Archive for August 26th, 2010

Purity of arms pt. 1

August 26, 2010

Recently a young Israeli woman-soldier Eden Abergil posted a picture of herself on Facebook mugging in front of  bound Palestinians old enough to be her father.

The picture was taken a year ago when Ms.Abergil was still a member of the Israeli defense Force. Israeli women  give two years of military service when they turn eighteen. She informs us that this period was “the most beautiful time in her life.”  One friend commented on her blog that  Eden was “her sexiest like that.” Eden responded, “Yes, I know. LOL… What a day it was, look how he completes my pictures. I wonder if he’s got Facebook. I have to tag him the picture. LOL.”

Yes, laugh out loud.

Now one should cut a twenty year old some slack for such a sad-making act which she will come to regret as she ages.Now that the pictures are plastered all over Israel I can guarantee most Israelis (like most Canadians, Italians,Serbs etc) are cringing at these Abu-Ghraib like markers of stark humiliation. Her parents are probably mortified.The poor silly woman was stunned at the critical outcry in Israel and around the world.

In an Israeli radio interview this ethically-challenged kid  said she could not understand the outrage over the photographs.

“What’s wrong with that? I don’t understand,” she told Israel’s Army Radio. “There was no violence in the pictures, there was no disrespect.”

An Israeli army spokesman commented, “This is shameless behavior by the soldier. In light of the fact that she was discharged last year, all of the details have been turned over to the commanders for further attention.”

A reason not to quit on the Israeli people is the remark of Yishai Menuhin on the widely read YNET. He is  the director of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, a local NGO,  “These types of pictures reflect the customary norms of IDF soldiers… and the treatment given to Palestinian detainees.”

This statement would probably not be made in many places in the Jewish diaspora, but in Israel there is a much broader debate and readiness to criticize the state and its armed wings.Defensive North Americans  still trot out the unbelievable and discredited  idea of “the purity of arms”, that Israel has the most moral army in the world.”

Closer to the truth were the words of Mondoweiss the much read website “devoted to covering American foreign policy in the Middle East, chiefly from a progressive Jewish perspective.”

“This highlightes the cold indifference and cruelty that has come to characterize the Israeli occupation.”