Op-Ed: David the Nahlawi
Israeli social media has erupted with more than 100,000 likes in the last few days, in response to a video of the dispute between an Israeli soldier and a group of Palestinian Arabs.
This soldier, who has been dubbed "David the Nahlawi" (slang for David the Nahal Brigade soldier) was captured on video cocking and aiming his gun at Arab provocateurs in Hevron.
The video clearly shows a group of Palestinian Arab youth provoking – and threatening – an Israeli soldier who is alone. While the soldier warns the Arabs to stop, one of the Arabs pushes the solider, as another Arab emerges from behind him, holding brass knuckles. There were provocations, not filmed by the planners of the event - that preceded the incident – and similar provocations take place regularly, aimed at harming Israel’s reputation and image.
Arabs, anarchists and extreme leftists provoke the Israeli military and seek to capture their reactions on camera.
"Even" in the Jewish State, soldiers have the right to protect themselves, and when threatened are expected to cock their weapon as an act of deterrence.
Is there anywhere else in the world where a soldier could be pushed, or surrounded by enemies and be condemned for cocking his gun by the military, despite the fact that no one was wounded?
Signs all over Israeli social media sites read “We are with “David the Nahlawi", and tens of thousands have submitted signs saying "I would've cocked my weapon too."
Israel must continue to take strong action – regardless of videos – to protect the Jewish State. Self-defense is not a crime, and the safety of soldiers is more important than Public Relations - and public relations is my field of expertise.
Hevron Jewish community spokesman Noam Arnon rightfully noted, “We express support and extra love that we have soldiers serving here. We call here, now, on the State of Israel: it is inconceivable that Israeli soldiers stand abandoned against the provocation of anarchists, terrorists of various kinds, who are committed to humiliate them and degrade them. We demand that the State of Israel eradicate this phenomenon completely, which stem from different sides and organizations, from Israelis and foreigners and all their partners, against violent attacks and provocations against the IDF.
"You cannot place the task [of combating this] on our cherished soldiers, this is not what they have been trained to do. They were trained to fight the enemy, they were trained to attack and win, they are not trained to face provocations and ugly humiliations exerted against them. [They were not trained to face] this expertise and skill designed to trap them in a corner, so that later - these pictures and video footage can be distributed all over the world, so they can serve as prey for terrorists' hate."
Israel is a tiny, democratic country surrounded by murderous despots. As Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said in his address to the joint session of Congress: “Of 300 million Arabs in the Middle East, the only ones who are truly free and live in a democratic country are the Arabs who live in Israel. Israel is not what is wrong about the Middle East; Israel is what is right about the Middle East.”
The Israel Defense Forces must be allowed to continue to safeguard the safety of her citizens.
Ronn Torossian is an entrepreneur & writer.