Appreciate this article? +972 depends on your support.

Click here to help us keep going

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

On IDF violence: My own private Lt. Colonel Shalom Eisner

Nearly three years ago I also met a Shalom Eisner at a demonstration. He gashed my head with his blows for no reason. Then too, like this week, a camera was filming as an IDF officer beat me up. To this day, my own private Shalom Eisner is running free.

Of course, mine is not the Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner, deputy commander of the Jordan Valley brigade who rammed his rifle in face of Danish activist on Sunday. The person who sent me to the hospital with his blows was another soldier, in reserve service, whose name I still do not know to this day. It was a generic Shalom Eisner, a Shalom Eisner like any other soldier of the occupation who ever attacked, shot, broke, beat, arrested, kicked, twisted, detained, tortured, step on, sprayed or humiliated unarmed civilians.

After it all - in the hospital (Oren Ziv / Activestills)

After it all - in the hospital (Oren Ziv / Activestills)

Back then, on July 31, 2009, when I was arrested during a peaceful demonstration which also included a wedding procession, when my own Shalom Eisner took me from other soldiers, hands behind my back, and slammed my head into the back of an army jeep twice until I bled – his actions were caught on tape. However, as opposed to the latest incident with the real Shalom Eisner, in my case the man behind the camera was a policeman, and so I could not upload the video to YouTube. So I went to the military police, filed a complaint, gave pictures taken by others that day, handed in a copy of the hospital report about the stitches I got, and I’ve been waiting ever since.

Well, not just waiting. Ever since the incident I’ve made it a habit to occasionally check on the investigation. In May 2010 the case was handed over to the military prosecution, then sent back to the military police, and so on back and forth to this day. More than two and a half years have passed, and an indictment is nowhere to be found. All I can do now is write about it.

The following report of the incident was first published right after the event, and the Shalom Eisner story made me want to publish it again, now on +972, as a reminder that stories like this are a regular part of life under occupation – even when they don’t get prime-time media exposure.

—-

(Translated from Hebrew with the kind help of Dimi Reider and Rela Mazali)

The soldiers attacked the procession. I argued (Oren Zvi / Activestills)

The soldiers attacked the procession. I argued (Oren Ziv / Activestills)

The soldiers charged the wedding procession using their rifles to push people back. Behind the procession, two couples of newlyweds, two suits, two bridal gowns, looked on in shock. It was horrifying. I was standing even further behind, taking pictures, but I couldn’t bear the sight of what I was witnessing. One of the soldiers threw back my friend A., and she nearly fell to the ground. The line of soldiers continued its approached and within seconds I was getting my share too. I started shouting, “What are you doing?! It’s a wedding! It’s these people’s day of celebration!” I don’t know why I picked that phrase, but I kept on shouting “it’s their day of celebration” time and time again as the soldiers pressed on with their assault. I saw clearly that they couldn’t care less, that they didn’t understand that it was these people’s day of celebration, and in the heat of it all I yelled out, “Assholes!” I don’t normally do things like that. Over the ten years in which I’ve been roaming the West Bank I have always managed to keep my calm with the soldiers, to explain as best I can what we are struggling for. But this time the situation was so absolutely intolerable that it just came out. And it got their attention. “Bring him in,” the officer said and the soldiers charged. They were pulling me one way as the wedding procession-demonstrators pulled me the other way.

The soldiers won. On the way to their military jeep they twisted my arms and beat me. I kept calling out that I wasn’t resisting the arrest, until a hand clutched my throat and I suddenly couldn’t breathe much less shout. Soldiers who passed by the group dragging me to the jeep pulled at my hair or added their own punch or two. Eventually I was placed upright behind a military jeep, far from the crowd, and I thought that at least I was over the worst. Then it landed; the first blow. My head was smashed against the jeep door. “What are you doing?! I’m not resis…,” I tried to protest when once again a hand from behind bashed my head onto the door. Two policemen approached, one of them hoisting a video recorder. The one who wasn’t recording asked me to put my hands out in front of me so that I could be handcuffed, but the soldiers started twisting them behind my back again. I asked the policeman to help me, but he just stood there and watched. Eventually the soldiers allowed me the liberty of placing my hands in the handcuffs.

