A former Israeli soldier's Facebook page has provoked outrage after she posted pictures of herself on duty posing next to handcuffed, blindfolded Palestinians.
The photographs are part of a Facebook photo album entitled: The Army — the best years of my life, posted by a young woman named Eden, from Ashdod, who completed compulsory military service last year.
The pictures, swiftly circulated by Israeli bloggers, include one in which Ms. Eden sits on concrete blocks next to a blindfolded Palestinian detainee.
A comment posted beneath the picture by one of Ms. Eden's friends, notes: “You look sexiest here,” to which the former soldier replies: “Yeah I know ... I wonder if he's got Facebook! I have to tag him in the picture!” The Israeli army issued a statement describing Ms. Eden's Facebook posts as “shameful behaviour”.
Israel Defence Forces (IDF) spokesperson, captain Arye Shalicar added: “It was just something very foolish and stupid — and I hoped there wouldn't be any media interest.” Ishai Menuchin, executive director of human rights group The Public Committee against Torture in Israel, said: “These cruel pictures reflect Israel's ongoing objectification of Palestinians and complete disregard of their humanity and of their human rights.”
Mr. Menuchin ascribes Ms. Eden's behaviour to “an Israeli military culture that brings young Israelis to systematically violate the basic rights of Palestinians”. Captain Shalicar notes that, as Ms. Eden has been discharged and the pictures do not contain information of a sensitive military nature it is unlikely that action will be taken against her.
Ms. Eden has changed her Facebook privacy settings, so that her page can now only be viewed by friends. However, thanks to bloggers who captured a screen image of the page, the photographs can still be viewed online. — © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2010