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IDF’s Religion Problem Displayed in Assault

Attack on peaceful protesters highlight’s military’s increased religiosity

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On Saturday, 250 Israeli and Palestinian peace activists got together for a bike ride in the Jordan Valley. Somewhere between Jericho and the village of Jiptlik, they were stopped by IDF soldiers. What happened next was caught on tape. You can watch it here. If you’re not one for violence, the takeaway is simple and bloody: After yelling at the activists to move, the regional commander, Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner, lifts his weapon and slams it into the face of a young man standing peacefully nearby. The man falls to the ground.

Although thankfully there were no deaths, this should be Israel’s Trayvon Martin moment. Like the recent case in Florida, this brutal attack is larger than the sum of its parts. The Martin case was about race in America; the Eisner case is about religion in Israel.

Eisner, who has been suspended, is the son of the late Rabbi Benny Eisner, a close disciple (and the former chauffeur) of Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook, the spiritual father of the settler movement. Eisner is part of a cadre of younger religious officers climbing their way into the IDF leadership. As Amos Harel has reported, in 1990, only 2 percent of the cadets enrolled in officers’ course for the infantry corps were religious. By 2007, that number had skyrocketed past the 30 percent mark. “In some of the infantry brigades,” Harel wrote, “the number of religious company commanders has passed the 50 percent mark—more than three times the percentage of the national religious community in the overall population.”

Many of these soldiers, it’s reasonable to assume, are motivated by patriotism and see as their supreme goal the defense of Israel and its people. But others see their mission as divinely tinged. We know this because they were the ones who eagerly read the pamphlets distributed by official army chaplains during the 2009 war in Gaza calling the military operation a holy war; who recently left an official ceremony to avoid listening to female soldiers sing, violating direct orders; who cheered when Avichai Rontzki, the IDF’s former chief rabbi, argued that women shouldn’t be allowed to serve in the IDF.

Just as the shooting in Florida facilitated a discussion about bigotry and legislation, so should the attack in the Jordan Valley. Eisner must be more than suspended; he must be fired immediately. And that’s not enough. The army, Israeli society, and all who care about both should carefully consider the consequences of an increasingly ideologically driven senior command tasked with goals that, increasingly, pertain to the very ideology they espouse. In 2005, most IDF soldiers followed orders and participated in the withdrawal from Gaza. When the next order for large-scale evacuation is given—when it’s time to end the occupation and abandon Migron, Beit El, and the other monuments to religious zeal and folly—we may not be so lucky.

WATCH: IDF Lt. Col. Rams Rifle in Face of Activist [972+]
IDF Officer Who Beat Activist Suspended [Ynet]
Related: Has the IDF Become an Army of Settlers? [Haaretz]

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yevka says:

This is a sobering instance of settler brutality.  It must stop as must the settlements.

mbsocol says:

Before the trolls get here, I wonder how others are seeing this in light of Gershom Gorenberg’s merciless account of the religious-zionist takeover of the IDF. Liel seems to suggest this is the tip of an iceberg, but I got the sense from Gorenberg that it’s closer to the tip of a glacier.

Since I’m pretty sure (though happy to be proved wrong) that nothing of consequence is going to happen to Eisner, let’s pose a thought experiment. If he *were* fired and/or discharged, what do you think would happen? Protests? Mutiny? A mass exodus of settlers from the hesder yeshivot? A mass *influx*?

ginzy1 says:

I was wondering what was taking so long for LL’s vintage anti-religious Israelis bigotry (indeed, bigotry against what is not like him) to burble forth.  Interesting that from a distance of 7 time zones, without speaking to anyone involved LL knows exactly what the issues & motivation were. But why fill in with facts when you have an edited Pal video to depend on (see the “murder” of Mohammed al Dura as an example).

Peaceful demonstrators — they were from ISM, the International Solidarity Movement, an organization that openly supports terrorism, coaches those it sends to Israel & the P.A. on how to lie to Israeli authorities & the useful idiots of the media (I will give LL the benefit of the doubt (a lot of doubt) and assume he is an example of that), and openly calls for the end of Israel.  When they use the term “occupation” they mean 1947.  Not even 1948.

Oh yes, Shalom Eisner is now walking around with a cast.  Two broken fingers plus a crack in his arm bone from being struck by one of the “peaceful” ISM demonstrators. This doesn’t show up on the Pal video.  I wonder why.

BTW, he was treated at J’lem’s Sha’arei Zedek hospital. Maybe Tablet could get the X-rays & post them…. nah, why ruin a good narrative?

The “peaceful” demonstrators were trying to block traffic on the major road (Rt 90) in the Jordan Valley for more than an hour.  Try doing that in NY, LA, or Paris or London or Cairo or Damascus or Riyadh & see what happens.

I am not justifying what Eisner did.  Clearly he lost it and as a high level officer, he shouldn’t have.  But there is a context here which has to be taken into account but is assiduously ignored by LL & the Tabletarians as is their wont.  How would any of you react to demonstrators if your fingers were just broken & your arm bone cracked by one of them?

One more tidbit.  This same, evil, violent, bigoted Eisner recently was noted for helping a Palestinian woman give birth who couldn’t get to a hospital on time.  For the record it’s actually not uncommon for Pals to seek emergency medical care from IDF docs and medics on duty in Judea & Samaria (this I’ve heard from my son, who served as a combat medic and who also is religious!! (p’tooi, p’tooi)).  It seems that they all know that they can get better medical care from IDFers than from the Palestinian docs.

hg

J’lem / Efrata

Cool_Romeo says:

Liebowitz knows nothing about this officer other than his lineage.  So instantly this becomes an issue of religion.  And he chides others for prejudice.

Maybe this is about religion.  Or maybe it’s about Eisner having a bad day and having his fingers broken.  Or maybe he’s an alcoholic.  Or maybe a million other things.

The fact is, I don’t know.  (Except about his fingers being broken.  I know that happened.)  But neither does Liebowitz.  But he can only see issues one way, and its nowhere near objective.

