Tuesday, July 29, 2008

IDF Continues Passing the Buck

In a previous post I wrote about the case of Lieutenant Colonel Omri Fruberg, who was accused of ordering an IDF soldier under his command to open fire on a handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinian prisoner.

In more recent news reports Fruberg is referred to as Bruberg, perhaps in a correction of an earlier mistake.

The IDF's first response to the accusation was:
Lieutenant Colonel Omri was unaware of the incident and that the door of his patrol vehicle blocked his line of vision.
But then they reviewed the video footage of the event and figured out nobody would fall for that crap.

Then they launched an investigation, during which Bruberg took a polygraph at a private institute. The test confirmed he did not give the order to fire. But then he took another polygraph under military supervision, and this time he failed.

Haaretz says:
Bruberg said he told the soldier only to shake his rifle to frighten the Palestinian, according to a military investigation.
This guy is dumber than a box of rocks. He, and whoever is letting him talk, keeps forgetting that there is a video of this. Why would shaking the rifle scare the prisoner? He was blindfolded.

And furthermore...really??? You thought it would scare him because...people normally shake their rifle before firing it?

Bruberg must have also assumed that the prisoner had his ears plugged as well because that's the only way he wouldn't have heard "Shake your rifle to scare him."

I have now uncovered all sorts of things the Israeli media is not reporting.

First of all, the prisoner who was shot, Ashraf Abu-Rahma, is well-known by the IDF and is considered to be the "Palestinian Che Guevarra" because of his frequent but non-violent resistance to Israeli activity in the West Bank.

Ashraf has been shot multiple times and arrested three times before this incident, which could, in part, explain his obvious lack of surprise at being shot this time. In an interview with IPS, he explained that he doesn't understand Hebrew very well and therefore could not confirm or deny that Bruberg gave the order to fire. However, he did recognize the word for rubber bullet, gumi. It was a rubber coated steel bullet that he was shot with.

Ashraf has gained his reputation for nonviolent resistance by doing things like camping out in homes that were set to be demolished or halting settlement construction by climbing onto the cranes themselves.

Another aspect of this story that nobody is reporting on is the actual situation of the IDF soldiers. For example, even though the media is not reporting his age, it is likely that Lieutenant Colonel Bruberg is between 22 and 25 years old. This is an advanced age for a soldier in his position but incredibly young for a soldier of this rank in any other army. Most active-duty IDF soldiers, especially those in direct contact with Palestinians, are between 18 and 22 years old.

They are dealing with complicated situations where they must often choose between their own life and the life of a stranger. A common example of this concept is the image of a dark figure approaching a guard tower at night. The figure holds what could be a stick or could be a gun. The soldier yells "stop!" but the figure continues to advance. This dark presence could be an adult militant, intent to kill. Or it could be a child.

These soldiers make the choice whether or not to fire before Americans of the same age are even allowed to drink alcohol. They do not have the life experience to act with wisdom and there is nobody supervising them.


AngryBell said...

I'm sorry to ask this, but when was the last time an Arab group (i.e. Hamas, Palestinian Authority, Hezbollah etc.) has ever bothered to investigate the murder of an Israeli citizen? The last I checked, Hezbollah has yet to offer an explanation as to how Ehud Goldwasser or Eldad Regev. After searching, I have yet to see the PA announcing that it is conducting an investigation into Husam Taysir Dwayat's actions? Or about the extra-judicial killings in the Territories of people who may have "collaborated" with Israelis?

You talk about knowing the truth. However, the truth you choose to present is one-sided, at least judging by your postings.

HRH said...

In this post, I discussed both the plight of this Palestinian protester and the soldiers he is fighting against. I don't see how that is one sided.

However, if any of my readers would like to hear more about the Israeli side, feel free to read this: http://wanderingbell.blogspot.com/2008/07/sad-day.html