The evening of Israel’s Memorial Day, when Israelis commemorate the sacrifices made by its soldiers to protect the homeland (and generally ignore the pain suffered by Palestinians), the manager of the military base that houses Israel’s Galey Tzahal (Army Radio), posted a racist joke to his Facebook account.
Maariv published the original posting, which I translate:
An Arab asks a Jew: “Why do you stand when the siren [wails].” The Jew answers: “We stand silently in memory of the Jewish soldiers who were killed in Israel’s wars.” The Arab asks: “And what about our dead?” The Jew answers: “That we will celebrate tomorrow.”
The base commander, Master Sergeant Avi Ben Chamo, holds a critical role in managing both the base itself and logistical and operational functions of Galey Tzahal, one of Israel’s major media outlets, especially for armed forces personnel. As such, this racist statement serves as a reminder of the ignorance and hate that runs rampant not just in the typical ultra-nationalist settler circles, but within the media and senior IDF circles.
On one of the most solemn days in the Israeli calendar, a senior military figure saw fit to deride the suffering of the Palestinians and, in fact, promise more to come (“tomorrow we will celebrate that”).
Maariv interviewed a number of IDF soldiers for its story who were disturbed and even outraged by the comment. When asked for comment, Galey Tzahal circled the wagons and released this explanation that beggars belief. Ben Chamo, according to the statement, shares his Facebook page with his wife, who published the joke without his knowledge. As soon as he saw what she’d done, he removed it.
What’s ludicrous about this is that couples don’t generally share a Facebook account. Especially someone in as sensitive a military position as Ben Chamo. The notion that his wife uploaded the joke and he had nothing to do with it is so ridiculous it’s offensive.
H/t Ira Glunts.