Ariel Mayor: IDF Commanders Lack Courage (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gabe Kahn 04/18/12)
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Ariel Mayor Ron Nachman on Wednesday sent a scathing letter to IDF
chief of Staff Benny Gantz and Central Command chief Maj. Gen. Nitzan
Alon protesting the dismissal of Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner from his post
as commander of the Jordan Valley Brigade.
"I, sir, protest the decision to dismiss the deputy commander which
indicates that the IDF and Defense Minister´s aim was to stop
"The decision did not address that Palestinians and foreign citizens
came to provoke us in Israeli territory and Judea and Samaria. It is
one sided and shows you do not have the courage to deal the
"Following the many demonstrations I have witnessed over the years
staged by these left-wing organizations, who you know well, I turned
to the Attorney General to stop the provocations and acts of
"The response of the Attorney General was that this is the
responsibility of the IDF, and in our case, the Jordan Valley Brigade.
"Therefore," Nachman wrote. "I tell you, Mr. Chief of Staff, you are
creating a double standard against the officer who wishes to protect
the lives of local residents while sending the worst message possible
to the soldiers in the Army.
"I tell you that in our next war IDF morale will suffer from poor
policy decisions and this unwarranted dismissal of the commander," he
Eisner was suspended after a video emerged showing him striking
Danish ISM activist Andreas Ias in the face with an M16 rifle as he
tried to end a tense demonstration.
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.
Later photos showed him with his hand bandaged and a medical
examination confirmed he had at least one broken finger.
On Tuesday, responded to heavy criticism from Israel´s political and
military elite that began before the IDF investigation of the
incident was complete, Eisner said he has "no regrets."
"What´s more important, doing the job or looking good for the
camera?" Eisner asked rhetorically.
"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."
Observers say Eisner´s decision to defend himself by publicly
criticizing senior officers effectively ensured he would be dismissed
from his post. He has since said he is considering resigning from the
IDF. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 04/18/12)
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