Netanyahu with Defense Minister Barak
Netanyahu with Defense Minister Barak Reuters

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu joined the chorus denouncing Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner, who struck an anarchist provocateur in the face Saturday.

"This kind of behavior is not typical of the IDF's soldiers and commanders, and has no place in the IDF and the state of Israel," Netanyahu's official statement said.

MK Yaakov Katz (National Union) was dismayed by the Prime Minister's statement and by the IDF's prompt decision to suspent Lt. Col. Eisner. He said, "We have gotten used to the fact that the media, which identifies with the radical left and anarchists, defends those who abuse our sons, the soldiers and officers, and routinely harass the 350,000 settlers of Judea and Samaria.

"We did not think for a moment that the Israeli media would have anything positive to say about [the officer]. 

"But it is very sad that on the eve of the Day of Remembrance and Independence Day, the Prime Minister and Chief of Staff decided to immediately side with the people who they know hate them as well – the tree choppers, the rock throwers, the road blockers and those who love them.

"Every Jewish mother wonders, today, what caused the Prime Minister and Chief of Staff to repeat an old mistake and accept a fabricated and edited video, and to believe those who wish to harm our sons, the officers and soldiers who risk their lives daily.

"Every officer and soldier on the ground calls on the Prime Minister and Chief of Staff to do some soul searching today. Do we run the country or are we run by the anarchists and hostile media?"

The IDF Spokesman told IDF Radio Monday that the video fails to show the violence perpetrated by anarchists and Arabs against the IDF in the same event, yet added that this "does not justify the officer's behavior."

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