If Eisner had a different father, should Israel have acted differently?  Or would Liebowitz just need to use some other barely related (or perhaps unrelated) story to get across his pre-programmed message?

Afrayedknot says:

Yes it should provoke a conversation but it should be about where exactly so called progressives like Liel stand, although given this missive, that should be abundantly clear. But let’s discuss
1.  Calling the ISM “peace activists” is like calling the New Black Panthers civil rights activists.   They are nothing more than a propaganda arm for Palestinian terrorists that seek the destruction of Israel by political means.  Unfortunately they managed the score a propaganda coup here, in part because it gives those with an over-developed sense of self-righteousness to shriek like drama queens, while they remained happily ensconced in their ivory towers several thousand miles away.

2.  Liel also manages to ignore the detail that these so called peace-activists reportedly broke two of Eisner’s fingers before the confrontation in the video.  Funny that.  

3.  Finally, it’s never made clear as to why Eisner’s level of religious observance is relevant to  his behavior here.  Are you going to claim that never in the history of the IDF have more secular soldiers acted in a similar fashion?  Of course you wont.  No, what we see here is Liel using this incident as a cudgel against who he perceives as his true enemy:  the religious Zionists.

mbsocol says:

1. I’ll leave it to you to make inferences about the intentions of the people in this video. I would like to note, however, that most democracies do not give their soldiers carte blanche to beat people who hold noxious political views. It is not Liel who has launched an investigation into this incident, but the IDF – for precisely this reason. I hope that doesn’t make them too progressive for you.

2. Again, the standard you are proposing: “belligerents who are unarmed and in custody may be beaten for offenses they committed earlier” is not one that many civilized countries maintain, Israel included. These people should not have broken Eisner’s fingers, *and* he should not have smashed one of their faces in for it after the fact. If you would climb down from your rampart for a moment I bet you could see that both statements are true.

3. Liel probably should lay out the connection more clearly and I hope he does, but your analogy here doesn’t hold water. Eisner’s pedigree is not just ‘some random’ religious zionist, as in the secular soldier in your example: he is a disciple of the founder of the movement and, as a high ranking officer in the IDF, a poster boy for the concerted (and totally public and state-supported) campaign by the religious Zionist movement to seize control of the military and bend it to the will of Whole Land types. I honestly don’t know that a proper secular analog even exists in Israel for this phenomenon, but it’s really beside the point.

Jews should be able to live in all countries and in a future Palestinian state, as muslim arabs live in Israel. How can you possibly be for instituting legal anti-Semitic residential rights and discrimination? How will that bring peace? 

ThorsProvoni says:

Well, shouldn’t Palestinians be able to return to Stolen Palestine from which they were ethnically cleansed by racist murderous genocidal Eastern European invaders, who should be considered not merely extreme but psychotic because their only connection to the region is purely mythological? 

Peace will come to the region when the criminal Zionist conglomeration is removed as required by the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide and by Nuremberg Tribunal case law.

Grathi says:

I learned nothing about religion from this incident. I also learned nothing about this particular situation or the protagonists in the video, since the video has been edited for maximum impact.

What I did learn is that Israel’s political ranks and the IDF leadership immediately spoke out against this incident and the officer was suspended pending an investigation.

He’ll be found guilty or innocent, but there’s a good chance his career is in the toilet because of this and it might be that to this point he has been an outstanding officer.

However, blaming this on religion is simply unwarranted and you’re doing it because he’s wearing a kippa. How about more reporting and less guess-work or typecasting in a way you would never do to other minorities? 

yevka says:

I have read nothing about the video being edited. Here’s more from the BBC:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17726614

The bbc is by it’s own admission anti Semitic er anti Zionist, so naturally the Jews for al Jeerza will quote it.
In a confrontation to provoke often there is often provocation, I am sure the saintly al jeerza Jews get upset from time just riding the freeways or parking.  Of course dealing with a bunch of provocative Israel hating inciters is just another opportunity to show the “for their own good” draconian criticism er love of Israel.  Everyone is certainly entitled to his or her own freedom of expression, it’s just for some members of our community that freedom of expression is as predictable as the expressions from those who hate ALL of us.
If and when more comes out on this I look forward to the author hiding out until the next opportunity to be judge and jury for the faults of Jews being human, rather than being perfect in a far from perfect environment.

ShlumperRabbi says:

Tablet is going down hill fast.  What does this have to do with religion?  Why print an article that is written by someone who is obviously so anti religious?

Having been in situations like that (crowd control, protesters, instigators, etc.), when the boy who’s face was smashed made the move he made, it looked like he was half a second away from becoming overtly violent. LTCOL Eisner reacted to what appeared from his end, and from mine for that matter, to be an escalation of force (passive-agressive). With the report of two broken fingers involved, I’d say he was more than authorized to use the force he used. 

As far as LTCOL Eisner’s religion, I don’t think that has one bit of relevance to this incident. 

Yosef Blau says:

While it is premature to make a full judgement of the incident the published reactions in the Israeli media and blogs do reveal a serious religious secular split.  In contrast to the disagreement between the political left and right in Israel who either assume Israeli soldiers’ brutality to pro-Palestinian protestors or an overreaction to being provoked, Rabbis and political representatives from the religious Zionist community see the officer as a hero.  The demonstrators are enemies of Israel who were allowed to enter the country and march by a weak government.  A violent response against them is justified.  (see the Kipa and Serugin blogs and comments in the Judaim section of ynet.)  Not all the rabbis agree but the large majority of those who comment support this black and white picture.

OH Liel

When are you going to grow up and look at life through its complexities. Everything is black and white with you. Foolish, silly man. You condemn  Israeli  society because you appear to be frustrated with your own life and its short comings.

We have plenty of good, honest, socialyl conscious people living here who are both secular and traditional.

We do care! 

But you are only interested in making blanket associations and besmirch people through your simple minded ignorance of how both Israeli and Arab cultures function here.

Please Tablet don’t sink into the sewer like many  of the ” Jewish”  online mags have successfully done. They have become irrelevant and it appears you are on your way.

