Full Comment:Barbara Kay on the 'Lack of rape among Israeli soldiers' (National Post February 14, 2008)
Barbara Kay on the 'Lack of rape among Israeli soldiers'
I really don’t know how much longer satire can expect to carry on as a genre, given what passes for “scholarship” in the topsy-turvy world of academia. This pinch-me item just crossed my desk and of course I assumed it was a spoof. But I Googled the names of the academics involved and to my astonishment they are real, and this excerpt from the Israeli Shalem Centre newsletter is not a joke:
Prize Winning Sociology Thesis at Hebrew U.: Lack of Rape Among Israeli Soldiers Achieves Same Aims as Rape
A Hebrew University Sociology department M.A. thesis entitled “Controlled Occupation: The Lack of Military Rape in the Israeli Palestinian Conflict” notes that the relative absence of instances of rape by Israeli soldiers is an alternate method of achieving the same kind of degradation of Palestinian Arabs that would be achieved through a directed policy of raping Arab women. The abstract of the paper, authored by doctoral candidate Tal Nitzan, notes that "the absence of directed military rape constitutes an alternative way of realizing the same political goals [usually achieved by directed military rape]. In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we can see that the rarity of military rape only strengthens the ethnic boundaries and clarifies inter-ethnic differences, just as directed military rape would have done.” The thesis, selected for publication by the university’s Shaine Center for Research in Social Sciences, was supervised by Hebrew University sociologist Eyal Ben–Ari and a senior lecturer in education, Edna Lomsky-Feder.
I’ve heard sociologists apeak of “status anxiety,” but for originality and chutzpah, I have to admit that this thesis takes the cake. (“You seem gloomy, Fatima.” “What self-respecting Palestinian woman wouldn’t, Hamid? The Israeli soldiers were here to search the house – by the way, they found those rockets you hid in the baby’s toybox, sorry about that, but they didn’t make a single move on me. No rape, not even a lubricious wink or a pinch on the buttocks. Being non-violated like that, I feel so - I don't know - degraded. What am I to tell my friends…?”).
What’s next from Alice-in-Wonderland University? “Controlled Occupation: The lack of Random Bombings of Pizza Parlours in the West Bank”? Oh, those sly and underhanded Israeli soldiers. They certainly have psychological torture down to a fine art.