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December 20, 2014 / 28 Kislev, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘Shalom Eisner’

IDF Officer Who Hit Anarchist to Keep His Job for Now

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

An IDF military court decided to go with a modified plea bargain agreement for Lt. Colonel Shalom Eisner, who had been set to be kicked out of the army.

Eisner had hit a foreign anarchist in the face, who was trying to block Highway 90 in the Jordan Valley. During the 2 hour altercation that preceded Eisner’s actions, one of the activists broke the fingers in Eisner’s hand.

The activists had filmed the April 2012 incident and disseminated a selectively edited video showing Eisner striking uncooperative anarchists with his rifle – something a lot of soldiers probably wish they could do to these foreign provocateurs.

What the film did not show was that before Eisner hit the foreign leftists, other anarchists had broken two of the officer’s fingers, and the scenes of the anarchists using their bicycles to hit and push the soldiers were also mostly cut out.

The court ordered Eisner to serve two months of public service, after which he can remain in his position for a year, instead of being dismissed right away which is what the original plea bargain had stipulated. Eisner was supposed to head up the prestigious Bahad 1 officer’s school in the Negev.

High ranking army officers, as well as the mother of a fallen soldier who was brought to burial by Eisner, praised Eisner for his sensitivity and character.

Hagit Rein, whose son was killed in the Second Lebanon War in 2006 and was brought to burial by Eisner, burst out into tears as she told the military court of Eisner’s sensitivity and involvement with the burial of her son.

At the time, no one was able to retrieve her son’s body which was trapped in the middle of a combat zone in Lebanon. Eisner upon hearing about it, jumped into a jeep, drove out, and brought the soldier’s body back to Israel.

Senior IDF officer Yehkezkiel Agai testified, “Shalom and I served together in the tank unit, I brought him into his current position as deputy commander because he is trustworthy and dedicated to his job. He is like a man who never received a traffic ticket for 40 years and then is suddenly involved in a serious accident.

“There is no question about the qualities of Shalom. There is no problem with his values or  behavior. He just make a mistake.”

Sami Turgeman, head of the Southern Command, told the military judges, “As a commander of ground forces, I often have to face officers in positions that they do not like. Eisner willingly took the position as the Jordan Valley division deputy commander which is not convenient from a personal standpoint and for family life. I have no doubt that he is a highly motivated officer.”

However, Nitzan Alon head of Central Command and a long-time thorn in the side of national religious officers such as Eisner, told the court that despite Eisner’s excellent qualities, “I saw professional failures in maintaining control.”

The incident began when 250 anarchists rode their bicycles onto Highway 90, the only highway connecting the southern and northern ends of the Jordan Valley, with the stated aim of blocking the road in an illegal protest.

The division commander was on vacation at the time and left instructions for Eisner to call the police if there was any trouble.

Eisner had instead decided to deal with the protesters himself.

Anarchists struggled with the soldiers, and some of them were also “bumping” their bicycles into the IDF soldiers as a “non-violent” provocation. With two broken fingers, Eisner’s patience ran out when one of the protesters purposely stood in his way as he and his soldiers were trying to clear the demonstrators off the highway.

After the video of the confrontation went viral, Eisner was removed from duty until an investigation was completed.

In September, Eisner reached the plea bargain agreement, reported here.

On the surface, Eisner came out better than expected, because he can return to his present position after two months of public service, and will retire from the army in another year instead of being forced out right away.

Unfortunately the mistake here is that he is being forced to retire at all.

EU Diplomat Hits Border Policeman, Ends Up On Floor

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

Based on content from: IDF Blog.

Yesterday, following an illegal attempt by Palestinian Authority Arabs and foreign activists to erect an illegal outpost in Samaria’s Hemdat area, in the northern Jordan Valley, security personnel responded to the site with the intent to implement a standing Supreme Court decision.

At the site, Arabs and foreign activists violently responded, throwing stones and striking Israeli security forces. The security personnel contained the violence with riot dispersal means, seized the tents and detained three Palestinian Authority Arabs who were the main instigators.

Reports that foreign diplomats abused their diplomatic privileges are currently being reviewed and, if required, complaints will be filed with the relevant authorities.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Paul Hirschson, said a formal complaint might be filed with the French over the involvement of French diplomat, Marion Castaing. “If she did participate then a formal complaint will be filed because that is not the way diplomats behave,” he said.

