12 October 2012

Gideon Levy and the ugly act of not-rape

There are only a few barbaric acts perpetrated by human beings that overcome rape in their inhumanity and ugliness. I hope we all can safely agree on that. That fact, however, is in strange dissonance with attempts by some uber-progressive folks to pin on IDF a new kind of barbarity: not-rape*. You see, the almost total lack of cases where an IDF soldier rapes a Palestinian woman (or man, for that matter) bothers the heck out of some people. It has even become a subject for a scientific degree (of a kind) a while ago.

The thesis of this scientific opus was that our soldiers don't rape Palestinian women because of a political/racial imperative, which is apparently very simple: fear that the offspring of this union will not be recognized as Jewish. The idea, as expected, was met by scorn and ridicule it so richly deserves, which scorn and ridicule didn't penetrate the thick walls of the academic establishment where the degree was nurtured and eventually awarded.

Now a new voice has joined the (weak) chorus of IDF-not-raping-issue analysts. This time it is a trumpeting and powerful one, that of self-appointed Moral Compass of the Nation, one Gideon Levy of the Haaretz newspaper. And here is his contribution to the research of not-rape:

The Israeli Jewish journalist Gideon Levy who is known for his pro-peace and pro-Palestinian stance says something quite terrible in your film — that unlike in other conflicts where rape is used a weapon, there is no case of Israeli soldiers raping Palestinian women because they have been dehumanized to such an extent that they cannot be objects of desire.
What can I say? Nothing. Well, one image, borrowed from the rocket science, comes to mind. Rocket, you see, propels itself by ejecting material from its back end. Gideon Levy, similarly, reaches the impossible heights of moral superiority by ejecting excrement from his back end - on his own people.

A veritable shitstorm, is our Gideon Levy.

(*) Maybe I am totally wrong here, maybe there is no dissonance and the folks mentioned are simply jumping mad, because IDF soldiers wouldn't do what these folks would like them to do. The easier to nail them to the wall of shame. But we can't be that suspicious, can we?

Update: In an unexpected turn of evens, Gideon Levy published recently an article (Hebrew only, you will have to use Google translator), where he laments the recent despicable lie that one of his haters entered into Levy's Wikipedia entry. According to the lie, Levy's father was hiding his Nazi past. Despicable indeed, no matter what the reasons for that act are.

But can you really feel any compassion for the man whose life is dedicated to prove to the world that his own nation is no better than Nazis?

Can you take seriously a man who complains about lies on the Internet, while filling his newspaper's pages with lies - both direct ones and lies of omission?

You reap what you sow, Mr Levy.


Sarah Brown said...

Bizarre. Surely soldiers rape enemy women precisely because they see them as dehumanized.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Bizarre is Gideon Levys' middle name. This is what his behavior is.

Brian Goldfarb said...

Re Sarah's comment, of course (not to demean her comment by implying anything other than total agreement.

This whole issue came up a couple of years ago on the Engage website, where I posted the following comment, as a sociologist (apologies for the length): "Unless I have failed to read the comments above closely enough, I suspect that one criticism of Tal Nizan has yet to be made, and it concerns poor (social) scientific technique. She is quoted as suggesting in her own abstract to her thesis that the levels of rape by IDF soldiers of Palestinian women in the West Bank may be low because these women (and presumably the men as well) are somehow "dehumanised" in the eyes of the IDF (and all/most other Israelies as well, given the general cross representation of the Israeli population through conscription?). The overwhelming majority of sociologists (and historians) will affirm that dehumanising a population you are fighting against/occupying leads to _higher_, not lower, levels of brutality against them. It would appear that memories of the actions of the Germans (_not_ just members of the Nazi party and the SS) against the Jews of Europe and Russian prisoners-of-war and Russian civilians are extremely short.

Or perhaps those commenting above are too polite to suggest that there is an implicit (or maybe even explicit) comparison to be drawn between Israel and its occupation of the West Bank and the Nazis - this time by certain Israelis.

As those above have noted, it makes much more sense, both common and sociological, to assume (as potentially testable hypotheseses) that the low levels of rape are due to one or more of the following: high levels of discipline, reinforced by a rigorous military judicial system; a high moral code amongst Israeli males as a whole towards women - women too have human rights; a generalised view of the "occupied" as human beings, with exceptions for those who wilfully (in the eyes of the occupiers) attack them, and therefore generalised "proper" treatment of them; and/or a desire to live in peace, and therefore a wish not to antagonise the occupied population beyond what is "necessary" to maintain the occupation until some solution is found.

I am relying, as are many of us, on either Isserling's translation being accurate, and/or those with adequate Hebrew that his translation isn't wilful, not being able to read the original."

The full website entry can be found here: http://www.engageonline.org.uk/blog/comment.php?id=1575. The arguments still seem to make sense to me.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Your arguments make, of course, a lot of sense, but they don't sit well with the likes of Tal Nitsan and (especially) Gideon Levy...

Brian Goldfarb said...

Thank you, Snoopy. However, I don't think the likes of Nitsan and Levy can be allowed to think that short and to the point responses are all there are. Long ones might just make them and their fans think a bit. Unlikely, but I can hope!

SnoopyTheGoon said...

That true.

David All said...

Gideon Levy is, In the inmortal words of that Great American, Bugs Bunny:
"What a Maroon!"
Note: Here is an upcoming symposium about Darfuri women and the genocide in Darfur. This real genocide included use of mass rape as a weapon. Link to it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDOdCoW2qHs&feature=youtu.be

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Yes, maroon is a good term. And thanks for the link.

The Right Planet said...

Wow! Talking about a no-win scenario! I would "understand" this sort of twisted and sick thinking if it was coming from Muslims who believe in the Prophet Muhammad's dictate that it is okay to rape and impregnate (or not) the women of Islam's vanquished enemies--as sick as that is.

But the uber-progressives never cease to amaze me in their ability to engage in mental gymnastics that truly requires the suspension of all logic. Or, perhaps, the uber-progressives are okay with the sanctioning of rape against the enemies of Islam found in the Qu'ran, and can't understand why the IDF doesn't rape and pillage too. But, of course, if the IDF did, they would be labeled sadistic rapists and savages. The length to which some will engage in self-loathing is amazing ... and totally f*cked up.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Mental gymnastics? In this case I suspect it is fast becoming some kind of demential gymnastics.