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April 16, 2012

Israeli Soldier Attacks Demonstrator … and Thoughts on All the Eisners in the World

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These frames of Israeli army Lt. Col. Shalom Eisner attacking an unarmed, Danish, pro-Palestinian protester in the West Bank are clearly the “money shots,” the isolated electronic views of the offending act currently pinging around the globe. The frames instants earlier, however, depicting “state of mind,” hold as much significance for me.

Screen shot 2012 04 16 at 2 27 38 PM

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The screen shots vividly illustrate that moment in the head of a seething man — it’s hard not to feel a chill in the looking for trouble and those crazy eyes — when a switch suddenly flips and he goes off.

With this living example from a protester’s camera, what you can’t help but be painfully aware of also — retrospectively as well as prospectively — is how the slightest combination of tension, frustration and fear can lead to the highly potent Israeli army lashing out. It’s no doubt a black day for hard-line Israel in the eyes of the world. Perhaps we can also “appreciate,” however (whether the background is Israel or Kabul or Fort Bragg, a poker game, a marriage or a school yard), how the slow-motion here throws a focus on all the Eisners in the world.

(Video: LIKMA38, via YouTube)

  • http://reciprocity-failure.blogspot.com/ Stan B.

    Israel and its armed forces have been allowed to operate with impunity for decades; they answer soley to themselves. The USS Liberty was purposely attacked and almost sunk by Israel in 1967, thirty four US sailors died- nothing happened. What’s a mere rifle butt to the head here, a Palestinian or two dead there?

  • http://reciprocity-failure.blogspot.com/ Stan B.

    Israel and its armed forces have been allowed to operate with impunity for decades; they answer soley to themselves. The USS Liberty was purposely attacked and almost sunk by Israel in 1967, thirty four US sailors died- nothing happened. What’s a mere rifle butt to the head here, a Palestinian or two dead there?

  • http://reciprocity-failure.blogspot.com/ Stan B.

    Israel and its armed forces have been allowed to operate with impunity for decades; they answer soley to themselves. The USS Liberty was purposely attacked and almost sunk by Israel in 1967, thirty four US sailors died- nothing happened. What’s a mere rifle butt to the head here, a Palestinian or two dead there?

  • http://reciprocity-failure.blogspot.com/ Stan B.

    Israel and its armed forces have been allowed to operate with impunity for decades; they answer soley to themselves. The USS Liberty was purposely attacked and almost sunk by Israel in 1967, thirty four US sailors died- nothing happened. What’s a mere rifle butt to the head here, a Palestinian or two dead there?

  • http://reciprocity-failure.blogspot.com/ Stan B.

    Israel and its armed forces have been allowed to operate with impunity for decades; they answer soley to themselves. The USS Liberty was purposely attacked and almost sunk by Israel in 1967, thirty four US sailors died- nothing happened. What’s a mere rifle butt to the head here, a Palestinian or two dead there?

  • Anonymous

    Couldn’t help thinking of your “recent entries.” See attached.

    • http://www.bagnewsnotes.com Michael Shaw

      Tell me how you are seeing the connection(s).

    • http://www.bagnewsnotes.com Michael Shaw

      Tell me how you are seeing the connection(s).

    • http://www.bagnewsnotes.com Michael Shaw

      Tell me how you are seeing the connection(s).

  • Anno

     http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/843/nablusattacks2012.png/

  • Quasimodomouse

    Strange “grip” for the soldier’s right hand. He’s holding it between his index and middle fingers?

    • Robert Hariman

      It’s the left hand that gives the game away.  He’s holding the weapon as a club as he approaches the protestor.  The intent to strike is there from the beginning, and not as an expected response to something that might have been said.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=570058329 Catherine McCallum

    I have no sympathy for fundamentalists of any stripe, be they Christian or Jewish or Muslim. Sadly, Israel has been guided for the last two decades or so by a cadre of fundamentalists who are destroying Israel’s standing in the world. Because Americans have had the Israel-good/Arab-bad mantra drilled into our brains, we’ve been slower than other nations to lose patience, but even here the questions are mounting.

    Or, to put it more succinctly: these pictures pissed me off.

  • steve laudig

    Brave, tiny, surrounded and beseiged, democratic Israel… not. Rome rules the world, Augustus rules Rome, but Livia rules Augustus.

  • bks

    Judging from the timestamps, a lot can happen in one second.

        –bks

  • Jon Simons

    There’s also the question of why this photo of a not uncommon practice by Israeli occupation forces is disseminated so much: because their were “internationals” in this event, there were more cameras present and hence more likely that the money shot would be captured; and because it was an international who was hit, it gets more attention, including from the Israeli authorities who have to answer to the Danish government – but never feel the need to answer to the Palestinian Authority.

  • Anonymous

     Well, I didn’t articulate them, of course, but …

    An armed man attacks an unarmed man. The attack occurs when the assailant brings years of complex negative feelings to an encounter with a figure who represents the focus of those feelings. (I guess I was thinking of the protestor primarily as a surrogate for the Palestinians.)

    Something is said or done to bring the assailant to the flash point, and he suddenly lashes out. I don’t believe Eisner sat at home that morning thinking, “Today I’m going to find a Palestinian or supporter of the Palestinians and then without warning smash him in the face with my gun.” And I don’t believe Zimmerman (unlike those two men in Tulsa) sat at home thinking, “Today I’m going to find a young black guy and blow him away.”

    Suddenly the assailants’ faces are familiar to the whole world, and people ask, “Why?” As if there were a simple answer. Why did the Challenger explode? Because the O-ring failed. Why did it fail? The weather was cold. Why wasn’t the launch delayed? Etc. Why did Princip kill the Granduke? Why did Bush invade Iraq? When “systems” (material or social) get complicated enough, then they’re bound to suffer breakdowns, sometimes catastrophically.

    BTW, I live less than an hours drive to the north of Cape Canaveral, and about 20 minute to the northeast of Sanford.

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