UPDATE: Now we know the identity of not only the Palestinian woman degraded in the IDF YouTube video which I’ve been posting about for the past few days. We also know the name of the abuser. He is Avi Yakobov. More about this lug later.**
French-speaking Tikun Olam reader, Deir Yassin, brings news that Agence France Press has identified the Palestinian abuse victim in the IDF Youtube video first brought to light by Israel’s Channel 10. She is Ihsan Dababseh, 35, who was arrested, accused and convicted of belong to Islamic Jihad, and served 22 months in an Israel prison:
A Palestinian woman told AFP on Wednesday at his “humiliation” after being recognized on a video showing an Israeli soldier dancing around a veiled detained, blindfolded figure with hands tied.
“I saw the video on Al-Jazeera. I did not sleep last night so I felt humiliated and frustrated “, said Ihsan Dababseh, after the international television retransmission of these images broadcast from YouTube Monday by an Israeli channel.
“The sound of laughter of the soldiers and the music echoed in my ears,” said the young woman from the village of Nuba, near Hebron in the south of the occupied West Bank.
She said he contacted the Prisoners’ Club, a Palestinian NGO, and is considering legal action against the Israeli army.
“When they arrested me, they took me to the detention center, Gush Etzion, near Bethlehem and put me in a hallway, hands bound and blindfolded,” she added, placing the date incident in December 2007.
“I heard the laughter of the soldiers, their voices and music. I saw what was happening because the band was not very tight and I begged them not to film me, “said the former detainee, stating she was arrested for alleged membership in the radical movement Islamic Jihad and sentenced to 22 months in prison.
In this video, an Israeli soldier mockingly wearing sunglasses performs a parody of oriental dance around a young veiled woman, who is motionless against a wall, handcuffed and blindfolded. Background music and the laughing of fellow soldiers are heard in the background.
The viral spread of the clip occurred seven weeks after the outcry over the discovery on the Facebook page of a former Israeli soldier of pictures from military service in which she posed smiling alongside Palestinian prisoners, blindfolded and hands tied. The pictures were accompanied by sexually abusive comments.
…”These videos are isolated cases that do not represent the Israeli army as a whole,” she said, a line of defense undermined by the multiplication of such incidents in recent months.
Palestinian officials and Israeli organizations of human rights argue instead that these behaviors are indicative of the mood prevailing in the army vis-à-vis the Palestinians.
“This is a disgusting picture of the diseased mentality of the occupier. This is not an isolated incident, “said the Palestinian Authority, noting that new media can” reveal the open culture of humiliation of the Palestinians. ”
Considering “the film deeply offensive to the dignity of women,” it considers that such attacks “will not cease until the end of the occupation…”
Now, we need to identify the abusive soldier. Anyone serving in Gush Etzion in December, 2007 who may know this guy is invited to communicate with me. Let’s not give the IDF an excuse to sweep this monstrousness under the carpet. We all know that the IDF is the Most Moral Army in the World. The nation’s defense minister told us so, ferchrissakes. So let’s see what the most moral army in the world does with this mini-mess.
**Eagle-eyed reader, Dena Shunra, has unmasked our proud IDF abuser via Twitter. He is Avi Yakobov. An Israeli reader tells me this is likely a name of Bukharan origin (Lev Leviev is also a former Bukharan Jew).
Last night, Dena discovered the Twitter profile of an Israel journalist who was suffering a sleepless night as she contemplated whether to violate her sister’s wishes and “out” the IDF soldier featured in the belly-dance video.
Ultimately, she decided to file a story for Maariv. That piece of shmate has some explaining to do because instead of doing what a newspaper should do, which is publish the truth without fear or favor, it published an item that censored his name. For shame.
I don’t want to name the reporter till I know she’s ready to be named. But she is one brave woman and journalist. I hope her sister will forgive her for doing such an important and courageous thing.
I continue being amazed by the power of social networks in that regard. Eden Abergil’s taunting of Palestinians was featured on her Facebook page and outed there. Avi Yakobov’s sins are bared for all to see on his Facebook page. And an Israeli journalist describes in Twitter how she broke her heart and that of her sister in deciding to publish the details. All I can say is that social networks are beacons of liberty in portraying the Occupation in all its horror and the means to redeem it as well.
Dena happens to ply the internet for just such nuggest and thank God for that.
