I was as shocked as many were by the actions of a former Israeli female soldier when she published photographs (on 18th August 2010) of her posing in front of a group of bound and blindfold Palestinian prisoners.
This is the latest manifestation of a culture which treats “others” as inferior and not worthy of any humanitarian consideration and compassion. The ‘culture’ seems to believe that because these people are not Jews they are therefore not human. To compound the issue the woman concerned, Eden Abargil, denies she has done anything wrong. She says there is no “violence” in the photographs and that she is surprised at the world wide reaction of outrage. What she fails to accept is that there is something beyond physical violence which offends and diminishes people - that is to treat them as of no account and less than human.
Earlier this year (in February) I published an article about the morals of Israel’s attack on the people in Gaza and another in May about Israeli commandos attacking an aid convoy of ships with food and supplies for Gaza. The Israeli’s continue to boast that their Army is the most “ethical” army in the world. What they forget or ignore is that an organisation, such as an army, cannot be ethical or moral. Only individuals are ethical or moral. Unless those at the top – the Commander in Chief and the Generals are moral and ethically upright people then they cannot hope to inculcate an ethical culture in those they command.
This latest episode goes to show that the Israeli’s army is still an arrogant army – and this sticks in the craw of many. They lack humility. They have no grounds on which to tell others how to treat them (the Jews) when they have done and are doing things which, if perpetrated against them (the Jews), would raise howls of anger and accusations of being anti-Jewish.
The woman concerned needs to reflect on a reverse situation and she was a prisoner, bound and blindfold, how would she feel - diminished and humiliated? I am sure she would. Certainly the publication of the photographs and the former soldier’s comments will do nothing to lessen the tensions in the Middle East and will do nothing to further Israel’s desire for a peaceful existence.