IDF Castrator Earns Second-Highest National Award
One of Israel’s most decorated and veteran officers, Amos Horev, recently earned the ‘Security of Israel Prize’ for Lifetime Achievement (Hebrew) in a ceremony presided over by Pres. Shimon Peres and defense minister Ehud Barak. This is the second highest national award offered after the Israel Prize. Among his achievements, he was also president of the Technion and a trusted booster of the Israeli armaments industry. Those of you who read this blog regularly may remember that Horev was among the younger of the octogenarians and nonagenarians appointed to the Turkel Commission, which did its duty by whitewashing the Mavi Marmara massacre, finding Israel’s siege of Gaza was just and the killings aboard the Turkish humanitarian vessel likewise justified.
But one of the most infamous incidents in Horev’s military career goes all the way back to the mid-1940s, when he served in the Palmach at a time when a notorious sexual assault occurred in which the victim of the attempted rape was a Jewish kibbutznik. Through intelligence data, the authorities identified a local Israeli (then Palestinian) Arab they believed had committed the crime. Presuming that legal justice would be insufficient to punish the alleged perpetrator, and that the Biblical dictum of an eye for an eye and a penis for a rape would better apply, Horev commanded a unit which kidnapped the man and castrated him on the spot, after they learned the proper medical procedures from an Israeli medical doctor [!].
Not only was the incident not suppressed, it became the subject of a famous pop song whose lyrics (though bowdlerized to protect the sensitive ears of Israeli womanhood, I suppose) were on the lips of all Israeli Jews, much as those of Justin Bieber are on the lips of all impressionable young American girls.
Horev certainly earned his award for whitewashing the Mavi Marmara and thereby doing a great service to his country. But the notion of offering Israel’s second most prestigious national award to a man made famous for castrating an Israeli Palestinian leaves the bitterest of tastes in one’s mouth. If truth be told, Amos Horev engaged in state-sanctioned terror way back when, and his nation he rewarded him handsomely for it. Can you imagine Lt. William Calley being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom? I say it reeks.
At the time of his appointement to the Turkel inquiry, I wrote this:
…The next time any supporter of Israel’s draconian policies rants about Arab terror, let them consider for a moment the rather sordid past of some of Israel’s current élite. If those who engaged in acts of terror like Horev can play major roles in their nation’s subsequent history, there is no reason why those Israel currently labels dangerous, murderous terrorists cannot do the same in Palestine.
At the same time as Horev received his award, the IDF also bestowed an award (Hebrew) on a “mystery woman” whose identity, rank, and service branch were under gag. The reason she earned her prize was under wraps. Which prize she earned was verboten too. She even wore civilian clothes so as to conceal her entire military identity. The author of the Ynet article even believes the name under which she was called to the podium was false. But he does note that she received her award among others bestowed on military intelligence, so that may be inferred as her service branch.
As my friend Dena Shunra writes:
“Somebody. Got a prize. For doing something. But we can’t tell you what, ’cause of a gag order. Aren’t you happy she’s out there doing nothing we can talk about?”
Given the rising hemline and leering glances offered by Pres. Peres and IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz standing across from her, and the fact that she’s connected to intelligence, one wonders whether she’s a honeypot of the type who captured Mordechai Vanunu and a number of other men wanted by Israel.
The awards committee which bestowed the awards was composed of the best and worst of the IDF officer corps. It included Uzi Elam, who has consistently voiced strong opposition to an Israeli attack on Iran. It also included Doron Almog, the infamous commander who approved orders to asssassinate Salah Shehadeh despite the fact it meant murdering almost a score of civilians as well. This was also the incident about which then air force chief Dan Halutz said, the murders disturbed his conscience about as much as the dropping of a bomb on its target disturbs the flight of the plane. It caused him “a slight shudder” was the way he so infamously put it.
One wonders whether the conscience of mystery woman was similarly disturbed by whatever intelligence operation she starred in.
37 thoughts on “IDF Castrator Earns Second-Highest National Award – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
Comments are published at the sole discretion of the owner.
“Somebody. Got a prize. For doing something. But we can’t tell you what, ’cause of a gag order. Aren’t you happy she’s out there doing nothing we can talk about?”
LOL, priceless Shunra, and Richard thanks for this update.
I hope we can learn the ID of this woman and what she did
Not only was the incident not suppressed, it became the subject of a famous pop song whose lyrics (though bowdlerized
anyone know if this available to see on youtube or anywhere?
and that the Biblical dictum of an eye for an eye and a penis for a rape would better apply, Horev commanded a unit which kidnapped the man and castrated him on the spot, after they learned the proper medical procedures from an Israeli medical doctor
By the way, the punishment for rape, is death in Islam unless the victim chooses to forgive. But it has to be approved by a court, not vigilante justice. Amos Horev carried out vigilante justice.