Love & Soldiers, Wedding in Al-Masara from Sheryle Carlson on Vimeo.

Then I saw the blood. First a few drops on my hands and then more and more, totally soaking first my t-shirt then my trousers. This frightening warmth streaming down my face, dripping off my beard onto my clothes, my hands, the asphalt. The policeman with the recorder asked what had happened and I began to explain. From behind me, an un-shaven reservist with a pierced ear, probably the soldier who had done it, interrupted and said I’d fallen and bruised myself. I couldn’t take it. No more of these sickening lies. I shouted that he was a liar, a piece of shit. He slapped me hard, right in front of the camera, my head still bleeding, my hands cuffed. I tried to make the policeman understand the gravity of what had just happened and to file a complaint for assault, but he just went on filming. A military medic came by, protesting and grumbling about having to treat me. He wiped some of the blood off my forehead and stuck a piece of adhesive tape on the wound. “I’m sorry to say you’ll live,” he said, and walked away. The soldier who had been beating me gave me some water to drink and to wash my hands with.

A few minutes later two more friends were arrested, and they took us to the local police station. We were informed that we were being accused of entering a closed military zone (though no one had declared one while we had been there), and of assaulting the unit commander.

Wedding procession at Ma'asara before the arrests (Oren Ziv / Activestills)

Wedding procession at Ma'asara before the arrests (Oren Ziv / Activestills)

We spent the long hours at the station arguing with our guards, a Russian-born reservist and a Russian-born policeman. In fact, we were conducting two very different and parallel debates. The reserve soldier was arguing philosophy, heatedly defending an extreme capitalist notion that each individual determines his own fate, that no individual life can be compared with any others, and that whoever is strong enough is perfectly entitled to crush other, weaker people. Yes, the Nazis too, he confirmed.

The policeman was arguing local politics. “How do you know the border is where you say it is? How do you know we’re outside Israel?” he asked. He had no knowledge of the 1967 borders or of their legal status in Israeli and international law. And he didn’t care. He did care about the Palestinians’ theft of water. “Why should I have to pay for water only to find out, on my patrols with the Civil Administration, that the Arabs install pirate connections to our water lines and steal our water?” He didn’t care that this was water that belonged to the Palestinians in the first place, that they are allocated five times less water than the neighboring settlers, and that they are forced to pay four times as much for ever cubic meter. A law’s a law.

After the interrogation we spoke to the local officer, a pleasant, apparently intelligent man. When we told him that I needed medical attention he made sure we were released as soon as possible (not before being slammed with a restriction order banning us from the village and from the area of Gush Etzion for two weeks). Seeing us off to the station gate he asked us if we were really welcome in the Palestinian village. He couldn’t come to grips with the idea of us being wanted guests there, that we sometimes sleep there, that we’ve formed friendships there now going back three years, that one of the village activists and I call each other “brother”, and that friends from the village were here in their car to pick us up at the police station. His expression, as he shut the gate, was still bemused.

My bloodied T-shirt inscribed "Gaza, my love" (Oren Ziv / Activestills)

My bloodied T-shirt inscribed "Gaza, my love" (Oren Ziv / Activestills)

At the hospital in Tel Aviv, I was welcomed by a male nurse, who – I immediately recognized – was a Palestinian citizen of Israel. He was touched by my bloodied T-shirt inscribed “Gaza Habibti” (which, in Arabic, means “Gaza, my love”). We spoke in Arabic about what had happened, about the soldiers and about resistance. He said how important it was that there’s resistance, and that he himself would not join – he was too scared of finding himself in a predicament like mine. But he supported us, he really did.

