At least that is what one would be led to think if one would believe everything that is written in the leftist Israel media and the international media.
The facts: At a protest on route 90, pro-Palestinian “activists” (terror supporters) blocking the road were confronted by IDF soldiers, and at some stage Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner hit one of the protestors in the face with his gun. You can see a video of the incident at the link.
Palestinians and leftist activists are claiming that a high-ranking IDF officer beat a foreign activist with his weapon in an incident documented in a youtube video. The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit described the incident as “serious” and noted that a full and thorough investigation had been ordered.
According to the activists, the event took place on Saturday when a group of Palestinians and left-wing activists were riding bicycles together in the Jordan Valley. They claimed that the IDF had prevented them from traveling on Route 90 and that the ride was in protest of the ban.
From the hoo-ha that has ensued you would have thought that (as I said in my headline) the world had come to an end in the wake of the Greatest War Crime Ever™. The headlines, the discussions, the opinion pieces, the politicians’ statements, have reached ridiculous levels.
“We’ve gone mad” says Ben Dror Yemini from NRG, and he is quite right.
“It’s been a long time since we had an event that made it possible to portray Israel as a monster,” Yemini wrote sarcastically. “No ‘Cast Lead,’ no massacre in Jenin, not even a mini-intifada. The promises of a ‘million man march’ toward Israel’s border melted into nothingness, the flotillas stopped coming, even the mass flytilla turned out to be bogus. Nada… And then it happened. It may have seemed for a moment that Israel was successful in hiding the fact that it is a monster – but then the plot was exposed. The ultimate proof was given in a seconds-long segment showing IDF officer Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner striking a Danish ‘cyclist’ with his gun.”
“At last. The most brutal army on earth was displayed for all to see.”
No one paid any attention to the events surrounding the incident, the fact that Col. Eisner had been injured by those same “activists”, and that the video was heavily edited.
The Muqata brings an article from the Jewish Press entitled “It all started when an Israeli Officer hit the man who broke his fingers”, which really says it all.
Here is what appears to have happened:
A large group of 250 European and Palestinian activists belonging to the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) were on a bicycle trip in the Jordan Valley, a region which has enjoyed relative peace in the relationship between local Arabs and the IDF, even as Judea and Samaria were ignited in violent clashes.
The ISM website states that it is a “Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli apartheid in Palestine by using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles. Founded by a small group of primarily Palestinian and Israeli activists in August, 2001, ISM aims to support and strengthen the Palestinian popular resistance by providing the Palestinian people with two resources, international solidarity and an international voice with which to nonviolently resist an overwhelming military occupation force.”
In other words, this is the equivalent of the Sinn Féin, the political wing of the IRA. While Palestinian terrorists are engaged directly in executing acts of murder against Jews in Israel and abroad, the ISM creates provocation that helps divert media attention from the brutality of Palestinian terrorism.
This very large group of dedicated agents provocateurs rode through one of the villages in the valley, and when they tried to get on highway 90, which runs the length of Judea and Samaria alongside the Jordan River, they encountered Israeli soldiers and border policemen who demanded their return to the village, because the activists had not coordinated their trip with security forces.
It should be noted that, for security reasons, Palestinian traffic on highway 90 is curbed and monitored by several checkpoints. This is part of Israel’s overall effort to prevent unceasing Palestinian attempts to attack Jewish targets both within and outside the “green line.”
It should also be noted that, as the ISM itself states this plainly, it is their mission to open up those road blocks, so that “the Palestinian popular resistance,” e.g. the Islamist Jihad and Al Fatah, be able to renew their attacks on Jewish targets.
Now you understand what the clash at the entrance to highway 90 was all about.
Minute 1:51 of the ISM video clearly shows Lt.-Col. Shalom Eisner’s bandaged hand, after his fingers had been broken by an agent provocateur.
According to the Deputy Commander of the Valley Brigade, Lt.-Col. Shalom Eisner, the event, in which IDF soldiers were trying to block the passage of 250 cyclists, lasted about two hours, only a few minutes of which are shown in the video.
Once told they could not proceed, Eisner said, “the activists tried to block the Jordan Valley road. We were the last vestige between them and the highway, and the protesters tried to pass us again and again, even though we insisted and explained to them that they are forbidden to break into a military zone.”
At some point during that two-hour event, an ISM agent attacked Eisner, and broke two of his fingers. Take a look at the way the Israeli officer is holding his weapon, and you’ll realize he is actually responding to a dangerous demonstrator, rather than attacking him unprovoked. He was provoked and then some.
Israellycool brings us the very moving story of Shalom Eisner’s heroism in the Second Lebanon War when he risked his life to bring back a soldier’s body abandoned in the field.
Hagit Rein, grieving mother of the late Major B’naya Rein who was killed in the Second Lebanon War and whose body was recovered by Eisner under fire, called the Army Radio to express her dismay at the way Eisner was being judged by the “media court.”
During that war, B’naya Rein assembled a special force to assist damaged tanks. He was killed on that mission for which he had volunteered, and his body remained in enemy territory. At the command level it was decided that rescuing the body was too dangerous, according to the reservists’ letter. Then it was decided they lacked the necessary resources for a rescue mission.
After three days, Shalom Eisner, who was then commander of an armored battalion, heard about the abandoned body and said it was unacceptable that the body of an army officer would be lying on the ground while his parents were waiting for him at home. Eisner took a jeep, recall his fellow officers and soldiers, put on a flak jacket and went out to get B’naya. “Surrounded by burned-out tanks, missiles flying in every direction, he just went out into the field, loaded the body and brought it back.”
Lt. Col. Eisner’s supporters expressed their complete faith in him “as a man, as a friend and as a moral commander.”
However, all these extenuating circumstances and character references were not enough for our weaselly defense minister and Chief of Staff, and they allowed the media to be judge, jury and executioner, and have suspended Col. Eisner from his job forthwith.
The IDF has decided to take various disciplinary actions against Lt.-Col. Shalom Eisner, who struck a Danish pro-Palestinian protester with an M-16 rifle.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen Benny Gantz ordered Wednesday that Eisner be relieved of his duties as deputy commander of the IDF’s Jordan Valley Brigade over “operational and ethical failures.”
According to an IDF statement, the decision was made after the initial inquiry into the incident faulted Eisner for conduct unbecoming an officer, and after Gantz consulted with GOC Central Command Maj.-Gen Nitzan Alon and GOC Army Headquarters Maj.-Gen. Sami Turgeman.
Ganzt also ordered that the Eisner will not be eligible for any promotion in the next two years, effectively revoking his candidacy for head of Bahad 1 – the military’s Officers Training Academy.
Eisner told reporters that he “received the ruling in the matter with a heavy heart. I’m physically and emotionally injured and I have to recuperate. I have to reconsider my future in the IDF, should I be offered another position.”
Eisner’s conduct was widely criticized by the IDF, with Gantz saying it went against the IDF’s ethic.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak dismissed the officer’s explanations for the incident, saying: “Completing missions and maintaining IDF norms and ethics are not mutually exclusive.
The only words in Eisner’s defense came from the former IDF Chief Rabbi:
Former IDF Chief Rabbi Avichai Rontzki commented on Gantz’ decision to relieve Lt. Col. Eisner from duty, saying it “sends out a wrong message.
“The junior officers might take a narrow-minded approach from now on and avoid contact during these sorts of events,” he said.
Instead of being afraid of our own shadow and an unwillingness to allow IDF soldiers to defend themselves, we ought to learn from the Danes themselves (the attacked activist is Danish) how to deal with “non-violent” protestors.