I am borrowing the title, albeit amended, from a recent article by Hirsch Goodman written for the Jerusalem Post. In this article he puts forth a number of assertions I find particularly egregious and nauseating.

I was not there when this incident occurred, nor was Goodman. That said I will add that I have never served in an army or militia nor have I ever engaged in any type of live battle involving firearms or artillery. The closest I have come to such is a few fistfights and college paint ball jaunts which of course singularly qualifies me to board boats attempting to enter Israeli water-space.

That aside, the subtitle to Goodman’s article flagrantly states: “Eisner is a disgrace to the uniform he wears; cannot be an example to those under his command; should never be in charge of educating young recruits.”

So a person in the service of the Israel Defense Forces who has attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and has engaged in fighting radical, murderous ,and hateful enemies over the course of years of service is 1. A disgrace 2. Cannot lead by example and 3. Should not be in charge of recruits 4. Should be removed from the army AND his pension!! My question to Goodman is: Why? Goodman claims there is nothing possible to defend of Lt. Col. Eisner’s actions. Hirsch Goodman has all of this wrapped in a nice box with a big ribbon bow as if the entire event took place in a vacuous simulation exercise.

It is the very restraint of the of people like Lt. Col. Eisner, dictated by the IDF, that encourages these situations time and again. Goodman, and others of his ilk, condemn Lt. Col. Eisner and in doing so are protecting and defending the very anarchists who support violence against the IDF. The shield he chooses to wield with his pen is rather weak as he states himself: “I am not going to go through the issues one by one.” Right, because apparently if you did, Mr. Goodman, you would find your words are rife with jaded opinion and lack of context that leads to delusion.

To begin we must understand: 1. Lt Col. Eisner’s finger was broken by these VIOLENT anarchists during an almost 2 hour stand-off facing roughly 250 people 2. Lt Col. Eisner does lead by example when leaving behind family and friends, during Shabbat, of which he is observant, to serve with his men and protect Israel 3. Lt. Col. Eisner was tasked with resolving a situation.

The bicyclists indicated they were prepared for a surge forward against handful of soldiers and border police. Lt. Col. Eisner explained: “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{the IDF Chief of Staff and Eisner’s CO/Regional Commander} argue that it isn’t.”

Goodman claims that Eisner: “..hit an unarmed demonstrator full in the face with every ounce of force he could muster with the butt of a heavy rifle.” Really? Has Goodman been hit before by Eisner? From the looks of it Eisner could break the jaw and “lay out” many-a-men without the butt of a rifle and I am confident had he used his full force in this incident that Danish idiot would be seeking rhinoplasty surgery after extracting his nose from the back of his head.

Goodman then continues on a rant about Lt. Col. Eisner’s role and perks and his day to day “fun”. Goodman sounds resentful and jealous and the same response is due to all those sorry folk who sneered when I had summers off as a public school teacher: “We all have a path in life. I chose mine. So can you.” Even an article with solid supporting facts loses a confident tone and reader interest with personal attacks and rant, Mr. Goodman. But how you know Lt. Col. Eisner’s daily schedule is beyond my understanding. How the Jerusalem Post saw fit to print such slime is likewise beyond my understanding.

As Goodman continues to critique Eisner’s actions with words including ‘responsibility’ and ‘maturity’ he misses something critical: Eisner’s past record! The use of the word ‘barbarism’ to describe what amounted to a hard slap is better reserved for terrorists who murder sleeping children and babies. Or, Mr. Goodman, is that just irresponsible and immature behavior?

Eisner’s responsibilities that day were insuring those protestors did not pass his point. His uniform assured him the authority to act within reason and ensure that his soldiers were safe. In doing so he likewise ensured the safety of those protestors as well.

But Goodman digresses with incoherence about the international media and headlines. So, the real issue here, according to Goodman is how Israel is viewed by the world. Mr. Goodman: when Israel does do the right thing does the world view us with awe and respect or derision and scorn? Goldstone? Jenin? Gaza(war and expulsion)? 2nd Lebanon War? Targeted assassinations? Pin-point airstrikes? Goods and supplies to Gaza? The examples are too many to name!!

