By BEN HARTMAN
Investigation by blogger "Eishton" leads army to release figures on soldiers suicide, sparking public debate.
The police and army investigation of an anonymous blogger has brought the issue of IDF suicides into the public arena, leading the military to release figures on soldiers who take their own lives, and sparking a debate on press intimidation in the country.
The investigation came to light on December 12, when blogger “Eishton” (a combination of the Hebrew words for “man” and “newspaper”) changed the banner of his blog.
“Eishton is currently under a combined police-military police investigation!! I am forbidden to speak about the details of the investigation, whose only purpose is to silence me, harm me and extort me into handing over private and protected information in order to incriminate myself and others,” the banner said.
“If this site crawls to a halt or stops being updated, know that this was done against my will and that I am being subjected to anti-democratic measures, which violate accepted journalistic ethics and censor information that the public has a right to know,” it added.
It later emerged that the probe had been launched in the wake of a three-part investigative report Eishton published beginning in April, which examined discrepancies in the official IDF death toll for 2011 and figures appearing on government-run memorial websites.
Though the Israeli press described the report as an exposé focusing solely on IDF suicides, the long, heavily researched series was based on efforts to determine the identities of all 126 fallen soldiers, independent of the issue of suicide.
Media coverage over the past two weeks led the army to release figures on soldier suicides.
The figures show that there were 14 suicides in the army this year, the lowest in at least 23 years. They indicate that in 2011 there were 21 IDF suicides, and that over the past seven years, the worst was 2010, when 28 soldiers took their own lives.
Before the army launched a program aimed at improving the way mental health issues are handled among soldiers, there were between 34 and 40 per year, the army said on Wednesday.
In his first post in April, Eishton wrote, “Who were these soldiers that the Left says died in vain? Who were these heroes that, because of them, the Right says our country is standing? The fact is, even with all the ceremonies and magic words – memorialization, heroism, memory – no one actually knows who our fallen soldiers are. I decided I would change that. I decided I would study and learn the stories of all 126 who died this past year.”
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US Blogger exposed military suicides in 2007
MONDAY, APRIL 16, 2007
Cause of death, because they served
I went back in Army Times Records to March 2003. What I found is shocking. None of the sites I have trusted have included all of these deaths. When they die back here in the USA, their deaths are ignored. When they die by their own hand, they are forgotten. When they die because of health reasons, they are passed off as “oh well” instead of taking their deaths seriously. These deaths did not have to happen. What is worse is that while AP did their jobs reporting on these deaths, it looks as if Army Times paid attention, the families paid attention, but no one else did. The Hartford Courant, McClatchy News, CNN, ICasualties.org along with the other links provided cared. The families cared. We just didn't care enough. They died when they didn't need to die. Some because of health and some because their health was taken because of drugs they were forced to take. Some died because or murder and some by accident. Some, I am sure, are not even on this list or any other list. I tried to find as many as possible. Vehicle accidents are not included unless they are under investigation.
When they were buried I wonder if they played taps? They gave their lives becaue they served. Try to pass off one of their deaths to their families.