Eden Abergil, The Musical

One thing you can’t say about our army is that it ever rests on its laurels. Having first rattled its fans with the Hebron dancing video, and then rocked them with a soldier girl’s posing with Palestinian prisoners bound to accompany her on “the best time of her life,” the boys in green now introduce an integrated product. Yes, it has a woman. Yes, it has soldiers. But now the woman is Palestinian, tied up, and the soldiers are dancing a belly dance in front of her, rubbing their superior force and, according to “friends” of Israel, superior morals, in her face. Pretty literally. Here’s the video; I have a thing or two to say about the footage and the anticipated reaction, but for now while you watch, excuse me as I move away from the keyboard to be sick.

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxFlmXbzY3I]

Back? Ok then. So let’s skip for the moment the woman is religious, which makes the humiliation all the worse; forget also the obvious point about these soldiers being powerdrunk kids with guns raised in a violent conflict.

Two points: First, this video finally debunks one of the most persistent Israeli myths – that ours is the only occupying army in history that does not sexually abuse the women of the occupied nation. Second, its about as stark proof as it gets that the IDF cannot and should not monitor itself (if it could, the soldiers would be in prison, de-ranked and de-mobbed before the video even hit the web). We need international law tribunals to rout out the cancer of impunity – and at least so long as we don’t have truth and reconciliation committees, this applies to everyone, from corporal to chief of staff and defense ministers. To borrow from said boys in green, deterrence must become a top priority.

9 Comments

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9 responses to “Eden Abergil, The Musical

  1. Rupa Shah

    Only a person with “Sick Mind” can humiliate another fellow human being like this. And this is the most moral army in the world! Do they feel any shame? I wonder!

  2. ck

    Good grief. Of course the soldier in question is behaving in a manner that is completely unprofessional. There is nothing commendable or funny or amusing about his behavior and he ought to be duly sanctioned. But really? You posit this as proof that the IDF is in fact an occupying army that sexually abuses women? Did the soldier touch the woman? No. Can anyone ever identify the woman? No. Is the soldier in question a stupid git? Undoubtedly.

    I can’t help but recall the fate of many Jews, combatants and non-combatants, who fell into the hands of our Arab friends. Rape? Check. Genital mutilation? Check. Extra-judicial murder and mutilation? Check.

    Gilad Shalit’s solitary confinement without recourse to visits by the Red Cross seems like a cake walk in comparison, eh?

    Of course none of that matters as one massive series of abhorrent injustices does not justify a guy belly dancing near a woman, or anything else in fact. 200 hundred women raped in the Congo under the noses of UN Peacekeeping troops with nary a peep from my fellow Israeli humanitarians doesn’t justify anything either.

    But in the grand scheme of things, your post and that of your friend Silverstein represents a desperate grasping at straws. Save your indignity for the more egregious stuff.

  3. Dimi

    CK, I wholly agree more attention needs to be give to other conflicts (although some of the Leftists critical of Israel are also contributing much to attention to the Congo, like Johann Hari). But I don’t see why the whatabouttery (also Johan’s word, as it happens) on Palestinian atrocities and wrongdoing should detract from discussion of Israeli ones.
    As for the video, to me it looks like he’s touching or comes very close to touching the woman in a suggestive manner (and suggestive gestures are also, of course, considered as sexual abuse.) Furthermore, I also don’t see how the fact that no one can identify the woman is relevant. Are you trying to say that she wasn’t hurt by this, or that he won’t get caught? If the latter, why is this a good thing?

  4. ck

    There is nothing good about this video. The humiliation the woman suffered would have been compounded significantly had she been identifiable. So that’s at least one mitigating factor.

    That having been said, this video is hardly incontrovertible evidence of an institutional approval of sexual harassment, abuse and/or assault against Palestinian women by the IDF. That’s ridiculous. Read today’s NYT where an 80 year old woman describes her rape and that of 200 others in her village. Read about similar atrocities in Rwanda and Kosovo etc. etc. That’s what an institutional predilection for sexual abuse looks like, not some isolated incident featuring an immature idiot belly dancing and behaving in a manner sure to get him in trouble.

  5. Bader Al Omar

    Dimi, Israel needs many thinkers like you. Infact, the Arabs too need the same. However, since the extremists are the majority on both sides, Allah be with us!

  6. Adi Kuntsman

    The video is absolutely disgusting – although, as you pointed out, not surprising at all.
    Do you know who ‘discovered’ it now? After all, its been on YouTube for nearly 2.5 years… So really preceding both Abergil’s FB and the Hebron dancing video..

  7. Jean F. Goff

    “Excuse me as I move away from the keyboard to be sick.” I also do, Sir.

    Yet, this is “nothing”, kids unconsciously evil games, hopefully. There’s a lot worse, one could think.

    Yet again, this is “everything”, a terrible sign that peace is a not at hand. When humiliation becomes the mundane game, there is always more to come.

    I’m French, technically, but more specifically Breton. We have our history. Well known to not favour people based on the colour of their skin, let alone their ethnic background. Most French people favour Palestinians, let’s face it (and there may be good reasons for this). Still, this is their tradition, it seems, and it may relate to their deep-rooted anti-semitic feelings. That such pictures nourish, you will understand. An endless spiral of hatred we all must stop. Now… is already late, but we cannot afford to surrender, as mere citizen of this world.

    What I see, here, behind the scene, is different than meet the eyes. I see hope in your testimony. That you, good people in Israel, will rise, defy both your heartless rulers and your ruthless neighbours. A challenge.

    A challenge that we must share, once and for all, on a much broader scale. You will have the support of the best international community. That of the people with righteousness at heart, and some very simple, common sense. Please do not underestimate such support. There is so much at stake, way beyond your borders. Organize, and many will follow. Continue to witness, defy and communicate, as you do now. Amplify and many of us will do their share. Down there, I sense a lot of people are waiting for that third path, that only you can more precisely define, ultimately.

    As you are the only hope we still have in this part of the world, which is so important for the whole. Rise, this is your responsibility, and ours to stand by your side. We need truth, democracy and humanity to thrive right where you stand. If you fail, and if we fail to support you, consequences might be so much more terrifying than those of this particular, yet disgusting, event.

    Please. With our friendly feelings,
    Jean F. Goff and friends.

  8. François

    Well done Dimi, I put your blog on my twitter + my Facebook page!

    François

  9. Toro

    In regards to whether or not Ehsan Dababseh was sexually abused, we also have to keep in mind that the video probably doesn’t show everything. In her account ( http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=8875 ), she was also “frisked naked and degraded” by Israeli soldiers during her detainment, which isn’t at all out of the norm in terms when you look at reports from Palestinian detainees. This isn’t an isolated incident, it’s just a videotaped incident. And while we’re at it, it must be exceedingly embarrassing for defenders of Israel’s human rights record to keep comparing it to that of the Congo, Saudi Arabia, or Myanmar. “It’s not that bad” is not a recognized defense to anyone over the age of 8, so quit using it.

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