Rifle-attack IDF soldier loses post
AN ISRAELI officer who struck a Danish pro-palestinian protester with his rifle in an allegedly unprovoked incident has been given a two-year ban from command positions, but has not been sacked from the IDF.
Lt Col Shalom Eisner was told this week that he had been removed from his post as deputy commander of the Jordan Valley Brigade and that he will be disallowed from taking up command roles for the next two years, including that of deputy commander of the IDF officer school, a position he was due to occupy.
The idf spokesman said the decision was taken on “moral grounds” and that there had been “professional and command failure”. An investigation has been launched.
Lt Col Eisner’s actions, which were caught on film and posted online, have drawn condemnations from senior political figures. Lt Col Eisner has claimed the pro - tester provoked him by breaking two of his fingers.
Nowadays, a story often becomes news when it is caught on video — especially if that video tells a simple, shocking narrative. Add to that “when it happens in Israel”, and it is easy to understand how a film of IDF colonel Shalom Eisner, swinging his M16 against the head of a pro-palestinian Danish activist, went viral this week. It graphically retold the myth that the IDF is a brutal oppressor. Some in Israel rushed to defend Eisner on the grounds of his “heroic” record as a highly decorated soldier. But the Israeli authorities — and the majority of Israelis — could not have reacted in a more proper way. Eisner has been blocked from receiving promotion for two years and a thorough investigation is under way. Defence Minister Ehud Barak, himself a former chief of staff, said: “Completing missions and maintaining IDF norms and ethics are not mutually exclusive. Statements made over the past few days, suggesting that the officer’s behaviour was prompted by operational necessity, are unacceptable.” Most Israelis have shown their disgust at Eisner’s actions. Those who would attack Israel on the most spurious justification should carefully watch what happens in an open, democratic society.