In the aftermath of the revelation by Israel’s Channel 10 that an IDF soldier sexually abused a bound and blindfolded Palestinian woman (see video) by belly-dancing and rubbing his body against her in a suggestive manner, the IDF has reacted in a classical fashion. No, it hasn’t scheduled any sensitivity training for its troops, nor has it scheduled any classes teaching the proper means of detaining suspects and treating them with a modicum of respect. It won’t be warning its troops that such bad behavior will not be tolerated in future. How could it when so many units behave in precisely the same fashion?
IDF behavior won’t change because Israelis fundamentally don’t see anything especially wrong with it. Abuse only ends in such circumstances when commanders and their political bosses develop a will to change the culture. There is no such will anywhere in the IDF or Israeli society at large.
So how is the IDF responding? It’s going to train soldiers how NOT to embarrass the IDF when they use social media:
The video clip, which has aroused many reactions in the wider world, brought the IDF to the conclusion that it must explain better to soldiers the dangers of uploading video and images embroiled in controversy.
Lovely. Don’t stop behaving in the abusive manner that got you into trouble to begin with–just be more careful in not allowing the world to see you doing it.
Even Ethan Bronner has now gotten in on the act, though he neglected to credit Channel 10 with first alerting Israelis to the video. I suppose we should be grateful he wrote about the incident at all, since it pains him to write anything that might be construed as critical of the IDF unless he can balance it with something positive.