Flo_J says:

First the religious in Israel were wrong because they studied in yeshivah while others served, now they’re wrong for serving — and remaining true to their beliefs.  Why should soldiers be forced to violate religious principles in order to hear chayalot sing?  What life is at stake here that justifies trampling on someone’s religious rights?
This article extrapolates from one person to an entire community — and one that is very mixed, with right and left extremes, at that.
Finally, what happened just before the tape started rolling?  I think from the story of Mohamed al Dura we’d all be savvy enough not ‘believe’ everything we see.

Flo_J says:

 The “native” population to which you refer is comprised of a large contingent of Serbians who came to the country in the 1800s.  Shocker.
Archeological digs provide clear evidence via artifacts that Jews are indigenous to the land for thousands of years.

PhillipNagle says:

The Trayvon Martin matter was a bunch of race baiters led by Al Sarpton, an anti-Semite with blood on his hands, turning an item under police investigation into major race issue.  If this incident in Israel is similar it is the anti religious zealots and peace fanantics try to blow up a minor incident.

yevka says:

“Minor incident” ?

yevka says:

 http://www.salon.com/2012/04/17/israels_latest_overreaction/singleton/#comments

ThorsProvoni says:

Modern Jews (and especially ethnic Ashkenazim) have no connection to Greco-Roman Judeans whose modern descendants are the native Palestinian population.

http://www.philipharland.com/Blog/2007/10/23/was-there-such-a-thing-as-ancient-judaism-steve-masons-recent-article-on-judeans-ioudaioi-in-antiquity/

The Zionist settler population in Stolen and Occupied Palestine constitutes a criminal conglomeration of racist murderous genocidal invaders, interlopers, and thieves that all decent people whether Jewish or non-Jewish should hate and despise.

BTW, Mason is not precise enough. One should distinguish between Judean and Judaic populations in the Greco-Roman period.

Dick Stanley says:

“Standing peacefully nearby?” 

That’s a distortion. The video in its entirety shows that he and others had been told repeatedly, even shoved back for emphasis, to get away from the crossroads and out of the soldiers’ faces. But they kept coming back, like children who don’t mind. So this guy got clocked for it. It’s easy to understand the colonel’s frustration, if you make the effort. 

Flo_J says:

 Actually, DNA testing proves that today’s Jews are descendants of the ancient Jews. 
Sorry it’s hard for you to accept the truth.

marcellawachtel says:

 ”These people should not have broken Eisner’s fingers, *and* he should not have smashed one of their faces in for it after the fact. Perfect– 
Which came first?  Who disobeyed the orders of our Army? A few people who probably don’t have enough to do to keep them busy and look for thrills here.  This is their own personal porno flick that they are trying to star in.
Who of these ‘activist’ fools even mentioned that it is not a good idea to annoy soldiers while they are doing their job to keep hatred mongers from overrunning our country?  Go protest somewhere else!

FL_resident says:

As a Florida resident who has watched the Trayvon Martin case closely, I can assure you that it was no more about race than it appears the Eisner case was about religion or (as Liel would like to portray) about religious fanaticism.  I find it deplorable when those with a political axe to grind choose to misrepresent an unfortunate situation to bolster their own slanted ideology.  The mainstream media chose to “make” the Trayvon Martin case into a racial issue (and, by the way, NBC has already publicly apologized for their improper editing of the 911 call that just stirred the racial pot).   It appears that Liel has done the same thing with this case.  I wonder if we’ll see an apology from him?

HerbertB4 says:

To the Editor: Since you are including “Religion” as a factor that caused a violent incident, then you must also report that “Religion” played an important part in the thousands of heroic incidents that occurred as the result of “Religious” soldiers. BE CAREFULL not to divide the Jewish people on religious grounds. We all know that there are plenty of other divisive factors.

ThorsProvoni says:

I have the statistics background to understand the mathematics of genetic anthropology. Zionist propagandists are simply lying with statistics. Their own data tells us that Jews are a meta-population whose largest constituent population for many centuries has been an indigenous Turko-Slav population that originates in Southern Russia, that has no connection whatsoever to Palestine or to Greco-Roman Judeans, and that has long been exporting genetic material to other Jewish populations throughout the world.

Flo_J says:

Uh-huh.  And all the Jews from Arabic countries?
They’re Slavs, too?
Giving up on this convo since it’s clear logic, science, and artifacts have no bearing on the discussion.

Does anyone really believe the protest latest the 3 minutes the YouTube tape of it does?  How pathetic.  Where I come from (the United States), if the police tell you to do something you better do it or else.  Plenty of people get beaten at protests here when they don’t do what they are told.  Any commentator here who claims otherwise is lying.  What’s sad is that the protester in the video obviously has no connection the noble and courageous Danes who saved their Jews in WWII.

ThorsProvoni says:

Above is the typical racist Jewish and Zionist (Jewish Nazi) reaction to the facts. 

German Nazis had a similar reaction when one pointed out that modern Germans probably had far more Celtic or Slavic ancestry than they had ancestry from Greco-Roman Teutonic tribes.Obviously Jewish Arabs are for the most part the descendants of local populations that began to practice some form of Judaic religion some time in the past.The Book of Esther refers to massive adoption of Judaic religion and practices by Mesopotamians.The Roman historian Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus noted in the 2nd century that the vast majority of people practicing Judaic religion had no Judean ancestry whatsoever. Zionism is a mega-construction of lies built on complete mendacity.Hating the criminal Zionist terrorist conglomeration as well as international Zionists that provide material aid to Zionist terrorism is the duty of all decent human beings whether Jewish or non-Jewish.    Zionists are the enemies of Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, Americans, and the entire human race.

ginzy1 says:

For the record (not that the anti-religious bigot (term used advisedly)  LL cares a whit about inconvenient facts; to him a complex world is best viewed as a simplistic video game):  The demonstration lasted 1.5 to 2 hours.  Started w/ singing but ultimately “progressed” to blocking the road, pushing soldiers & other sorts of provocations ISMers are trained (yes, trained) to do when encountering Israeli soldiers.