Friday night in the ER is a weary time. There’s an accident here, some party-goers there, and everything takes forever. Three and a half hours, and I’m finally in the stitching room. I’m lying on the bed, the physician injects me with local anaesthesia and covers up my face with a cloth with an opening around the wound.

“So what kind of a protest was it?,” the student nurse asked. “I’d really rather not talk about it just now,” I replied, not relishing this discussion while being stitched up. “So, you’re like an anarchist?” she insisted. “I wouldn’t call it that, no.” “So what would you call it?” “A person who cares, a social activist, a Leftist activist.” “Hold on, what’s Right and what’s Left? Which ones want to give away our country to the Arabs?” “The Left. They’re really smart, and never wrong about anything, and they want peace and justice,” the physician chimed in as he made his stitches. “Like the hippies in the 1980’s?” the nurse inquired (sic). “No, not really. But they love the Arabs and want to give them the country. Perhaps they should go to Norway, where there are lots more like them. Maybe the Norwegians will give their country to the Arabs, they’ll probably be pleased to.” “What, the Norwegians would do that?” “They haven’t said so, but they probably would. Tell me, are there any Arabs who love peace and who demonstrate?”

I knew the last barb had been directed at me. I have a clear memory of observing to myself throughout the entire procedure that I felt as if I was being raped: ‘He’s leaning over me, stitching me up, and all along he’s mocking me, humiliating me, degrading everything I stand for.’ I didn’t know what to do. I replied. “Yes. It was a demonstration and a Palestinian wedding party. I was there as a guest.” “Oh, so there are Arabs who want to give the country to the Jews?” the nurse mocked. “It’s not that simple,” I managed to mumble. “Of course not,” the doctor declared coyly. “Don’t worry, we’re giving you the best treatment we can, no matter whether you’re Left or Right,” the nurse suddenly noted. “This time,” the doctor said pointedly as he cut off the last thread and got up. I was so appalled I could barely concentrate on the instructions they gave me, repeatedly contradicting each other anyway as they explained them. I think I’m supposed not to wash the area for two days, and to come back six days after treatment to take out the stitches.

That was it. My wonderful friends waited there all along, with me, supporting me, telling stories, trying to speed things up. I can’t thank them enough. I drove those of them who needed rides back to their homes.

As I write this, back at my place, it’s 3 in the morning. I know that my trusty biological alarm will wake me up at half past eight. For the first time since it all started, just looking in the mirror, I’ve seen the stitches, the bruises on my face and hands, the caked blood. I’ve wash off what I can without getting the stitches wet. I’m off to bed. My cat joins in. It’s over.

But not really. There are stitches to attend to, a complaint to file with the Military Police against the soldiers who beat me up, a complaint to file against Ichilov hospital… who knows what else.

And it’s not over because they are still out there. Because they said that as of next week there would be a daily curfew from 5AM, to prevent demonstrations. It’s not over because people here don’t have the slightest understanding of borders, whether geographical or otherwise. Perhaps because there aren’t really any borders there anymore.

—-

End note:

While the army is yet to indict my attacker, the hospital contacted me shortly after this story was originally published in a local newspaper, and offered a deep and sincere apology. The case against my friend and me for the supposed attack on the soldiers, was closed in April 2010. Demonstration in Ma’asara take place every Friday to this day.

Before you go...

A lot of work goes into creating articles like the one you just read. And while we don’t do this for the money, even our model of non-profit, independent journalism has bills to pay.

+972 Magazine is owned by our bloggers and journalists, who are driven by passion and dedication to the causes we cover. But we still need to pay for editing, photography, translation, web design and servers, legal services, and more.

As an independent journalism outlet we aren’t beholden to any outside interests. In order to safeguard that independence voice, we are proud to count you, our readers, as our most important supporters. If each of our readers becomes a supporter of our work, +972 Magazine will remain a strong, independent, and sustainable force helping drive the discourse on Israel/Palestine in the right direction.

