Video: Video of dancing Israeli soldier sparks investigation

updated 10/5/2010 2:34:30 PM ET 2010-10-05T18:34:30

The Israeli military said Tuesday it was launching an investigation into a YouTube video that appears to show an Israeli soldier dancing around a blindfolded Palestinian Muslim woman.

In the video, the woman, wearing a Muslim headscarf and long black robe, stands along a wall as the soldier wiggles around her in an Oriental style of dancing and makes suggestive gestures. Arabic music blares in the background, and the woman barely moves.

The Web clip is the latest in a series of embarrassing videos and photos uploaded to social networking sites like YouTube and Facebook that show Israeli soldiers mocking Palestinians. If authentic, it would be the first to specifically humiliate a Palestinian woman, a deeply sensitive issue in Arab society.

Story: Israeli military confronts new foe: the Internet

In August, a young ex-soldier posted pictures of herself in uniform, posing in front of handcuffed, blindfolded Palestinian prisoners on her Facebook page. Earlier this year, a video showed a group of soldiers dancing while on patrol in a West Bank city.

In a statement, the army said it "denounces actions such as these depicted in the videos." It said the videos are "isolated cases" but said an investigation would "now be standard practice in cases in which similar behavior is alleged."

Military officials said late Tuesday that they were still investigating the matter, and it remained unclear whether the video was even authentic.

    1. Castaway's parents thought they would never see him again

      The father of Pacific castaway Jose Salvador Alvarenga said he was told his long-lost son vanished on a fishing trip but he didn’t have the heart to break the news to his ailing wife.

    2. Scotland legalizes same-sex marriage
    3. Weapons deal strengthened Assad: US intel chief
    4. Outcry over the fate of Sochi's stray dogs
    5. Olympic construction leaves Sochi residents in the cold

The dancing soldier has not spoken publicly and the person who uploaded the YouTube video did not respond to e-mail requests for comment. The woman cannot be identified because of the blindfold covering her face, and the incident could have been a joke between soldiers.

Yesh Din, an Israeli rights group, called it a "sickening phenomenon" in a letter sent by the organization's lawyer to military prosecutors demanding a broad criminal investigation.

Even if faked, it highlights the extent to which some Israeli soldiers have dehumanized their Palestinian foes, said Dana Zimmerman of Yesh Din.

"Whether it's real or not — once it seems OK or cool or funny to have detained human beings with their eyes blindfolded in degrading positions — it says a really bad thing about our society," Zimmerman said.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments