On the heels of the exposure of the humiliation of Palestinian detainees by Eden Abergil and Avi Yakobov, Israeli peace activist Assaf Kintzer has a new Facebook gallery of humiliation featuring images of IDF soldiers preening for the camera in Palestinian homes during Operation Cast Lead, as if they were on their summer vacation. Not quite as explosive as anything in the Facebook and YouTube profiles of those IDF abusers, but instructive nonetheless as to the prevailing attitudes of IDF soldiers when they appropriate the homes and property of their Gazan victims.
One of the commenters on these images at Assaf’s Facebook photo gallery made an incisive comparison of this behavior to that of dogs who pee to mark their territory. This is these soldiers feeble attempt to come to terms with their surroundings. It’s gross, immature, insulting. And can there be any hope that these soldiers and all their fellow Israelis who think like them and might behave in the same way given similar circumstances can ever really come to terms with Palestinians? Imagine the obtuseness, the cultural impoverishment, the blind ignorance that produced these poses. What does it say about the society that created these people?
I imagine that pictures like this will continue to dribble out as time passes. Perhaps a few soldiers harbor guilty consciences about what they did and what they saw and will see fit to expose such abuse. There may even be images of real torture to come à la Abu Graibh. But for now, this is bad enough.
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.