By the Pal videographer’s own admission, the “unedited” (his term) video lasts about 0.5 hours, apparently because of stops and starts.  Therefore by definition it is “edited” in that it does not record the full sequence of events, including (apparently) the smashing of Eisner’s hand which broke the fingers an cracked an arm bone, this before the incident with the ISM Dane.

I suppose ISM and / or the Pals and / or their “progressive” cheering squad (led by LL) will suggest that Eisner broke his own hand as a cover story.

Hershel Ginsburg

J’lem / Efrata

yevka says:

 http://972mag.com/on-idf-violence-my-own-private-lt-colonel-shalom-eisner/42466/

yevka says:

Israeli celebrity says she enjoyed the video

 http://mondoweiss.net/2012/04/israeli-celebrity-says-she-enjoyed-video-of-idf-attacking-danish-activist-because-he-looked-like-a-nazi.html

mouskatel says:

Especially given the fact that the officers finger had already been broken before this incident. But, again, Liel doesn’t care for facts that get in the way of his ideology of hate.

mouskatel says:

Hah, the BBC as “proof” of innocence for anti-Israel drek. Love it.

mouskatel says:

Most ironic is that Eisner is far from being a favorite among the right wing since he was removing settlers from Gaza and the West Bank. Again, a fact Liel chooses to ignore or couldn’t be bothered to research at all.

mouskatel says:

Well, since was fired and nothing happened, what’s your next brilliant supposition, Sherlock? 

mouskatel says:

You’re too funny. Eisner isn’t a settler and in fact, he’s quite disliked by settlers since he was instrumental in removing many of them from Gaza and the West Bank. Waiting with bated breath for your next pearl of wisdom.

Religious zeal should not be conflated with violence, neither with patriotism, particularly not for Israelis who always pretend to be squeaky clean. The IDF is known for it’s violent reaction to Palestinians, but Eisner’s act against a Dane is something very different. It says that they do not care what the world thinks about them.
Well, they may soon find themsevesf needing the world more than ever before, and people like Eisner should have no role in the IDF.

What a despicable piece of work Eisner is. Is this how a professional Israeli soldier behaves! 

Cummings, some people would need a whole lot more to rationalise violence as we’ve seen it. The Dane was totally unarmed, and no sane, unarmed person, especially a foreigner  would think of attacking an armed Israeli soldier. So, there’s a rather intellectually challenge argument here.

and just like in florida the media is condemning the soldier before all the evidence is in. not to mention, tieing one man in to all religious Jews. how dare you call this incident “the idf’s religion problem.” your article is disgusting and biased.

id also like to know who is paying for legions of professional protesters to descend on Israel. how do these people manage to make repeated visits to Israel while the vast majority of people work for a living. are they all independently wealthy. OR ARE THEIR EXPENSES PAID BY ANTI JEWISH NGO’S TO AGITATE IN ISRAEL.

Tell that to your Muslim pals… 

joachimgransson says:

That Danish palestinian activist DESERVED taht punch! The punk travelled to the only democracy in the middle east, behaved bad and spitted on Israel, it was RIGHT to smack him!!

Netzach2 says:

This the biggest BS that I have read on this incident. This peaceful bikeride, was consucted by anarchists who flew into Israel from different parts of the world not to view scenery but to demonstrate against the Israeli prescence in Yehuda and Shomron 9 sometimes referred to as the west Bank). This “peaceful bike ride” included a two hour demonstration of which teh blow to the demonstrator took only a few seconds. The Israeli fprces should be commended for there restraint in light of the provocations and abuse that was hurled at them, in there own country by outside domonstratratoers who came with the sole purpose of confrontation. I refer you the various blogs and videos showing the norwegion police response to so called “peaceful” demonstrators or for that matter the response of the Arab world to there demonstrators. Israel has been incredible in its restraint. You are just to full of hate for your own people to realize it…

ags7777 says:

What in the world is the connection between a claim of unnecessary force and religion?

MozartStreet says:

A remarkably dumb essay. And if an atheist or agnostic would have done this, would Israel then have had an atheist problem?? This was a rash act that certainly does not enhance Israel’s image. Eisner was not acting in the name of G-d. He lost it. He was punished.
Leibovitz, move on—- and grow up.

metreger says:

Liel, not all Israeli soldiers who cross the line and act unprofessionally toward Palestinians and their foreign supporters are necessarily Orthodox, so I am not certain that this incident should be tied into religious sects. The IDF needs to accomodate different Jewish sects. If some of them cannot stand to hear females sing, excuse them; it’s that simple. I am a woman who is not an Orthodox Jew, but I do believe in civil and religious rights for everyone, even Palestinians and Orthodox Jews.

metreger says:

You make an excellent case!

apodoca says:

Nonsense. Where’s the rest of the tape? Where’s the part that prompts Eisner to butt slam the guy who broke two or three of Eisner’s fingers. One day, the LSM will stop lying to us, tell us the whole story, and leave us the heck alone to make up our minds.

Pachuca_Sunshine says:

Shame on you Liel Leibovitz and your pathetic smear campaign. Those brave Jewish heroes stand for what is right and they don’t back down to bullies like you no matter how hard you work to paint them out to be some kind of religious zealots. If Jews have no rights to be in Judea and Samaria than they equally have no rights being in Tel-Aviv or Jerusalem. Not only are you turning this relatively minor incident into something that it’s not your also using it as a chance to express your own political bias and agenda which is disgusting, unprofessional, and manipulative.

