Sunday, May 29, 2011

Is this excessive force ...

I think it bears repeating that when someone makes a claim about a particular event, especially when it is an event that has to do with Israel, that claim should be treated with skepticism. All too often the people reporting on events here are subject to profound bias.

This is especially true of the various blogs and websites affiliated with the radical Israeli left and other anti-Israel sites. One example is the 972 magazine website.

In a recent post on the site, writer Joseph Dana covered a protest that was held against a new Jewish neighborhood in the eastern part of Jerusalem. The protesters labeled the community as an illegal settlement in Arab East Jerusalem.

I don't want to get into the details of their claim. I think these people have the right to believe whatever they want and to hold peaceful protests if they so choose.

That is precisely how Dana described the protest, as non-violent, and he posted two videos to prove his point. He also claimed that the Israeli police "reacted with excessive and violent force against the chanting Jewish protesters." I highly recommend you read the post and watch both videos that he posted. I'm posting the second, longer video as it provides a much more accurate picture of the event.

I also believe that the video contradicts Dana's account of the protest. The longer video makes it clear that the protesters were blocking the entrance to the community. Additionally, the video shows protesters linking arms and resisting police efforts to clear them from the entrance.

In this light, the police actions do not appear to be excessive at all. In fact my observations of the video lead me believe that police used restraint in dealing with the protesters who were very aggressive and actively confronted them.

This is one of my main issues with the hard left in Israel. I frequently read their accounts of encounters with Israeli police and all too often they post videos in support of their claims that demonstrate the exact opposite.

To be sure, I have also seen videos of Israeli police and soldiers using excessive force against protesters. But overall I find the Left to be inaccurate more often than it is accurate. It is these posts and accounts that make it hard for me to trust the leftist accounts of events here; not only in Israel, but in the West Bank as well.

Perhaps it's just me? So please watch the video and tell me if this is an excessive reaction by the police.

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