Daily Israel Report

Officer Who Hit Danish Activist Gets 2 Months Community Service

Col. Shalom Eisner also discharged from IDF for hitting Danish anarchist last year; Former IDF Chief Rabbi criticizes sentence.
By Ari Yashar, Arutz Sheva Staff
First Publish: 12/19/2013, 4:06 PM

Col. Shalom Eisner
Col. Shalom Eisner
Reuters

Col. Shalom Eisner, the IDF officer who was filmed hitting a pro-Arab Danish anarchist with his weapon in 2012, was discharged from the IDF and given 2 months of IDF community service in a disorderly conduct plea bargain sealed Wednesday.

In addition, Eisner was sentenced to 2 months probation as part of the arrangement at a military court.

Former IDF Chief Rabbi Avichai Ronski strongly criticized the sentencing, telling Arutz Sheva "it's a disgrace for a colonel to do community service." He added that the incident should be learned from, so that "a situation in which a commander is held on trial for professional mistakes won't happen again."

Eisner was filmed striking the anarchist during a confrontation with pro-Arab activists. In his role as deputy commander of the Jordan Valley Brigade he was attempting to clear Palestinian Authority (PA) Arabs and foreign anarchists from a road they were blocking.

Prior to the blow, the anarchists had broken Eisner's fingers; however, that part of the altercation was not included in the released footage.

After the incident Eisner declared he does not regret his actions, saying "my job was to protect my soldiers and open the road, and I did just that."

Former MK Michael Ben-Ari similarly supported Eisner, writing him at the time to say "we all feel the wound of betrayal, the knife stuck in your back by leaders of defeat. But despite the hard feelings, I think this is a seminal event. This event casts a light on the decay of values and morals in the IDF."

Polls conducted for the Makor Rishon newspaper after the confrontation took place in 2012 found 51% of Israelis felt the decision to dismiss Eisner from his command post was unjustified, with only 37% saying it was justified. Further, 78% of national-religious and 79% of Hareidi-religious were against the decision.

It has been noted that other countries, such as the anarchist's native Denmark, witness extreme police violence even against peaceful demonstrators, to degrees far surpassing that employed by Eisner.

Video filmed by the pro-Arab activists from the confrontation can be seen here: