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Israeli "liberals" make light of sexual assault and assassinations by the IDF

In one day, Israel’s most liberal newspaper made light of sexual assault in the IDF, and the country’s most liberal institution, the High Court of Justice, made light of its own rulings in regards to IDF assassinations

Amos Harel, a senior Ha’aretz reporter, writes [Heb] about the aftermath of Yoav Galant’s botched appointment to IDF Chief of Staff:

Netanyahu and Barak emphasize that careful scrutiny will be required into the past conduct of the candidates [for IDF Chief Staff position]. Perhaps they cheated on high school exam, perhaps they scratched a neighboring car in the parking lot and did not report it, perhaps they touched some female sergeant.

Just in case, you should check it all, Barak was told the day before yesterday. Including the female sergeant thing.

Both the emphasis and the translation are mine, because this paragraph (as well as a few others) was omitted from the article’s English version. But in any language, the implication is terrible: to compare an act of sexual assault and sexual harassment by a superior officer to scratching a car or cheating on an exam, is not just deeply sexist, it borders on the sociopathic.

And in related news, the High Court of Justice approved Yair Naveh’s appointment to interim IDF Chief of Staff, despite the fact that he ordered assassinations of Palestinians in the West Bank, in contravention of the High Court’s own rulings. The judges said there was nothing wrong with the nomination, because the military’s Judge Advocate General, and the civilian Attorney General, both agreed that the High Court’s ruling was not violated, despite clear evidence to the contrary.

Apparently lacking a sense of self-irony, the judges nonetheless sharply criticized General Naveh for saying to a reporter “get out of here with this talk of High Court rulings, I don’t know when these rulings were issued and when not.” With a straight face, the honorable justices were shocked, simply shocked, to learn that the General disrespects a High Court that does not enforce its own rulings.

In one day, Israel’s most liberal newspaper made light of sexual assault, and the country’s most liberal institution ruled that only its own judges have the right to make a mockery of themselves, when it comes to life and death decisions.

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    1. Spending a year of college in Jerusalem (1984-85), I was appalled when hearing Israeli men’s response to sexism and lack of equal rights in Israel. I was told that first the issues of security and the Arabs needed to be settled, and then women’s rights could be dealt with. What hypocrisy. It’s the abuse of power__ any power__that brings down self-centered reality. “Justice, justice you shall pursue.” Each of us IS equal. Respect!

      Reply to Comment
    2. Sherifa Zuhur

      Interested to know more about Amos Harel … I’ve been attacked a couple of times in print by him. For the sin of using the word “occupation” while in an official US position, and for interviewing Hamas leaders (on my own time).

      Reply to Comment
    3. […] פורסם באנגלית במגזין המקוון 972+ 0 תגובות למאמר // תגיות: "הארץ", בג"ץ, בית המשפט […]

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    4. Roi, I think there’s a strong chance Harel was actually throwing us a hint of something he couldn’t publish yet, rather than being a chauvinistic pig. Turns out Gen. Yair Naveh was accused (and acquitted) of sexual harassment of a subordinate officer – and that two other soldiers complained against him, as well (Hebrew).

      Reply to Comment
    5. Roi Maor

      His comment is shocking and inexcusable, even if it had a hidden meaning. Surely, there would have been many other different ways of dropping this hint.

      Reply to Comment
    6. ChicagoMonster

      I am not sure where I heard this, but I once heard Israel described as “culturally, about 50-60 years behind the USA. They still have not had their civil rights struggle” and this article just reinforces that concept.

      Not only are non-Jew Arabs second class citizens, but it seems not even women are exempt from persecution and unfair treatment. What a shame.

      Reply to Comment
    7. ChicagoMonster

      I am not sure where I heard this, but I once heard Israel described as “culturally, about 50-60 years behind the USA. They still have not had their civil rights struggle” and this article just reinforces that concept.

      Not only are non-Jew Arabs second class citizens, but it seems not even women are exempt from persecution and unfair treatment. What a shame.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Well considering that you are talking about issues from more than 25 years ago what kind of judgment is that?

      Israel as the whole western world has changed in this respect gradually.
      Sexism was high at that time in the US as well, now womens rights are protected as awareness raised.

      Just a few weeks ago the Israeli ex president has been charged and convicted with sexual assult and rape, soon enough he’s going to be in prison for a while.

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    9. I’m not sure where you’ve heard that as well, to most reports Israel stands in high standards of civil rights cultural economic and educational fields.

      Sounds like a whishful thinking.

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    10. richard Allen

      Chicago Monster and Eldad, neither of you is quite correct. With regards to sexual harassment, Israel actually has some of the most progressive policy in the world. Whereas in the United States, sexual harassment is treated as a civil matter, in Israel, the law actually treats it as a criminal matter, so even just creating a hostile work environment, without any sexual assault, can lead to arrest and even imprisonment. Unfortunately, this is largely theoretical, because these extremely progressive laws are almost never enforced or pursued.

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