Monday, January 07, 2008

Why Israeli soldiers don't rape Palestinian women

Is it because they are mama's boys or because they are racist thugs...?

The No-Rape thesis continues to intrigue, as is evident in the thread on Engage dedicated to this topic.

People ponder and speculate about the meaning of this counter-intuitive idea that the scarcity or absence of rape of Palestinian women by IDF soldiers is somehow a manifestation of dehumanization of the enemy.*

Here are a few of the thoughts that were advanced in attempting to decipher what might be the underlying rationale of PhD candidate Nitzan's mind:

I too found the premisses on which Tal NIzan's argument rests wanting. Rape as social scientists, never tire of telling us, is not a crime of passion it's a crime of violence and this being the case it can't be that the absence of rape is a sign that the Palestinian women have been "dehumanized." (D. Zabel)

.. some of the things you cite as working to prevent sex crimes from occurring -- discipline, "rigorous military judicial system, " -- if it's true those are preventing sex crimes, is that somehow different from preventing other types of abuses; should they not be equally as effective in helping to prevent other abuses from taking place -- I'm reminded specifically of this B'tselem report: (Fred)

There is a steady Arab propaganda describing the Israeli Army as brutal killers of children. Lets remember when “brutal Israeli occupiers” allegedly killed a young Palestinian boy named Mohammad al Dura ... Helpless victim of violent oppressor. There is overwhelming evidence that the whole thing was staged...

Israeli soldiers do not rape Arab woman. Even that is taken as pretext, to criticise IDF of being racist. Yes IDF is not perfect. But on the whole it is trying its level best, to defend the citizens and to show humanity in a part of the world, where humanitarian behaviour is understood by the enemies of Israel to be weakness (Karl Pfeifer)

For providing such explanations, Mr. Pfeifer risks being called an apologist for IDF brutality. Which in a way may explain PhD candidate Nitzan's premise in "researching" this subject. There is a stereotype of the brutal IDF soldier, promulgated by pro-Palestinian advocates and re-enforced by such reports as cited by Human rights Organizations like B'tselem. The statistics about the absence or rarity of rape stands in contradiction to this stereotype, generating a friction between what is the general prejudice and the actual facts. Instead of questioning the received and universally accepted image of IDF arbitrary brutality, Nitzan opted for unearthing, or fabricating, an explanation which accounts for the singularity of the phenomenon while it implicitly re-affirms the stereotype.

This undermines her thesis.

When new facts are introduced into a certain issue, about which one has formed an opinion, the reasonable follow-up would be to change or modify that opinion. When that fails to happen, and the new facts are given a capricious explanation, I think we can safely deduce that we are dealing not with opinion and truth here, but with prejudice and spin or worse, with dogma and willful defamation.

Why am I still talking about it? It is something I do, when I encounter an event, or a position which completely defy common sense. I keep talking about it until I more or less exhaust the possibilities. and then I put it aside, until some illumination comes up later, or not.


* (I did post some thoughts on that thread but Engage's bizarre moderation policy, whose only consistent principle is its inconsistency, has garbaged my comment.)


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