The video of an Arab teen, Ahed Tamimi (16), slapping and insulting two IDF soldiers went viral on the internet. What was so extraordinary was that neither of the two soldiers struck back. Were they being “christian” turning the other cheek? It’s pretty clear they did not want to harm this Palestinian activist, who by the way is well-known for her blatant attacks against IDF soldiers. Many people have praised the soldiers for their forbearance, representing the highest moral standards of the IDF. In what other countries could this have happened?
But, others, including myself, are not so sure. The audience for this may be young American teens and the left, who will praise the Israeli soldiers lack of response. But, there are other audiences, particularly the Palestinian terrorist organizations, and Palestinians in general, who will conclude that the Israelis are cowards, that they can be insulted and even hit without cost. This will only confirm their strong belief that Jews are cowards, and that just using more violence and terrorism will cause them to turn and run. An outcome that will cause more casualties.
Also, Tamimi has been arrested and is likely to be tried for her actions. The trial will garner more publicity than it should and most of it will be negative about Israel. If she is sentenced to jail as is likely, she will become another martyr for the Palestinian cause. All his could have been avoided if one of the soldiers had done his duty and given her a swift hit in the gut with his rifle butt. That’s what soldiers are supposed to do and are trained for. They may be young recruits, but they are not there to garner sympathy, they are there to protect the nation, and this is not how it’s done. We are fighting a war here, not a popularity contest.