IDF: Give ‘Em the Finger
The IDF military prosecutor has arrested several soldiers in the ultra-Orthodox Nachal brigade for abusing a Palestinian prisoner last January near Jenin. They can be seen in several mobile phone images pointing their rifles at a bound Palestinian prisoner and giving him the finger with both hands.
The story was originally reported by Yediot in August and the IDF explained that the reason the soldiers were detained was the “ethical siege” which Israel faced in the aftermath of the Goldstone report. Defense lawyers claimed they were detained because of Israel’s fear of “what they would say in Europe.” He also claimed that far worse images circulate on the internet of IDF soldiers standing by corpses of Palestinians like trophy kills. Yet these soldiers were not prosecuted and his client was.
The Yediot coverage noted the international outcry that accompanied the release of the images of another IDF soldier, Eden Aberjil, as she posed next to blindfolded bound prisoners with a primping pose. Apparently, the Israeli military feels it has less of a margin of tolerance for ethical excesses–at least those that are captured in the media and broadcast in Israel and around the world.
In other words, these acts do not offend the average Israeli who sees them as a small price to pay for the so-called security offered by the IDF to its fellow citizens. The army only takes these acts seriously because they are taken seriously outside Israel. Were it left to Israel alone, the soldiers would be home sleeping in their warm beds while the Palestinian would no doubt be rotting in some Israeli jail. Indeed, the prosecutor acknowledges that the act itself isn’t terribly serious, but the assault Israel faces for its moral lapses IS–hence the arrests and imprisonment.
The lawyer for two of the soldiers argued there should be no criminal charges filed since “no one was harmed in the incident and there was no intent to humiliate [the victim].” The lawyer went on to argue that a criminal prosecution would cause “great harm” to other soldiers. Really. It seems the IDF has no appreciation of the dignity of Palestinians and only acknowledges the dignity of its own soldiers, even if they show none to “the enemy.” After Palestinians, even bound and gagged ones, don’t deserve respect. I wonder if this is inscribed in the IDF ethics manual prepared by that distinguished Israeli ethicist Menachem Kremnitzer? I wonder what the rabbi of these Haredi soliders would say about their behavior. Does halacha permit such gratuitous degradation of non-Jews? If so, what is the worth of the so-called Jewish morality represented by their belief system (which thankfully is not the belief system embraced by all Jews)?
Channel 2 TV interviewed the Palestinian victim who recounted how the soldiers laughed at him as they demeaned him. The TV news story also reveals the soldiers were originally investigated for dealing drugs. When their cellphones were confiscated these images were discovered. Strange to have Haredim selling drugs. These must be the ultra-Orthodox who’ve fallen off the wagon.
The station also uncovered a separate troubling cell phone video showing a Palestinian prisoner in intense pain and begging for mercy because the plastic handcuffs on his wrists are too tight, cutting off his circulation. On the video he moans in Arabic and basic Hebrew:
Soldier, soldier, excuse me…It’s the…It’s the…I beg you. Hurts. Soldier, it’s the plastic [handcuffs]. Soldier, please [screams in agony].
The TV news reporter notes that despite the pleas, the soldiers monitoring the detainee stood by and did nothing. The reporter also notes there is a second video he has not yet been able to procure which contains even worse torture scenes. Let’s keep in mind that this is not unusual. This is a totally accidental event which came to public notice by happenstance. You can imagine how many other Occupation scenes like this one occur virtually every day but whose images either never see the light of day or are not recorded at all, except in the minds of victim and perpetrator (if at all).
40 thoughts on “IDF: Give ‘Em the Finger – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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Read Rambam – halacha allows wonton murder of non jews.
The average israeli would c this abuse as proper treatment of arabs.
care to post the rambam that states this?
its not there
unless you are referring to idol worshipers who are residing in a rebuilt eretz yisrael…then that is true….they can be killed
Forget Rambam! Talmud is merely the written version of oral interpretation of Torah. Torah commands that we shall not murder. Torah says there will be on law for citizen and immigrant. Torah says if our enemy’s ox has fallen, we must help him upright it.