Pachuca_Sunshine says:

No mention of how this Dane, who has no connection to Israel or what’s going on there other than whatever Arab propaganda he’s been brain washed with (I’m sure this reporter subscribes to similar channels), all of a sudden decides he’s going to take a bike ride in Israel. If you watch the video it’s easy to say that Eisner could have done things differently. It’s not so easy to say that in the heat of the moment and given the situation when some foreign nationalist show up in your country in a sensitive military area that these people are in anyway peaceful and how this report calls them such is beyond logic or reason. Eisner doesn’t hit the provocateurs because he’s religious or whatever other nonsense the imagination of Leivbovitz can concoct, it’s obvious he hits him because the idiot refuses to move which makes him a security risk. How is Eisner, the all physic mind reading religious zealot as this report claims him to be, suppose to know that this Dane who’s refusing to do as he’s told in this tense situation isn’t going to pull out a knife or yell Allah Snack Bar and try to blow everyone up? Perhaps Leibovitz would prefer writing an article about how a Danish extremist came to Israel and killed a soldier because the soldier was so scared of doing his duty from fear of the journalist hounds ready to feed on Israel like pariah. The fact is that Eisner has been thrown underneath the bus of public relations because the IDF and Eisner are aware of the fact that hordes of schmucks like Leibovitz will be gunning to demonize Israel and Jews in general for – dare I say it – defending themselves from ridiculous provocateurs. Of course if Eisner wasn’t Jewish and instead an Arab I’m sure this wouldn’t even make the headlines because no one apparently expects that the impossible standards applied to Jews should ever apply to Goyim.

iluvJebus says:

I really wish all you people who just love what Israel is doing over there would just go and live there.  Leave us alone – this is not our problem – get along with your neighbors, or deal with it yourself.  The USA is not Israels daddy.

Grow up and pay for your own military.

Joe Ghose says:

Most misinformed writer posing as expert!

I’ve seen worse at the local bar.   Isolated incident, blown WAY out of proportion. 
How many killed in Syria today?….A bloody nose gets more attention, analysis and condemnation  then  the blood flowing through Syrian streets.

On the face of it, (pun not intended),
this relatively minor confrontation has not cast Israel in a very
favourable light.

No matter how much damage limitation
can be applied, the incident still remains essentially negative in
character and that fact will not change anytime in the near future.
Unless something even worse comes along to balance out the offending
scene, Israel’s image and standing in the world will be reduced and
its tactics, even its overall strategy, brought further into
question.

This cannot be the way Israeli society
and its administration intend to proceed.

At some stage, there must be an
acknowledgement that the mishandling of such a small-scale
disturbance may possibly represent a snapshot of the much wider
picture. Does it denote an Israel on the defensive, not sure about
its role in the great scheme of things and unable to react in a
positive manner when circumstances strongly indicate that it should
do so?

For quite some time now, I have had the
feeling that Israel has started losing its way, becoming rudderless
and prey to influences that do not have its best interests at heart.
The fragmentation of Israelis into so many religious compartments,
all apparently punching way above their weight, does not help
matters. A pronounced swing to the right in party politics also
serves to distance and alienate potential support for a nation
supposedly founded on much more egalitarian principles.

I guess 64 years of continual conflict
may be beginning to take their toll; it’s hardly surprising when it’s
remembered that’s how long the struggle has been.

I would say that Israel now needs to
embark on an entirely new direction, a refocusing of its reason for
being in this world, what it has long aspired to be; ‘a light unto
the nations.’

And, in order to be that ‘light,’
Israel will have to burn much, much brighter than it has of late.

Http://yorketowers.blogspot.com

Angry_Abraham says:

I would not rely on IDF with officers as 
Liel Leibovitz.  He hates Jews but not Arab terrorists.  Did he serve in army?  I do not believe it. 

On the face of it, (pun not intended),
this relatively minor confrontation has not cast Israel in a very
favourable light.

No matter how much damage limitation
can be applied, the incident still remains essentially negative in
character and that fact will not change anytime in the near future.
Unless something even worse comes along to balance out the offending
scene, Israel’s image and standing in the world will be reduced and
its tactics, even its overall strategy, brought further into
question.

This cannot be the way Israeli society
and its administration intend to proceed.

At some stage, there must be an
acknowledgement that the mishandling of such a small-scale
disturbance may possibly represent a snapshot of the much wider
picture. Does it denote an Israel on the defensive, not sure about
its role in the great scheme of things and unable to react in a
positive manner when circumstances strongly indicate that it should
do so?

For quite some time now, I have had the
feeling that Israel has started losing its way, becoming rudderless
and prey to influences that do not have its best interests at heart.
The fragmentation of Israelis into so many religious compartments,
all apparently punching way above their weight, does not help
matters. A pronounced swing to the right in party politics also
serves to distance and alienate potential support for a nation
supposedly founded on much more egalitarian principles.

I guess 64 years of continual conflict
may be beginning to take their toll; it’s hardly surprising when it’s
remembered that’s how long the struggle has been.

I would say that Israel now needs to
embark on an entirely new direction, a refocusing of its reason for
being in this world, what it has long aspired to be; ‘a light unto
the nations.’

And, in order to be that ‘light,’
Israel will have to burn much, much brighter than it has of late.

Http://yorketowers.blogspot.com

shai365 says:

lol this has to be the international media at its finest. Some dumb, white christians come to israel and pick fight with soldiers to prove a point, and lose.  The writer might have a jewish sounding name but is not expert on israel. otherwise he might have known that an increased participation rate among modern orthadox israeli’s is part of the nations campaign to encourage all those who are helped by the state to give their service. And the ratio of “religious” to secular soldiers in the army reflects the countries demographic as a whole.

NAZI JERUSALEM POST: The systematic attack you are making on israeli religious men and fighters shows you are similar to the Nazis that also attacked judaism just because it was judaism. They too had their excuses -but they were just that: excuses -like yours are. 
You KNOW that Israel is moving slowly but surely towards a religious state governed by a Council of Rabbi’s. When that happens, I hope traitors like you are trialed and sentenced according to Hebrew Law.

moribund9ja says:

This thing called religion, how does it come about and who started it? I know about obedience and  fear of God Almighty and eternal love for fellow man as Jesus clearly taught. It is totally different from this thing called religion. How does ISOLATING WOMEN and MANY MORE OTHER CRAZY ACTS give a feeling of respect for God.
Again, what is this POISON called religion? Someone should help please!

makkabie says:

SHAME on you, leibovitz, you are really a sick man

J_Practical says:

Mr. Leibovitz,
you’ve written a silly,
alarmist article. You’ve ignored the majority of the facts and taken the rest
out of context. This article may as well have been written by the ISM or Ma’an.