Marion-Castaing1

This is what is being shown in the mainstream media: French diplomat Marion Castaing on the floor, with some media outlets questioning about the guns supposedly pointed at her by an Israeli police officer.

But this picture is being shown out of context, and the status of the gun supposedly pointed at her, purposefully misrepresented.

MarionCastaing-with-graph

This is what the media fails to show:

The photo used to spread this misinformation was taken as a screenshot from a video with footage clearly showing that Marion Castaing was neither physically dragged to the floor nor had guns pointed at her. Also, the photo clearly shows that the officer is holding his gun by the magazine, nowhere near the rifle’s grip.

Many photos and videos have been manipulated to show Israel in a negative light. This is just another example of the length to which people will go to spread lies as part of the propaganda war against Israel.

Below is the edited “news” report, as reported by Iran’s state controlled TV.

Lt. Colonel Shalom Eisner to be Retired

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Lt. Colonel Shalom Eisner, who was suspended from duty in April 2012, after striking a foreign anarchist blocking a highway, has reached a plea bargain with the IDF.

Eisner hit the Danish anarchist with his rifle after the agent provocateur purposely positioned himself directly in Eisner’s face, as Eisner was trying to move the anarchists off the road. The anarchist was part of an organized group of 250 anarchists who were blocking highway 90.

Another anarchist had just broken Eisner’s fingers during the 2 hour confrontation.

Some of the anarchist were also “bumping” their bicycle’s into the IDF soldiers as a “non-violent” provocation.

In the agreement, Eisner will get 2 months of community service without pay. Instead of being discharged from the IDF, he will retire early (preserving his pension), but he won’t be eligible for further promotions.

The well-respected Eisner was supposed to be appointed to head the prestigious Bahad 1 officer’s school, but was instead given a senior position at the Tzeilim army base until this deal was reached.

Unfortunately, the IDF seems to have not learned the two most important lessons from the event, the first is to support your soldiers as they fight the enemy, and the second is that the anarchists immediately dispersed in panic once they realized that the soldiers were prepared to use just a little bit of force to stop them from blocking the highway.

The Eisner Affair

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

We would never presume to second-guess the IDF’s judgment concerning the actions of one of its officers while on duty. But several observations need to be made about the worldwide reaction to that video of IDF Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner’s striking a demonstrator with a rifle butt.

This episode is not just about the reaction of one soldier in a tense situation. It is also about calculated provocations designed to show Israel in the worst possible light, and it is that aspect of the controversy which needs to be addressed.

For one thing, the uproar over the event only underscores that the kind of violence seen on the video was atypical of what has come to be expected from the Israeli military.

For another, the incident occurred next door to the Syrian killing fields, and yet the pro-Palestinian protestors had not a word to say about that, focusing their ire instead on the lone democracy in the region. Why the sympathy for demonstrators who ignore palpable evil but obsess about one side of a long-simmering geopolitical controversy? And would the demonstrators last one minute if they brought their act to any Arab country?

Also, how is it that a reaction to provocation is judged without reference to the provocation? Where is the discussion about the propriety of protesters seeking to force the opening of a blockaded road that is part of a security plan which continues to save Israeli lives? Why is that area not properly considered a war zone with all of the assumed risks that entails?

And does it mean nothing that the object of Lt. Col. Eisner’s anger was a link in a pulsating chain of marchers challenging soldiers whose mission it was to keep them off the security road? What, exactly, were the soldiers supposed to do to stop them? Feed them falafel?

Further, after the Rodney King fiasco twenty years ago, why aren’t more people concerned that the tape may not tell the full story? Shalom Eisner claimed that violence had been visited upon him – and that two of his fingers were broken as a result – just before the videographer/demonstrator started filming. Is that to be dismissed out of hand?

As an Israeli military spokesperson, Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich, said, while that while Lt. Col. Eisner may have breached his ethical duties, he was facing “an illegal riot” and that the video being circulated showed a thirty-second edited snippet of a 120-second tape.

While remaining mindful of the strict standards the IDF imposes on its personnel, we need to never lose sight of the goals and methods of anti-Israel fanatics who will stop at nothing to undermine Israeli security and whose fondest dreams are our worst nightmares.

