Politicians on the Right came out unequivocally in support of “David the Nahal soldier” on Thursday.
“David the Nahal soldier” is a label for David Admov, who was filmed in cocking his rifle at Palestinian youth who confronted him in Hebron. After the video was posted online, thousands of other soldiers showed their support on social media.
“I would have done the same as David the Nahal Soldier,” Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, a former commando in the General Staff Reconnaissance and the air force’s Maglan units, wrote on Facebook. “He did the right thing.”
“Violence was directed at him. He was alone, surrounded by violent, provocative Arabs. He didn’t shoot. He defended himself and those surrounding him reasonably and ended the incident,” Bennett said.
The Bayit Yehudi chairman pointed out that there were photographers near him, saying that the extreme Left “lives to smear IDF soldiers,” and “if the photographers weren’t there, the incident wouldn’t have happened.
“This isn’t a reality TV show. This is a complex and very dangerous reality that IDF fighters face every day,” he said. “It’s important for every fighter to know that he should continue to protect us and himself, and know we are behind him. Fighters, the people of Israel are with you.”
Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel, also from Bayit Yehudi, said the IDF’s shock at the thousands of soldiers’ social media response should be a warning to senior officers.
“The reality in which soldiers have to absorb harm and humiliation on a daily basis without being able to respond, even when their lives are really in danger, because we’re afraid of criticism, is intolerable,” he said.
According to Ariel, Admov behaved as any other soldier would when he felt threatened.
Ariel called for the IDF and the Defense Ministry to change orders for incidents such as this and “let the IDF win.”
MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud Beytenu) posted a picture of himself on Facebook posing with a sign that says “I, too, support David the Nahal Soldier,” similar to the soldiers’ protest photos.
Later, Feiglin posed with a sign that said, “End the occupation! Police officers and not soldiers,” and explained that soldiers are a sign of the occupation, but that if Israel were to annex Judea and Samaria and be the sovereign over the area, then police would be stationed there, instead.
“As long as soldiers and not police are in Hebron and Judea and Samaria, our sons will continue to be humiliated in incidents like that of ‘David the Nahal Soldier,’” he wrote.
In Yesh Atid, MK Aliza Lavie said the IDF cannot ignore the outpouring of support from soldiers for Admov.
“We must realize that they are expressing a feeling that they are left in the field without backing. The army must think and reconsider whether the orders of action for fighters in Judea and Samaria are appropriate in the current reality,” she said.
While the situation is complicated, Lavie continued, there must be a more sensitive, balanced way to maintain soldiers’ faith in the system.
Shas MK Eli Yishai changed his Facebook profile picture to a sign expressing support for Admov.
“When a soldier is sent to serve for his country and nation and feels like he is threatened, in danger, he has the responsibility to do all he can to remove the threat,” Yishai wrote. “Nothing is clearer than that.”
Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz, from Hatnua, said he supports all IDF soldiers, “but the difference between me and Bennett is that I’m trying to remove our soldiers from these impossible interactions with Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Bennett wants to leave them there."
“A peace agreement with the Palestinians will lead to IDF soldiers no longer acting as police in incidents like this with civilians in Judea and Samaria. Rather, they will protect our borders and our security,” he explained.