 

1. Eisner’s
finger had just been broken in a prior scuffle with these ISM activists. What
happened on the video was edited to show only Eisner’s action – nothing that
preceded the action and could have caused it, nothing else that happened that day.

 

2. Your
elevation of this incident to “Israel’s Trayvon Martin” is dramatic
misinformation and verges on propaganda. Nobody died, that day. An activist got
a fat lip. When other communist activists demonstrate at G8, G10, G20
conferences, they use exactly the same tactics – constant pressure against authority,
non-responsive to requests or to direction, low-grade but constant aggressive
acts, and verbal abuse – all of which are calculated to incite violence by the
authorities. Those demonstrators are treated no worse by secular European and North American police at those summit demonstration. The reason that nobody
died that day in Israel, is that Israel’ army has a moral code and an ethical
baseline. Eisner stepped on the demarcation line of that moral code by fattening an
activist’s lip, for which he’s now losing his position in the military, and his
upcoming prestigious posting.

 

3. Israel’s
religious soldiers have no equivalent to Jihad. They don’t go into battle
screeching genocidal epithets, they don’t indiscriminately kill civilians, and
their religious figures don’t sanction atrocities. The response to this
(frankly irrelevant) incident, shows that the high ethical standards of the IDF
are not in any danger of being compromised or lost.

 

Why don’t you aim your criticism of religious leadership,
at the Muslim armies who are waiting for Israel’s weakest day so they can
realize the Hadith from Sahih
Bukhari, 4:52:177:  “The Day of Judgment will not have come until you fight with the Jews,
and the stones and the trees behind which a Jew will be hiding will say: ‘O
Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him!”

 

Put some
context, professionalism and maturity into your analysis – presently it verges
on simple anti-Israel propaganda.

J_Practical says:

 Perhaps your medications have run out. Israel is not moving towards a “Council of Rabbi’s”, and Mr Leibovitz, although misguided and immature, doesn’t qualify as a “nazi”.

Lastly, there’s no such thing as “Hebrew Law” – there’s only “Jewish Law”. That slip alone proves that you’re ignorant of Judaism, and that very likely, your pseudonym “Reuven Green” is only a cover.

MapleSugar1 says:

Well, well. This article has been written to incite anger and hatred towards the religious people of Samaria and Judea. No way, was this incident motivated by religious zeal on Israel’s part.If you have forgotten, I will remind you that this was a closed military zone. This little bicycle ”activity” was orchestrated especially to disrupt and harass the soldiers. The cameras were ready and edited afterwards…as usual! They wanted to block highway 90, the major road from North to South, a danger for car being pelted by murderous rocks or bricks. These “professional”, stupid activists paid by people who want to destroy Israel are despicable, perpetuating the hatred for “imaginary” human rights abuses towards the Fakes. Liel Liebovitz wake up!
 The Fakes are stealing your history and the christian’s: from Abraham to present day,  Jesus is now a “Palestinian”. They  have & are forming the next generation of haters towards Israel where Israel does not exist in their “Palestine”. Their religious leaders are publicly stating the extermination of Jews on a regular basis. The whole Arab/Muslim world has never accepted “the spreading cancer”, the “pigs & monkeys”, the “vermin”  among them.
Eisner should be promoted like he was supposed to be. Israel is too politically correct, trying to pacify the whole world for every real or imaginary wrong. Check out youtube on police brutality in every democratic country: you will be surprised. Next time report factual truths and not your biased left wing opinion.!

Caesar’s wife.

That Assad is murderous scum is not an excuse for a military officer in active duty to act like a thug.
Even with the most charitable interpretation of events Eisner is at best an idiot unfit to wear a uniform.

Johnathon57 says:

Religion has nothing to do with what happened to these antagonist activists out to undermine Israel’s existence. Your intolerance to the IDF and blaming it on religion shows European type like prejudices against the Jewish people and you yourself are a threat to Israel’s continued existence. From the video placed on JP this is what I wrote:
Who wrote the title to this story? Beat is not the word that should be used here, is pushed would be more appropriate, and did you continue to watch the video after the protester was picked up, protesters again attacked the Colonel and if you watch the footage carefully you see within a few seconds the same protester who was knocked down was again at it trying to incite further response on the left side of the ambulance. Finally you didn’t see him being treated in the ambulance did you? But the woman who after being told to leave went back into the fray after being told by the Colonel to leave the area, she got a push which she deserved. Al Jazeera should not be helped by callous headlines. Protesters not dispersing after being told to attacked the soldiers repeatedly. Arrest them all like I said before make them pay for the police or IDF deployment and this incitement will stop.

What drivel!   The author clearly has an agenda to pursue against his ideological adversaries rather than deal with facts. What’s Eisner’s actions got to do with his religion?  If anarchists from abroad want to block a main road in a country, why shouldn’t they be removed with force 
(the guy he hit wasn’t even injured)? And the fact that the religious soldiers are highly motivated to defend the country is a welcome contrast to those senior officers who check the media before they decide which politically-correct (left-wing) decision to make. What a shame that the army ignore’s the foreign anarchist’s actions instead of backing to its officers who dedicate their lives to the IDF. How can the author possibly compare the Trayvon Martin manslaughter (not sure which bigotry he mentions here – white on black or black on white?) to a legally authorized officer of the law who broke up an illegal protest by giving a foreign instigator a bloody lip at worst, who didn’t even get arrested or deported from  the country. 

avi kraft says:

heh heh looks like the religious will run the army.   lets see what the leftistist traitors are going to do about it?

avi kraft says:

dont worry the messiah is due to arrive any day now and all  the false idols of the left and the secularists will be smashed too smithereens

avi kraft says:

