CoS Kochavi, this is the way to denigrate the IDF
The news of Haredi IDF soldiers beating unarmed Palestinian Arabs broke on August 24th. A TikTok video,uploaded to the social media site on August 15th, came to the attention of the IDF and Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi’s reaction to it was widely quoted in the Israeli press. The foreign press has apparently not yet caught onto this tasty morsel fit for consumption by Israel haters, but there is no doubt they will. In the meantime, it has provided ample material for debate among Israelis who are quick to denigrate certain segments of Israeli society, in this case, the ultra-Orthodox in general and Netzach Yehuda, the ultra-Orthodox battalion, in particular.
Below, you can find a table I constructed listing the articles published so far in Israel on this topic.
I can summarize it for you thus: Seven articles were published in Hebrew on the morning the news broke and they all focus on Chief of Staff Kochavi’s condemnation of the battalion. The five English language articles published that day emphasize suspension of the combatants from the IDF.
That evening, the Hebrew press alone followed up on the story. One article talks about the failure to prepare the soldiers for combat duty and five present the version of events as told by the combatants themselves.
The next day, one Hebrew article brought the news to their readers (Haredim) with a title showing that they incorporate the “shocking” video together with the version of the story told by the soldiers. The titles of the three other articles relate to the quick-to-judge aspect of the former day’s reporting. In English, only one article appeared and it was a criticism by the soldiers of nighttime interrogation.
Only one article appeared on August 26th and another on the 28th. Both were English-language pieces critical of the media slant on the incident.
I do not have a problem with the media reporting here. News sites post the news. My problem is with Chief of Staff Kochavi.
Kochavi’s remark WAS THE NEWS.
He fed the media with his impulsive and unadvised comment that cannot possibly have been based on a thorough investigation of the event. In fact, he does say that his remarks are based on an initial investigation, whatever that means, adding that a thorough examination of the incident will be conducted and the results of that will be made public.
Unfortunately, the public has heard this before: an initial seemingly off-the-hip remark that attacks the integrity and dignity of an entire group of Israelis and the promise of results after an in-depth investigation into the situation. Then, silence.
The public is left with the initial condemnation.
When Kochavi says that the four soldiers’ behavior was not consistent with IDF values, he does not explain. How is trying to overcome potential terrorists not consistent with IDF values? Military law prohibits violence against a detainee who is totally subdued; however, that is not the situation in this case. What message is Kochavi giving soldiers in the field who face similar situations when operating in Judea-Samaria?
Kochavi tells the public that these soldiers have no place in the IDF before a thorough investigation has been conducted, and then some politicians come out with suggestions to disband the entire unit. Yet this year, Netzach Yehudi was given a commendation for thousands of successful operations and just ten days ago a new group of 200 Haredi recruits was welcomed into the IDF. If one 14-second video of four soldiers calls into question the entire battalion, how much does one give credulity to the earlier commendation? Moreover, that same day of the video, the unit conducted successful operations in which 22 terrorists were arrested.
How much faith can soldiers in any unit have that the IDF leadership ranks will stand by them when an edited video serving as anti-IDF anti-Israeli propaganda is seemingly swallowed whole by the top brass?
|Title of Article|
|24.8.22||09:53||INN||Netzach Yehuda combatants documented beating Plalestinians. IDF Chief of Staff: very serious incident, arouses disgust|
|13:11||ynet||Netzach Yehuda combatants documented beating Palestinians are suspended, IDF Chief of Staff: “An abhorrent incident”|
|13:22||Maariv||Netzach Yehuda combatants documented beating Palestinians are suspended, IDF Chief of Staff: “A serious incident”|
|13:30||Ch. 10||Kochavi on the Netzach Yehuda combatants caught beating: “arouses disgust”|
|13:30||Srugim||Kochavi on beating the Palestinians: arouses disgust|
|13:37||JDN||Following the Netzach Yehuda incident, IDF Chief of Staff: “The combatants in the incident do not merit being combatants”|
|Haaretz||Four combatants documented beating Palestinians near Ramallah and suspended; IDF Chief of Staff: arouses disgust|
|20:27||ynet||“Years are needed”: This is how the education system fails at combat service preparation|
|20:52||0404||Netzach Yehuda combatants respond to the video: “attempted terror attack, tried to grab our weapons, and were assaulted – out to get us”|
|21:21||Kan||Combatants documentated beating Palestinians: “They tried to run us over”|
|21:48||Mako||Combatants who were documented beating Palestinians, their version: Suspicious car tried to run us over|
|21:54||INN||Netzach Yehuda combatants’ version: We thought it was an attempted terror attack|
|22:16||JDN||Combatants’ version: “We fought terrorists who tried to run us over, pushed them away with our feet”|
|25.8.22||07:20||Heder Haredi||Shocking documentation: This is the version of the combatants who were documented beating Palestinians|
|08:33||0404||Honenu: “Arrest of Netzach Yehuda Battalion combatants – problematic message to combatants in the field”|
|10:43||INN||Ben Gvir supports Netzach Yehuda combatants: “Standing up for those who protect us”|
|16:38||INN||CEO of the NGO, Netzach Yehuda: “Surprising how the media jumps on the incident – really absurd”|
|Title of Article|
|24.8.22||10:47||JPost||IDF Netzah Yehuda soldiers suspended after filmed beating Palestinians|
|13:47||ynetnews||IDF suspends Haredi battalion troops following footage showing them beating Palestinians|
|13:57||TOI||IDF suspends soldiers filmed beating Palestinian detainees in West Bank|
|14:55||ynetnews||IDF suspends Haredi battalion troops over use of violence on Palestinians|
|5||15:38||TOI||Minister calls for disbanding religious battalion after troops beat Palestinians|
|25.8.22||10:33||ynetnew||Soldiers recorded beating Palestinians slam IDF chief over nighttime questioning|
|26.8.22||JewishPress||Haredi Combatants Become Pariahs over 14 Seconds of Arab-Edited Video|
|28.8.22||World Israel News||Religious soldiers claim ‘unfair scrutiny,’ say IDF head rushes to take Palestinian side|
This is an expanded version of an article published in Israel National News.
Feature Image Credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit