5 thoughts on “Israeli Border Police Videos Document Abuse of Palestinian Civilians – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. I spent a few days when I was in the IDF serving with the Border Police and I’d like to caution against making generalisations about them. While it’s true that many of the most awful human rights abuses happen at the hands of the Border Police, and that many of them hold extreme and often racist views, it’s by no mean the whole lot of them, and I certainly had a lot of my prejudices shattered by interacting with them on a daily basis, albeit only for a few days. In fact, just as we are cautious about generalisations we make about other perceived opponents of peace, for example Hamas, we should be just as cautious in this case.

    1. Your point is well-taken. Not all Border Police are thugs or evil personified. But as you can clearly read in the former commander’s statement the service is deeply flawed beginning with the quality of its recruits. I have read scores of documented reports of horrific abuse perpetrated by the Border Police. This is more than a single incident or a few bad apples. The problem is systemic.

      This doesn’t mean there aren’t some good people there. But it does mean that the entire system is so flawed that the good people are the exception rather than the rule.

    2. Yes, it’s absolutely true that Hamas has a stupid and racist charter. There is no doubt hatred in the Palestinian community towards Jews and I think many deny the Holocaust as well.

      But not all racism is the same in origin. OBVIOUSLY.

      The racism exhibited by Christian/Jewish Zionists (the main group), American ‘exceptionalists’, etc. is that of the master over the slave. It’s colonial/imperial racism.

      It’s not the same origin for racism amongst Arabs who are daily humiliated by Jews, while at the same time turn on the television and see the criminal Western MSM telling them they are the terrorists and Jews are eternal victims fighting off the barbarian anti-semitic Nazi horde.

      There is collusion between the MSM always supporting the State against it’s enemies and the power of the Jewish (not simply Zionist) narrative in the US. We are a pro-Jewish (Arabs are semitic and we’re not pro-Arab, just read the book ‘Reel Bad Arabs’ a study on Arab stereotypes in Hollywood) society. Jews have been a part of American society for a long time. They have assimilated with us.

      Arabs and Muslims are still an alien entity trying to get accepted.

      One of the big scams about Obama-mania is the notion that racism is over or that it’s been dealt a serious loss. It hasn’t. No one has learned the principles of racism. People have simply been SOCIALIZED to accept certain groups. Blacks, Jews, etc. I can’t even think of a third group that is accepted as much.

      The racism in Israeli society is PREDICTABLE. We are seeing typical colonial behavior.

      It’s just like the talk of terrorism. Hamas is frequently called a terrorist organization. Why has Israel not labeled Irgun a terrorist organization and asked for forgiveness from the Arabs for the crimes committed by Irgun? Last time I checked, Israel named a medal or ribbon in dedication to Irgun.

      Begin – a Prime Minister of Israel – was in Irgun.

      This is classic hypocrisy.

      Militant nationalist groups throughout history have used terror. That’s what they are like. But to attach ‘terrorist’ to them is to render their crimes unique to history. They are labeled this way to separate their actions from the actions of States or groups WE support(ed).

      Again, it’s a TACTIC to call someone a terrorist in the same way it’s a tactic to call someone an antisemite.

      And there is not intellectual discussion on race and religion. It’s always generalized with empty platitudes. No one wants to analyze groups. Well, no one wants to talk about Blacks or Jews. If we’re discussing the Chinese, it’s another issue. If it’s Arabs, it’s another issue.

      No principles. No reciprocity.

      The Israel-Palestine conflict is symbolic of the deep injustice done to colonized people/oppressed people/the third world.

  2. Richard, thanks so much for posting this. Including, thanks for putting in the few tidbits from the Hebrew version that weren’t in the English version.

    On the issue of comparisons with the European Holocaust, I agree with your position that there IS an important distinction between having genocidal intent (and practice) and not having it; but that beyond that specific question of genocide there are many other gross rights abuses– i.e. atrocities– that the Israeli government and security forces engage in that DO have disturbing parallels with the practice of the Nazis and of other perpetrators of atrocities, that can and should be pointed out.

    Regarding the Nazi-era photo you reproduce, there see to be parallels w/ the You-tube videos at two levels: 1) the event being portrayed and 2) the fact of the recording/memorialization of the event, which was almost certainly done with an intention for subsequent sharing.

    …. This latter fact is an interesting one to explore. For starters, memorializing/recording the event means that there are at least two people involved: the on-screen perp and the camera-person; and that they were in a situation in which they had the leisure to give the whole “performance” and its recording a degree of planning. In other words, these abuses being portrayed were NOT committed “in the heat of the battle” or in any situation of great pressure that would have prevented the somewhat orderly stage-managing and recording of the event.

    Secondly, if the perps had had any reason to believe that perpetrating these abuses would have damaged their careers or led to other punishments, of course they would not have recorded them and later (in the present Israeli case) gone so far as to share their recordings extremely widely.

    These observations apply in some measure, too, to the abuses the US military committed at Abu Ghraib and to the fact of the wide-scale recording by fellow service members of those abuses, too. In the Abu Ghraib case, of course, the US military and government have worked very hard to restrict the distribution of the images.

    I’m thinking that the Israeli authorities will now work pretty hard to get the Border Police Youtube videos taken down… perhaps by using an appeal to “protect the dignity of the Palestinians involved.” Not a trivial argument, actually.

    1. Thanks for that very articulate discussion of the issues involved in the videos & their comparison w. Nazi era abuse.

      Wouldn’t it be ironic though if the Border Police argued in trying to get the videos taken down (which btw Jerry Haber says they’ve done in at least one case) they were “protecting the dignity” of the victims after their own personnel had violated their dignity so egregiously by creating these horrid videos?

      Did you note also that the Border Police attempt to glom onto Machsom Watch & to get credit for supposedly using that group’s personnel to sensitize the Border Police to their role in monitoring Palestinian checkpoints & civilians? I’d be curious whether Machsom Watch itself feels either it, or the Border Police deserve such “credit.”

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