I DOUBT THAT MOST OF THEM WERE  CHRISTIANS.  THEY WERE MORE LIKELY LEFTIST ATHEISTS

avi kraft says:

There is only one way for Israel to be a light unto the nations and that is to be a light unto itself. this can only happen when the Jewish people return enmass to the torah and start keeping Hashems commandments

avi kraft says:

agreed Israel needs to stop being a banana republic and stop accepting money  to bribe it into comittiong  suicide.   As for the USA  we should leave you along and let you deal with islamofascists who want to destroy and your crazsy moslem president

avi kraft says:

hey if a blondhaired nazi aryan was taunting me I’d react the same way as Eisner.

avi kraft says:

the ism lied and said they were coming to lay the foundation of a palestinian school or hospital and would not engage in demostrations.  the ism believes in the dissmantling of Israel though violent means.  they were not on their way to San Francisco with flowers in their hair.   even an ordinary citizen should have the right to beat the hell out someone whos goal is to help those who want to murder your children

avi kraft says:

I guess you werte misnamed. the real samson didnt give an f about the world.   he did what had to be done.  he know how to deal with the murderous philistines(palestins)

avi kraft says:

I live in Israel and let me assure you that as a religious Jew with many secular friends the so called religious secular split is greatly exagerated especially because the main problem is caused by a handful of mentally ill zealots on both sides of the fence. I have been talking to secular Jews about Eisner and so far everyone I spoke to supports what he did

avi kraft says:

what do you think of the incident that happened last week when a Jewish settler child from Hebron entered a bulding that the Israeli military had closed off and was put in    a choke hold   by a border   guard resulting in trauma to his nect and I am sure psycological damage.  the high command refused to investigate the incident and almost no one heard of it.  If it would have been an arab child,you never would have heard the end of it. 

avi kraft says:

when I was young I was a leftist shmuck who participated in an  anti war rally concerning the war in vietnam.  a police man from  New  Yorks finest was heading towards me on mounted horseback and probably would have smashed my head in with his club. luckily there was a subway station and I ran into it before he could catch up to me.   when I saw what pol pot did to his people in Cambodia I realised how the hypocritical silence on the left showed that I had been suckered into thinking that they really were humanitarians.   To this day I have seen over and over the leftist hypocrisy in which only certain causes are singled  out especially if others are destroyed in the process. mabe one of these days those that are being misled by groups such as I was will wake up and realise why dupes they are

Johnathon57 says:

Racists use the term Jewish Nazi because of the extreme offensiveness of it. Your using the book of Esther shows you have very little understanding of the historicity of the this book. Under Medo-Persian captivity the Jewish people throughout the land kept Judaic religious practices not the Mesopotamian s.  Another surprise a Roman historian born 80 years after the Diaspora,  where Rome banished the Jews from their land except for the poorest,  he observes foreigners keeping Judaic practices very doubtful since Roman decree forbade it, unless they were the persecuted christian minority. Megalies come from history revisionists like yourself, a non Torah believing pagan intent on propagating lies to destroy the nation of Israel. You and your ilk are not decent people but evil spewing hate mongers  for your father the devil. In the Torah Genesis 12:3.”
And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” May your curses multiply until your end is made sure by the Almighty Elohim.

Johnathon57 says:

In response to Thors Provoni : 

Racists use the term Jewish Nazi because of the extreme offensiveness of it. Your using the book of Esther shows you have very little understanding of the historicity of the this book. Under Medo-Persian captivity the Jewish people throughout the land kept Judaic religious practices not the Mesopotamian s.  Another surprise a Roman historian born 80 years after the Diaspora,  where Rome banished the Jews from their land except for the poorest,  he observes foreigners keeping Judaic practices very doubtful since Roman decree forbade it, unless they were the persecuted christian minority. Megalies come from history revisionists like yourself, a non Torah believing pagan intent on propagating lies to destroy the nation of Israel. You and your ilk are not decent people but evil spewing hate mongers  for your father the devil. In the Torah Genesis 12:3.”And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” May your curses multiply until your end is made sure by the Almighty Elohim. 

Johnathon57 says:

Apologies for posting twice.

Er, sure, except that he’s not a settler and his previous assignment was to forcibly remove settlers.  You really hit the fan this time, didn’t you?

The percentage of religious in the IDF leadership is rising for two reasons: (1) Israeli society is becoming more religious and (2) religious Jews are the ones most willing to put their lives on the line to defend Israel.

It would seem strange to an outsider that a Jewish author writing for a Jewish publication would see greater observance of the Jewish religion as something negative – to the point the author would blame a wrong action on this religiosity without any proof of it being the cause.

Is the author so ashamed of his/her religion that he/she cannot tolerate it being represented in his/her own country’s society and army?

I am personally quite familiar with the author’s ideology: that Israel must be the perfect model of a European-style, secular society that relegates religion to something that must be shut away in the privacy of people’s homes, left to die as a cultural relic or linger as a distant background noise.

Well, that is clearly no longer what the majority of Israelis want. The author better get used to it: he/she might even find that his/her own religion is actually a good thing if it were given a chance.

What do you mean Trayvon Martin case? What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

avi kraft says:

good for you I like when someone is consistant

What does religion have to do with this event?  Did Leibovitz bother to look at all the footage prior to writing his misinformed and foolish article?  Many of these “peace activists” were very violent, the footage proved this.  Eisner, after two hours of abuse, reacted with poor judgment.  I wonder how Leibovitz, or any human being, would have reacted in a similar situation.

shalomaleichem says:

What Eisner did was wrong but where is the connection to religion? 

shalomaleichem says:

What Eisner did was wrong but there is no connection to the man’s religious beliefs, (other than in the bigoted mind of the author of this piece).  Shameful nonsense…

Baruch Gi says:

The author as well as many other anti-semitic and anti-Israel commentators conveniently forget to mention that prior to this some of “peaceful protesters” broke Eisner’s hand. they also conveniently forget to mention stones and sticks that 250 “peace activist” were using to “protect themselves from about a dozen soldjers. They got what they deserve. And the bahavior of Israel Government that rushed to throw it’s citizen and officer to the dogs is utterly shameful! 