Support independent journalism in Israel/Palestine Donate to +972 Magazine today
View article: AAA
Share article
Print article
  • LEAVE A COMMENT

    * Required

    COMMENTS

    1. the other joe

      And the beatings go on every day too. I’ve seen young men stood up against checkpoints with their hands in the air until they almost faint. Machsomwatch has almost daily documented the arbitrary and pointless treatment of people at checkpoints. What, really, is this supposed to achieve?

      Reply to Comment
    2. I am deeply offended and ashamed that my government uses my tax dollars to support a racist, theocratic, and undemocratic rogue state — Israel. Having traveled twice to Israel/Palestine, I have personally witnessed the daily violations of civil and human rights by the IOF and the police. One hopes that globally, people will see through the facade of Israel calling itself the only democracy in the Middle East. Someday, justice will prevail.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Very powerful writing.

      Reply to Comment
    4. The exchange with the student nurse and doctor were most chilling to me. Soldiers (having trained as an infantryman myself [American, no combat]) are just like dogs, some force of nature, frankly they tend to be the least educated of any society. But the doctor, and the student nurse…especially the doctor and his Hippocratic Oath…that to me is what’s most chilling.

      I’m not so bothered anymore by the powerful doing what they do; it’s the weak trying to fill in the gaps, so to speak, that the powerful left untouched, if you know what I mean, getting their own little piece of domination over others, being a little big shot all their own in their own respective corner of the world, their own little sphere of influence in life….

      I don’t know how activists manage to keep the faith. Truly you are all much more courageous than common soldiers.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Doron

      @Jack: “soldiers […] they tend to be the least educated of any society” – well, in Israel with its mandatory conscription, soldiers come from all levels of society, so this attitude represents much more than a few soldiers’, so there is no real difference between theirs and the doctor and nurse’s.

      Of course, you could argue that the least educated part of society is 90% of it, and you’d probably be right.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Aaron the Fascist Troll

      The lesson usually drawn from stories like these, from the Gershom Gorenbergs of the world, is that the (1967) occupation brutalizes and corrupts Israel itself, quite apart from the harm it does to Palestinians. The brutality of the soldiers against their own people, etc. But I wonder, can you really ascribe this to the 1967 occupation rather than to the war itself? There was plenty of brutality in America decades ago at Chicago and Kent State, and there was no occupation going on, just a war. I think that if the 1967 occupation were to end tomorrow, then the anti-Israel protests would continue, because the war would continue; and the police and military brutality described here would continue as well. The only way to for Israel to systematically end this kind of brutality is to end the war, and the only way to end the war is to surrender.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Dorothea

      Can anyone send this article to a Danish newspaper ???

      Reply to Comment
    8. aristeides

      Aaron – what is your sense of “the occupation,” if it isn’t the war? We lose sense of the meaning of the terms. “The occupation” is technically legal. The war is definitely not, by the very rules that legalize the occupation. Usually, when people talk about “ending the occuption” they really mean ending the war it enables.

      Reply to Comment
    9. XYZ

      Will Thomas-
      Although this is not the theme of this thread, your condemnation of Israel for being “theocratic” and thus not deserving of American support must also be expanded to opposing American aid to Pakistan, Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinians and other countrare more “theocratic” than that of Israel. All have their constitutions state that Muslim Sharia Law are a major basis for legislation. Israel has no such general law as regarding Jewish religious law’s influence on legislation.

      Reply to Comment
    10. XYZ

      Will Thomas-
      Although this is not the theme of this thread, your condemnation of Israel for being “theocratic” and thus not deserving of American support must also be expanded to opposing American aid to Pakistan, Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinians and other countries which are more “theocratic” than that of Israel. All have their constitutions state that Muslim Sharia Law are a major basis for legislation. Israel has no such general law as regarding Jewish religious law’s influence on legislation.

      Reply to Comment
    11. sh

      Thanks, Haggai, for this brave, shocking piece, written with such commendable restraint.

      Reply to Comment
    12. With respect to Israel, Americans tend to describe the state as theocratic when they really mean ethnic fundamentalist or ethnic monist.