Give me a break – Torah says violating the sabbath is punishable by death.
Besides, ppl like the nachal ha’haredi study niether torah nor rambam – both are much too liberal and moderate for them. Their rabbies will not be angry.
In any army there are always those who take pictures at the end of an operation, it’s a way to unload stress. despite what one may think by reading this post, the soldiers did not hurt physically the prisoner. in my opinion it’s an obsolete custom that needs to be stopped. however i think it’s a task for the Army education officer, not for a disciplinary action by a court marshal. compare these photos to the photo’s from Abu-Garayb and you tell me if they are on the same level.
the quote from Arutz 2, it shows a prisoner that was handcuffed. i have no idea why he was arrested but it wasn’t for delivering roses to the soldiers. any arrest is very unpleasant regardless of the arresting party, IDF or Seattle Police. i wouldn’t get exited over it.
The theory of “soldiers stress” cannot wash here. The correct term here is CRIME. And how many of these criminals have been brought to justice along the decades ? …
Israel’s criminallity is 62 years old and counting. How much and how long does a country needs to release “stress” ? ? ?
Again, the correct term here is CRIME.
I have seen it with my own eyes more than 20 years ago.
The world is standing by while psychopaths continue to enjoy themselves in Palestine.
“I wouldn’t get excited over it”
Are you representing the average level of morality in Israel ?? Do you have any idea of how many Palestinians are being arrested, for no other reasons than being Palestinian. Do you only see this as a moral issue from an Israeli point of view ? You have absolutely no empathy with these thousands of men, women and children who only claim the right to live on the land of their ancestors.
You should read Einstein (though you’re certainly not one yourself) and what he said about the coexistence with the Arabs; if the Jews were not able to live in peaceful coexistence with the Arabs, it meant that they had learnt nothing from their history, and thus deserved everything that had happened to them ! Well, I guess Einstein is not really ‘en vogue’ in Israel, he wasn’t one of those New Jews, was he !
Is this kind of taking revenge on history or are you seeking a national, collective moral suicide, a Massada of the 21st century. Don’t you understand that this kind of behaviour is what has lead young Palestinians to become suicide-bombers.
Free cruelty, sick people, sich country.
itai isn’t that wrong – if this was a picture taken by seattle PD after an arrest it wouldn’t be that big a deal, although it WOULD end with serious punishment to the policemen.
What itai, like most israelies, doesn’t get, is that the operation, like the rest of the occupation, is immoral.
So yes, he does represent average israeli morals, however this is not just due to racism, but also complete faith in the gov’t (whatever it does MUST be moral).
Duck, what you said is nonsense, police officers all over the world are handcuffing detainees with their hands behind their back, for whatever suspicion and nothing is done to them. the people they arrest may be released upon arriving to the police station and the policeman will not be punished. sad to see it, yes, unpleasant very (from my own experience, and i really have done nothing.) abuse ? not even close.
The occupation is immoral i agree with that where did you read i was saying otherwise. many mistakes have been made during the years and Israel should have withdrawn from them immediately after liberating them in 67. but there was no one to give it to.
the situation now is very complicated, you probably think its morally OK by the Palestinians to attack civilians, one of the notions i read hear is that since in Israel most people are serving as reservist then the terrorists are attacking semi-military targets. you think it’s morally OK by people from the Gaza strip to fire rockets onto the city of sderot, ashkelon, beer-sheba and others targeting civilians
but when the IDF retaliates everyone say Oy Vay. call soldiers butchers, natzi’s etc.
look at what people are saying
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Strange how the political Zionists manage to turn the chronology upside down.
It’s always: the Palestinians attack and we retaliate, i.e. defend ourselves (and by extension, the Western world).
Well, if we go back in order to know ‘who started’: if my memory is correct, the Palestinians djd not go to Europe to harass the Jews, who on the contrary started coming to Palestine around 1881, and they did not bring flowers, as you stated in an earlier comment.
Your link with Richard Kemp on the Goldstone rapport has nothing to do here. And we could post hundreds of statements confirming Goldstone’s rapport. It’s not like the Israelis were acting like boy scouts till “Cast Lead”, is it ??
