On Friday, a violent demonstration took place near the Avigail outpost in the southern Hebron Mountains, in which five far-left activists, Jewish and Arab, tried to block the entrance to the settlement, physically attacked IDF soldiers, cursed and threatened them, and even lay down before the wheels of military vehicles.
סמג״ד הנדסה בדרום הר חברון לא כובש את יצרו מול פעיל שלום, שליווה הבאת מיכלית מים לבני המקום ביחד עם פעילי @cforpeace1 וסיים את האירוע עם חשד לשבר בארובת העין וצלעות שבורות. ״ותדע כל אם עבריה״? בושה לצבא שאלו מפקדיו. הכיבוש משחית ואלו פניו המכוערים.@gantzbe @IDFSpokesperson pic.twitter.com/mZgtwaJNTK
— Yoav Groweiss يوآف غروفايس (@yoav_gro) September 17, 2021
All of that is missing from the widespread coverage of the event. Instead, Israeli media (and soon, the New York Times) focused on an IDF Captain who finally lost it, having been provoked and irritated by one older demonstrator, Eli Ziv, and after a lengthy exchange pushed him to the ground. Ziv received the injuries he had been asking for and is now in Ichilov hospital in Tel Aviv. Mission accomplished.
The IDF for its part quickly condemned Major Maor Moshe of the Corp of Engineers (his name was revealed by the leftist group Mothers Against Police Brutality). The IDF spokesperson issued a statement saying, “The officer’s conduct as reflected in the video does not match what is expected of an IDF officer – the incident is being investigated and lessons will be learned accordingly.”
Ah, yes, the video. Like all the videos provided by groups with many, many dogs in this race, it omits everything that took place just before the officer couldn’t take it anymore and just lost it. Granted, IDF officers should not lose it, especially when so many smartphones are trained on them, recording their every move. So many promising military careers have been destroyed in those exchanges, the IDF should probably provide its warriors with body cams.
According to the leftist group “Fighting for Peace,” the demonstrators intended to get a water truck to an Arab village near Avigail, because the Arabs in Judea receive much less water than the Jews. But on the way to accomplish their noble goal, they apparently were seized by the need to block the entrance to Avigail, attack soldiers, and throw themselves in front of military vehicles. Go figure.
Otzma Yehudit chairman MK Itamar Ben-Gvir, who can always be counted on to add some perspective to these events, stated: “The IDF could not hold back and did not refrain from issuing a statement on Shabbat, contrary to protocol, and did not forget to state that the incident in which the soldier performed his duty will be investigated, even though the soldier should have been more aggressive because they (the leftists – DI) tried to attack him.”
MK Ben-Gvir added: “The conduct of IDF officials continues to cause a loss of deterrence in the face of our enemies. I will approach the Defense Minister to stop this farce in which IDF soldiers must be held accountable for the performance of their duties, instead of receiving a medal because they responded to the aggression against them.”
But then Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) issued his own statement and, guess what, did not mention the provocation by those leftist demonstrators: “The violence by soldiers against peace activists must stop. A group of Fighters for Peace, which did not take any unusual action, suffered brutal treatment and injuries when escorting a water tanker to a village in the southern Hebron Mountains. After hearing harsh testimonies, as can also be seen in the photos, I approached the Minister of Defense and demanded a thorough investigation. Enough.”
האלימות מצד חיילים כלפי פעילי שלום חייבת להיפסק. קבוצה מתנועת ״לוחמים לשלום״, שלא נקטו בשום פעולה חריגה, ספגו יחס ברוטאלי ופציעות כאשר ליוו מיכלית מים לכפר בדרום הר חברון. לאחר ששמעתי עדויות קשות, כמו שגם רואים היטב בתמונות, פניתי לשר הביטחון ודרשתי לערוך בירור יסודי. די. pic.twitter.com/wN2w8HUXt2
— Nitzan Horowitz نيتسان هوروفيتس ניצן הורוביץ (@NitzanHorowitz) September 18, 2021
MK May Golan (Likud) used this opportunity to attack Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who was probably getting ready for a peaceful Shabbat in Ra’anana at the time of the confrontation: “Perhaps Horowitz will propose that more IDF soldiers be put on trial in The Hague tribunal? Is there one righteous man in this malicious government to come out in defense of our soldiers? A
disgrace. Thank you, Bennett, for all this goodness!”
Eliyahu Libman, Head of the Kiryat Arba-Hebron council, said: “The officer acted professionally all the way through, these are people who blocked roads and violated public order. It is expected of the military and the political echelon to know how to back up every commander and fighter sent to defend and maintain Israel’s security. If these levels are incapable of doing so then there’s a problem of values here. The evaluation of the event cannot begin and end in a video that was shot, cut, and edited in a manipulative way. We are backing the same officer and his soldiers who are coming to the area and working tirelessly to protect the lives of the settlers.”
Finally, this reporter agrees wholeheartedly with the popular left-wing slogan, “The occupation corrupts,” which is why the occupation must be replaced at once by the lawful annexation of Judea and Samaria, at which point trained police officers would manage these incidents, instead of IDF soldiers who should be put to better use in killing enemies.