Opinion

Cyprus Rape Case: Israel's Boys Struck at Dawn

Israeli tourists arrested over alleged rape arrive to appear before a magistrate for a remand hearing in the Famagusta courthouse in Paralimni, Cyprus, July 18, 2019.
Yiannis Kourtoglou/Reuters

Our forces went into action as night fell. There were 12 of them, each the salt of the earth, hailing from the Haifa area, from the eternal capital Jerusalem and from the capital of racism, Afula. Some of them, amazingly, were even about to join elite army units.

Your heart cries out to them. Just let them return home in peace. They’re now under arrest, in the hands of Gentiles, and who knows what they’re going through there. There are reports that they’re shackled, that they’re being beaten. There’s a rumor going around that they’ve been transferred to the Turkish side on the Midnight Express.

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What, after all, did they do? They’re only good kids who wanted a bit too much. They’re allowed to have their fun, and how, before being drafted. They deserve to let go a bit. Let them have some fun. What’s the problem? The nation stands with them. Even their mothers say they’re good kids.

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The usual Israeli narrative is clear in most of the reports from Ayia Napa in Cyprus: The whole world is against us. We (again) are the victims. If they weren’t Israelis no one would have arrested them. Twelve Jewish kids under arrest in the Diaspora – do you realize what that means? They’re children, obviously. If they were Palestinians, they’d be called young men.

The rape victim is a young woman, not a child, even though she’s the same age as the perpetrators. But with us Israelis, people between 16 and 19 are children. Only we love our children, which is why they’re the children of us all. Just wait and see the reception they get when they return, assuming they return anytime soon. The heroes will return home, appearing with the mayor in the city’s main square.

Reports of Cypriot anti-Semitism are on the way. And who can trust the Cypriot justice system anyway? It’s cruel and primitive, unlike ours, the most progressive and humane one in the world. How dare they, those Cypriots, arrest 12 Jewish kids before their induction into elite army units?

The parents who told the media, as a mitigating circumstance, that their boys were about to join these units were oblivious to the irony: Some of them were about to serve in an army whose main mission is abuse, just like what happened that night in Ayia Napa. Maybe that night was a prelude to basic training?

The victim is obviously making it up, the suspects are victims, the entire Israeli story encompassed in one night in room 723. If they were suspected of raping an Israeli-Jewish woman, your heart wouldn’t reach out to them the same way. But they’re suspected of raping a female goy, a shiksa, a little whore, and that’s an entirely different story. This isn’t stated explicitly, obviously, but it’s planted deep within the subtext of the reports, enveloped in a thin veneer of decency and correctness under which the true emotions seethe and bubble.

If one could only say aloud what many Israelis feel inside about that night: a mixture of male chauvinism and ultra-nationalist supremacy. These kids remain the salt of the earth. They screwed a shiksa and now they’re the victims.

Ostensibly, this is heart-warming national solidarity. Actually, it’s dark and benighted tribalism and nationalism, blind and reflexive, revolting. Our children are always just – we’re the chosen people, always the victims.

It’s the same solidarity shown with Elor Azaria, the soldier who shot an assailant who was already motionless on the ground, and with soldiers aiming for the head of a 10-year-old in the West Bank village of Qaddum, or with the ones who shot a 15-year-old climbing the separation fence near Bethlehem. The soldiers who shoot are perceived by most Israelis as victims, as are the suspects in the rape in Ayia Napa, not as scum. They hurt non-Jews, who only want our destruction. That’s why what they did is good, both in Qaddum and in Ayia Napa.

Very little has been said in the Israeli media about the victim, that poor British woman, or about the Palestinian victims of another horrific mass rape, one that’s been going on for years, the rape of the occupation. That might generate some sympathy for the true victim, or at lease raise some moral doubts among the perpetrators. The ones perpetrating these acts, in both cases, in Ayia Napa and in Qaddum, are our children, the purest and most innocent of all children. Just dare think otherwise.