+972 Magazine's Stories of the Week

Directly In Your Inbox

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

+972 Stream Item

Israeli scholar: ‘Only raping the sister of a terrorist can deter him’

Dr. Mordechai Keidar, a lecturer on Arabic literature at Bar Ilan University, is well known for his right wing views. Yet today in an interview [Heb] to the Israeli Broadcasting authority given after the finding of the three bodies of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah (July 1, 2014), he showed what he believes to be the truth about “Middle Eastern culture.”

Keidar: “A terrorist, like those who kidnapped the boys and killed them, the only thing that will deter them, is if they know that either their sister or mother will be raped if they are caught. What can we do? This is the culture that we live in –“

Interviewer, Yossi Hadar: “—Yes, this sounds bad, but…”

Keidar: “It sounds very bad, but this is a lesson. This is the Middle East. Only the knowledge that –

Hadar: “Well, we can’t do things like this –“

Keidar: “I’m telling you, I’m talking about them, I’m not talking about what we can do or not do. I’m telling you what they live in. This is the only thing that deters a suicide bomber. If he knows that when he pulls the trigger, or blows himself up, his sister will be raped. That’s it. That’s the only thing that will bring him back home, to keep the honor of his sister. This is the culture of the Middle East. I didn’t create it, but this is the situation.”

It’s important to point out that Kedar is the chairman of Israel Academia Monitor, a watchdog group that tries to blacklist post and anti-Zionist academics in Israel who speak out against government policies or the state.

UPDATE: Bar Ilan University gave the following response to Haaretz:

Dr. Kedar did not call and does not call to fight terror with anything but legal and moral means. Dr. Kedar wished to stress that there are no means to deter suicide bombers, and used the example of rape as an exaggeration. To remove any doubt whatsoever, there is no recommendation, God forbid, in Dr. Kedar’s words to do these horrific things. The purpose was to define the culture of death of the terrorist organizations. Dr. Kedar illustrated in his words the bitter reality of the Middle East and the inability of a modern and law abiding country to fight terror of suicide bombers.

State council seeks to shut down ‘leftist’ department at BGU
The night it became dangerous to demonstrate in Tel Aviv

Newsletter banner 4 - 540

For additional original analysis and breaking news, visit +972 Magazine's Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Our newsletter features a comprehensive round-up of the week's events. Sign up here.

View article: AAA
Share article
Print article

    * Required


    1. Joel

      ” According to the story, he said “terrorist,” not “Palestinian.””

      Ami was exercizing his ‘editorial license’.

      Reply to Comment
      • Goldmarx

        …because in common Likud parlance, all Palestinians are terrorists. Ami was translating Likud English to standard English.

        Reply to Comment
        • Whiplash

          Not all Palestinians are terrorists or supporters of terrorists but there is a large constituency of Palestinians who support terrorism. Overall Palestinian culture promotes terrorism, glorification of terrorists and terrorism, and asks its children to emulate terrorists. That a never ending stream of terrorists flows out of Palestinian society is not surprising.

          Reply to Comment
          • Abbas

            It’s a shame when a people that have suffered so much inflict such heinous crimes on another people. History has shown that every tyrant eventually falls as will happen here as well. It’s never a question of if it’s always when.

            Reply to Comment
        • Joel

          Ami’s original article used the word ‘Palestinian’.

          Ami subsequently changed it to ‘Terrorist’ after Michael Jacobs (Facebook) called Ami out.

          Reply to Comment
        • Mak

          They steal their land, bulldoze their homes, raze their trees, imprison and/or kill their family members, and when they retaliate, they call them terrorists.

          Israel simply claimed the kidnapping of the three settlers (btw, according to the UN, settlements are illegal) was carried out by Hamas. No evidence to support this. Hamas has never shied back from claiming responsibility, on the contrary. This was simply a pretext for the invasion. NO EVIDENCE.

          After the ceasefire in 2012, in the three months that followed, Israel violated the ceasefire dozens of times while Hamas did not even once, FACT.

          Israel has been systematically oppressing the Palestinians for decades, leaving them two options: surrender or resist.

          Anyone who supports Zionism is inhuman by nature, not worth debating with animals like this.

          Nelson Mandela said our freedom incomplete until Palestine is free

          Malcolm X said the Zionist argument to justify Israel’s present occupation of Arab Palestine has no intelligent or legal basis in history.

          For the well informed and those who think freely, the answer is clear.

          Reply to Comment
      • Michael Jacobs

        There’s no such thing as “editorial license” with direct quotes, and when you use the quotation marks in a headline, you’re telling readers that the material is a direct quote. Putting a paraphrase inside quotation marks is misleading and either sloppy or dishonest. To make such a significant change reeks of an effort to stir up greater outrage and get more clicks. It’s just inappropriate and unnecessary.

        Reply to Comment
    2. Arb

      Interesting. Keidar has been saying for a couple of years now, long before it was fashionable, that the Middle East is breaking up into its ethnic groups rather than the nation-states imposed upon the region last century. He was prescient and quite correct about this, as Syria and Iraq exemplify.