So Goodman himself indicates that the real issue was not the actions of Lt. Col. Eisner. Rather, Goodman’s concern is the resulting national and international media fallout if IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz didn’t take action immediately. For this he would take a person’s pension? For this the IDF sends the message to every single combat soldier—when a millisecond can determine life or death—is: hesitate. Hesitate to return fire, to cover your comrade, to secure your troops, to ensure safety for those in your charge, hesitate to respond to being battered and abused(physically or verbally), and hesitate to honor the IDF by standing firm before a bunch of hooligan Danish and other international and local pro-Muslim bicyclists seeking the destruction of Israel. In Eisner’s own words: “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.”

Goodman then even indicates that readers support Lt. Col..Eisner because of knee-jerk reaction of a political nature, are obviously right leaning readers(of which he has no evidence or support but mere conjecture), that such readers are automatically supportive of the IDF and against pro-Palestinian demonstrators. Rather I think that many those Goodman chooses to once again neatly wrap in a box with shiny paper and a pretty bow are a mixed multitude with varied opinions on a wide array of matters. I support these actions in their context and just as equally oppose the IDF razing of hilltop communities, the expulsion of Gaza in 2005, and yet I am supportive of soldiers in the IDF and eventually my children serving in the IDF, but I am unequivocally opposed to violent(or potentially violent) masses of people calling for the destruction of the State of Israel while calling IDF soldiers or other citizens of this country Nazis and murderers. I don’t consider myself right-leaning, I consider myself a proud, strong Jew who aims to live in an independent and liberated Jewish nation. In possibly one of the most complex regions and nations on Earth Goodman has attempted to simplify and distort reality by narrowing this particular incident to a kaleidoscope of personal(albeit incoherent) morality. This is juvenile. The world does not operate within the neat margins of a sanitized-white Microsoft Word page or within the neat margins of the Green Line to which Goodman refers in the same sentence he tasks Lt. Col. Eisner as a diplomat and strips him of this duty four words later. Frankly, the diplomats and their ilk are the ones who failed Lt. Col. Eisner by allowing these subversive and destructive forces into the country.

Likewise, we see from history, from pre-State Israel especially, that those in leadership positions, “diplomats”, tasked with assuring the safety of Jews(within Israel and without) failed miserably. These soldiers receive training as warriors in a variety of disciplines with often complicated maneuvers and coordination with thousands of men and women and tons upon tons of machinery and killing potential. Within that training I am confident they are not trained as nor tasked with being diplomats.

Goodman clearly supports the 2 year non-command role suspension of Lt. Col. Eisner and both the punishment and the support it may receive is a travesty: this decision is political and absent morality because with each passing day new and ever graver dangers to Israel are fomenting and with the relief of Lt. Col. Eisner Israel is today a bit weaker. That is immoral.

Goodman continues, in his article, to be concerned about “international reputation” but he’d be best served to interview the soldiers, the officers, the colleagues under Lt. Col. Eisner’s command, the men who respectfully saluted and took his orders on a daily basis. These soldiers are in tense and difficult situations that can result in death. This is not reality TV or ‘Dancing with the Soldiers’ or a new hit weekly show on becoming a pop star. No rather, these men and women ensure we can enjoy our Shabbat rest, family, friends, and meals and watch our reality TV while they deal with a reality far different: 250 bicycling lunatics attempting to break through a closed military zone! For their service they deserve our honor and nothing less!

And Goodman agrees with me: “We are not Americans and not NATO, we are not in Afghanistan or in the Balkans, we are here, in Israel.”

With this one point I find common ground with Goodman. Let the cameras roll, let the media pontificate, and let all those who wish to aim their accusations but we are, as Goodman says: “here in Israel” and it serves us best when we act like it.

The original article can be found here: http://www.jpost.com/LandedPages/PrintArticle.aspx?id=266787