      The Israeli Foundations of Law Act of 1980 allows judges to draw upon Halakhah in their decisions.

      In any case there is a big difference between using Halakhah as a basis for modern law and using Sharia.

      Outside of commercial law, halakhah tends to be casuistic. In contrast Sharia was a living legal system until the dismantlement of the Ottoman Empire.

      Haim Gerber of Hebrew University points out in his research that the Ottoman legal system compared favorably with those of the UK and of German and that the Ottoman State could legitimately be considered a Rechtsstaat unlike Israel, which is a Judenstaat.

      Reply to Comment
    13. aristeides

      For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.

      Reply to Comment
    14. TLA

      @WILL As a US taxpayer, not only I’m not ashamed that the US supports Israel – I’m proud of it, and expect for more support.
      .
      That’s just to show the Israelis that happen to stumble across this site that the pro-Palestinian propaganda doesn’t really work, and we here, in the US, can see through the lies.
      .
      @Aristeides – what is it that you said? Seems like some Jihadist preach. If you want to make an appearance of credibility for this site – please try not to show off your hatred.
      .
      As to the article itself, after reading several articles and several comment threads on this site, I’m pretty sure that at least 50% of the information there is plain fiction, if not more.
      .
      The burden of proof is on you, you’ve proven not to be trustworthy.

      Reply to Comment
    15. max

      reading the discussions about whether or not the Danish guy has earned his beating, and to ease the tension here, I thought that a peek into how police in his home country treats non-violent manifestations may provide some background.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpeiNso-Lqw&feature=youtu.be
      .

      Reply to Comment
    16. Jack

      Max,
      Sweet, the pro-eisners found a clip on danish brutality and since the guy who were smashed in Israel were danish…. he somehow deserved it. Gee thats a twisted logic. Why not just say you support Eisner?

      Reply to Comment
    17. max

      Jack troll, why not try to construct a sentence with some logic and a hint of truth?

      Reply to Comment
    18. Jack

      SH,
      Yes Haggai raise a good point with the article, the Eisner-case was one in many cases where bruality and killings are very common, thus the problem lies deeper than a bad apple here and there.

      Reply to Comment
    19. aristeides

      I believe TLA has just moved into first place in the 972 Ignorance Sweepstakes.

      Reply to Comment
    20. TLA

      @Aristeides, it appears that you fall perfectly well into the stereotype of a pro-Palestinian supporter: deaf, blind, ignorant, and refusing to accept anyone who doesn’t worship you or your opinion.
      .
      Well, that is why you are considered clowns by the rest of the world.
      .
      I’ve seen you guys at UC Berkley, a couple of white guys with a hundred Palestinians. Lenin called you “useful idiots”.
      .
      When the time comes – you’ll be hanged first, just like Lenin’s useful idiots were. Then you’ll wonder how come no-one wants to help you. Well, ask the Syrians, they know how it feels.

      Reply to Comment
    21. aristeides

      The Palestinians already know what it’s like when no one will help them.

      Reply to Comment
    22. TLA

      @Jack:
      “Eisner-case was one in many cases where bruality and killings are very common” – and I’m still waiting for your response as to what the Dens were doing there.
      .
      I understand your frustrations: your activists were caught breaking the law, couldn’t get a picture for four hours of arguments, and ended up with a smack in the face for like 6 seconds, not enough to even get a decent report on CNN. Damn, that was probably so disappointing that you had to find some old story from somewhere to keep the buzz going.
      .
      Yet, while anywhere else the Dens would be in jail by now, in Israel – they’re free! Look at that not getting the cover story on +972!
      .
      How do you explain such a bigotry? How do you explain drugging through the mud an Israeli whom you made snap, but ignoring completely your own disobedience and disregard to the law of the land?
      .
      How much of a hypocrite can all of you be? Miserable, Fox News are more credible than you guys!

