The reaction in Israel to viral videos showing IDF “weakness” shows Israelis only care about what they look like in the West Bank, and not why they’re there to begin with. But of all the reactions, Israel’s Foreign Minister had the last laugh once again.
It’s been a bad week for us occupiers. Caught by the natives with our pants down. Twice!
First, there was this embarrassing moment in Hebron when IDF soldiers were sourrounded by Palestinian police:
But then came the worst, when Palestinians from the village of Kaddum threw stones on soldiers and the latter – are you sitting down? – ran away! I mean, everybody knows: As occupiers, showing signs of weakness makes it harder to rule.
See, what drives me crazy is how Israeli media reports this. It’s all about the weakness. The images. How we look. Our holy “deterrence.”
Not one reporter asked what those soldiers were doing in the middle of Hebron. Not one of them asked why those people in Kadum were marching, and what those soldiers were trying to prevent.
Nope. That’s not important. What’s important, apparently, is the shame, that could or could not have been avoided.
Apparently, the soldiers blame it on the kryptonite. Yeah, you heard me. Kryptonite.
T., a combatant in an infantry brigade, also claims that soldiers are not equipped to handle the complex situation on the ground. “There’s nothing more humiliating for a combatant than to see his friends run,” he says.
He criticizes the army for sending such a small group of soldiers to Qaddum on Friday at a particularly volatile time.
T. says the cameras on the ground undermine the forces’ efforts. “A commander or an officer sees a camera and becomes a diplomat, calculating every rubber bullet, every step. It’s intolerable, we’re left utterly exposed. The cameras are our kryptonite.”
Kryptonite or not, Israelis won’t stand for it. Shaul Mofaz, who may not even get into the Knesset after these elections, said that in his day, this embarrassing stuff would have never happened:
Kadima party chief and former IDF chief of General Staff Shaul Mofaz said soldiers should not be subject to restrictions in their response to demonstrators. Mofaz said the current climate in
the IDF is one in which soldiers fear that if they take action, they will have to face a court martial for fulfilling their duty.
Mofaz recalled that when he was commander of the 2002 Operation Defensive Shield to defeat terror in the West Bank, that was not the case.
“We didn’t stop to think, ‘What will they say,’” he said. “We got the job done.”
“In my opinion IDF soldiers should make maximal use of all weapons at their disposal if there is a threat to their lives, and they need to know they will have full support and understanding from all authorities if they have to do that.”
“It is unacceptable that Palestinian police slap and punch IDF soldiers and stay alive.”