Opinion » Columnists
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Condoleezza Rice: Is this the State you back?

Let us examine the record of some human rights abuses by IDF forces

We present our readers with some testimonies on the maltreatment of civilians by Israeli Defense Force personnel, as registered in official complaints forms and documented before investigation. Before reading these reports it should be pointed out that the IDF does have an investigation process for examining complaints against soldiers.

These complaints are not always acted upon however and neither are the incidents always investigated. Reading through the files, we have an assortment of horrific tales of bullying and abuse of power, on a level one would expect from a baNana republic, not a state which claims to be civilized and which is supported by Washington. Given that this sort of behavior is seemingly endemic in Israel, what is Washington doing backing such a regime, when at the same time the USA is always speaking about the need to confront tyrants and rogue regimes?

Or is this more hot air from Washington which as usual says one thing and does another. We present some uninvestigated but reported incidents for Condoleezza Rice to read while she deliberates how she can justify backing such a regime, as Secretary of State.

Testimony 1

At the Baka checkpoint, a Lieutenant in the IDF had a retarded Palestinian handcuffed and shackled, blindfolded and had a gun barrel placed into his neck for five hours.

Testimony 2

At Bethlehem, Har-Gilo, a sergeant in the IDF took a civilian into an alley, placed a gun into his neck and told him he was going to be executed. When the civilian started screaming the sergeant burst out laughing and said it was a joke.

Testimony 3

At Mevo-Beitar, the vice-commander of the 932nd battalion, Ezion brigade, a Lieutenant-colonel, ordered an entire house to be demolished although he was ordered only to demolish an extension to it.

Testimony 4

At Beit Rima, a sergeant and 4 corporals complained to the authorities about an incident in which elite troops from the Duvdevan unit were punching prisoners in the heads, stomachs and groins, while they were blindfolded.

Testimony 5

At Hebron, the local Jewish population ran riot among Palestinian traders, overturning their stalls on an Arab holiday. Magav policemen were looking on, laughing and protecting the marauding Jews, beating the Arabs and telling them to shut up.

Testimony 6

At Bet Lechem, Dehaisha , July 2002. A child was forced to walk barefoot through an open sewer after being caught in an operation in which IDF forces deployed stun grenades and rubber bullets against a group of Palestinian boys. Kicked to the ground, the IDF members asked him why he wasn't blowing himself up like his mates, calling him a retard.

The list goes on and on and on. First it should be said that all of these reports were placed by IDF members themselves to higher authorities.

Second we should remember the saying "Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are". By backing Tel Aviv, Condoleezza Rice is condoning such appalling acts of depravity but then again after what happened at Abu Ghraib, are we really that surprised?

Is this the United States of America which Ms. Rice wishes to represent as Secretary of State?

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