A video uploaded to YouTube shows an Israel Defense Forces soldier wriggling in a belly dance beside a bound and handcuffed Palestinian woman, to the cheers of his comrades who were documenting the incident.
The IDF’s internal investigation department ordered an immediate probe into the matter…
As the article notes, it’s only the latest incident of an IDF “Abu Ghraib-style” scandal – but don’t think for a second that all is well now that the IDF is “investigating the matter.” I’m in agreement with blogger Mitchell Plitnick, who points out that these incidents are just the outward manifestation of something much more fundamental and much more troubling:
In my work I’ve come to meet and get to know many soldiers, from several countries (most, of course, either Israeli or American), both active ones and veterans. I know that most soldiers do not behave this way. But it is clear, from every war, conflict, police action and occupation that there are always some soldiers who do.
Israelis are no different, but there is something that is different about this dynamic. It is that these soldiers are the products of a militarized society which has been holding millions of people under military occupation, with no rights of citizenship, for over 43 years. That has a long term effect on both occupier and occupied.
These soldiers are young men and women, who are the second or even third generation of occupiers. They have been raised in a culture that, as is natural for an occupying power, both dominates the Palestinians and also fears them. That fear is not limited to terrorists, but extends to the very existence of the Palestinians, and their legacy of dispossession.