Our friend, Yakobov is now enjoying Oktoberfest at a bartender’s convention in Berlin where he’s writing barely sober notes about his exploits. Apparently, he is blissfully unaware of the furor surrounding his belly-dancing skills. Neither is he aware that Hamas, according to Yediot, has announced that it would like to offer him deluxe accomodation in the same bunker with Gilad Shalit.
I’m guessing right about now the Israeli embassy in Berlin is hustling this guy onto a plane bound straight for Ben Gurion. From there he’s liable to be whisked straight to the Kirya for testing to determine how someone with his IQ was actually accepted into the IDF. This guy is gonna cause of world of pain to the IDF when this gets out.
Note in the accompanying picture above he’s photographed embracing a huge promotional display of Jagermeister. How appropriate. And in the other Facebook image, entitled Avi & Shuki’s Spread, subtitled “Thanks for a wonderful time,” he features this montage of images in the center of which Avi smiles as he accompanies what appears to be yet another handcuffed, blindfolded Palestinian. UPDATE: This party occurred on Purim and the scene is a sort of Purim shpiel re-enacting some of Avi’s “heroic exploits.”
On a serious note, one wonder whether all the drinking may be a residual hangover from some of the guilty memories he may have of some of the more disgusting things he did. Many Israelis, when they complete army service travel to India, do lots of drugs and try to forget. It strikes me that Avi, though he professes to love his military service, may be suffering the same sets of personal stresses. I’ve looked at his Facebook photos and he strikes me as a perfectly ordinary Israeli young man. So how does this young man with the smile on his face, happy among comrades turn into a monster?
Dena has quoted some of the more redolent comments on Yakobov’s Facebook Wall. Among the comments published on his Twitter account is this one from a friend, Yaniv Tayar, which the latter later deleted, revealing that he saw Yakobov on the Channel 10 segment:
“Bro, you’re a celeb! An appearance on the news, ha, ha, ha…”
Here are more general comments about his alcoholic binge in Berlin and his, and his friends general attitudes toward Arabs, drinking, prostitutes, etc.:
Sept. 10 8 pm: “Berlin? I killed a prostitute in Berlin! In short, what do we do tonight?”
Sept. 9th 7:45 pm mentions that his penis points at MILFs [mothers I’d like to fuck]
Sept. 10 at 3:04 pm “she’s maybe a MILF in Beit Jallah”
August 30th 1:07 am “What can we do, what can we do, that my generation is kind of crooked”
Orian Menahemov: “we like you complacent”
Yakobov Leonard: “whaddaya mean, camplacent”
Avi Yakobov: “whatdaayamean compalcent, the one you sat with in Austria and tossed Faisals into the sky”
August 17th 4:03 am “Alcohol poisonning is baddddddddd”
May 31st 6:05pm “Destroy Turkey and all the Arabs from the world”
Mordechai Maxim Vinogradov: “I’m with you, bro’, and with God’s help I’ll start it :)”
Avi Yakobov: “haha and you are capable of it, with no intervention from the evil eye.”
December 29 2009 4:01 pm: “I started working at Liquor Market, yes-yes, they’ve let the cat guard the cream!”
Avi Yakobov: “Sometime in 2006 or 2007. There were good tiems [sic] in the past in Central Division Etzion” Length 0:47
Tomer Elimelech: “what nostalgia, huh?”
Avi Yakobov: “That was when the dinosaurs were still in their eggs”
Yael Zabi Nov 4 2008 2:27 pm “Wow, that’s really old! Avi, I miss you. Maybe you’ll ask for a career military placement?”
Tomre Elimelech: “I see that I’m starring [in your videos]… hahaha we miss you, brother-of-ours”.
Now that we’ve IDed the guy, what heinous punishment do you think the IDF has in store?
One other interesting sidelight. Yesterday, I posted an Israeli Hebrew language report in which the IDF said its chief concern was teaching soldiers how to avoid embarrassing themselves and the army by uploading such troublesome material. While in the English language N.Y. Times, the IDF was quoted saying it thoroughly disapproved of such behavior and would attempt to root it out. Why the difference in approach? One message for foreign consumption while a message closer to the truth (as the IDF sees it) for the domestic audience? Don’t I remember a similar accusation of dissembling and hypocrisy flung at the PLO by the pro-Israelist right that it spoke out of both sides of its mouth depending on the audience? There couldn’t be a chance the IDF practiced this too, could there?