The left-wing in Israel is unwilling to accept the suspension of Lt.-Colonel Shalom Eisner for striking an International Solidarity Movement (ISM) protestor with his weapon, threatening if criminal charges are not filed against the officer they will take their case to the High Court of Justice.
Giving additional weight to their demands were the premature media statements released by prominent officials in which they condemned the officer based on the video clip. This included President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz. Many are pained by the fact that senior government and military officials fail to give backing to an officer, or not opting to issue a benign statement until an investigation is concluded. They decided to condemn the officer before the facts in the case are studied, seeking to satisfy the media’s insatiable appetite to portray IDF soldiers as aggressors and oppressors, falling into the trap of the ISM activists.
Danish Ambassador to Israel Liselotte Plesner has already spoke with Foreign Ministry officials seeking “clarification” and Danish Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal has already promised the ISM victim any and all assistance. The Danish government officials do not seem bothered with the fact that one of their nationals arrived in Israel for the purpose of taking part in illegal protests and setting the stage of violence with Israeli security forces.
The foreign minister did however praise the quick statements of condemnation released by officials as well as the prompt decision to suspend the officer in question, adding his government condemns all acts of violence.
The victim, ISM activist Andreas Ias denies that he used any force or that he assaulted Eisner or any officer on the scene. He accuses Eisner of fabricating his version of the events that took place. He said that he and his colleagues were peaceful and the violence was one-sided, by Israeli forces exclusively.
Ias and others who were injured in the confrontation are being represented by a Ramallah attorney who has already signaled he will take his case to Israel’s High Court of Justice if Eisner is only facing disciplinary charges as opposed to criminal charges.
The Arab photographer insists the film that is being aired was not edited, announcing he will turn over the entire 30-minute footage to Israeli authorities to support his claim that he did not doctor the video as some allege.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)