Apr 22, 2012

Hypocritical Condemning and Commending Of Eisner

This whole situation with Shalom Eisner, the IDF officer who was caught on camera smashing a Danish pro-Palestinian activist in the face with his rifle, has been confounding.

I don't know how anyone, no matter what else one might know about him and no matter how well one understands the high pressured situation he was in and is even willing to give him some leeway because of it, could come out in support of him. On the other hand, Eisner is also not deserving of being a scapegoat, considering the situation he was in and the violence of the activists prior to that altercation. The IDF also must bear some brunt of the blame, considering they sent a team of soldiers not trained in riot control to control a riot that should have been dealt with by the border police (Maga"v).

That being said, there is a lot of hypocrisy going around. This article in Makor Rishon, about something said by Eisner in shul, proves it.

According to the article, Eisner said in shul that he does not understand why this was turned into such a big deal.. "last year there was a rally of right wing activists in the area for which I was responsible, and then too the situation turned violent between the security forces and the protesters. Then I received a commendation and full support from the army for my behavior... for the violence then nobody said anything.. they just let it pass. "

As I said last week, the right wing should not be so quick to support Eisner, just because he beat a leftist. That is stupidity. They are quickly forgetting that he has acted against them in the past. In the comments of that post people asked for sources that such a claim is true. Well, now Eisner has said it himself that he beat right wing activists in previous protests. And the quick condemnation of the IDF is also hypocrisy, if they are going to condemn for violent put-downs of leftists but commend for violent put-downs of rightists.

There is something very wrong with what happened here, from all perspectives.

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  1. if right wingers want to ensure their right to speak, demonstrate, write, influence, they must make sure that arabs/leftists have the same rights. the same thugs who beat the latter will beat the former. anyone who thinks that violence can be directed is fooling himself, at best.

  2. Here's the distinction: In one case (when beating the leftists in full view of multiple videographers), he was bringing worldwide disrepute upon the army and upon the country -- and the other (when beating the rightists), he was not.

    Although from a moral perspective, what the world thinks should not matter, one would expect that a high-ranking officer would show better judgement and self control.

  3. Dovid - there have been plenty of photographs of other soldiers beating the hell out of right wing protesters, and nothing happened to them.
    At the end of the day, the army also has a political agenda (especially since the chief of staff is a political appointee of Ehud Barak).

  4. Moshe --

    I suppose I was unclear.

    What I meant to say was that no one cares when right-wing Israelis are beaten; they do care when blond-haired Arab sympathizers are.

    Like it or not, that is a fact.

    A high-ranking officer should show better judgement and self control.
    A commander swinging his rifle onto the back of a retreating, unarmed civilian?


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