Drugs, guns, and bound Palestinians: An Israeli soldier’s photo album
Days after a Golani Brigade soldier posted a photograph of a Palestinian boy in the crosshairs of his rifle, a new scandal emerges surrounding an Israeli soldier’s online photos.
Israel Defense Forces soldiers’ social-media activity is once again creating a storm on the Internet, just days after a soldier who posted a photograph of a Palestinian boy in the crosshairs of his sniper’s rifle drew harsh criticism.
The current outrage has to do with a Golani Brigade soldier who posted pictures of himself on Instagram, smoking what he says are joints, while in uniform. The soldier uploaded a second photograph of a bound Palestinian prisoner, and also boasted on Twitter of having killed a Palestinian.
Electronic Intifada first reported on the soldier’s photographs and apparently spent time rummaging through the photos he posted online. The site posted a number of his pictures, including one of him half-naked and holding a weapon. The soldier has since blocked his accounts on Instagram and Facebook.
Among the other photos included in Electronic Intifada’s report were two with English captions reading “Keep calm and kill people in your mind” and “Keep calm and take over Gaza.” Another picture shows a map of the Gaza Strip with the caption “Soon to be a giant theme park!!”
The report also included the soldier’s response to an Arab user’s comment on Facebook, in which he wrote, “For all I care you can comment all my pictures, you’re just a f–king Arab pile of s–t, you even smell like it….”
The IDF Spokesperson responded: “This is a grave incident, which does not represent the IDF. Our investigation of the incident is ongoing and disciplinary action will be taken in its wake. The IDF will continue to act to prevent incidents of this sort, which are not in line with the IDF’s values.”
This incident was reported after Electronic Intifada and other news sites around the world last weekend posted an Instagram photo of what appears to be a Palestinian boy in the crosshairs of a sniper’s rifle.
“This is what occupation looks like,” representatives of Breaking the Silence, a group of IDF combat veterans who aim to raise public awareness of what happens in the territories, said on the group’s Facebook page. “This is what military control over a civilian population looks like.”
The advocacy group said the image shows that not much has changed in the decade since a similar photograph taken by a soldier was displayed in the organization’s first public exhibit in 2003.
“There, too, an Israeli soldier aimed a weapon at a boy and took a picture with his camera as a memento, a gesture of an endless feeling of power that is connected to control over another people,” read the Breaking the Silence Facebook page. “Ten years have passed. The devices and the applications have changed; the ways in which pictures are shared has changed. The feeling of excessive power and the clear contempt for human life and human dignity have remained.”
The soldier, whose actions “are not in accordance with the spirit of the IDF or its values,” according to the army, has since deleted his Instagram account.