      Reply to Comment
    23. TLA

      @Aristeides – “The Palestinians already know what it’s like when no one will help them.” – so what were the Dens doing there exactly?
      .
      Lying, again, not surprising.
      .
      By the way, don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t care less for neither the Palestinians, or Syrians, or Israelis. Its just makes me laugh every time you try to represent the Palestinians as some helpless poor oppressed people, while all they got was very well deserved.
      .
      Had someone start shooting rockets at me here in California, believe me, they wouldn’t even live to tell. Ask the Iraqis and the Afghans.

      Reply to Comment
    24. Henry Weinstein

      @ TLA
      So LA means Los Angeles, I guess.
      T dunno.
      Anyway, TLA a naive question: what the Iraqis and the Afghans have done to you?

      Reply to Comment
    25. You are a true hero and an inspiration Haggai, you give us all hope. Of course we are quite realistic about the situation and know that the few people like yourself cannot change the intrinsic system of Apartheid and discrimination from within without help from outside. It’s a long fight against a great evil supported by many misinformed people but we will be victorious.

      Reply to Comment
    26. Piotr Berman

      Aresteides: I believe TLA has just moved into first place in the 972 Ignorance Sweepstakes.

      I will try to defend TLA. Bible.cc is a nice resource for an agnostic like me, so I quickly found that you pasted Genesis:19:13, King James Bible. The verse seems illogical, something like Lord sending His messengers to enforce noise ordinance. Thus some translation use “outcry against them” or “outcry against this city” rather then James’ “the cry against them”. So if TLA has a more contemporary and accurate translation he would not recognize the words from King James’.

      Clearly, citations from Holy Quran and related Islamic texts do not resemble the language of King James. Perhaps TLA read the Bible in Hebrew or some other language.

      Reply to Comment
    27. aristeides

      Or perhaps TLA is just butt-ignorant. But every blog needs a site laughingstock. Here, the competition is fierce.

      Reply to Comment
    28. Doron,

      Thanks for the reminder. It makes much more sense now; the doctor and nurse were likely once military conscripts themselves!

      Reply to Comment
    29. Aaron the Fascist Troll

      “[T]he hospital contacted me shortly after this story was originally published in a local newspaper, and offered a deep and sincere apology.”
       
      Typical Zionists.

      Reply to Comment
    30. My apologies to Haggai for the tone of some of my earlier comments on his posts. Your story helps me see why you do what you do, and I am glad you eyes are out there. Your story also shows due process is dead; the police certainly destroyed are hid the video, which is an additional crime. Israel should understand that once due process is verifiably dead they will be unable to stop the stories against them. It seems State policy either cares not or has not noticed. Either way, words will continue to erode their position. People like you are showing that this conflict is becoming a fight for truth itself.

      Reply to Comment
    31. Jean ruck

      I’ts a very good film. But you also know like me that it’s a big mise-en-scene too… Aren’t you ?

      Reply to Comment
    32. Jack

      Ahad,
      True, its with documentation like these the picture gets clearer, these are standard response by Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    33. Woody

      The Jewish doctors and nurses were also obviously soldiers, as with most in the society. The army mentality infects everyone. It’s a horrific thing to be beaten and injured and when arrive to “safety” for medical care, you’re once again assaulted with hatred. Numerous times activists have been subject to physical and mental MALPRACTICE in these situations. In spite of this deep violation of humanity by fellow citizens, activists still extend courtesy and dialog to their racist neighbors. What would you do?

      Once an activist was shot with a rubber bullet in the hip – upon reaching the hospital the doctor noted “it’s fine, we used to shoot Palestinians with these in Ramallah all the time”, stitched up the activist and sent her home saying that it would be ok. A few days later the site of the trauma got much worse – she visited another doctor only to find out that the bullet was inside of her and the doctor had stitched it shut, leading to a massive infection.

