The video above shows members of the IDF’s Golani Brigades verbally humiliating and laughing at a bound and blindfolded Palestinian. The actions of the soldiers in this video have been roundly condemned in Israel. Former Golani Commander Giora Inbar said “I am ashamed for them… It is hard for me to look at this.” The IDF is investigating and disciplinary action is expected.

No one is proud of what these boys have done and the video is already being circulated on YouTube where it will in all likelihood be used as proof positive of how horrible Israel is. The fact that a bound and blindfolded Israeli would fare far worse at the hands of a Palestinian militia does not diminish the actions of these dumbasses who have tarnished the otherwise proud name of the Golani Brigade – the unit of the IDF that most of my family serve in. Suffice it to say that these kids are not considered heroic and their actions are considered unacceptable. That’s my Israel.

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • “The fact that a bound and blindfolded Israeli would fare far worse at the hands of a Palestinian militia…”

    Why is that relevant? Honestly.

  • “…does not diminish the actions of these dumbasses…”

    I was preempting potential criticism of this post. I’ve already read the talkbacks on Haaretz. In other words, it’s not relevant at all.

  • Of course tt does diminish their actions in any way. It is, however, relevant in the grand scheme of the conflict, since these sort of actions are used by Israel’s enemies “as proof positive of how horrible Israel is.” People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. The glass house here, by the way, is not perfection, for Israel is far from perfect – but the ability (or lack thereof) of persecuting such actions and making sure one’s own conduct does not stoop to such levels.

  • They are maybe enemies but as Jews we should always behave better than anyone. We don’t need to level down to animals, remember that not all Arabs hate us.

  • They are not kids or boys. The day they don that uniform, they are men. Young men and inexperienced, perhaps. But they are not boys any more.

    They most certainly are idiots, however.

  • You know, every time I think we can’t get out of the West Bank because it would turn into another Gaza, something like this happens and reminds me how Israeli presence there is corrupting Israeli society.

  • While it’s fine to commend ourselves for having an army that investigates such crimes when they are brought to light by the media or other outside observers, the IDF is far from doing all it should to impress on soldiers, and especially on officers, that such behavior is unacceptable. Golani is one unit that has, over many years, developed a kind of unit pride in being “tough” in just this way, and that sense of pride is often winked at or even valued by its own officers and those higher up. It’s an ethos that needs to be pulled out by the roots.

  • the middle:
    You know, every time I think we can’t get out of the West Bank because it would turn into another Gaza, something like this happens and reminds me how Israeli presence there is corrupting Israeli society.
    – – – – – – – – –
    On the contrary – this kind of stuff grows out of the Catch-22 these soldiers find themselves caught in. They see the facts on the ground – the unrelenting Pali hatred and desire to destroy Israel – and yet their officers, and the government that they serve, mouth empty platitudes. In some cases, these soldiers have lost comrades due to the political correctness that hamstrings the officers, distorts the orders they receive, prevents the army from taking decisive action.

    War is supposed to be hell. It’s supposed to be a deterrent. Dithering around hoping your enemies will decide to suddenly like you can get stale for the boys who are risking their lives under your command.

  • Ben-David:

    Israel hasn’t classified this as a war. It’s technically a “low intensity conflict”, according to the military spokesman. This is military-conducted police activity.

    And a deterant for whom? For the Palestinians or the soldiers who are sent there? I think you’ll find plenty of evidence that the occupation is deterring Israeli soldiers from relishing their duties. Why else all the draft dodging and the emergence of groups like Breaking the Silence?

    Kudos to you CK for putting this up.

  • Oh KFJ18 – There are many reasons for the issues you discuss. It’s not quite as straightforward as all that. Oh the settlers are bad and the “occupation” is bad and the Palestinians are noble and oppressed etc. I don’t merit kudos for doing what i always do. As shameful as the actions depicted in this video were, the Army responded correctly and launched an investigation. This sort of verbal harassment isn’t condoned in Israel, even if contextually, it’s quite benign.

    As a supporter of Israel I celebrate what makes the country special without shying away from its problems. No kudos necessary.

  • Ha, CK, your pride is premature. They only launched an investigation BECA– USE it was all over TV. This isn’t just a case of bad Jew vs. Arab but bad government vs. soldiers. Investigation investischmation. I’ll pat them on the back and say “well done” when somebody is sent to jail.

    And I merely commenting that Jewlicious generall, but not always, shies away from aiding and abeting the Israel destroyers by posting pro-Israel-unfriendly content.

  • Oh come on KFJ – how much do you really know about the inner workings of the IDF (from experience)? Do you know how investigations are conducted and what prompts one?

    It’s not just because it was on TV. Granted, the IDF is not perfect. It screws up and covers up sometimes (without excusing those coverups in the least – they happen far less than most other countries). However, not every time an organization like B’tselem, Peace Now (or breaking the silence, yesh gvul, etc etc ) complains about something does it actually warrant attention, especially considering their those two organizations’ continual manipulation of data. Let alone ISM or organizations of that ilk.

    Furthermore, why are you pretending to be judge, jury and executioner? Do you know all of the details of the incident? As we all should know by now, a video does not always tell the whole story, especially in that part of the world.

  • LB — well, you asked for it. So I worked for Breaking the Silence for half a year and I have a bookshelf full of soldier confessions and more on my computer. This *was* my bread and butter for half a year. For not having served in the IDF, I know a lot.

    How about this little tid bit: 25% of Israeli soldiers commit or stand by during abuse of Palestinians at checkpoints. The Hebrew report actually specifies “severe abuse”.

    The human rights manipulator in question? The IDF, December 2007. And there’s been a lot more on Israeli TV since.

    Know all the details? Dude, you got some slippery morals if you’re gonna try and justify *that* video.

  • I’m not justifying that video. I’m just saying that convicting someone on the basis of one video alone, as seen online or on TV is not right. Clearly, they are way out of line – but demanding prison time, is the place of the military prosecutor, not a youtube viewer.

    Your report actually vindicates me, not you. Of course there are plenty of idiots who need to be disciplined in the army. Every army, btw. But this report was commissioned by the commander of Central Command – so the army is, in fact, investigating on its own. (where is the link in hebrew?)

  • LB — two things:

    1) Are 25% of IDF soldiers at checkpoints court martialed and jailed? No. My point stands. Please, do some research.

    2) Does “every army” have a 25% idiot rate? Either way, it’s clear to the IDF, the Israeli TV and print media, and the Isralei public that the Israeli army has serious problems with behavior.

    The army’s report was leaked to the press and you’ll have to search JPost’s Hebrew web site if they’ve still got it up. You can also email Breaking the Silence for a copy. They may even have a copy of the report.

  • KFJ18: Here’s a question for you. Do you consider what happened on this video to represent “severe abuse?” Just curious.

  • No, beating him up is severe abuse. 25%. 1 in 4.

    I’m not out to demonize soldiers. If we put these kids in a terrorism-suspect environment where the populace has no rights and intimidation is part of deterance, this will be the result. The occupation is the problem, not the boys. More training ain’t gonna fix it. You can have either an occupation or a moral army. You cannot have both.

  • We agree in principle, Kung Fu, that you can’t have an occupation and a moral army. On the other hand, the IDF remains a military that institutionally and on the soldiers’ personal level is pretty good about it in light of the hostility and violence that comes from the other side – and that was present long before there was an occupation.

    Let’s also not forget that getting out of there is very difficult for Israel. Remember Gaza?