The five assaults of Lt Col Shalom Eisner

ActivismIsrael/PalestineUS Politics
on 30 Comments

I read about this video on MJ Rosenberg’s site, then at Mairav Zonszein’s. It is apparently from Palestinian television, but picked up by B’Tselem: the group of bicyclists demonstrating for freedom of movement on a Jewish road in the Jordan Valley last Saturday.

You can see Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner’s belligerent face at :09, as he warns a Palestinian television reporter. His assaults begin at 1:50, with an attack on a woman in a white blouse. There are two more assaults in quick succession, at about 2:00: the first the famous one on the Danish cyclist, then an overhand attack using the gun. Then two more at 2:22. The lieutenant colonel is out of control. What will arouse people to look on the new face of Israel?

30 Responses

  1. lobewyper
    April 22, 2012, 3:44 pm

    And guys like this are going to be the new neighbors of Palestinians in a one state solution???

  2. Bumblebye
    April 22, 2012, 3:58 pm

    What will it take to see the true face of Israel?
    Probably several Eisners going Baruch Goldstein on Internationals. They restrain themselves from that, though I’m sure he reallyreally wishes he could.

  3. giladg
    April 22, 2012, 4:01 pm

    The provocation by the Palestinians and the foreign cyclists together numbered, according to reports, to over 200 people. This group was about to join a major road known for many accidents and deaths. The officer had a small group of soldiers on the ground who were given orders to prevent the demonstration from reaching the main road, Road 90. When Lt. Col Eisner understood that this small force was not in a position to carry out his orders without using force, he decided to intervene and resort to “extreme” measures. He alone managed to turn the demonstration around without anyone being killed. Mistakes were made but far more is being made of the visual effects of his actions. The end result of his action resulted in minimal physical damage to all involved, and for this he should be commended. He prevented the group from accessing the main road thus both protecting those driving on that road and the cyclists themselves.
    Those involved in violent demonstrations in the US, Canada, Greece, France and many other countries, who were injured or who witnessed others being injured, could step forward and share their experiences on how “enlightened” countries manage demonstrations. There are plenty of youtube video’s that point to anything but enlightenment.

    • justicewillprevail
      April 22, 2012, 5:31 pm

      Since when is going for a cycle ride a ‘provocation’, and what right do Israelis have to tell Palestinians what to do in their own country, where Israelis have no right to be? These flimsy and laughable excuses – he is to be praised because, unlike many of his colleagues, he didn’t actually kill someone – for the routine use of violence on defenceless people just make you look even more callous than usual. And as for the standard hasbarat attempt at ‘just like other countries’, just remind which of these countries operates an apartheid system under which cyclists and other civilians are subjected to state violence and thuggery on a daily basis, with no recourse to the law?

      • seafoid
        April 23, 2012, 5:50 am

        The cycle ride was genius. Israel devoted millions of dollars to combating the flytilla and the same weekend suffered the biggest PR reverse in several months thanks to a few cyclists. There is just too much leakage for Israel to deal with.

    • Talkback
      April 22, 2012, 6:30 pm

      So he directs traffic by hitting people?

      You could have just said: I want to whitewash his crimes, because he’s a Jew. That would be more plausible.

      • Woody Tanaka
        April 23, 2012, 2:07 pm

        “You could have just said: I want to whitewash his crimes, because he’s a Jew. That would be more plausible.”

        That’s exactly the truth. Even the excuse is laughable. (If the problem is the cyclists causing an accident to the motorists on Route 90, it takes all of 2 vehicles to close and re-route Route 90.)

        But you hit the nail on the head. To the likes of giladg, (and a number of our other hasbarists on this site), the real truth is that they will defend anything, no matter how vile, if it is done by a Jew and/or to the benefit of Israel.

    • CigarGod
      April 22, 2012, 6:37 pm

      Eisner is a Hero!
      He saved all those bikers from going onto a highway and being slaughtered by a stream of homicidal cars and trucks.

      Don’t give up your day job…selling sand in the Sahara.

    • ritzl
      April 22, 2012, 6:59 pm

      “Provocation by … cyclists??” Not serious. Typical. Weird, actually.

      • giladg
        April 22, 2012, 11:41 pm

        Did you miss seeing the banners and the flags in the video?

      • justicewillprevail
        April 23, 2012, 6:56 am

        Oh, that’s why it’s ok to attack them violently. They had banners, just shocking, and ohmigod, flags – quick, call the Israeli Death Force!

      • ritzl
        April 23, 2012, 11:58 am

        Yes, carrying your own flag on your own land. How provocative. But never mind, of course, the root provocation of Israeli soldiers on land they have no right to be on.

    • pjdude
      April 22, 2012, 11:59 pm

      since when is a demonstration for equal rights when no one does anything but peacefully protest count as a violent demonstration

  4. eGuard
    April 22, 2012, 4:17 pm

    Dear internet,

    Please do not ever publish an untranslated publication again. Thank you.