      Don’t even start with considering finding psychological care after these beatings – the hatred, racism, and ignorance extends into that profession as well. How do you expect to build trust with someone who has photos of their sniper training on the wall or whose basic world-view is so limited that they can’t understand it’s ok to go visit a Palestinian village. What happens when a society is so closed off and only speaks to itself – presents only a frame a reference that reinforces this cul de sac approach to humanity? Self-destruction.

      Reply to Comment
    34. aristeides

      Yes, Aaron – typical. Only when shamed by publicity do they apologize. That’s precisely the point of this article. Eisner shamed Israel in public, so he had to go. But the same thing goes on unnoticed, unremarked, every day.

      Reply to Comment
    35. anna

      Reading the article and the comments is really disturbing. Maybe impossible to answer, but I’m really wondering something. When you grow up in a society where its much easier to go along, join the majority, accept and believe all the propaganda, what is it that I mean, it just seems like going against the majority comes at a great cost. I’m sure some people must consciously choose to go along despite being aware that something’s not quite right or even being convinced that it is wrong, but choosing to conform for fear of the abuse and hostility they know they would have to face from then on. The intensity of the attacks and the palpable hatred is hard for me to fully grasp. Just reading different blogs, comments, news reports and other writings, I find it both puzzling and disconcerting just how hostile, spiteful, full of rage and obviously seriously fearful and excessively paranoid the comments almost always tend to be. I mean, the indoctrination is unmistakable, its rather fascinating even though its very disturbing. The whole ideology and official narrative is fiercely guarded and anything that is interpreted as a threat to this narrative unleashes a rage that is present in all of their comments. There’s nothing

      Reply to Comment
    36. anna

      Argh. I didn’t mean to hit submit yet. Oops. Apologies for the very unfinished comment. Ignore whatever doesn’t make sense – probably most of it.

      Well that’s frustrating.

      Reply to Comment
    37. Rachel Golem

      My G-d, this is worse than killing 9,000 Syrians!!!!!

      Reply to Comment
    38. Aaron the Fascist Troll

      Aristeides, you need reading lessons. From the report, the hospital representatives would have first found out about it from the article. Their response was “deep and sincere.” Is everything really that black and white for you, that you can’t imagine anything good about your enemies?

      Reply to Comment
    39. max

      ” I have a clear memory of observing to myself throughout the entire procedure that I felt as if I was being raped ”
      Does this melodramatic text, possibly very upsetting to a real rape victim, say something about the literary freedom the author has assumed?
      Hey, @Anna, aren’t you shocked?
      So many newspapers judges here…
      Go, people, travel the world with open eyes and hearts, make up your mind based on your own experience!
      Pathetic.

      Reply to Comment
    40. aristeides

      Aaron – I don’t have to imagine all the times there are no apologies, because there is no negative publicity.

      Reply to Comment
    41. max

      ARISTEIDES, the point is that as the hospital’s management learned of the incident from the newspaper, it’s silly to claim that they did it only after they were shamed publicly

      Reply to Comment
    42. Paul

      The description of the original assault on a peaceful demonstration and the injuries Haggai suffered are not far removed from my own experiences at the hands of the British police, though it was 30 years ago. But my doctor and dentist were very sympathetic when they patched me up the next day.

      Indeed, any medical staff making teh commenst Haggai reports woudl be disciplined and probably dismissed in UK. Even cops in UK these days are in a little trouble when the evidence of their racism or brutality is incontrovertibly recorded on camera or phone.

      Unfortunately, while public norms in the Uk are much more liberal and less racist now than in the 70s, Israeli society has raced to the right collectively than when I lived there in the early 70s. But this was inevitable, you cannot opppress another people for that length of time without consequences.

      I was taught, in classes in Israel, that it was necessary for the Nazis to start by dehumanising the Jews before they could get widespread acceptance of worse actions. Once you see the ‘others’ not as individuals but as representatives of the enemy, as sub-humans, then the rest becomes easy. You can steal their land, their water, whatever.

      And if you can justify those actions by an unchallengable ‘religious’ belief as well as by nationalism, it all gets so much easier.

