Ketziot Ghraib

Israeli Soldiers’ Brutality at Prison Camp for Palestinians | Informed Comment

Israeli television has shown shocking cellphone video of the October, 2007, actions at Ketziot Prison, against unarmed Palestinian prisoners, by Israeli security forces. The thousand or so prisoners there revolted at a provocative search abruptly conducted by “Control and Restraint” units or Metzada. Far from being menacing, the Palestinian prisoners are shown cringing and obeying orders to come out of their tents with a promise that the shooting would stop. It did not. Israeli soldiers are caught laughing at the helpless Palestinian prisoners during the aggressive action.

An interview with an inmate was broadcast by The Real News in 2007 soon after the Israeli attack:

B’Tselem was already charging in 2007 that abuse and even torture of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons was all too common.

The Israeli excuse for the killing and injuring of the prisoners was that they were menacing, but the video does not bear out this charge. Indeed, this excuse for belligerence is inscribed at the national and geopolitical level on Israeli foreign policy. See Ira Chernus today on “The Great Israeli Security Scam” at

Ketziot was the prison camp for Palestinians at which Cpl. Jeffrey Goldberg, now advertising himself as an objective journalist at The Atlantic, had served while on active duty in the Israeli army.

24 comments on “Ketziot Ghraib

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  1. I join with Professor Cole in blaming Jeffrey Goldberg for the Israeli failure to respect the rights of prisoners. it hardly matters that Goldberg was not in a policy-making position as a corporal or that Goldberg was gone from the prison, the IDf, and Israel for more than a decade by 2007.

    He still bears part of the collective guilt and by constantly disagreeing from Juan Cole ( a Professor and a person who lived in the Middle East!) he deserves worse than his fair share.

  2. Don’t know if you’ve been following the feud between Goldberg and Lara Friedman… The way the further left types react to Goldberg is more MondoWeiss v MondoReal.

  3. I recall an Atlantic piece during the height of the Iraq War, in the Atlantic, by Languewische, I think, which talked about how the Arabs
    raised all this contempt for Abu Ghraib and Gitmo, but didn’t really examine those facilities in Abu Quarib, (their own backyards, like Tora,
    the Citadel, the Palestine branch of the Syrian Mukharabat) the same
    question, really arises here.

  4. @ miguel cervantes:

    some folks still cling to the old ways, miggs, where you’re expected to fight endlessly with your cousins, but never accept ill-treatment for yourself or your cousins from outsiders.

  5. The same question arises here, because the same inescapable dynamic arises everywhere within this conflict, microcosm within microcosm, turtles all the way down. Zionism as a product of modern (industrial era) Western civilization overpowers and overwhelms Arabic civilization at the point of contact, but at the same time absorbs aspects of it, while remaining subject to its own contradictions and imperfections. It doesn’t make the Zs better than the As in some ideal or absolute moral sense. In some ways it makes them much worse, in the same way that the “natives” always have the benefit of whatever moral doubt over the colonizers, although closer inspection always reveals aspects of the indigenous civilization that correspond to a civilization-level lack of recognition of universal individual human rights. Systematic torture, like human sacrifice, is typical of pre-modern cultures. Yet, the supposedly superior culture, wherever it fails to live up to its aspirations, becomes capable of doing greater objective harm, industrial strength harm, industrial strength injustice.

  6. That is the irony isn’t it, in a century they had risen the Arabian sands to the borders with Ancient Gaul, the reality is actually the reverse, governments develop more and more sophisticated ways of insuring
    consent from those who wish not to grant it,

  7. @ fuster:
    One part thin-skinned, one part opinion management.

    By now you’ve probly checked today’s e-mail in re PW/MW. Trust me when I repeat to you from earlier exchanges that this ain’t my first go-round with leftwing solidarity types whose commitment to the free exchange of ideas is never to be assumed, least of all when they advertise it. As a rule, they’d much rather drown their own children than hear them saying the wrong things or otherwise betray the cause (which sooner or later becomes indistinguishable from the vanguardists personally). Not saying there isn’t a lot of that on the right, too, but the control mechanisms operate a little differently, in my observation.

  8. It ain’t my first go-round either. Long ago and far away, i was one of those lucky folks involved with organization(s) that decided to commit to the delights of what they called “participatory democracy”. Having been taught that loyalty is a concept that attaches to ideas rather than to persons, I took my participation elsewhere.

    After that, I kept my distance.

  9. mostly it meant that meetings would last as long as it took to browbeat the middle-class, racist, sexist snot out of everybody who attended those meetings because we opposed middle-class, racist, sexist snot.

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