Border Police on YouTube: It’s just a case of another rotten apple, they will say

Posted: June 20th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: In the News, racism | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

The front story of Haaretz magazine this weekend reveals another ugly face of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank: short films showing the emotional, physical and verbal abuse of Palestinians, taken by Border Police soldiers and posted to YouTube. The Palestinians in these films are forced to sing songs praising the Border Police, to slap themselves and to face jokes and insults. Here is one of the films. The full Haaretz article, with links to other films, can be found here.

The Border Police is a military unit under the command of the police. The people serving in it are not ordinary policeman, but rather young soldiers, on their three years mandatory service. They are stationed mostly (but not only) in the West Bank, which means they get to stay many months, even years, in the same area (unlike regular army units, which only get sent to Palestinian cities or areas for limited periods of time – between several weeks to months). This leads to boredom and frustration among the soldiers. Combined with the arrogance of 19 years old kids who get to run the life of hundreds of people in roadblocks and checkpoints, and the racist tendencies in Israeli society, it brings to the results shown above. This sort of behavior, however, is not limited to the Border Police, or to the films on YouTube. I heard such stories during my own army service, in the 90′s, and I hear them from people to this day.

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