IDF Lt. Col. Eisner: The Mission Comes Before Looking Good (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gabe Kahn 04/17/12)
INN} ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS
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Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner said Tuesday he has "no regrets" about
striking a Danish activist, saying that doing the job is more
important than looking good.
"What´s more important, doing the job or looking good for the
camera?" Eisner asked rhetorically during an interview with Channel
"We know the history of these anarchists," Eisner said. "They came
with sticks and broke my hand, but no one talks about that or films
"It´s true; some of the pictures look bad," he conceded. "I used my
weapon coldly, like a stick. I didn´t kill anyone, and didn´t put
anyone´s life at risk."
"My job was to protect my soldiers and open the road, and I did just
that," Eisner said. "My sense was that this [the blow] would do it."
"The protesters themselves said after the incident that they cut the
rally short and decided not to block the road only because of the way
I handled the situation," Eisner said.
Eisner also criticized the senior IDF commanders who publically
criticized him while the IDF investigation was still underway.
"But all these stories do not interest our chief of staff [Lt. Gen.
Benny Gantz] or the head of my command [GOC Central Command Maj.-Gen.
Nitzan Alon]," Eisner said.
"There are a few questions," he said. "I admitted that it may have
been a professional mistake to use arms in front of cameras, but I
told the commander of the division I do not accept it as a failure of
values in any way."
"There is a question of what is more important, completing the
mission or a good photograph? I argue that the mission is more
important, they say otherwise. It could be I am wrong and they are
"If the film was of nicely pressed soldiers waving flags, does that
look good? What do I do to open my road? Do I put my soldier´s lives
at risk? Does that sounds good?"
"Someone broke my hand," Eisner said, pressing his suit. "Did anyone
[on the general staff] understand the implications of breaking the
hand of a Colonel in the IDF [without consequences]? No one."
The incident happened on Saturday when a group of foreign and Arab
cyclists sought to block a main road near Jericho to protest Israel´s
presence in Judea and Samaria.
Critics of Eisner´s suspension were quick to note the video of the
incident uploaded to the internet was clearly edited in such a way as
to cast Eisner in the worst possible light.
The altercation came at the end of nearly two hours of heated
confrontation between protesters and soldiers, but the video began
with Eisner striking Ias.
Eisner subsequently told military investigators that two of his
fingers had been broken in an attack by the Danish campaigner before
he retaliated with his weapon.
A medical examination confirmed at least one of Eisner´s fingers was
indeed broken during the demonstration.
He remains suspended pending the outcome of the investigation into
However, a senior military source told Arutz Sheva that while
Eisner´s remarks were those of a man angry and defending himself, it
was going to be difficult for him to continue in the IDF after his
remarks. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 04/17/12)
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