IDF eventually tracked down the remainder of the tape and released it (of course, there were still parts missing, but those were unintentional pauses in filming, rather than the manipulative editing that was released for the youtube smear campaign). what the rest of the tape shows is that the “peaceful demonstrators” tried getting past the IDF blockade and slammed their bikes into the soldiers. i doubt very much that 
Liel Leibovitz has the integrity 
(journalistic or otherwise) to update this story with the full video to provide a complete context. 

 I’m not condoning his actions,  I do agree with your take on Eisner. My point is it’s being made into a big deal, when it’s not.  Here last year in Toronto Canada at the G8 meetings I think, some protesters where beaten with clubs by riot police, happens in Greece and other places too.
…..and for the author to blame  this incident on the “growing” religious  right-wing factions in the IDF is a complete JOKE.

J_Practical says:

 Sorry dude – I’d say he was despicable if he shot an activist, or did the activist permanent damage.

He fattened the lip of a demonstrator he thought had broken his finger. It a rotten example of self control, and unnecessary violence. It says a lot that this professional Israeli soldier didn’t resort to any further violence once he fattened the activist’s lip. Try watching North American or European police actions in G8 or G20 conferences, after they’ve been hit.

I served in the Israeli army just recently and have siblings currently serving. I am also religious which is relevant to what I write.

The Military Rabbinate is getting way ahead of itself in terms of advocating very problematic things. Unrestrained some elements in the Military Rabbinate leadership would want to lead the IDF in a holy war to kill Palestinians almost indiscriminately. Luckily they don’t control military police, but they are trying to have influence in places religion does not belong in a military. Unfortunately as more and more of the upper echelons of the army are religious, they are getting happier to cede responsibility to the Military Rabbinate.

Angry_Abraham says:

My children and I also served in IDF. And this is precisely why I try to defend Israel and IDF by all means. Take a note, without religious soldiers there is no more IDF, without orthodox Jews Israel is Palestine.  All of Jews have to take a side – it is not a time to argue when the Second Holocaust is possible. Always remember 

Auschwitz, Rumbula, Babiy Iar. Who could believe that it as possible?  

Angry_Abraham says:

I fill myself personally humiliated. What a miserable habit is to ask pardon, to take responsibility on themselves !!!!  Why ? Do they want that soldiers who risk their life  will behave  as diplomats? A soldier come to an army in order to defend his family and his country. He must be ready to be killed and, yes, to kill, if necessary.
At any case antisemites do no need a reason to blame Jews for everything, even for defending ourselves.   

I am a secular person who served in the army, and not only am I not aggrieved at the increasing number of “knitted Kippot” in the army…I warmly welcome it. Over the past twenty years, especially since the Oslo Accords, post-zionism has robbed the country of its fighting spirit, and the conviction in the justice of our cause. Look at the tattooed, nose, lip, eyelid pierced secular kids in this country, and they way they behave…then, look at the religious kids: well behaved, well groomed, respectful of their elders…worlds apart from the former group. So, again, we shouldn’t judge the average religious soldier by the actions of this one man, because overall, the phenomenon of the increased representation of the religious in the officers’ ranks is a positive contribution to a society that is losing its mores.

I am a secular person who served in the army, and not only am I not aggrieved at the increasing number of “knitted Kippot” in the army…I warmly welcome it. Over the past twenty years, especially since the Oslo Accords, post-zionism has robbed the country of its fighting spirit, and the conviction in the justice of our cause. Look at the tattooed, nose, lip, eyelid pierced secular kids in this country, and they way they behave…then, look at the religious kids: well behaved, well groomed, respectful of their elders…worlds apart from the former group. So, again, we shouldn’t judge the average religious soldier by the actions of this one man, because overall, the phenomenon of the increased representation of the religious in the officers’ ranks is a positive contribution to a society that is losing its mores.

I am a secular person who served in the army, and not only am I not aggrieved at the increasing number of “knitted Kippot” in the army…I warmly welcome it. Over the past twenty years, especially since the Oslo Accords, post-zionism has robbed the country of its fighting spirit, and the conviction in the justice of our cause. Look at the tattooed, nose, lip, eyelid pierced secular kids in this country, and they way they behave…then, look at the religious kids: well behaved, well groomed, respectful of their elders…worlds apart from the former group. So, again, we shouldn’t judge the average religious soldier by the actions of this one man, because overall, the phenomenon of the increased representation of the religious in the officers’ ranks is a positive contribution to a society that is losing its mores.

That Danish piece of scum was lucky he got off with a little tap to his face.

Next time, he won’t be so lucky.

He is a foreigner, coming to a country that is not his, to which he claims no alegience and no claim. His visit, along with his group, was meant to provoke and cause a confrontation. He was successful.

Eisner blew a gasket for a moment, and that’s too bad. But he should not only be re-instated but promoted. He is a war hero (in the Second Lebanon War), and to lose him is to allow the Danish Scum a victory.

Woe is to us if we let them get away with it.

Can’t believe this “-idiotish farenlanged” Liberal. Hey Liel I guess you are against                  J-U-D-A-H  Maccabbee also!
After all he was the R word also.

WOW – amazing how you can just make things up as you go along.  This is the most shameless pseudo-journalism I have ever read (and I have read some deuzies).  You left out the part where these protestors, who were in Israel on tourist visas, tried running over the soldiers with their bicycles – injuring a soldier under Lt Col Eisner’s command.  You then seemed to have missed the part where the Danish protestor was not standing peacefully at all.  He was pretty aggressive in the MINUTES leading up to the 10 SECONDS before the strike in which you claim he was standing ‘peacefully’.  Even in those 10 SECONDS he is clearly stepping towards LT COL Eisner.  And, oh yeah, he did not fall to the ground as you fabricated in your article.  I am not sure which punch bowl you drank from before writing this trash, but this article is simply an embarrassment to journalism.

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