+972 Magazine's Stories of the Week

Directly In Your Inbox

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

WATCH: IDF does not want you to see what occupation looks like

According to Guy, an Israeli Ta’ayush activist and documentarian of occupation in the South Hebron Hills area of the West Bank – there has been an increase in incidents over the last month in which Israel Defense Forces soldiers have been preventing him and other Israelis from filming what goes on.

In this 7-minute video, edited together from footage taken just over the last few weeks, between February 23 and March 9, IDF soldiers – as well as high-ranking officers – are seen blocking camera lenses over and over by shoving their own smart phones in front of them. This is not only petty and immature, but also illegal, according to Israeli military law and High Court rulings. Any IDF soldier is permitted to be filmed while on duty and there is no legal restriction on filming whatsoever.

So what does the “most moral army in the world” have to hide? Well for one thing, all this footage is used to build legal cases against the IDF, which systematically abuses the use of “closed military zone” orders in these parts, kicking out Palestinians from their agricultural lands along with Israeli activists, instead of dealing with the belligerent settlers who are the ones initiating the confrontations. But also, because occupation is very ugly, so who would want it getting out?

I guess these soldiers are just trying to implement the “self-censorship” that Culture Minister Limor Livnat urged all Israeli filmmakers to take part in, following Oscar nominations for two films critical of Israeli policies. It is admittedly hard to make Israel look good when it does such bad things.

Before you go...

A lot of work goes into creating articles like the one you just read. And while we don’t do this for the money, even our model of non-profit, independent journalism has bills to pay.

+972 Magazine is owned by our bloggers and journalists, who are driven by passion and dedication to the causes we cover. But we still need to pay for editing, photography, translation, web design and servers, legal services, and more.

As an independent journalism outlet we aren’t beholden to any outside interests. In order to safeguard that independence voice, we are proud to count you, our readers, as our most important supporters. If each of our readers becomes a supporter of our work, +972 Magazine will remain a strong, independent, and sustainable force helping drive the discourse on Israel/Palestine in the right direction.

Support independent journalism in Israel/Palestine Donate to +972 Magazine today
View article: AAA
Share article
Print article

    * Required


    1. zephon

      Do they not possess a shred of intelligence? I’ve never seen a more shameful example of an imbecilic army than these people. I’ve known 5 year olds with more mature decision making.

      I needed a good laugh and the IDF never fail in that regard. You can always count on the IDF to make a boring situation into an absolute farce.

      Reply to Comment
    2. directrob

      I do not think the high court had much choice (it follows from article 19 UDHR which is now customary law).

      Reply to Comment
      • “This is … illegal, according to Israeli military law and High Court rulings. Any IDF soldier is permitted to be filmed while on duty and there is no legal restriction on filming whatsoever.” : IDF command has created its own constitutional immunity in the Bank. Israeli military law vanishes if not enforced; High Court rulings are subject to “necessary” security delays.

        Reply to Comment
        • directrob

          Yes law should be applied “in good faith”, not so in Israel. The whole system seems to conspire against justice.

          Reply to Comment
    3. Palestinian

      I think they have the right to hide their crimes for secughity gheasons.
      Nobody has the right to expose the ugly face of occupation.

      Khamas Khamas Khamas

      Reply to Comment
    4. Philos

      There’s a Tat Aluf doing that! (Brigadier General in NATO ranks) Unbelievable! It just goes to prove the old maxim that the vast majority of officers (in any army) lack intelligence. The IDF is full of imbecilic careerist pigs.

      Reply to Comment
    5. rsgengland

      Cameras in areas of high tension often increase the tensions, resulting in violence and injury.
      Protesters become braver, taking chances to try to get the authorities to react, so that they can get their action pictures.
      Clever positioning at the scene and manipulation on the computer can create scenarios that don’t exist, except for propaganda purposes.
      I used to be a photographer, and am aware of how easy it is to alter and distort pictures to suit any agenda.

      Reply to Comment
    6. I think Rsgen, above, partly right. Obama’s visit and, more importantly, the prison hunger strike(s) are increasing tension. I think IDF command knows some sort of outburst will likely ocurr upon a hunger death. Videos can act as mobilizer. So, given the rather undangerous nature of the activists, soldiers try to dampen video.

      I think the IDF sees an inevitable rebellion. Their job is to delay it as they can, and fragment it once is arises. Limiting video coverage acts towards both of those goals.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        Death of an convicted terrorist is always a reason for a rebellion.

        Reply to Comment
        • You expect 1 million+ people to live your categories? The Israeli right “it must be” amplified to absurdity.

          The issue at hand is rearrest without court review. Administrative detention is actually unnecessary, as military courts accept the logic of secret information and almost never overturn security decisions. I see this as partly a security apparatus turf war. By stubbornly refusing to allow the fiction of courts, security is making its position much worse.

          There is also the issue of what the fast has done to him and his thought. Enforced ignorance works for some time as a weapon; rarely indefinately.

          Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            This guy is a convicted terrorist, was released on probation and has violated it.

            Why should he not remain behind bars for the rest of his time?
            Changed his thoughts, huh?
            So now he not only would kill Jews, he’d also eat them.

            Reply to Comment
    7. Danny

      A bunch of cretins.

      This is obviously orders from above. Boy, aren’t IOF officers clever?

      I think these soldiers ought to consider suing the army for making them look like complete morons.

      Reply to Comment