The Electronic Intifada has captured even more horrifyingly racist and violent statements by Israeli soldiers on Facebook targeting Palestinian children as part of our effort to document this widespread phenomenon.
On the day US President Barack Obama arrived for his Israel visit last week, Israeli occupation forces in Hebron violently seized and detained dozens of Palestinian children, some aged as young as eight, on their way to school.
The harrowing video, above, of the Israeli army attack on the children went viral on YouTube.
B’Tselem, the Israeli organization that documents and criticizes some of Israel’s human rights abuses and which posted the video, condemned the mass arrest of the children as “unlawful” and said that some of the children had been taken to interrogation centers where severe and systematic abuses, including holding children in solitary confinement and harsh interrogation without parents or lawyers present, is the norm.
In previous cases, Palestinian children have testified that under such conditions they have been forced to confess by Israeli interrogators to false charges of throwing rocks or molotov cocktails and pressed to inform on friends and family.
“A bullet in his mouth”
When the video of the children’s arrest was posted on the popular Israeli Facebook page “We are all in favor of death to terrorists,” a hotbed of racist incitement, it provided an opportunity for dozens of Israelis, once again, to express horrifyingly violent views (see the screenshot of all the comments in context).
Some of those posting comments were Israeli soldiers. Here are a few that indicate the mindset of these soldiers:
Oren Degani, whose Facebook profile contains information suggesting he is a member of the “Black Scorpions” unit of the Israeli army’s Kfir Brigade, clearly believes the Palestinian children deserve such treatment and that they are all presumed guilty. He wrote under the video:
They pretend to be innocent saints who did nothing. I know this from my reserve duty. They throw a firebomb and when you catch them they cry and swear on Muhammad that they didn’t do anything … little shits.
I’d break every one of his bones
More violence is needed. Where are the clubs to break their legs?
Yoni Gordon, a member of the Givati Brigade, had simple advice for how to deal with a Palestinian child:
Put him on his knees and shoot a bullet into his mouth.
Avisaf Hillel, whose Facebook profile says he attends “Ariel University,” a settler institution in the occupied West Bank, and is a die-hard supporter of Israel’s Beitar Jerusalem football club whose fans are notorious for their racist mob rampages, looked back fondly and with a touch of sarcasm on his time in the army when he was mistreating Palestinian children:
How I miss those days!!! But during my time in regular military service, they couldn’t get a peep out of their mouth!! We took care of them real well!!
Jewish Agency’s social media propagandist Avi Mayer also defends child abuse
Another of those defending and justifying the soldiers’ brutality seen in the video was the Jewish Agency’s social media propandist Avi Mayer – himself an American volunteer in the Israeli army.
In a series of tweets, Mayer, a former Israeli army spokesman, suggested that accusations leveled against the children by the Israeli occupation army should be taken as incontrovertible truth that the children were criminals who deserved such shocking treatment and that Palestinian children should be viewed as guilty until proven innocent of whatever the Israeli army accuses them.
Not surprisingly, Mayer has absolutely refused to criticize the Israeli army’s routine, documented abuses of children or the horrifying statements of his comrades in arms.
With thanks to Dena Shunra for additional research.