The Shmooze

Shamed Israeli Soldier Has Friends in High Places

By Nathan Jeffay

  • Print
  • Share Share

Israeli lawmaker Michael Ben-Ari has just come up with the ultimate harebrained idea. The Jewish nation, he believes, is in need of values, and who better to provide them than the Israeli soldier who just shocked the world with his brutality?

There was shame in Israel earlier this month, after a video of Col. Shalom Eisner, deputy commander of the Jordan Valley Brigade, went viral. He was slamming his M-16 in the face of Danish activist Andreas Ias. There was condemnation from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres, and the army has suspended him pending an investigation.

But Eisner has various celebrity backers. The novelist Naomi Ragen has claimed that Eisner was provoked and said that he condemned the “disgraceful dismissal of this dedicated officer on the altar of Public Relations.” She recounted how she bumped in to him in Jerusalem and “had the rare privilege of approaching Col. Eisner and expressing to him personally my deep regret over the unjust way he had been treated, and my personal support and admiration. I let him know that my feelings were widely shared. “‘May God bless you’ I told them.”

Yet firebrand Ben-Ari goes further in a letter he just sent him. “I call upon you to establish the Institute for Jewish Heroism, where you will teach Jewish pride, and restore this might to the IDF,” he wrote.

Tens of thousands of Jewish youngsters from Israel and the Diaspora are preparing to take part in summer programs with all sorts of organizations. Does Ben-Ari really foresee a day when parents will entrust their teenagers for a month-long stint with the Shalom Eisner Institute for Jewish Heroism?


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Michael Ben-Ari, Naomi Ragen, Shalom Eisner

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.