Photo Credit: Channel 2 News screenshot
Issacharoff leading an Arab detainee

This bizarre saga just wouldn’t go away: an anti-Zionist activist, Dean Issacharoff, insists that the state must prosecute him for his violent treatment of an Arab prisoner back when Issacharoff was serving in the IDF, while the state insists that he is innocent. A legal novelty? You bet – but the context makes perfect sense, as Issacharoff’s group, Breaking the Silence, is on the payroll of numerous foreign organizations with the task of portraying IDF soldiers as bloodthirsty animals, and the Israeli government is reluctant to run its dog in this race.

On Tuesday night, Israel’s State Attorney’s Office refuted the position of BtS regarding a new video, distributed courtesy of B’Tselem, and insisted that said video does not support Issacharoff’s testimony that he had struck an Arab prisoner in Hebron. The video, which published on Tuesday, shows a group of handcuffed Arabs, as well as one boy holding a soldier’s hand, walking in an orderly and peaceful fashion, accompanied by respectful IDF soldiers.


In an interview published yesterday on Channel 2 News, the Arab filmed from the peaceful video, Faisal al-Natasha, claimed that he had been beaten by a dozen masked soldiers who assaulted him and other Arabs with him.

Whether al-Natasha is telling the truth or not, his testimony has nothing to do with Issacharoff’s self-incriminating claim which mentioned nothing about a group of soldiers nor about their being masked, nor a group of victims. The BtS spokesman was talking about one soldier—himself, roughing up one Arab detainee. Which is what the State Prosecution said on Tuesday.

BtS argued that the video is showing Issacharoff leading the Arab detainee after he had roughed him up already, which is why the latter was behaving in such a civilized manner. As legal proof goes, this one is short by a few tail-lengths.

BtS CEO Avner Gvaryahu referred to the statements made by the Arab detainee on TV, boasting to Channel 2 News, “Today we proved that not only are we an organization whose truth is its guiding light, but our investigative and research capabilities are better than those of the State Prosecutor’s Office and the police.”

As to the prosecution’s claim that the case described by Issacharoff does not fit the case described by the Arab, Gvaryahu explained, “Every soldier who made an arrest or a person who served in the territories understands that it is impossible to arrest a Palestinian alone, of course there were other soldiers there.”

He did not, however, explain the masks, which the Arab said had been worn by the soldiers who had arrested him while beating him up. No one in the video is wearing a mask, or even heavy makeup. So, either the Arab in question recalls a different arrest, or he is lying about being beaten up by a gang of masked IDF soldiers, or Issacharoff is lying. Like the Chairman of the Board put it, Something’s Gotta’ Give.

Postscript: The Israeli newspaper Yedioth Achronot approached Issacharoff and Gvaryahu and offered to settle the question once and for all via a polygraph test. Their offer was declined.