is no excusing the senseless murder of an IDF soldier – shot while removing a tree on the Israeli side of the Israel-Lebanon border.
While there may be no excusing it, one could certainly make excuses for it, offense being the best defense, as Israel's excuses for the killings at the Gaza border have shown:
Excuse #1: Describe the attack as retaliation, every if the site attacked has no connection with the other side's supposed offense.
"Israel routinely responds to rocket attacks with air strikes targeting smuggling tunnels on the Gaza-Egypt border and workshops which Israel says are used to make rockets."
Excuse #2: Describe the attack as if it were an unplanned, mutual affair, "skirmishes" or "clashes":
(The headline) "2 Palestinians killed as IDF clashes with militants near Gaza border"
(The fine print) " Israel Defense Forces troop fired at suspected militants that had approached Gaza's northern border with Israel, Israel Radio reported on Wednesday, with two suspected militants reportedly killed in the incident."
Did the solider killed by the Lebanese "approach the border"? He most certainly did. Was he a "militant"? Worse than a militant, he was actually a uniformed solider of an enemy state. Is there a single righteous man in Sodom these days who would look at this incident and say "We've killed hundreds of Palestinians and Lebanese for nothing more than being armed and close to our borders -- who are we to throw stones?" There most certainly is not.
Excuse #3 Justify the killings by asserting the victim was just about to commit an attack – they are dead, they can't contradict you.
"At least one Palestinian terrorist, who attempted to plant a bomb at the Gaza border fence, has been killed by the Israeli army."
When you read the story, you discover no bomb was ever found.
Literally thousands of Palestinians and Lebanese have been killed by Israel while going about their business, no immediate threat to anyone. If they have a gun, if they belong to an armed group – both conditions the IDF solider met – even those on the far left will seldom raise a protest. If on top of that they are in a border area, well, that's the end of it. But when it is an IDF solider who is dead we suddenly remember certain things, like: being an armed enemy during a time of peace or a cease-fire is no excuse for murder. If it were, the idea of a "cease-fire" would be meaningless. Or: being next to the border is not the same thing as being across the border – that's why it’s a border. You are supposed to be able to live and work and cut down trees and even train for battle on your side of the border, and it's not a justification for deadly force or any force at all.
There's an element of colonialism here, make no mistake. In the eyes of Israelis and their enablers, an Arab with a gun is by definition a Jew-murderer in waiting, no rights at all. A Jew with a gun is a brave defender of his home. A Palestinian near the border is an infiltrator, shot on sight; but an IDF solider considers it his right to march right up to the edge of his territory, armed to the teeth. Sometimes he doesn't stop there. For all their fear and rage at "infiltrators," it's not unusual to read that an Israeli "patrol" went a couple of hundred yards or a half mile into Gaza, destroyed some property, shot at some suspected "militants," and came home. If an army tried this on Israeli territory, of course, the IAF would carpet-bomb their cities.
Double standards. That's the work-a-day answer to excusing the inexcusable.