IDF Brutality?

The image of Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner felling a Danish bicyclist with one hit of his rifle has been widely seen in news broadcasts and on the internet. It looks like a prima facie case of “IDF brutality.” The Col. approaches the Danish demonstrator and with one swipe hits him on the lower part of his face with his rifle held horizontally. The Col. was immediately suspended from duty pending an investigation. This was done even before the Danish Government called for the same thing, a good example of “damage control.” Of course, most people will judge him guilty before an investigation is carried out.

However, there are some mitigating circumstances. First, the cyclists and their international supporters of the ISM, a left wing organization known to support terrorism against Israeli citizens, were persistently trying to gain access to a road that had been declared closed. As usual they would not take “no” for an answer and persisted in a deliberate provocation. Second, during the fracas, before he reacted, Col. Eisner reportedly had two of his fingers.broken This is not shown in the video. It is not surprising that Col. Eisner lost his cool and hit back with what he had. Further, Col. Eisner is a well-respected serving officer with many years of experience, and his troops signed a letter supporting him.

The IDF asks its officers and men to do a very difficult task, in fact one not suited to armed forces, namely policing the rabble that call themselves human rights activists that are constantly testing the limits of Israeli tolerance. These are essentially professional anti-Israel activists, who although unarmed, are nevertheless using all means at their disposal. Who pays for them to come to Israel and to spend their time “demonstrating” here so that they can embarrass and undermine Israel instead of working or studying.  As far as I am concerned the Danish anarchist got what he deserved. Nevertheless, a senior IDF officer should keep his cool and not react violently against unarmed civilians. Col. Eisner has been suspended from office for two years for striking an unarmed civilian, but he will be transferred elsewhere in the IDF, so that he can continue to serve his country with honor.

About the Author
Jack Cohen was born in London and has a PhD in Chemistry from Cambridge University. He moved to the US and worked at the National Cancer Inst. and then Georgetown Medical School. In 1996, he Moved to Israel and became Chief Scientist of the Sheba Medical Center. He retired in 2001 and worked as a Visiting Professor at Hebrew University Medical School for 5 years.