National Religious rabbis voice support for Eisner

Rabbi Lau: Soldier who struck protester did wrong, shouldn't be dismissed; Rabbi Levanon: He should be praised.

April 16, 2012 19:10
2 minute read.

ELYAKIM LEVANON. (photo credit: Mati Wagner)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Several prominent national-religious rabbis have expressed support for Lt.-Col. Shalom Eisner, the officer who was filmed striking a pro-Palestinian activist in the face with his M- 16 rifle.

Eisner, who has expressed regret over the incident, has been suspended until an investigation into the matter is completed.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Rabbi Benny Lau, a widely respected figure in the national- religious community, said that although it was clear that Eisner “failed in those moments” in which he struck the activist, the lieutenant-colonel was a moderate figure with positive values and that he should be cautioned but in no circumstances dismissed.

Referring to Eisner’s regret over the incident, Lau wrote on his Facebook page “Lt.-Col. Eisner’s remorse allows him to go back and deal with the complex situation [in the West Bank] and lead himself and his subordinates to the fitting moral level of the Israeli army.”

Lau also criticized both sides of the political debate: The right wing for refusing to criticize Eisner’s violent actions and the left wing for refusing to take into consideration the officer’s confrontation of violent right-wing activists, and his achievements in slowing the “price tag” attack phenomenon.

Elyakim Levanon, hard-line rabbi of the Samaria region, was even more vehement in his support for Eisner.

“If we were talking about a settler who had raised his hands to a lieutenant-colonel, everyone would have asked ‘why didn’t he shoot him in the knees?’ But here, instead of praising this officer, who was beaten, they condemn him; there’s no greater distortion,” Levanon told Walla News website.


The rabbi also criticized Eisner’s indefinite suspension, citing the officer’s claims that the same activist had struck him with a stick shortly before the scenes depicted in the video, breaking two of his fingers and injuring his wrist.

Former IDF chief rabbi Avihai Rontzki has also weighed in on the incident, and slammed what he labeled “an instinctive and impulsive” reaction against an officer who has “given his life everyday for the sake of the Jewish nation.”

“Correct, it doesn’t look good and the officer himself acknowledges that he made a mistake,” said Rontzki, “but they edited the video so that you couldn’t see that he was attacked and that they broke his hand. They need to look at the big picture.”

Rontzki, like Lau, said that Eisner should be reprimanded but that he should be allowed to continue to serve in the army, and also said that the incident should have been investigated before suspending him.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night