I know, you have an explanation for every massacre, every murder. There is a whole army of Hasbarazik trying to clean up your sh.., and that’s a full-time job.
I guess according to you, the 91-year old sheperd killed in Gaza yesterday, was the al-Qaïda representative there.
“Liberating them in ’67” – are you kidding, been playing too much much Risk lately? Are you earnestly saying the Palestinians were so oppressed by the Jordanian occupiers that they practically begged their Israeli brethren to please come and liberate them? And even then, if there was no one to give the land to, that must be because those native savages, from South America to Africa to South East Asia, just can’t take care of themselves, can they. Or else, Golda Meir is my witness, because they don’t exist in the first place.
I think I proposed this notion once, in the context of Israel attacking Gazan civilians on this very pretext. I was calling out the cynical hypocrisy in claiming that “only our civilians are really civilians”; that doesn’t mean I agree with this reasoning.
#1 Dead Dir Deïr Yassin, it’s very sad what happened to the PA shepherd and his grand kid, now would you condemn the Palastinians from firing rockets from city centers and hiding behind their own people ? this is what the English Col. claimed they are doing, he’s not Jewish nor Israeli.
#2 Dear RIchard, i have been reading you blog for few months not, and despite the difference of opinions i am enjoying it much, however seems to me that every Israeli who comes around and displays a different opinion is being banned. is it my imagination or is that the case ?
Every Israeli or anyone for that matter who violates the comment rules serially & after receiving a warning does so again is subject first to moderation & then banning. The rules are clearly displayed in the comment rules page. If ignored there are consequences.
No, I’m afraid it’s YOU who is mouthing nonsense. The issue isn’t handcuffing suspects, the issue is torturing them so that circulation is cut off in their wrists & hands causing excruciating pain And doing nothing to ease the suffering when the suspect begs for assistance. That indeed is a violation even of IDF procedures. So provide an example of a single police officer in a single country accused of torturing a suspect in this same way who was not punished. Then we can talk.
Personally, I think you are in a state of huge denial. You CANNOT believe the Occupation is immoral if you don’t also concede that this torture is also immoral & illegal. As long as you deny one you deny the other. As far as I’m concerned you’re a blowhard & a liar. Either that or you’re in such denial you can’t even see the ludicrousness of yr own positions.
As I said, a total ignoramus. What about Jordan? Is that no one?
That’s Israeli for: “we can’t possibly compromise.”
It may be possible that a single commenter here has made this claim. But it is not one I share nor the majority of readers here. So in effect you’re smearing everyone who you tar as beleiving this lame claim when hardly anyone does. Another intellectually dishonest strategem.
Aw, my heart goes out to you. But you really must be talking about the settlers treatment of the IDF because that’s how they treat Palestinians & perhaps they now treat the IDF the same way. Are you claiming that Palestinians fire on you? When?
I’m so glad I banned you.
First of all, with a pseudo like that, I’m always suspicious, and normally people turn out to be pure propagandist. There was an “objective” here a couple of weeks ago, Hasbara spinner of the first degre . . .
How come you guys always start by asking others to condemn this and condemn that ? How come ? I condemn violence against civilians, ALL civilians, and I condemn oppression, xenophobia and ethnic/religious supremacism wherever this might take place. Is that clear enough ? I guess you could sign that too, couldn’t you ?
“Palestinians . . . hiding behind their own people”
Oh my, this is the first time I’ve ever heard that argument. You mean like the Hamas hiding under the Shifa-hospital ?
Well, as far as human shilds are concerned, the only proofs I’ve seen of that, is the IDF using Palestinian civilians as human shields, but then again what do I know, and Goldstone is a Nazi . . .
And yes, the resistance live among civilians in Gaza. If you have ever been to Gaza, you know that people already live on top of one another.
“Are you representing the average level of morality in Israel??”
It is very disturbing, but I am afraid that may very well be the case.
