Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner Has Been Vindicated!

This is the video that made a lot of noise here in Israel:

As you can see, our armed soldiers are running away from a stone-throwing mob. Why are the soldiers running away?

Soldiers serving in Judea and Samaria claimed that the army is "tying their hands" by issuing constrictive rules of engagement, and that "we must be given tools with which to respond to those who act out violently."

According to other soldiers, "We fall back because we aren't authorized to use the crowd-dispersal tools at our disposal, to avoid igniting the entire area and because there are cameras around."

All this brings some tough talk from our politicians:
Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai sent a letter to Cabinet Secretary Zvi Hauser requesting that the Security Cabinet discuss the matter. Yishai wrote, "The conclusion of these events without casualties is a miracle, but we must not count on this in the future."

Yishai added, "In my opinion, IDF troops must make maximal use of their weapons if they feel their lives are in danger, and they must know they will receive the utmost support and understanding from all the relevant bodies if that is what they have to do."

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman responded to the attack on the IDF soldiers, telling Israel Radio, "There is no way that Palestinian policemen can punch and slap soldiers and live to tell about it." Lieberman said that the IDF's current conduct is not keeping the peace but just incites violence. "When a soldier is surrounded by a raging mob and swinging Palestinian policemen, it's a provocation. The government and military brass need to back the troops."

Kadima Chairman Shaul Mofaz also commented on the video footage, saying, "The sight of IDF soldiers running away from stone throwers is detrimental to the IDF, its combat troops and to deterrence. We cannot accept images of fleeing soldiers."

I have no doubt that IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz's shameful treatment of Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner contributed quite a bit to the current situation where IDF commanders and soldiers are afraid of the cameras, and are unable to do their job. This is what I wrote back then:
Does Gantz realize how much encouragement he has given to the terror supporters? Does he realize how he has demoralized his troops?
Had the IDF and the Israeli government supported Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner back then, we would not be seeing soldiers fleeing from Arab mobs today.

Here is what Zvika Fogel, an IDF brigadier-general (res.) and former chief of staff, Southern Command, has to say:

Instead of trying to appease the cameras and the "foreign" journalists, it is preferable to inform any person with a rock in his hand or behaving violently that the IDF doesn't intend to employ the same means. The IDF will hurt whoever threatens its soldiers, citizens or borders, and will do so with the use of live fire, precise and several times more painful. The soldiers who protect us and allow us to live normal lives need to know they were sent to carry out an achievable, legal mission, and will receive backup for any act that doesn't deviate from the purity of arms, without regard to the purity of the camera.
Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner has been vindicated!

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