Wednesday, December 26, 2007


One of the most common crimes against a civilian population during times of war is rape. UN Peace Keeping forces are notorious for the amount of rapes they commit. What does it mean when armed forces don't commit rape?

If it is the Israeli Defense Forces, there can only be one conclusion: "In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it can be seen that the lack of military rape merely strengthens the ethnic boundaries and clarifies the inter-ethnic differences - just as organized military rape would have done."

This is the conclusion Hebrew University doctoral candidate Tal Nitzan draws. Basically, what she is saying is that lack of rapes committed by IDF in Judea and Samaria has the same effects as if the rapes had occurred!! She also concludes that the women are not raped because they are dehumanized in the soldier's eyes.

This logic is so twisted that I cannot believe it is given serious academic credence. Rape dehumanizes the person who is assaulted. Rape is the same across the world: It is a vile act in which no regard is shown to the victim.

Makor Rishon editor Amnon Lord, who first publicized the story, wrote that not only did researcher Nitzan not consider Jewish tradition as an explanation, but neither did she "raise the possibility that her initial assumption - namely, that the situation in Judea and Samaria is just like any other situation of conquest - may be wrong."

Demographic Fears
Nitzan's paper did, however, give much space to the explanation that the Israeli soldiers refrained from rape out of demographic considerations. She explained at length how fearful the Jewish population is of the growing Arab population, and how in cases of wartime rape, the baby is generally assumed to be of the mother's nationality.

"It is noteworthy," Lord concludes, "that Palestinian propaganda around the world frequently accuses Israelis of murder and rape. Such that this situation is unique: An army is found blameworthy of rape, and is also blameworthy of not raping."

How desparate can one become in order to prove that Israelis are evil? Does showing human decency now constitute an effort to dehumanize? Natzin's paper is just one more in a long effort to discredit Israel's decency toward others, especially Palestinians. If IDF soldiers aren't raping women than surely it has to be something other than morals.

Natzin's paper is worse than the multitude of the long string of double standards applied to Israel. The IDF soldiers have done nothing and yet her paper accuses them as if they were UN soldiers in the Congo.

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