I encourage you to check the roots of the English words assassin. Suicide attack were the weapon of the week throughout history, from the assassins during the crusade to the kamikaze in world war two. the Jewish suicide in Messada is very different in that it wasn’t directed in hurting the enemy but to prevent the enemy from capturing them.
as for moral complexity, i see both sides, and it is horrible situation to be in. on both sides. its hard to be a Palestinian and its very hard to be a solider and get buckets of pee and poop thrown at you, not to mention foul language, rocks that are being thrown at you, not to mention you are being fired out.
however Israel is a democracy and until decided otherwise we need to fulfill the decisions of the government as long as they are not Superior Orders.
Israel is trying to negotiate a peace agreement, and i hope that something will come out of it, though last i heard the Palestinians are not willing that as part of the agreement the “End of the conflict” will be included and are demanding the right of return which will lead no where.
“I encourage you to check the roots of the English word assassin”
Holy Mary. You have to move on to your Hasbare course No. 2
This assassin-stuff has been around for years.The father of modern Orientalism, the inventor of ‘The Clash of Civilisation-theory’, popularised by Huntington, the Islamophobic Israeli citizen BERNARD LEWIS has already written extensively on the Nizari sect.
Are you trying to tell us that before the Nizari, nobody was ever assassinated ??
You are a pure propagandist.
I Think that was he getting at is the simple fact, that people been using suicide attacks forever, and that suppression is not the motive behind Palestinian suicide bomber.
you don’t make no correlation between the al-Qaïda achievement of 9/11 and oppression right ? same rule apply. you are only trying to find justifications for horrible crimes, you are condemning one crime, while justifying the other, and you have the nerves to claim you talk in the name of morality.
More garbage. The Occupation is the cause of terror. The Palestinians are not Al Qaeda & their grievances are entirely diff. than those of Al Qaeda.
You seem to be the new Hasbarist on the block now that I’ve banned Elad & Itai. I sometimes imagine them linking up like planes at Ben Gurion. No sooner does one land then another lines up to take its place. Readers, meet our new Hasbarist, Yoni.
Yoni, follow the rules, read them, consider yrself warned.
No, the Right of Return is a legitimate demand of Palestinians that must be negotiated as part of a peace agreement. Demanding justice is not the same as rejecting a peace agreement. What you detest is that Palestinians are rejecting a peace agreement on YOUR terms.
Real funny. But the only one whose world is twisted is yours.
a nice welcome party is always appreciated, what have you warned me for ?
just so I’ll understand you claim that right of return is a legitimate demand on behalf of the Palestinians – OK i agree with that.
what about the Israeli demand that the Palestinians would recognize the Israel being a Jewish democratic state ?
is that a legitimate demand ?
and besides without us Israelis, it would be extremely boring on your site. no debates, no reason for you to get angry, really boring, i just hope that you can show me the same respect i am showing you.
No. Israel expelled over 700,000 Palestinians fr. their own land. The RIght of Return is an issue that needs to be addressed & resolved for there to be justice. Palestine doesn’t have to recognize Israel as a Jewish state for Israel to exist. Palestine has to recognize Israel as a STATE. Period. In fact, there are many Israelis & Jews who don’t want Israel to be a supremacist Jewish state. So why should Palestinians agree to something about which many Jews themselves don’t seem to agree??
Should Israel be forced to accept Palestine as a Muslim state? Why? What does it have to do w anything? It’s totally irrelevant. A way to guarantee that the Right of Return will not be recognized & that Israeli Palestinians have no claim to full democratic rights in Israel.
You’ll be respected as long as you follow the rules & don’t insult our inteligence.
Richard thank you for your sincere answer.
needless to ask if you recognize that Jew were expelled from all the Arab countries. i see where this is going.
unfortunately with only one side recognizing the claim of the other there would never be peace.
You’re the 100th right wing reader to raise this mostly bogus issue. The issue of Jews from Arab lands is quite complicated & in very few instances were they expelled in anywhere near the same way or sense that Israel expelled its Palestinian residents. We’ve addressed this issue about 30 times already here in diff. threads, so lay off it.
Oh you mean Israel has recognized a Palestinian Right of Return? Why didn’t I hear about that?
Also, why am i being moderated ? is that part of the welcoming party ? was i being offensive ? rude ?