The Lessons of the Eisner Affair

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Although watching a young Danish tourist getting whacked in the face by an M16 rifle is certainly not a pleasant site and tends to make one cringe, viewing the slightly extended video of the incident simply made my blood boil. For rather than being engaged in the normal activities that soldiers are engaged in, Lieutenant Colonel Shalom Eisner and his comrades had to deal with what appeared to be an obviously planned provocation: crowds of people all around, large signs saying “Stop Ethnic Cleansing”, flashing cameras everywhere and sneering cyclists refusing to disperse. Thus, it came as no surprise that when one of these “innocent” young chaps decided to bump into a soldier with his bicycle and initiate the whole fracas; a very good soldier fell for the trap.

The whole incident is sickening for several reasons. For starters, these people take advantage of the fact that only in Israel – not in America, not in a European country, and certainly not in an Arab country – can they get away with such nonsense. They know this and they flaunt it in our face. However, much more infuriating is the fact that we even let such people into our country in the first place. Do we not have any self-respect? And on top of this, rather than having the police – who are trained for such encounters – deal with the whole mess, we foolishly dump it on our soldiers. However the most irritating part of it all, especially in light of the above, is how several of our illustrious political and military leaders were so quick to condemn Shalom Eisner. One can only wonder in cynicism if these same people, as well as the others who quickly denounced Eisner, lifted a voice in protest or shed a tear when viewing the events in Amona a few years back, a particularly gory affair that in comparison made the recent event look like a Lassie episode.

Putting the anger and frustration aside, for anyone who is interested in fighting for the truth in a world that has seemingly gone mad, there are some very important lessons that can be learned from the event. The first is to be aware of the age we live in, namely a highly technological era where any amateur can film an event and potentially broadcast it to thousands or millions via You Tube, Facebook, or the like. This simply cannot be ignored. Thus Shalom Eisner’s statement after the event that for a soldier it’s more important to complete his mission than to worry about how he looks while performing it, although true in a perfect world, is unfortunately naïve given the current reality.

As a result, for anyone who is sick of the lies and hypocrisy, be it in Israel or the world, and really wants to work for change, it’s not enough to simply stand on the street corner and shout the truth. How something is said or how someone looks while performing an act frequently has more impact than anything else in the eyes or ears of the viewer. In this realm we need to learn from some of our leaders. Although many of them appear to be nauseatingly concerned about the reaction of the world, not just in the current Eisner affair but in many previous incidents as well, they do have a healthy appreciation of the power of images and statements in shaping public opinion (even if they are frequently inept in their own attempts). This truth needs to be internalized and the technological means at our disposal need to be more effectively utilized.

The second lesson is that being involved is not enough. In other words, although the army is full of many idealistic, highly motivated soldiers, the real power in the IDF is in the hands of those who are influenced by the same western-liberal values that are prevalent in other areas of Israeli society. Thus it makes no difference that most Israelis would want someone like a Shalom Eisner with them if they headed into battle, especially after his heroics in recovering a dead body from a tank in the Second Lebanon War. In today’s reality, Lieutenant Colonel Shalom Eisner was pronounced guilty by the head of the IDF the moment the very brief video hit You Tube.

Similarly in the political realm, despite the presence in the Likud of more and more nationalistic and idealistic MKs, not only have they been unable to cause a real change of direction by the party, but they have been powerless in preventing Binyamin Netanyahu from pulling the Likud towards the left during his second stint as Prime Minister. For example, during his 3-year tenure there was a housing freeze in Judea and Samaria, a declaration of support by a Likud Prime Minister for the creation of a Palestinian State in Judea and Samaria, and the placement of the powerful and influential defense ministry in the hands of a very unpopular and anti-settlement politician.

Lt. Col. Eisner: Did You Want to Watch Video of IDF Soldiers Capitulating Before Anarchists?

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner has finally broken down and let out everything he had been storing inside. In a phone interview with Channel 10, he shared his version of the incident in which he was captured on video hitting a Danish agent of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).

We present the Hebrew video and provide here a translation of the conversation.

News Anchor: Shalom, good evening. Chief of Staff Benny Gantz has postponed his decision regarding the officer who was videotaped hitting a demonstrator. Perhaps he would find interest in the following: Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner sounded today as if he did not have faith in the Chief of Staff or in the regional commander. He also expresses no regret, but rather thinks that thanks to him the demonstration was terminated. Here is the report of our military correspondent Ori Sharon.

Reporter: You have any message to express?

Eisner: I have many messages, and I’ll keep them for the places where I’m permitted to speak.

