Criticize the IDF, but stick to the facts
Opinion: The IDF makes mistakes, but the radical Left engages in pure slander; I cannot recall an incident in which a Nazi soldier shot at the legs of fleeing Jews or provided medical care for them; Jewish life expectancy did not rise under the Nazis nor did they enjoye a sharp increase in education
"The Israeli media is occupied with the number of vacationers visiting nature reserves. The atrocities occurring in the territories remain unseen." Thus, wrote Yariv Oppenheimer, former chairman of Peace Now, in a Facebook post.
What "atrocities"? Here they go again promoting slander and formulating false conspiracies; in any case, the media has in fact covered the story.
What happened was that there was a road accident, perhaps a hit and run, and a resident of the Palestinian town of Teqoa, teacher Fatmah Suleiman, was killed. Residents of the town embarked on a protest aimed at IDF forces and during the protest, according to Oppenheimer, "a soldier drew his pistol and shot at a bound and blindfolded teenager from short-range."
Oppenheimer based his information on a post by "Sabi Ta'ayush," ostensibly an activist with Ta'ayush (a Left-wing network of Palestinians and Israelis to counter the nationalist reactions aroused by the Al-Aqsa Intifada), who based his post on one by Tamar Goldschmidt, whose Facebook page proudly features an image calling for the release of convicted terrorist Marwan Barghouti (who is serving multiple life sentences in an Israeli prison).
Goldschmidt wrote: "When the residents cannot take it anymore and have the audacity to go out and protest as they see fit, a soldier draws his pistol and shoots a bound and blindfolded teenager from close-range." I was convinced that this was merely another anti-Israel plot produced by the bizarre extreme Left.
There is almost never an encounter between IDF forces and Palestinians that is not filmed from several angles. This is true in this incident as well. I viewed the video and images for myself and I asked: what indeed did occur?
I referred my question to Oppenheimer, whom I know and respect, as well as to two activists who shared the video and images. Sabi added to his post: "300 views to a video clip which I uploaded of IDF soldiers losing control in the town of Teqoa and shooting at a bound boy. 562 Likes and more than 350 Shares to the horrible images that I uploaded of the event."
The post added that nobody in the media has mentioned the incident, while in fact, it has been covered by several outlets. But Sabi rejected my inquiries, apparently learning from Netanyahu how to ignore journalists.
I turned to the IDF Spokesperson's Unit to shed some light on the incident. I was told that there have been frequent disturbances at the site for some time now and that indeed soldiers shot at the lower body of the bound youth during a chase. I learned that the story was indeed true even if the description is exaggerated.
The Left-wing activists refrained from mentioning that he was shot while trying to flee, as can be clearly seen in the footage. Yet there remain several question marks regarding the justification for the shooting and it is not clear why he was shot when the images show that there were soldiers in front as well as behind him. "The incident will be investigated," the IDF Spokesman told me.
Publications by the radical Left must be treated with caution. There have been numerous falsities and we must not turn a blind eye. When it comes to the comments, the tone worsens. One commenter sufficed by writing one word: "Nazis." It is safe to assume that he would not write the same regarding Hamas which repeatedly calls for the destruction of the Jews.
A commenter by the name of Rachel Navot wrote: "I am a second-generation Holocaust survivor and all my life I read and read in order to understand… and here I am receiving answers, here and now." Most of the responses were similar. It is manipulation; it is dehumanization.
I can't recall an incident in which a Nazi soldier shot at the legs of a fleeing Jew. Nor can I recall an incident in which the Nazis provided medical care for an injured Jew. And I also cannot recall any Nazis who assisted Jews with evacuating one of their wounded. It is also not the case that the life expectancy of Jews rose under the Nazi regime or that they enjoyed a sharp increase in education. But how easy it is to simply spread lies and slander and compare IDF soldiers to Nazis.
The IDF does not have a free pass with regards to criticism. Mistakes were committed and injustices too. It is correct to criticize the shooting of the fleeing Palestinians teenager, but the video and images demonstrate that it was not done out of brutality. Blowing the incident out of proportion and using terms such as "atrocities" and Nazis is no less than a blood libel.