      Reply to Comment
    43. “Does this melodramatic text, possibly very upsetting to a real rape victim, say something about the literary freedom the author has assumed?”
      .
      I recognise the feeling that Haggai was referring to with the parallel: he was in a position where he was injured, bleeding, and vulnerable, dependent on others to help him, and they took advantage of their power and his vulnerability. I did wince and feel disturbed when I read the comparison to rape, because the truly awful thing about rape (at least as I have experienced it) is not how you feel at the time, but how you feel afterward – as though your body isn’t your own any more, and nothing you do will make you feel safe in it again. I would have preferred it if Haggai had used a different metaphor, but I don’t see how his description of his emotional state calls into question the factual accuracy of his description of events. While I don’t think that rape should be used to mean anything other than rape, I also don’t think that it is right to try and use rape victims (or murdered Syrians, for that matter) to undermine or deflect attention from this article’s point: brutality within the army, and the lack of accountability.

      Reply to Comment
    44. Coming from a family Jim Crow background, I can assure you that when due process fails in an instance such as this, it fails in instances of greater harm, silently. The Syria comparison is simply a way of asking us to voluntarily shut our eyes. Once shut, well, nothing happens.
      .
      Anna,
      .
      There is great fear and anger in Israel. I recall a story about an old black woman marching with others toward a police line. She is purported to have said, “Don’t be mad at them, they don’t know what’s going on and are afraid.” Well, I made the words up, but you get the drift.
      .
      The suicide bombings were horribly real. If the left trys to pretend they weren’t–it will backfire. How you incorperate those events in a narrative of hope has yet to be done, or has yet to be adequately heard, at any rate.

      Reply to Comment
    45. ps
      .
      Paul, above, it totally right, in my view.

      Reply to Comment
    46. aristeides

      My problem with the suicide bombing narrative is that it invariably is raised in a context of exclusively Jewish trauma, as if the Palestinians under the occupation haven’t suffered far more extensively and at least a traumatically.

      .
      Also that the Jewish victims of the bombings seem to be in total denial of the reasons behind the intifada, clinging instead to “just because we’re Jews.”

      Reply to Comment
    47. TLA

      Aristeides, can’t say I’m surprised to see you writing justifications for suicide bombers, but then again – this whole site serves one purpose: justifying terror. Not that you’re doing a good job, you guys are so obvious in your lies that its ridiculous.

      Reply to Comment
    48. TLA,
      If Ias had been hit in the face with a rifle by the Danish police, I am sure he would have complained about the Danish police. He wasn’t. He was hit in the face by an Israeli soldier, so he is complaining about the behaviour of that soldier. Haggai wasn’t assaulted while protesting at a climate summit in Denmark; he was assaulted while a guest at a wedding in Ma’asara.
      .
      If I am ever attacked by the police or military of any country, I would not sit around saying to myself, “It’s OK, worse happens in Tibet/Pakistan/Myanmar/insert country here.” I don’t think you would either. I also think that you would be very indignant if you were assaulted by the military whilst abroad, only for people to try and justify the behaviour of your assailant by scrutinising the record of the police and the military in your own country – as though you were somehow personally responsible for them, and deserved what you got in return.

      Reply to Comment
    49. TLA

      Vicky, I don’t care about Haggai really, his rants don’t bother me much.
      .
      The purpose of this whole site is to demonize Israel, and as a proof they show “Israeli police hits peaceful demonstrators”.
      .
      Well, I’ve shown you that its not just Israeli police, and Israel is no worse than Denmark.
      .
      So Haggai can go to live in Denmark if he thinks he’d be better of there, otherwise he should take his rants to the IA investigators. The fact that he’s here instead comes to show that he doesn’t really care about changing anything, he only wants publicity and money for his “suffering”.
      .
      Hypocrisy at its best. That’s why no-one believes you guys. Al Jazeera is more reliable than this site.

      Reply to Comment
    50. Click here to load previous comments