by Ali Abunimah
Israeli soldiers had a “fun” time making what they called “Rachel Corrie pancakes.”
Photos of the event were posted on the Facebook page of the “Heritage House,” a settlement in occupied East Jerusalem that houses so-called “lone soldiers,” men recruited from overseas to join the Israeli occupation forces.
Above the photos of young men, some in Israeli army fatigues or apparently carrying guns, is the caption “Afternoon of ‘rachel corrie’ Pancakes and fun!”
Rachel Corrie is the young American woman murdered by an Israeli soldier who crushed her to death with a bulldozer as she tried to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian family home in the occupied Gaza Strip on 16 March 2003.
The depraved joke that these men were presumably making is a play on the English idiom “flat as a pancake.” Their celebration and joking about Rachel Corrie’s death is utterly vile and reflects the culture of dehumanization inculcated into Israeli soldiers.
Ben Packer, the director and rabbi of “Heritage House,” hit back at some negative comments about the images, posting this response:
In honor of the all the hate messages from the anti-Israel/Jewish crowd, one of our supporters has pledged $5 towards Israeli settlements (maybe for additional bulldozers) for each additional comment. keep’em coming anti-semites! We love our Israeli soldiers and will not back down in the face of those who attempt to endanger them!
Packer added, “Anti-Israel activists are all in a tizzy about these pictures! makes them even funnier!!!”
The page also appeals for donations “to support our guests and ‘lone soldiers.’” Residents of the “Heritage House” settlement also take part in colonization activities in other parts of the occupied West Bank, including Hebron.
(Update: The gallery was removed shortly after the publication of this post.)
The true face of the “IDF”
The Electronic Intifada also revealed images soldiers posted on the photo-sharing site Instagram of nudity, drug use and violence and most notoriously of a Palestinian child seen through the scope of a sniper’s rifle.
This week, the army began investigating a video posted online of Israeli soldiers frying a small bird alive, an act that had no purpose but gratuitous animal cruelty.
Israeli army attempts to halt social media scandals
The “Rachel Corrie pancakes” photos provide yet another window into the Israeli army’s culture of violence and come just as the occupation forces have tried to staunch the flow of embarrassing incidents on social media that have hurt its propaganda efforts.
The campaign, which includes this YouTube video, urges soldiers to “improve their image online.”
The voiceover in the video commands:
Soldier! Improve your appearance! Always remember: You are the face of the IDF. So improve your appearance – online!
The IDF is glad to invite you to get connected, share, love, tweet, respond, and show the pretty face of the IDF.
So go into the official pages and send us pictures, videoclips, and stories. The IDF on the Internet. One army, everybody’s face.
The “lone soldiers” at the Heritage House settler-colony have clearly not got the message.
With thanks to Dena Shunra for assistance with research and translation and Benjamin Doherty for assistance with research.