  5. Citizen
    April 22, 2012, 4:24 pm

    This video showing Eisner in all his glory is all over Twitter.
    Meanwhile, kudos to Phil for his getting on the video explanation of how rich Israel Firsters are taking full advantage of US campaign finance laws post Citizens United; the video mostly focuses on Sheldon Adelson types on the right wing, but also reveals how Democratic Israel Firsters from Wall St are engaged in the same way. link to

    Many web sites carried this video and an article on it, but many of them have already had this video pulled–how dare they! No washy Jewish dirty laundry in public even when it includes the shroud of Phil Weiss having his say, even so briefly?

  6. Denis
    April 22, 2012, 4:37 pm

    As appalling as this wanker’s actions are, even more appalling is the support for him in Israel. The story behind the story tells more about Israel than the story.

    Cries that Eisner be promoted.
    link to

    Phony claim by phony “ISM under-cover activist” Lee Kaplan that the Dutch dude had a knife. [Note the most important link goes nowhere.]
    link to

    Kaplan’s work is reminiscent of the knife photoshopping by IDF in the Mavi Marmara incident.
    link to

    Petition to reinstate Eisner.
    link to

    I know we should not be surprised that there are Israelis supporting this out of control Cossack, but, still, it’s hard to believe people can be this sick.

    • seafoid
      April 22, 2012, 5:25 pm

      it’s hard to believe people can be this sick.

      Nice try, Denis

      Eisner is Israeli mainstream. Look at all the soldiers behind him. they are all nice Jewish girls and boys from across Israel. They see this sort of thing every day.
      Eisner is their commander. That sort of behaviour is what makes Israel’s purity of arms what is is. The world’s most moral army.

  7. seafoid
    April 22, 2012, 4:59 pm

    The signpost behind the injured cyclist at 1.05

    Occupation is the name of your town in the language of the occupier first and most prominent on the road signs.

    That’s the mentality of the Jews in Israel. Because all of the land is theirs.

    And if the Hebrew name is different to the arab name as is the case with Nablus the Jewish version will appear in the bottom part of the sign which is in English.

  8. seafoid
    April 22, 2012, 5:00 pm

    What does Eisner’s kippa mean ? Is it something that brings him closer to g-d?

  9. ahadhaadam
    April 22, 2012, 5:11 pm

    Phil, I think it’s counterproductive to dwell on this douchebag. What’s easier for them than to say “here, we dismissed him, that’s just an exception”?

    Beside the fact that these incidents are almost everyday occurrences in the West Bank with Palestinians, the important point is what the activists were protesting in the first place, which was drowned in all this noise, including yours: the activists were blocked from riding on the Jew-only, sorry, “Israeli only” road in the Apartheid State of Israel.

    This incident should have drawn the world’s attention to Israel’s Apartheid and restrictions imposed in the West Bank and that Palestinians are confined to ever shrinking ghettos and instead people are obsessing with that one douchebag (although of course we should thank for helping expose the ugly face on Israel’s Apartheid).

  10. pabelmont
    April 22, 2012, 5:20 pm

    seafoid: Kippa brings him closer to understanding G-D’s promise of the land — to him. (I have my days, too, when I understand things very strangely.)

    Phil: “The lieutenant colonel is out of control. What will arouse people to look on the new face of Israel?” I protest your “out of control”. He is nasty and brutish, but in full command and control — maybe has bad judgment, but “just doing my job, man.” His job is to keep this rabble down. They have no rights. In Israel (and this *IS* in Israel to him) what he says goes and what he does is ipso facto legal. (Way it is, sorry.) Look to see him promoted after a while. Maybe a S/C judge?

    • pabelmont
      April 22, 2012, 5:32 pm

      Levy at Ha’aretz: “But once the brief comic relief is over, the depressing reality returns and strikes you full in the face. It’s now clear that Eisner’s action was not a momentary outburst. The thought that an officer like Eisner was to preside as deputy commander of the Officers’ Training school (had it not been for the accident with the cameras ) should be a cause for concern – first and foremost to the IDF itself. “

  11. DICKERSON3870
    April 22, 2012, 6:37 pm

    RE: “His [Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner's] assaults begin at 1:50, with an attack on a woman in a white blouse. There are two more assaults in quick succession, at about 2:00: the first the famous one on the Danish cyclist, then an overhand attack using the gun. Then two more at 2:22. The lieutenant colonel is out of control…” ~ Weiss

    BUT…BUT…BUT, PHIL: What about the famous line from the film Rudy that Jack Engelhard referred to? Doesn’t that line from what was a quite popular movie excuse everything Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner did. More broadly, doesn’t a line from a popular American feature film take precedence over things like “International Law”?
    Jack Engelhard obviously thinks so.* And he wrote Indecent Proposal, which was made into a very mediocre film, for Pete’s sake!
    Personally, I’m surprised Harvard Law School hasn’t made Jack Engelhard their Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law! ! ! Lookout, Dersh!

    * SEE: Rifle-bashing lieutenant-colonel solves Jewish problem created by Freud and my mother, says author of ‘Indecent Proposal’ (by Philip Weiss) – link to

  12. ritzl
    April 22, 2012, 6:56 pm

    Sarcasm sez: He truly did break his fingers in multiple attacks with riders as he claimed. (Cloaked/background reality, or as Paul Harvey used to say “page TWO”: He was the attacker and broke his fingers breaking their noses.)

