Lt. Col. Eisner
Lt. Col. EisnerIsrael news photo: Flash 90

A majority of Israelis believe that the dismissal of Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner from his command position in the IDF was unjustified, according to a poll released Friday.

The poll, which was conducted by the Ma’agar Mohot institute for the Makor Rishon newspaper, found that 51 percent of Israelis believe that the decision was not justified. 37 percent said they believe the decision was justified, and 12 percent said they had no opinion.

Of the respondents who identified themselves as being national-religious, 78 percent said that the dismissal was not justified. Of those who identified as hareidi-religious, 79 percent said they believe Eisner’s dismissal was unjustified. Of those who identified themselves as secular, 55 percent said they believe the dismissal was justified, and 27 percent said there was no need to dismiss Eisner.

Eisner was dismissed from his position as Commander after an edited video showed him slamming his gun into the face of an anarchist who was blocking a road along with other leftists and Arabs. IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz decided that Eisner will not be allowed to perform any duties as a commander for two years.

As is usual in such cases, the anarchists' video is edited and does not include any documentation of their provocations vis-à-vis the reservist force that had to deal with them on the Jewish Sabbath. There was no evidence in the video that the anarchist was injured.

Eisner told a confidante after the incident that the leftist he was seen hitting in the video struck him first, causing fractures in his hand. In later pictures, his fingers were bandaged.

A new video released Friday shows that Eisner may have hit four other protesters – including women riding bicycles – during the same incident.

The video, which was edited by Palestinian Authority Television, was disseminated by the extreme leftist group B'Tselem, which aims its reports only at Israel and is notorious for publishing one-sided reports aimed at damaging the IDF's and Israel's standing.

In countries such as Denmark (click here for the video), from  where the anarchist in the incident came, extreme violence is routine - such as repeated slamming with truncheons, slapping, pusihng, knocking down and dragging on the ground for yards - and this when the demonstrators are peaceful.

Respondents in the Makor Rishon poll were also asked whether they believe Gantz’s decision to dismiss Eisner was due to pressure by the media. No less than 70 percent said they believe the decision was indeed made due to pressure by the media. Only 16 percent of respondents said they believe the decision was not due to media pressure.

The last question posed to respondents touched on the incident itself, and they were asked, “What is your feeling towards Eisner – are you angry about what he did or do you identify with him?” Only 21 percent of respondents said they feel anger about Eisner’s actions, while 41 percent responded that they identify with Eisner.

For another view of trhe incident, click here. The Danish anarchist in question was filmed with a small cut on his lip, continuing to demonstrate, several minutes later.