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Which of your comment rules have i violated ?
i think that you don’t like the fact that you were proven wrong.
some moderator you are.
I told you that we had discussed here scores of times the issue of whether Jews were expelled from Arab lands. In fact, the specific source you raise has already been raised here. Issues like this that have been discussed ad nauseam are no longer open for discussion.
So pay close attention when I tell you something been debated exhaustively already, it means you’re not entitled to reopen it for the 101st time. If you have something to say that hasn’t been repeated by a thousand right-wing pro Israel commenters before you, by all means, bring it on. Otherwise, respect the fact that I don’t want to experience profound boredom by hearing arguments repeated endlessly.
And I’m really turned off by commenters who crow about proving me wrong when they’ve done nothing of the sort. So can that as well.
I know very well what Itai was getting at when he asks us to look up the etymology of the word ‘assassin’. How come that he asks that in the middle of nothing related to the topic ?
Bernard Lewis has written extensively on the Nizari sect, and every Islamophobic and Israel-supremacists have used this argument for years. According to those propagandists, the Muslims have a long (and ‘genetic’) history of being cold-blooded murderers, that’s what he was getting at.
Are you doing a kind of team-work around here ? One posting extremist statements, and the other trying to ‘put into context’. Or is it just part of the IDF military service ??
Ah yes, boys will be boys. They celebrate the end of the mission by taking a toke on those drugs they’ve been dealing & cock those rifles in the victim’s ear & give him the finger. What a great way to unload stress (at the victim’s expense I might add). They didn’t “hurt” him? Doesn’t that depend on the meaning of the term “hurt?” If by “hurt” you mean they didn’t actually pull the trigger & send him to the next world–then yes they didn’t hurt him. But if by hurt you include the fact that the victim likely felt he was about to be sent to the next world by the rifle cocked in his ear, then certainly he was abused & “hurt.” But for you the only way to hurt a Palestinian is by breaking his arm or worse. Any abuse short of that is horsing around.
The video showing the prisoner handcuffed is pure torture. I don’t care what he was doing, it is a violation even of the lax IDF rules on treatment of prisoners to abuse them by cutting off circulation to their wrists so that they writhe in agony. Don’t know about you, but in Seattle our police don’t do this. And if they do, the public is in an uproar. Guess standards are diff. in the IDF.
BTW, Itai accused me of lying in a private e mail & he has been banned for that.
You must be a genius gauging from the pictures that gun’s were cocked next to his ears.
just FYI, the soldiers are cocking their guns prior to entering hostile territory, they unload them only upon returning to their base. they do so in the presence of an officer. so where did you came with that BS from ?
the military prosecutor had the soldiers arrested, so i dont see how that is the idf giving the finger
as for the handcuffs being too tight vid….i can point out numerous police vids where suspects sit complaining about cuffs…its not torture, its pretty much normal procedure to place cuffs tight so that a suspect cannot get out of the restraint
Simpleton, the Nachal soldiers gave the finger to the Palestinian. Or are you blind?
Yes, it’s torture. The news reporter notes in his commentary that the soldiers filming the video stood around doing nothing to help. Torture.
you said “idf” not idf soldiers
and i again tell you that it is a common complaint that suspects have that cuffs are too tight…and cops do not ever loosen the cuffs…and there has never been a case of police brutality substantiated by cuffs being too tight
and please dont call me a simpleton
i would suggest that if you are going to stoop to calling names, you change your blog rules so that those who are at the brunt of your ad hominem attack may answer back.
Do me a favor: get yrself a set of these plastic cuffs used by the IDF. Ask a friend or family member to deliberately put them on too tight so they cut off circulation in your wrists. Before you do so, tell them that no matter how much you beg them to release the pressure they are on no account to do so. Allow 30 minutes or so to go by. Then write back to us & describe the physical sensation. Then we can believe the bullshit you’re trying to peddle here.
Then don’t take yrself or us for fools. Don’t act like one & I won’t call you one.
