Once again, Israel fell right into the trap. It took at face value a heavily edited two-minute video showing IDF Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner striking a Danish “human rights” activist with his weapon and dismissed him from his post. At the same time, its top officials went into apology mode, giving credence to the accusations and thereby blackening Israel’s already bad image abroad and handing a victory to the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), the pro-Palestinian, pro-terror group that arranged the show.
Israel should have learned from the case of Muhammad al-Dura, the man who became a cause celebre when he was “photographed” with his son being shot by IDF soldiers, that pictures can easily be taken out of context.
This misguided attempt to control the damage to Israel’s image by racing to apologize has infuriated many, chief among them Lee Kaplan, an investigative journalist who is an expert on the ISM, which claims to be “ movement for nonviolence, justice and peace.”
Kaplan was trained in their camps, studied their methods, and immediately recognized the anarchists’ tactics on watching the short Eisner clip.
Manipulated Film Clip
Over the past eight years, Kaplan reported extensively in the inner workings of the ISM in the United states and abroad, going undercover to learn how the organization operates.
“At the ISM sessions, we were instructed that our purpose was to harass the IDF in any way possible in order to frustrate their antiterror operations,” Kaplan says.
During the two hours leading up to the two-minute video of Eisner striking the Danish ISM activist on a bicycling tour, the ISM used their bicycles and bodies, and even resorted to physical assaults, to obstruct the IDF in a closed military zone and impede their routine antiterror operations.
“During training, we were told not to fear IDF soldiers since they have no authority over the activists and are under orders not to hurt us,” Kaplan says. “We were encouraged to challenge the soldiers at every turn. If instructed by soldiers to back up 10 feet, we were trained to back up only 5 feet, in order to maintain a consistent and intense level of interference.”
The California-based journalist who is completing a book, A New Kind of War, on the ISM’s corruption, adds that the training emphasized that on being ordered to disperse or leave a closed military zone “we must refuse and demand to see the soldier’s orders in writing.”
in Kaplan’s analysis of the clip, he notes that 11 seconds into the video Eisner can be seen ordering the ISM activists to disperse; one of them is to his right with a baseball cap.
The Danish activist who was struck, Andreas Ias (not his real name),has his back to the camera, and is facing Eisner in the foreground.
The colonel is holding his weapon like a stick to create a line that should not be crossed, holding the weapon in a way that suggests his hand is injured. Indeed, earlier in the day, Eisner was struck by a stick-wielding ISM activist, leaving him with several broken fingers.
The film is the manipulated by editing. In the next part of the clip, the activist with the baseball cap walks behind Eisner to break up the dispersal line the colonel set up with his weapon.
This. says Kaplan, was one of the techniques he was taught at the ISM training,to mingle among the soldiers and police in an attempt to break the lines made by the security forces.
“We were instructed to scream, tug on the soldiers, and create mayhem before the cameras. Most of all, we were trained not to allow the police or soldiers to create a line,” he says. “And in this clip, they faithfully followed the script.”
At 13 seconds, the film has been edited to show Ias defiantly facing down the colonel instead of dispersing as the other activists are seen doing.
“Looking carefully, one can see how Eisner’s eyes bulge as Ias challenges him verbally and refuses to move. This fits the ISM playbook, as the activists are told the cannot and will not hurt them for fear of punishment. And in the unlikely event that they do, cameras will be there to grab an edited Kodak moment,” Kaplan explains.
The colonel, faced with an unrelenting agitator and trying to hold the line with several broken fingers, struck Ias. The Danish consul may have demanded an explanation, but Col. Eisner did nothing more than the Danish police do to unruly anarchists, Kaplan notes.
“I have videos of how Danish police treat peaceful protestors in Copenhagen. smashing their heads with clubs and other such treatment, much worse than seen in the Eisner clip,” Kaplan says.
In the last part of the clip, you can see Ias leaving the site. He doesn’t appear injured or in any need of treatment, except for a small cut on his lip.
“Col. Eisner says he overreacted? The real overreaction was by the politicians and the media, who do not seem to fully apprehend the ISM’s tactics and training and the context in which it took place,” Kaplan concludes.
20-year-old Danish activist Andreas Ias told Army Radio April 16 (yes, the interview was done by the radio of the same IDF from which Lt. Colonel Eisner hails) that he wasn’t surprised by the officer’s actions, since he and his friends had “seen this kind of violence many times before”. I do not believe him – and for one reason: if such violence had been used “many times before”, similar videos would have emerged far more often. Rarely can anyone find an activist protesting in the West Bank without a camera.
To be continued..