The Koran According to the Israeli Army: A Good Palestinian Woman Stays Away From Protests

An Israeli army spokesman suggests that Palestinian women dishonor their society by attending demonstrations, and that torching tires is un-Islamic

Nir Gontarz
Nir Gontarz
A Palestinian medic wears a mask to protect herself from inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli troops during a protest at the Israel-Gaza border in the southern Gaza Strip April 9, 2018. Picture taken April 9, 2018. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
A Palestinian medic wears a mask to protect herself from inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli troops during a protest at the Israel-Gaza border in the southern Gaza Strip April 9, 2018. Picture taken ApCredit: \ IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA/ REUTERS
Nir Gontarz
Nir Gontarz

Hello, is this Major Avichay Adraee, head of Arabic communications for the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit?


Shalom, this is Nir Gontarz from Haaretz. How are you?

Everything’s fine.

I saw what you wrote on Twitter.

About what?

About the honor of the Arab woman, who shouldn’t go out to demonstrate but stay at home and look after the children.

Major Avichay Adraee, head of Arabic communications for the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.Credit: Facebook

I didn’t write that she shouldn’t go out to demonstrate, I wrote that she shouldn’t go to terror demonstrations and throw rocks. The picture there made it very clear what the intention was. Not a good woman I quoted from

I’m more interested in the second part: Did you really recommend that Arab women look after the house and children?

No, what I’m saying is that I quoted from what the Prophet Mohammed said what the woman I’ll translate it for you he says that a good woman is a woman who has honor, and a woman who has the interest of her home and her children at heart. That what interests her is the interest of her home and her children so she can be a good example for them. And in contrast, the bad woman is one who behaves selfishly and doesn’t set an example and is not um a mark of honor to the society from which she comes.

So you agree with the Prophet Mohammed, if you’re quoting him in this context.

What does it matter if I agree with the Prophet Mohammed?! That’s what it says...

You also tweeted that burning tires is a non-Muslim act.


Why are you laughing?

The way you describe it


What Allah said, what’s written in Sura Verse 56... Uhm... It says that Allah commands the believers not to harm the world that he created.

That that’s not environmentally friendly.

The Prophet Mohammed also said that the Muslim should plant trees, guard the soil, plant it, care for all living things and so on. And that it’s not environmentally friendly what burning tires do to the environment, to the soil, to the world that was created, that it goes against everything that’s written in the holy books.

Tell me, what exactly is this job you’ve taken upon yourself to interpret the Koran for them, as to how a woman should behave and how a Muslim should behave? Is this as a private person, or in the name of an IDF that is now also becoming an educator and Koran analyst for the Palestinians?

Now we’re getting into a different conversation. You should speak with the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit. I thought you just wanted a question or two to clarify things for you. You should speak with the relevant desk at the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit. In this context, when we’re talking about justifications for IDF actions and condemning the actions of the other side then a mirror should also be held up to the other side. Just like this day is being called a day of mirrors [when protesters in Gaza were told to use mirrors to reflect sunlight into the gunsights of snipers on the other side of the border].

And this is the IDF’s job?

My job is heading the Arabic communications in the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, and one of the things we do is to present things to the Arabic-speaking public that’s just a few hundred meters away, and you have to also use other tools

You don’t think it’s a little patronizing for the Jewish officer from the occupying army to be teaching the Arabs how they should behave?

I’m holding up a mirror, and not just me

The colonialists and occupiers have always taught the “children” the “proper” way to behave.

Now you’re getting into things that are less relevant to me.

Why? It’s as relevant as can be. Your name is attached to this moral preaching.

I’d be very happy to continue this conversation over a cup of coffee, but right now all of these interpretations are not relevant. I’m only telling you that what in the end

To me your quotes read as if you’re a propagandist for the army. Not a spokesman. You’re a propagandist for the army.

Are you asking me journalistic questions, or giving me interpretations? That’s your interpretation. Do what you want and whatever you feel like.

Do you think it’s dignified for an Israeli officer to be teaching the Arab civilians who are under occupation or blockade how they should behave as Muslims? To be saying that a Muslim woman’s honor requires modesty?

Look, all of these interpretations, I’d be glad to expand on this discussion as much as you want, but right now

As an Israeli citizen, I’m embarrassed by what you’re doing. You represent the cliché of occupation.

Fine. Thank you very much. Other people will say otherwise, but I’m doing my job.

Last question: Should a Jewish woman also stay home and look after the children?

[The call is disconnected.

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