One thing you can’t say about our army is that it ever rests on its laurels. Having first rattled its fans with the Hebron dancing video, and then rocked them with a soldier girl’s posing with Palestinian prisoners bound to accompany her on “the best time of her life,” the boys in green now introduce an integrated product. Yes, it has a woman. Yes, it has soldiers. But now the woman is Palestinian, tied up, and the soldiers are dancing a belly dance in front of her, rubbing their superior force in her face. Pretty literally. Here’s the video; I have a thing or two to say about the footage and the anticipated reaction, but for now while you watch, excuse me as I move away from the keyboard to be sick.
Back? Ok then. So let’s skip for the moment the woman is religious, which makes the humiliation all the worse; the obvious fact there are worst atrocities committed in the conflict , by either side; and just mention in passing the obvious but important fact these soldiers are power-drunk kids raised in a violent conflict.
Two more specific points: First, this video finally debunks one of the most persistent Israeli myths – that ours is the only occupying army in history that does not sexually abuse the women of the occupied nation. Second, it’s about as stark proof as it gets that the IDF cannot and should not monitor itself (if it could, the soldiers would be in prison, de-ranked and de-mobbed before the video even hit the web). We need international law tribunals to rout out the reconciliation cancer of impunity – and at least so long as we don’t have truth and committees, this applies to everyone, from corporal to chief of staff and defense ministers; the situation now is that the soldiers and decision makers are not facing any serious disincentives to restrain themselves. Which is precisely why, to borrow from said boys in green, deterrence must become a top priority. I eagerly await news of the arrest or at least detention of the dancer and the cameraman by some police force, whether our own (fat, even if preferable chance) or a European one.