      He’s saying the culture we are facing is such that terrorists will not stand down unless there is a horrific price to pay for their actions. Israel faces terrorism regularly and does not use this approach. In fact, it releases terrorists early in exchanges, gives them all sorts of rights in prison and doesn’t do anything about the bonuses and funds given to them by the PA and Hamas for their terrorist acts. Israel faces a huge number of terrorists.

      On the other hand, rape appears to be used by Iran (read the story by the female American hiker who was released and wrote about her experience meeting a typical Iranian female prisoner who was raped and tortured) and Egypt. Both of these countries also mow down protesters sometimes. Do you suppose that’s why they don’t suffer from terrorism in the way Israel does?


      Are Al Jazeera bigots for pointing out the rape and torture commonly used to keep the population in line?

      Reply to Comment
    3. Sonnehuhr

      I do not think that Ami is listening to the underlying message. There is little deterrence to Palestinian terror. Israel cannot by tikkun olam convert the Palestinians into peaceful neighbors. It has been tried for 100 years and it has not worked.

      The current war has shown that the hopes of the Oslo Accords were illusions. A significant portion of the Palestinian population will engage in and support terrorism against Israel. There will be no end of the conflict, only a containment of it.

      Reply to Comment
      • Eugene

        But Israel hasn’t tried nearly well enough. A tolerance for very high civilian casualties, settlement building in land allocated to a Palestinian state and the border restrictions on Gaza is not tikkun olam.

        Reply to Comment
    4. Danny

      Not suprising. From the school that gave us such lovely people as Yigal Amir and his friends, as well as that self-styled NGO watchdog Gerald Steinberg, now comes Motti “the rapist” Keidar.

      Isn’t it time this academic institution was placed on an academic boycott black list?

      Reply to Comment
      • Arb

        On a scale of 1-10 how delusional or a lying creep do you have to be to compare Yigal Amir to Gerald Steinberg? 10.

        On a scale of 1-10 how delusional or a lying creep do you have to be to compare Yigal Amir to Keidar? 10.

        On a scale of 1-10 how delusional or a lying creep do you have to call Keidar a “rapist” when he says absolutely nothing about promoting rape or wanting rape? 10.

        You are the winner of a perfect 10 score.

        Reply to Comment
        • Danny

          In the transcript above, Keidar begins by clearly suggesting that Israel should consider adopting the tactic of rape by saying that this will be the only effective deterrent, but then backtracks when he realizes what a completely idiotic thing he just said. He is a rapist wannabe.

          I never compared Steinberg to Yigal Amir. I merely said they both hail from the same prestigious academic institution that has given us over the years so much extreme right-wing garbage as to be worthy of boycott.

          Reply to Comment
          • Whiplash

            At no time does the good doctor recommend that Israelis perpetrate such crimes. What he was trying to do was to show that there are no realistic means to deter terrorists like suicide bombers because of the Palestinian culture of death and glorification of terrorists. Sadly, this means there is no solution to the conflict. Until a seismic shift in Palestinian attitudes to defeating Israel and turning it into another Arab state takes place, there will be no peace, only conflict which Israel will continue to contain.

            Reply to Comment
          • arb

            You are either lying or you can’t read. Let me help you:

            Hadar: “Well, we can’t do things like this –“

            Keidar: “I’m telling you, I’m talking about them, I’m not talking about what we can do or not do. I’m telling you what they live in.”

            You see? He’s not recommending it. He’s not saying Israelis would or should do this. He’s not saying he wants to rape anybody. He’s saying that this is what he believes would have an effect within the parts of Arab society that send suicide bombers to kill people. The worst you can do here is call him bigoted.

            But then if you look at the links I provided above with Muslim sources writing about rape being used to control people in certain situations and in certain parts of Arab and Muslim societies, you have to decide whether the problem lies with the people reporting it or the people committing this crime.

            Reply to Comment
    5. Leo

      Misleading title: I am quite disappointed by Ami at this one.

      Misleading content: no context given and no definition of “terrorist” given.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Ahmad

      The best way to deter a Palestinian is to give him his rights. That includes self determination and return of refugees. I am sure the Dr knows that but he among the members of the Zionist entity can not deliver to these just requirements.

      Reply to Comment
      • arb

        A Palestinian’s rights do not include return of refugees and even if they did, they certainly don’t apply to descendants of these refugees.

        However, you do have a right to self-determination. I hear there’s a Palestinian majority in Jordan which sits on 78% of Mandatory Palestine. That sounds like an excellent place to begin your self-determination. At this point, the likelihood of gaining self-determination in Judea and Samaria is looking like a far-off dream thanks to Hamas. How could Israel now ever trust that it won’t get another rocket-launching, terror-tunneling entity this time to its east?

        And to think that just 6 years ago, Israel offered a deal that would have given the Palestinians a state on about 97% of Judea, Samaria and Gaza as well as Arab parts of Jerusalem, reparations and a lasting peace. Sadly, like you, the Palestinian leadership is happy to keep getting richer as it pushes the lie that somehow to establish Palestinian self-determination, Jewish self-determination must be undermined.

