"The military - and battlefield - experiences which shape the Israeli character demand that young adults take initiative, demonstrate leadership and handle life-threatening situations in real time, therefore engendering personality attributes and imparting IT knowledge that give them a leading edge when they enter the workforce." (Military secrets behind Israel's economic miracle, The Australian Jewish News, 19/3/10)
"A former Israeli soldier who posted on Facebook controversial photographs of herself posing with blindfolded Palestinian prisoners has said she did nothing wrong. Eden Abergil... has been the target of withering criticism from both at home and abroad after she uploaded the photos to the website under the title, 'The Army... the Most Beautiful Time of My Life'. The images were taken while she was serving... in the Israel Defence [sic] Forces [IDF]. Ms Abergil's Facebook friends enthused over the photographs. 'That looks really sexy for you', said one friend about a photograph showing Ms Abergil smiling next to two cuffed and blindfolded Palestinians. 'Yeah, I know', Ms Abergil responded. 'Laugh out loud, honey. What a day it was. Look how he completes my picture. I wonder if he's got Facebook!'" (Facebook photo innocent, says Israeli soldier, Jason Koutsoukis, Sydney Morning Herald, 18/8/10)
After her glory days in Abu Ghraib, America's trailer trash, Lynndie England, whined, "We were told we were supposed to do those things."
After hers in the West Bank, Israel's trailer trash, Edenn Abergil now whines, "I risked my life, got injured. I was a model soldier, and now I wish I never served in this army." (ibid)
Laugh out loud, honey!
But - yawn - despite The Australian's foreign editor, Greg (Jerusalem Prize) Sheridan, once assuring us that "[t]he Israelis are among the most disciplined troops in the world*," despite The Australian once gracing its front page with an Israeli pin-up in uniform and M-16 (who earnestly assured us that all she ever did in the army was help Palestinians, even while they were attacking her**), and despite Liberal Senator Mitch Fifield telling us last year he was off to Israel on a Yachad Scholarship to look at the role of women in the Israeli military***, trailer trash like Eden Abergil are no aberration in Israel: "Fire was opened at him from a heavy machinegun... After the soldiers reached the area they discovered a body without weapons or explosive belt. 'He's an ordinary man who did not know where to go. The soldiers then tied the body to a military jeep that drove to the outpost, where cameras were taken out and pictures were taken, immortalizing the new 'mascot' of this combat unit. Since that time, soldiers call the body of this Palestinian 'Haffi', which is a word derived from two Hebrew words meaning innocent." (Israel's Abu Ghraib? Tom Regan, csmonitor.com, 22/11/04)
Abu Ghraib??? Really? But where are the naked prisoners? Surely the IDF doesn't do naked prisoners? Maybe those shots are still in the pipeline, but how about naked soldiers?:
"The practice of taking a picture of the [elite naval] commandos standing nude in natural surroundings in Israel, then hanging the photo in their headquarters, is a longstanding tradition of the unit, [Israel] radio said." (IDF discharges commandos after paper prints nude photos, Haaretz, 25/11/04)
'That damn facebook...' (One Hebrew talkback recorded on Why Eden Abergil is more than just 'One hell of an idiot', blogs.news.sky.com, 17/8/10)
Laugh out loud, honey!
[*There may be the will but not necessarily the way, 5/2/09); **Gender not frontline issue in Israel, 25/9/09; ***Adjournment Speech, Gilad Shalit, 25/6/09, mitchfifield.com]