I wonder if he would apply the same principle to those in the IDF engaged in raping. The IDF has a high rape statistic
Chayma: “The IDF has a high rape statistic”
What the hell is a “high rape statistic”?
I agree that one rape is one too many for any society, but what sort of libel do you write by besmirching the IDF without bringing any facts or comparisons to other western or other armed forces?
You are party to the oldest propaganda trick of saying something that anti-Israel ears will like to hear and believe, but is not based on a shred of evidence, and is couched in non-professional terms like “high statistic”.
You have a high terminological inexactitude statistic.
Are you denying there is a high rate of sexual violence & abuse in the IDF? Because if you did you’d be making a big mistake. In fact, the very way the IDF is set up is almost guaranteed to encourage such misbehavior given the dearth of high ranking female officers & the fact that most women are consigned to low level clerical positions.
Et tu Richard?
What is a “high rate” of sexual violence and abuse???
Compared to what? The catholic church? The Alaskan Tea Party? Commentators on this blog?
On what do you base your calling me “mistaken”?
Of course there is SOME sexual violence and abuse in the IDF as there is in all armies and workplaces in Israel and throughout the world, but to single out Israel as worse is the sort of speculation and unfounded garbage that you would usually jump on with a ton of bricks demanding a source or a correction.
And rape is not eqivalent to “sexual vioulence and abuse”. Even if there is sexual violence (like a forced kiss hug or grab) that proves nothing about the preponderance of actual rape.
You’re on a high horse here, Richard, climb down!
0ver 80% of women in IDF were found to have experienced sexual harassment (according to IDF’s own statistics in 2003). Only 26% knew what they experienced was harassment – likely b/c it had been so normalized within the military. 50% of women in Israeli workplace report being sexually harassed. This is attributed, in large part, to carryover from army-bred sexual violence.
Shmuel, I’m pretty sure “sexual violence” qualifies as rape in most jurisdiction, if not attempted rape. Ok, in Israel it may just be “initiation”. Do you feel more comfortable with an army of sexual violence, rather than rape? Strange hasbara to argue degrees of rape without acknowledging the problem. Straight out of the handbook though – along with the ad homs.
For a discussion of the nuance of gender and militarism, see this vid. The statistics are cited around 8:55
Woody – sexual violence is not nescessarily rape or attemted rape, but of course rape is a form of sexual violence
Sexual harrassment is NOT sexual violence. It means saying to a female soldier “you look sexy today” or “I can see your bra through your blouse”. A far cry from rape, and is probably why most asked didn’t even realise they experienced sexual harrassment.
So still no proof or even circumstantial evidence of “high” rate of rape or sexual violence in the IDF. That’s because there isn’t!
And by the way, Woody, if you call “hasbara” the correction of your deliberatly misleading statements and pinpointing your ignorance of the difference between sexual violence and sexual harrassment, then I’m out of the closet – I’m a proud hasbarist. Wow that feels good! By the way, page one of the hasbara handbook says don’t let them get away with twisting the facts.
I wouldn’t call it “a far cry.” I’d call it one step on the slippery slope toward rape. And the journey begins with a single step. If you countenance that single bit of harrassment you will end up with rape & sexual violence as the IDF apparently does.
Shmuel says: “Sexual harrassment is NOT sexual violence.”
Shmuel is wrong about that. Harassment of this type is a form of verbal assault, which is designed to control the victim. Wikipedia cites the following definition: “Sexual harassment, is intimidation, bullying or coercion of a sexual nature, or the unwelcome or inappropriate promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favors” (from Paludi & Brickman’s 1991 piece _Academic and Workplace Sexual Harassment_).
It means saying what you quote, but saying FOR THE PURPOSE OF INTIMIDATING the woman involved and controlling their actions and options. Sometimes it is done in order to gain some favor (sexual service, food-service, attention, etc.). Sometimes it is done in order to prevent some action (promotion, better tasks, etc.) in the life of military conscripts. It is not non-violent.
I do not have figures about the prevalence of rape in Israel’s army, but I have heard the figure of one-in-four describing women harassed sexually in Israel. Every woman I know in Israel was harassed sexually. I refer you to the excellent http://www.ihollaback.org.il site, for examples of the daily difficulties women have there.
Woody comes out far closer to reality than Shmuel, based on this information.
Again no facts, Richard, where does the “IDF countenance rape”?
So it has a large amount of male commanders whose testosterone is in abundance. That doesn’t equal rape or actual sexual violence taking place. In fact it is to their credit that in spite of the close proximity of “lusty” commanders with nubile females, their is in fact virtually zero sexual violence (as opposed to harrassment).
