Monday, December 31, 2007

A Purple Comment trail for the Monday:

Simply Jews posted an interesting note about a dissertation, or something, being done by an Israeli PhD hopeful, which purports to answer the stunning question of:

Why don't Israeli soldiers rape Palestinian women?

Yes, or rather, no, your eyes have not mislead you.

Here are my comments:

I. What about British, American and Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq? Why aren't they raping the female population??

Just another example of singling out Israelis for demonization.

I wonder the case has not been submitted to the International Court of Justice. The curvaceous Fatma Bint Kashkash against the soldiers manning the checkpoint at her village: Though no one can resist my sexual allure as I walk through the village in my long abaya, my hair so seductively covered in a loose, very becoming Hermes scarf, those soldiers look at me as if I were made of transparent glass. This is enough indifference to make a girl grow a humongous case of self-destructive body image. I can never again be normally afraid of men. My father is just about to honour kill me for the shame I bring upon the family by depriving it from the honour and great prestige of being raped by an Israeli soldier..

This is as crazy as it gets.

What kind of methodology she used for her extraordinary thesis? Did she design a questionnaire, with tactical questions:

How attractive do you find Palestinian women? Very, average, a little, not at all?

Frankly, it's about as strange as Joseph Massad's latest thesis that there are no homosexuals in the Arab lands.

II. However, the latest fatwa from Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's highest seat of learning, seems to have helped remove the problematic obstacle to IDF soldiers raping Palestinian girls:

"..any woman pregnant by rape must abort the baby immediately in order to maintain 'social stability'.

'A raped woman must terminate the pregnancy immediately upon learning of the pregnancy if a trusted doctor gives her clearance for the abortion,' the Islamic Research Council of the Cairo-based institution said in a statement.

This would ensure 'social stability,' it said.

According to the independent Egyptian Centre for Women's Rights (ECWR), two women are raped every hour in this country of 76 million."

http://mickhartley.typepad.com/b...l-stabilit.html

III. "Now imagine that his sergeant happens to be a graduate of Hebrew University school of sociology on top of it..."

Listen, it's the good name of the IDF at stake. We always claim that we are not racists and that our actions are in self-defense only. If this gets about, if CNN so much as hears that you refused to rape this poor Palestinian girl, imagine the bad publicity, the harm it will bring to our name! Israeli soldiers refuse orders - miscegenation - racist thugs, Nazi brownshirts!

And this is from a PhD candidate!

Mind boggling but very promising. It will open up a slew of hitherto unplundered treasure of ideas: Why don't children murder their parents? Why don't parents beat their children into coma? Why don't teachers abuse their students? Why don't doctors kill their patients?

I admit I'm having a bit of unfair fun with this subject. I should probably reserve my mirth until after I've read a more direct summery, at least, of the paper itself. As Elder of Ziyon sagaciously advises, in the SJ's comment thread:

Is the paper on-line anywhere? I haven't commented on it because I wanted to read it myself, knowing that newspaper articles aren't always accurate.

But I am not in the mood for self-restraint, as can be seen here:

From the City that Evicted the Boy Scouts -- Cambridge Sends Delegation to Israel to Play with Tear Gas

Solomonia posts a couple of pretty hair-raising video clips, documenting the confrontation between IDF soldiers and a group of ISM peace-loving activists. Graphic violence, be warned.

One commenter asks:

The problem is that the Israelis are way too nice about all this, so in a sense, they invite this kind of idiocy. I have little doubt that if the risk of engaging Israeli soldiers was, say, bodily harm, there would be few takers. Can you imagine if the ISM tried these tactics against, say, TSA agents at the airport? Or any local police SWAT team? Why the Israelis act like such pussies is beyond me. Of course, it's easy for me to carp and comment, living in NYC (and not Israel). Still, it seems a few judicious rifle butts to the knees and head and a few years in an Israeli jail (so they can bond with their fellow terrorists) would be a nice change.

Which of course demands the same razor-sharp, honest answer from someone who prides herself on her contentious severity with facing up to the truth:

"Why the Israelis act like such pussies is beyond me. "

For the same reason that they refuse to rape Palestinian girls. They are just mama's boys and racist thugs:

http://simplyjews.blogspot.com/2007/12/why-dont-israeli-soldiers-rape.html

_______

Engage seems to be taking this paper and its thesis seriously:

There is a lot wrong with Ami Iseroff’s critique of this paper. His jokes and puns about rape are inappropriate and lame while his critique of sociological methodology and post-structuralism are somewhat light-weight, to say the least. But, unlike some of the right-wing websites which have been getting their teeth into this academic paper, Ami Iseroff has read it in Hebrew and he offers translations of a number of passages. Well worth a read. here.

The comment I left:



It's hard to see how this argument, (which I agree with Mr. Pfeifer, is rooted in Jew hatred of some sort), can be gainfully exploited by the boycotters and other ilks. Wouldn't it sound just too insane: Let's boycott Israeli academia for not working to counter the Jewish proscription over raping your enemy's daughters?


I don't know what David Hirsh is thinking about, taking this thesis in any measure of seriousness and making it a matter of Right versus Left. If anything, it shows the absurd lengths to which the Left will go in trying to cast a dark shaddow over anything Israeli, so that even a good and moral behaviour is seen as inherently racist, or whatever.


Please note that the rationale provided in this thesis is about the imaginary baby not being JEWISH. So it can hardly be said to be an anti-Zionist or anti-Israeli argument.


It's just too bizarre. Unless I'm missing a whole layer of unbeatable logic and cognition.

***

Aside:

I am at a loss as to what to make of this attitude to what is clearly a manufactured outrage from the land of make-belief. That a whole lot of effort is invested into researching an absence of malice, attributing it to some dark, right-wing conspiracy, defies belief. Now that all the sins of the IDF have been scrutinized and magnified and found to be somewhat unsatisfactorily lacking in their content of evil, it seems only logical that a search will be conducted into those areas where no crime take place, imbuing them with some saturnine import.

Frankly, in the millennial history of antisemitic defamation and fabrication, I don't know if there is any precedent for this type of Jew-hatred.

Later:

I have been reflecting upon this matter, wondering why I found it not only absurd but also obscene and disturbing. I think I understand my reaction better now. There is a premise to this thesis that seems to confirm that human beings are primarily hard wired to be malignly aggressive. It is the natural state of a man to want to rape women, especially those he considers to be under his physical power. That men do not actually act on this instinct is not interpreted as the desirable result of civilizing forces, such as family, love, education, social expectations, discipline, values, etc. No. The author of this thesis is not satisfied that such forces are strong enough to curb sexual aggression. What is considered irresistibly and arcanely strong and abiding must be the indoctrination of certain religious fanaticism, that would forbid rape of enemy women for fear of diluting the racial genes, or something.

There is a perverse kind of logic at work in this thinking which I find morally abhorrent, beyond the absurdity of the accusation.

______

This comment, left on Engage website, seems to offer the most cogent explanation as to why this thesis seems so deranged:

"... 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.


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