Look familiar? Another Abu Ghraib photo frenzy? Needless to say, not the first of its kind.
Photos taken by former IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) soldier Eden Abergil of her 2008 Gaza Strip experiences — paraded in her Facebook photo display titled “The Army.. the most beautiful time of my life 🙂” — has caused online outcry. The photo album, which was once public, has now been personally censored by Abergil and blocked from others to see.
Abergil says she meant no harm by posting the photos — which show her posing with blindfolded and hand-tied Palestinians prisoners — as they were “taken to commit to memory her experience in the army.” Abergil says: “I did it out of excitement, to remember the experience.”
Abergil admits her decision to post the photos was thoughtless and innocent, but says: “I don’t understand what was not OK.” In light of the humiliating photos, Abergil ignores the idea that Palestinians “must be afforded fundamental respect as fellow human beings.” And that just begins the debate on why her photos were in fact not OK.
The Israeli Army condemned Abergil’s actions as “shameful” and a “a serious violation of our morals and our ethical code.” According to Ishai Menuchin, of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel: “it looks like the soldier who put up the photographs on Facebook enjoyed the humiliation of the Palestinians and ignored their right to privacy…” Ghassan Khatib, a Palestinian Authority spokesman who condemned the photos, says Abergil seems: “proud of humiliating Palestinians.”