Shmuel, how about this story, from Ynet:
Shunra, your link proves my argument that there is sexual harrassment (הטרדה מינית), but no significant sexual violence or rape.
You’re a reservist judge for the IDF & yet you haven’t the awareness that most experts estimate that the vast majority of sexual.crimes aren’t reported at all. That 3% is the tip of the iceberg. So afraid you’re wrong.
Shmuel, of the 445 complaints filed inside the Israeli army, about sexual offenses perpetrated by soldiers, on soldiers, “most of the reports dealt with physical harassment” and “three percent dealt with rape or attempted rape”.
That sounds significant to me, especially when taking into account the scarcity of actual complaints (in other words: women don’t tend to report rapes to the police. Esp. not when someone in charge of them – or in a position of power near them – is the rapist.)
In fact Juie Cohen’s Blog Ishi just carried a shocking account by a man admitting to raping a woman during IDF service. She never reported the crime.
General Staff document: Large rise in number of rapes in IDF
Incidents of reported rape of women soldiers increased significantly in the first six months of 2006.
Why is it when I note the high rate of sexual violence in Israel and the IDF some get into such high dudgeon, but when Haaretz says so there is virtual silence?
I am no defender of rape or sexual harassment. I have been in a relationship with a woman who was brutally raped and the guy never gone to prison(no, not in israel). So i would hang all rapists by the cojones if i had any saying in the matter, but to generalize that idf soldiers are somehow more prone to rape in military is bit too much. I have not seen any idf rape statistics and even if number of reported rapes were 20 percentiles higher than in the US it still wouldn’t make it ok practice in US.
just quick google about US military and rape
I don’t think anybody here approves rape or sexual violence whether it was 1 or 1000 reported incidents. We should condemn it anyways.
Some readers believe that by commenting on Israeli sexual violence we’re somehow excusing sexual violence elsewhere. Nothing could be farther from the truth. But the fact is that sexual violence in Israeli society is poorly reported in English language sources (& possibly Hebrew as well) while sexual violence in the U.S. & other countries is generally better known & reported. So pls don’t feel the need to prove that men in other countries engage in sexual violence. We know that & concede it. What we don’t concede is that Israeli men understand generally how severe the problem is & that it’s been reported well enough.
“But the fact is that sexual violence in Israeli society is poorly reported in English language sources (& possibly Hebrew as well) while sexual violence in the U.S. & other countries is generally better known & reported.”
I am not familiar on reporting status so i will have to trust you on that.
I don’t think no one here is excusing sexual violence, hope not. Sexual violence is the hardest crime to report because it causes shame and guilt on the victim so most crimes go reported.
“sexual violence in the U.S. & other countries is generally better known & reported”
up to 80% of cases are not reported according to Pentagon and figures of idf are propably same or even worse.
if your point is only to raise the awareness of sexual violence in idf, then I agree. But to draw any unnecessary conclusions is unfounded.
On the aljazeera article there is a video on Susan Avila-Smith interviewed in Seattle (VetWow Advocacy Group) who explains more about why violence go unreported in military. It is very interesting interview. i recommend it. I think it can demonstrate why uprooting sexual violence is so difficult in IDF aswell.
Avila-Smith:”they have been getting away for years, i don’t see anything changing. Paper work disappears, records are sanitized, this has been standard practise since the 1940’s”
“Through intelligence data, the authorities identified a local Israeli Arab they believed had committed the crime.”
Obviously not an Israeli Arab, an IDF castrator, or state-sanctioned terror in the mid 1940s….
And “leering” is also slightly overdoing it given the quality of the photograph.
Biased, inaccurate language – sigh…
My, my. Horev was in the Palmach, predecessor of the IDF. SO shall call him the Palmach castrator??
As for the unfortunate victim shall we call him a “Palestinian” (instead of Israeli) Arab?
As for the leering, you’ll have to take that up with Kikar Hameyoashim, an Israeli blog which first noted the Visuals on that. By the way, Shimon is known for his appreciation for the ladies, though he’s apparently more discreet than his predecessor, who is about to spend some serious time in prison.
An Israeli American female reader of this blog pointed out the woman’s short skirt and sheer blouse through which her bra is exceedingly visible. So you might want to take that up with her as well.
Um Yes. You should indeed use the term Palmach castrator and Palestinian Arab, and remove “state-sanctioned”.
Otherwise your piece is simply inaccurate. Isn’t it?
When a State awards its second highest honor to a soldier who castrated in the name of the Yishuv, which was the pre-State version of the Israeli government, then I’m sorry to say but his crime was state-sanctioned. Otherwise, your comment is pitiful, while my post remains accurate.
