Israeli soldier: ‘Cameras are our kryptonite’

Israeli soldier: 'Cameras are our kryptonite'
Israeli soldiers try to arrest Activestills photographer Yotam Ronen, as Palestinian and international activists block 443 highway, which connects Tel Aviv and Jerusalem through the West Bank, during a protest against the violence of the Israeli settlers, October 16, 2012. (photo: Oren Ziv/

A recent article on Ynet, and excellent analysis by Ali Abunimah on the Electronic Intifada, yields this gem of a quote (emphasis Abunimah’s):

One soldier admits that the presence of cameras – presumably in the hands of Palestinian and other videographers – inhibits the soldiers from being even more abusive:

T. says the cameras on the ground undermine the forces’ efforts. “A commander or an officer sees a camera and becomes a diplomat, calculating every rubber bullet, every step. It’s intolerable, we’re left utterly exposed. The cameras are our kryptonite.”

Israeli soldier: 'Cameras are our kryptonite'
Mustafa Tamimi, a 28 year-old Palestinian from Nabi Saleh, is seen seconds before he gets hit with a tear gas canister shot by an Israeli soldier from a short distance during the weekly demonstration in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, 09.12.2011. (photo: Haim Scwarczenberg/Activestills guest photographer)

Of course, Abunimah acknowledges that the presence of cameras does not always restrain the Israeli military’s use of lethal violence against protesters:

While “T.” worries about “calculating every rubber bullet,” Israeli soldiers have found ways around rules nominally meant to prevent wanton killing of Palestinians.

Exactly one year ago, Mustafa Tamimi, 28, was killed when Israeli soldiers in the village of Nabi Saleh fired a tear gas canister at his face at point blank range, a murder witnessed by Linah Alsaafin.

In November, harrowing video caught images of Rushdi Tamimi, 31, also in Nabi Saleh, lying on the ground shortly after being shot in the stomach and thigh by Israeli occupation forces during a protest against Israel’s attacks on Gaza …

A year after Mustafa Tamimi’s killing, no one has been brought to justice. It’s unlikely that Rushdi Tamimi’s killers will face justice either.

Israeli soldier: 'Cameras are our kryptonite'
Palestinian and Israeli activists hold a poster asking “Who Killed Mustafa Tamimi?” during the weekly protest against the occupation in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, December 7, 2012. Tamimi was killed on December 9, 2011, when he was shot in the face with a tear gas canister at close range by Israeli soldiers. Also pictured on the poster is soldier who killed Tamimi. No one responsible for Tamimi’s death has been brought to justice to this day. (photo: Oren Ziv/