Reporter: In front of the cameras, Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner keeps those “many messages” for other conversations. A conversation like this one:

Eisner (in a recorded phone conversation): We know the history of these anarchists, they came with sticks and broke my hand, but this won’t be told or photographed.

Reporter: Not regretful, not sorry, he claims that only because of this act (cut to the famous gun-to-face shot) the demonstration was dispersed and route 90 remained open.

Eisner: It was a 2-minute confrontation, so it’s true that a few images there look bad, but in the end I used my weapon… I used my weapon not as a firearm, but as a stick. I didn’t kill anyone and didn’t endanger anyone’s life, in order to carry out the assignment and to prevent harm to my soldiers. My feeling is that the demonstrators themselves said afterwards that only because the Deputy Commander behaved this way they stopped the demonstration and stopped trying to break through.

Reporter: Against the background of the IDF disengaging from him, Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner is critical of the IDF top brass.

Eisner: All these stories don’t interest our Chief of Staff and my regional commander… Now, there are a few questions here. I said that it’s possible that I committed a professional error in judgment, using my weapon in front of the cameras, and so on. But I told my commanding officer, Agai (Lt. Gen. Agai Yechezkel, Chief of Brigade 261), that I emphatically reject the charge of a moral failure.

Eisner: (cont.) The question here is what’s more important – to carry out the assignment or to look good and photograph well? I argue that the assignment is more important, they argue that it isn’t. Maybe in this case I am wrong and they are right, as if it’s acceptable to allow damage to the State of Israel. Them I tell “as if,” you I can tell “for real.”

Reporter: Shalom Eisner accuses today, “the high brass don’t care that they broke my hand.”

Eisner: What, if they had taken videos of IDF soldiers capitulating before a mob, it would have sounded better? What, I’m now going to let them block highways? I’m going to let them risk lives? That does sound good? Someone gets his hand broken while on duty and the General doesn’t even – he knew well before those pictures were published, he knew my hand had been broken, he understood the meaning of the fact that anarchists broke the hand of a Lt. Colonel in the IDF. But nobody cared.

Later in the clip, Channel 10 news, which is probably the most left-wing of Israel’s major news broadcasts, provides written evidence from the Sha’arei Tzedek hospital doctor who mended Eisner’s broken finger. The reporter then concludes that at least on that count, Eisner spoke the truth.

"Actually, the only thing separating the highway from the cyclists is a row of soldiers."

"Actually, the only thing separating the highway from the cyclists is a row of soldiers."

Channel 10 interviewed one of Eisner’s soldiers, who was present throughout the lengthy incident on Saturday.

Soldier: We blocked the Valley highway. They demonstrated for an hour and a half. And then they decided they were going to enter by force into the Valley highway. Actually, the only thing separating the highway from the cyclists is a row of soldiers.

Reporter: So what happened in the hour and a half before the physical confrontation?

Soldier: Flags, songs, that’s all, really, nothing more. I know that the one who started the confrontation, let’s call it, were the cyclists who were trying to enter by force, through our unit, like.

Outpouring Support for Officer who Hit Danish Provocateur, Even as Damning Report Is Anticipated

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

The IDF investigation of the beating of a Danish agent provocateur Andreas Ayas of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) by Deputy Bik’ah Brigade Commander Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner, will be presented Tuesday the the IDF Chief of Staff, and it appears that the report will recommend to remove Lt. Col. Eisner from office, but keep him in the army.

However, the legal proceedings against Eisner will continue, and may affect his future career. The investigation was headed by Central Command Chief, Gen. Nitzan Alon.

On Tuesday, Denmark has demanded clarification from Israel about the incident and the investigation. The Foreign Office updated the Danish Ambassador in Israel about the steps taken since the exposure of the video online. President Shimon Peres attempted to minimize the damage when he said that “The IDF responded clearly, and we must await its conclusions. It’s an isolated incident that should be investigated, and we should avoid far-reaching conclusions.”

Beyond the moral aspects, the investigation also dealt with the operational conduct of the forces in the field during the event. In this respect, the report found failures, primarily in inadequate preliminary preparations for the event; the force that was sent into the area was too small and did not receive police support as required.

On Monday, 83 reserves officers and soldiers sent the Defense Minister and the IDF Chief of Staff a letter supporting the Eisner, who had been suspended from his post.

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.”

Abir Sultan/Flash 90

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/outpouring-support-for-officer-who-hit-danish-provocateur-even-as-damning-report-is-anticipated/2012/04/17/

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