        Reply to Comment
        • Oren Aviv

          Wrong. The right of return is a human right and a right under international law and shall be applied.

          Does not matter if they are descendants or not. They are refugees, have refugee status, and it’s their home.

          Why should this law not apply to these refugees, while descendants from 3000 years back have “right of return”?

          Reply to Comment
          • David


            Reply to Comment
        • David

          Dead wrong.

          Resolution 194 includes descendants of those 800,000 Palestinians dispossessed and expelled by Jewish forces and the IDF between late 1947 and early 1949.

          Furthermore, Jordan (designated as Transjordan by the Allies after WWI) was not part of historic Palestine. As Ottoman maps attest, today’s Jordan was administered separately from Palestine, the dividing line being the Jordan River. Known to locals as Al Baqa, the area east of the Jordan River which became the Emirate of Transjordan in 1923 (as partial fulfillment of Britain’s pledge in the July 1915 to March 1916 Hussein/ McMahon correspondence to grant the Arabs independence – including Palestine – in exchange for what proved to be their invaluable assistance in defeating the Turks during WWI) was part of the Turkish vilayet (province) of Syria. The area west of the river was governed by the Ottomans as three sanjaks (sub-provinces), two of which (Acre and Nablus) formed part of the vilayet of Beirut, while the third was the independent sanjak of Jerusalem.

          Reply to Comment
    7. David

      Dr. Mordechai Kedar is probably drawing upon the fact that rape was a very effective tool to panic, intimidate and terrorize the 800,000 Palestinians and thereby cause them to flee from their homes, lands, cities, towns and villages between late 1947 and early 1949.

      To wit:

      The Deir Yassin massacre, Friday, April 9/48. The interrogating British officer, Assistant Inspector General Richard Catling : “There is no doubt that many sexual atrocities were committed by the attacking Jews. Many young girls were raped and later slaughtered. Older women were also molested.” ((Quoted by historian Michael Palumbo, The Palestinian Catastrophe, p. 54. Also see David Hirst’s “The Gun and the Olive Branch,” p. 250.)

      “In Safsaf, [October, 1948] after…the inhabitants had raised a white flag, the [soldiers] collected and separated the men and women, tied the hands of fifty-sixty fellahin [farmers] and shot and killed them and buried them in a pit. Also, they raped several women….” (Benny Morris, “Falsifying the Record,” Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. XXIV, Number 3, Spring 1995, p.55)

      Notes taken by Aharon Cohen during a November 11, 1948 meeting of the Political Committee of Mapam (United Workers Party) provide further proof of the atrocities committed by Israeli soldiers in Safsaf: “…52 [Arab] men [were] tied together with a rope, pushed down a well and shot. 10 killed. Women pleaded for mercy. 3 cases of rape…. A girl of 14 raped. Another four killed. Rings [cut off?] with knives.” (Benny Morris, “Falsifying the Record,” p. 60)

      In 2004, when asked by Ha’aretz journalist Ari Shavit what new information his just completed revised version of The Birth of the Palestinian Problem would provide, historian Benny Morris, an ardent Zionist, replied: “It is based on many documents that were not available to me when I wrote the original book, most of them from the Israel Defense Forces Archives. What the new material shows is that there were far more Israeli acts of massacre than I had previously thought. To my surprise, there were also many cases of rape. In the months of April-May 1948, units of the Haganah [the pre-state defense force that was the precursor of the IDF] were given operational orders that stated explicitly that they were to uproot the villagers, expel them and destroy the villages themselves.” (Ha’aretz, January 9, 2004)

      Reply to Comment
    8. arb

      Sorry kiddos, there is no right of return in international law. The Declaration of Human Rights doesn’s speak of it in the manner you mean, and even if it did, it wouldn’t apply to the Palestinians since they were stateless in 1948.

      Furthermore, General Assembly resolutions are recommendations only and do not constitute laws. In fact, most Security Council resolutions are also recommendations and only those decided under Title VII are considered laws.

      That’s without getting into the fact that 194 was rejected by all the Arab states. Sorry, you don’t get a do-over!

      It also doesn’t get into 194’s ambiguous language, because “Should be permitted” is very weak legal language.

      It also doesn’t get into the fact that Arab and Muslim states will have to pay substantial compensation, estimated at several times Palestinian losses, to the Jewish refugees. You can’t apply 194 to one group and not the other. Do you think the Arab and Muslim states will agree to cover this cost? Ha!

      And, of course, this doesn’t get into the fact that UNRWA cannot determine who is a Palestinian “refugee.” 194 only addresses ’48 refugees and Israel did offer to bring those into Israel in its peace offers.

      Finally, regarding Israel’s right of return for Jews, for some years it also allowed Palestinians to move into Israel under family reconciliation. After over 100,000 (not a typo) were permitted to move to Israel, some engaged in terrorism against Israelis and the practice was stopped. 100,000!!!

      Reply to Comment
    9. Click here to load previous comments