As for the term “IDF Castrator,” he served in the Palmach and then as an IDF general, so he is an “IDF castrator.” Whether he castrated while serving in the Palmach or the IDF is immaterial. In fact, the reason he earned his IDF rank is tied directly to the fact that he castrated on behalf of the Palmach.
OK. Word games. Whatever. The descriptions are still inaccurate.
How come you don’t get that your pieces won’t be any less compelling if you use accurate language, descriptions, and terminology.
I think the upside of the inflammatory language you use is that more people who agree with you will read your blog. The downside is that less people who agree with you will read your blog.
Or perhaps that’s the intention…
There’s only one down side to what you wrote above & that is you said one thing & it’s exact opposite as if both were equally true. I have no idea what you actually meant.
Less people who don’t agree with you of course…
So Richard, you believe that provocative dress by a woman makes her guilty of collusion with leering men? Aren’t we men supposed to disregard looking at women as objects and allow a woman freedom of expression in how they dress? Or are women guilty of causing men to rape them by dressing provocatively?
I think the “Israeli American female” reader may be a bit jealous of Ms. Anonymous prize receiver?
If Israel was transparent enough to reveal what the woman did to deserve her award I’d feel more confident commenting (or not) on the leering men & her dress & ruling out any sexual innuendo. But in a State as opaque as Israel is, this becomes almost impossible & leaves as the only avenue, speculation on these matters. Besides, Israel commonly uses honeypots in spy operations & so the speculation is, alas, justified.
I doubt Dena is “jealous” of an Israeli spy.
She may well be a “honeypot” and have got the prize for that, but I suspect that even if that were the case this would not have been revealed even to those who presented her with the prize as this would ruin her cover (in Israel, as you well know, secrets get revealed from the highest echelons).
It is likely that even her husband doesn’t know what she did, and only one or two persons in the mossad would know the true facts of her missions.
From here to mention her dress sense on an official occasion is pure hate of anything institutional in Israel and degrades her as a woman.
Not “hate,” but well-earned cynicism on our part toward those institutions which exploit women & anything else necessary to achieve their desired ends.
I don’t know what kind of changes Israel has gone through in the past decade, Shmuel, but *until* that time, there was pretty much no such thing as a secret. Certainly not in Tel Aviv. You pretty much could link into any network if you had the conversational codes that would allow you to appear an insider.
I’m not sure if the woman in the picture is married. Are you sure of that, Shmuel? Where did that piece of information come from?
And her sense of propriety is extraordinarily lacking. I’d say the same of a man violating codes of propriety in quite so extravagant a manner. And if I did, you’d probably attack me about singling out Israeli men, and tell me that there are badly dressed people at every Walmart.
News is coming out of Haaretz that the UN report about to come out on last year’s flotilla declares Israel’s blockade legal and therefore the enforcement legal, although with the caveat that the IDF used excessive force. I wonder who Israel paid off at the UN to whitewash the murder?
Brutality (let alone murder) is a crime even when carried out in the framework of law enforcement.
Compliance with crime and acquittal of criminals may lead to outrage.
Recall the case of Rodney King.
I wonder if that was the method used to capture Moroccan opposition leader M. Ben Barka in 1965 or so. I know Israel was involved, but I guess I never thought of just how it did the deed.
The leers on the faces of those “dignitaries” really are something. (And didn’t her mother teach her not to wear a blouse so transparent that her bra would shine through?)
Like Shimon, you are looking in all the wrong places for more info on what the award is for. In the talkbacks in the linked ynet story one commentator proposes….Hanin Zoabi!
Yes, she of the previous flotilla, Member of Knesset, and pearl diver with Shayetet 13. And the award is not a mystery—it’s the security of Israel award! Don’t you have one?
My reading of the article said that their were different categories of awards & that hers was unspecified. If I got it wrong let me know. The defense department probably does have specific awards but they are largely unknown outside military circles. The president awards the Medal of Freedom, but that’s not specifically security related.
I have no idea what you mean about Zoabi…that she was recipient (which I’d hope was meant as a joke) or that the winner of the award performed some intelligence function regarding her?
I was citing one of the talkbackers who claimed that the awardee was MK Zoabi. I feel confident that the claim was sarcastic, and I mentioned it partly because I was under the (mistaken) impression that it was funny, but also to convey the sceptical nature of how the item was received.
As I understand it, the civilian intelligence services maintain a revolving door with their military colleagues–in a tradition going back several decades. Was the awardee on loan from aman to mossad? or is she so physically distinctive the censors went to the moon and back to hide her identity?
As I think you would agree, censorship in Israel is more coy than anything else, an insider’s code rather than a security blanket.
In any case, I appreciate your blog a lot.