It is not normal for such plastic handcuffs to cut off blood circulation. (If that were the case complaints about their use would have had them abandoned in most civilized countries.) If they do cut off blood circulation they are tied too tight, and should be loosened. Not doing so can be regarded as an intentional form of torture, and certain people are low enough to do just so. Here is the eyewitness account of Jamal Eshayyal, (a news producer at Al Jazeera) on what he saw on the Mavi Marmara after the ship had been taken over by the Israeli marines:
“One passenger had his hands tied so tight his wrists were all sorts of colours. When he requested that the cuffs be loosened, an Israeli soldier tightened them even more. He let out a scream that sent chills down my body.”
if you go back as far as 1881 to decide that the Jews are the ones who started this conflict, why not go farther still? Jews lived in modern day Israel for about 3000 years, when Arabs as nation haven’t even existed. So I claim it’s actually the Palestinians who came to Israel and “didn’t bring flowers”.
The point – It’s irrelevant! The international community recognizes Israel (at least inside the green line) as the homeland of the Jewish people. So you can either dispute it and argue about who started or accept it, move on and try to get something done for co-existence.
Yakov, You are right
but the Palestinians never wanted to reach a solution, they decline the division plan in 1947, they decline it today by demanding the right of return.
the funny thing is that Israel is the one who’s being blame.
what a twisted world we live in.
This is a revealing story of the almost casual cruelty exhibited by young men in time of war. It reflects a type of conditioning, a reaction often seen in warfare that has gone on for far too long; the blunting of whatever sensibilities these soldiers might have had before their entry into it. The phenomenon is one commonly to be found in other theatres, other conflicts; an inability to empathise with the ‘enemy,’ a response forged by military expediency where increasing the gulf between ‘our’ side and ‘theirs’ is deemed a necessary requirement to enable and continue the confrontation.
Maybe, in a wider sense, that has been the problem all along. Matters have become so polarised that, for any effective action now to take place, the fear and distrust of the ‘other’ must first be reversed, overcome and in a manner that dispels the many doubts and forebodings such an undertaking would raise.
Perhaps an analogy might help at this point.
Imagine you’re a hunter, off deep in the woods, hoping to bag a few quail, pigeon or some other creature of the feathered variety. A shotgun, in all probability, will be your weapon of choice; all you’ll need, more than adequate for such a task. But, instead of going after birds, you may be out there hunting much larger game. Let’s say there’s a bull elephant on the rampage, doing an enormous amount of damage to crops and suchlike and causing no end of trouble. In that case, you bring along an elephant gun; you abandon your trusty shotgun since, offensively or defensively, it will be of little use. All it can accomplish is to annoy the beast even further, calling attention to yourself and, very likely, leading to you being trampled to death in the next charge. For accuracy and stopping power in such a situation, the elephant gun must be considered much the better bet.
Israelis and Palestinians are human beings, just like the rest of us.They have their demons and their fears, their hopes, their dreams, as do we all. The difficulty they find themselves in is not entirely of their own making. Some may have contributed to it but, for the most part, it can be said that they inherited their predicament and have yet to discover a way out. The majority of them, it must be imagined, still want that way out.
So, is it time to stop taking pot-shots at all the smaller stuff around? Commendable though that can sometimes be, we can never hope to bring down the really big target, no matter how hard we blast away at it.
What say we break out the elephant gun? Or will our preference for peashooters still continue? It seems to me we must force the issue in some manner, make the call, take the shot. Because the longer we leave it, the worse it becomes. And the worse we become.
In which case, we may have more in common with those soldiers than we realise.
‘ (EARLIEST) ELEPHANT GUN; Wikipaedia…- The first guns were the simple muzzle-loading shotgun designs already used for birds and loaded with solid balls of lead for use on large game. Due to their ineffectiveness on the largest game (up to 35 shots being recorded by some writers for a single elephant), they soon developed into larger caliber black powder smoothbores. The caliber was still measured in bore or gauge – 10, 8, 6, 4 bore, or even 2 bore – or the guns were named by projectile weight in ounces. The projectiles were lead round balls or short conical slugs, sometimes hardened with antimony.’
If the IOF merely gave the finger to Palestinian captives, it wouldn’t be so bad. But what they do to them is much, much worse.