    On a more serious note, simple criticism of Israel IS, in fact, “too easy.” I’m cautiously with Finklestein on this, though I disagree with (as I interpret it) his contention that “we” are at some pivot point for taking the initiative that his “too easy” characterization implies. “Too easy” belies the overwhelming forces arrayed against any shift in the narrative.

    Still, at some point this level of exposure can/should (I know “should” is so very arrogant on my part, because so many good people are trying, including this site) be translated into some prospective, deterministic strategy(s). Getting out in front of the discussion. Not just reaction as in Beinart’s late-coming. More, pointed, “if you (supporters of Israel) don’t want this to happen (e.g. that Eisner was in line to be in charge of training the IDF officer corps. which will perpetuate and expand this behaviour) , which it will do/is doing, DO this… (i.e. something different/more strident),” or live with a one-state outcome and whatever that entails for a “Jewish State.”

    Maybe to say it another way is that at this point Eisner’s actions are endemic to Israel. The counter has to be something of equal breadth and depth. Not something “targeted” like decrying seemingly discrete incidents of this type.

    Maybe I’m just restating a universal and obvious sentiment, and if so, forgive me, but there is a translation/transition period coming in the near future on this, and “we” should be prepared to exploit it.

  13. lobewyper
    April 22, 2012, 7:46 pm

    Here’s what Gideon Levy has to say about this in Haaretz:

    link to

  14. justsayin
    April 22, 2012, 7:52 pm

    i have noticed a lot of israeli at the pentagon and other places like nasa, there is something big brewing. is it happenstance that the new world order ruling people have different…everything? non toxic & safe while everyone doses away on nasty unknowns. Have the people that are the thugs like this video ever realized they are being used & brainwashed..just outright & completely controlled like a robot with no humanity at all, even the politicians everywhere the same. it seems there is a downward spiral effect happening to all of humanity, are we all doomed? Is there a chance for common sense, & righteousness to evolve out of the insanity that is our current word with eugenists planing our demise by vacinations & gmo food, poisoned water. what can our part be to help correct the current status of the world??

  15. yourstruly
    April 22, 2012, 10:39 pm

    lt. col. shalom eisner

    with his rifle he smashed a danish cyclist in the face
    thereby disqualifying himself from membership in the human race
    israelis say don’t rush to judgement based on this one bad apple
    after all
    in the fog of war
    mistakes do happen
    so cut the colonel some slack
    except war against peaceful protesters
    in syria that’s cause for u.n. sanctions and calls for military intervention
    why not in palestine?

  16. Henry Norr
    April 23, 2012, 1:36 am

    I’m surprised no one has commented on another aspect of this clip: the Israeli soldiers throwing the riders’ bikes into the ditch or canal or whatever alongside the road. I counted seven such cases in the minute beginning at 3:12 in this clip (you have to look closely, in some cases at the distant background), and that’s not counting the incident beginning at 4:16 or so, when a soldier runs to grab the bike of a rider who’s just standing there – that one too probably went over the side, but that’s not shown in the video. (The original video of Eisner bashing the Danish kid also shows at least two bikes going over the side – at about 1:25 and 1:33. I think those are separate cases from what’s shown in the later video, but I can’t be sure.)

    This is just a minor aspect of the whole incident – the soldiers doing it seem perfectly relaxed, and there’s no indication on the video of any particular reaction from the bikers – but to me it’s a revealing: even among the Ottoman, British Mandate, and Jordanian laws the Israelis keep around in case they feel like using some form of repression missing from their own legal code, I doubt there’s one that authorizes the army simply to destroy these bikes, even if there is one that allows keeping them off the highway. But the bikes belong to Palestinians and their friends, and that’s justification enough for trashing them.

    ahadhaadam is certainly right, though, that things like this happen to Palestinians all the time, and the real issue is the apartheid system that makes them possible and necessary. It’s good that a lot of people who may not know much about the situation are shocked by these videos, but we need to do our best to educate them about the context – specifically, in this case, the active ethnic cleansing of the Jordan Valley.

    • seafoid
      April 23, 2012, 6:24 am

      “throwing the riders’ bikes into the ditch ”

      I think israeli behaviour in the OT is straight out of prison culture. There is no room for nuance or decency. Violence is the language. You provoke aggressively and the aim is to humiliate – the absolute worst result is to be dominated . It is a system of dehumanisation.

      Ironically the Alpha dog, Eisner, got a virtual shaft (in the sense of his job) online .

      In all situations where the rules of decency break down and bullying and coercion replace respect there is shame and there are people outside who don’t buy the transformation. In Israel’s case the community is outside the country. Most of Israel is a moral wasteland when it comes to the palestinians. Eisner and co have the certainty of that backing when they throw those bikes into the ditch. But they have the fear of all bullies.

  17. seafoid
    April 23, 2012, 6:32 am

    I think it would have been interesting if one of the cyclists had torn off his kippa and thrown it into the ditch with the bikes

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