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Israeli 'Big Brother' contestant photographed with blindfolded Palestinians

Entertainment reporter and blogger Omri Hayoon posted a picture of Itai Wallach, smiling with arms spread behind the backs of two blindfolded and handcuffed Palestinians. The picture seems to have been taken during Wallach’s service in the Israeli paratroopers.

Itay Wallach (photo: Omri Hayoon website)


Itai Wallach, 26, will be somewhat of a household name in the next few months in Israel, not only because of this picture – but mainly due to the fact that he is entering the “Big Brother” house this week, probably the most popular show in Israel.

Meanwhile, the photo is getting a lot of positive responses from Israelis who see no problem with it whatsoever.

UPDATE (14:20): The Walla! portal got a reaction [Heb] from Wallach’s mother: “I read a few of the comments from people on the web on this story. Itai got some positive feedback, so I don’t have anything to say. Apparently, taking pictures like that was something of the norm and accepted five or six years ago.”

UPDATE (14:52): The production company of the Israeli “Big Brother” released the following response: “In the past few days Itai has been in preparation for entering the “Big Brother” house. In a conversation we had with him Itai conveyed deep regret and said he is ashamed of this childish mistake. The picture was taken during arrests of wanted persons in the Hebron area during his service as a warrior (Hebrew term for combat soldier) in the paratroopers. Itai added that this happened only once during his service as a warrior.”

This, of course, isn’t the first time Israelis have taken pictures of themselves next to Palestinians in “uncomfortable” and degrading positions – the most famous of all was Eden Abergil (picture below).

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    1. Philos

      One could write a PhD dissertation on the Facebook talk backs to Omri Hayoon’s post alone… Sheesh, reading that was depressing

      Reply to Comment
    2. Maxim Reider

      Being photographed with detained Palestinians is not good at all. But there is something sickening in the righteous intonation of some of the 972 contributors. I have a feeling that they write as strangers. They don’t say – after all these are our kids and this is what our society has done to them. Our society = we. They don’t ask themselves – maybe we have not done enough to prevent this? To educate OUR kids so that they would never do things like that?

      Reply to Comment
    3. Good point. The people from Breaking the Silence said it well. You simply don’t have time to thing when you join the arme after high school. It’s much later, in retrospect, that you begin to realize what you have done. Education is everything.

      Reply to Comment
      • Engelbert Luitsz

        sorry about the typo’s, autocorrection is a curse.

        Reply to Comment