Israeli army veteran criticized—for not wanting to rape Palestinian women!

A ex-soldier in the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) walks into a U.S. college. . .

That could be the beginning of a joke, but it isn’t even close. Israel and the IDF are demonized on British and American campuses, and when an ex-IDF soldier, even one who was an extreme leftist, never hurt anyone and whose activities, he says, were as “an officer in an IDF COGAT unit that attends to the needs of Palestinian civilians who are not involved in the conflict and promotes Palestinian civil society” starts talking on those campuses, he’s in for trouble.

Meet Hen Mazzig, who has suffered the slings and arrows of the pervasive demonization of Israel (and of anti-Semitism as well) while bravely venturing onto campuses. His experiences are described at Europe Israël News, with some bits taken from here and here.

Typical interactions from a lecture tour Hen Mazzig made in 2013 (my emphasis):

This year, from January through May, I went to college campuses, high schools, and churches to tell people about the history of modern Israel, about my experience growing up in the Jewish state, and about my family. I also always spoke about my military service as an officer in an IDF COGAT unit that attends to the needs of Palestinian civilians who are not involved in the conflict and promotes Palestinian civil society.

At a BDS event in Portland, a professor from a Seattle university told the assembled crowd that the Jews of Israel have no national rights and should be forced out of the country. When I asked, “Where do you want them to go?” she calmly answered, “I don’t care. I don’t care if they don’t have any place else to go. They should not be there.”

When I responded that she was calling for ethnic cleansing, both she and her supporters denied it.

And during a presentation in Seattle, I spoke about my longing for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. When I was done, a woman in her 60’s stood up and yelled at me, “You are worse than the Nazis. You are just like the Nazi youth!”

A number of times I was repeatedly accused of being a killer, though I have never hurt anyone in my life.

On other occasions, anti-Israel activists called me a rapist. The claims go beyond being absurd – in one case, a professor asked me if I knew how many Palestinians have been raped by IDF forces. I answered that as far as I knew, none.

She triumphantly responded that I was right, because, she said, “You IDF soldiers don’t rape Palestinians because Israelis are so racist and disgusted by them that you won’t touch them.”

In fact, as that woman admitted, there’s no evidence that IDF soldiers ever raped a single Palestinian woman.  But of course you can make hay out of that too if you’re sufficiently motivated to demonize Israel and its inhabitants. You can even turn non-rape into a bad thing, and even into rape itself!

The “not raping is bad” trope came in fact from a Hebrew University paper written by Tal Nitzan, a doctoral candidate (you can apparently buy it here, but it’s not on the internet for free). It’s described here, and that description is verified in several places. Want to see demonization at its worst? Read this:

A research paper that won a Hebrew University teachers’ committee prize finds that the lack of IDF rapes of Palestinian women is designed to serve a political purpose.

The abstract of the paper, authored by doctoral candidate Tal Nitzan, notes that the paper shows that “the lack of organized military rape is an alternate way of realizing [particular] political goals.”

The next sentence delineates the particular goals that are realized in this manner: “In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it can be seen that the lack of military rape merely strengthens the ethnic boundaries and clarifies the inter-ethnic differences – just as organized military rape would have done.”

The paper further theorizes that Arab women in Judea and Samaria are not raped by IDF soldiers because the women are de-humanized in the soldiers’ eyes.

The paper was published by the Hebrew University’s Shaine Center, based on the recommendation of a Hebrew University professors’ committee headed by Dr. Zali Gurevitch.

You can’t win: If you rape an Arab, you’re dehumanizing them. If you don’t rape them, you’re dehumanizing them too. The alternative hypothesis, that Israeli soldiers don’t engage in rape because of professional strictures and moral scruples, isn’t even considered.  The newspaper also reports this, apparently a quote from Mazzig, though I’m not sure:

According to Dr. Gurevitch, This was a very serious paper that asked two important questions: Is the relative lack of IDF rapes a noteworthy phenomenon, and if so, why is it that there are so few IDF rapes when in similar situations around the world, where rape is so much more common?

The abstract of the paper, authored by doctoral candidate Nitzan, could not find instances of rapes of Palestinian women by the IDF it sought to find, so it was decided that the paper show that “the lack of organized military rape is an alternate way of realizing [particular] political goals.” It continues, “In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it can be seen that the lack of military rape merely strengthens the ethnic boundaries and clarifies the inter-ethnic differences – just as organized military rape would have done.”

Ergo, Nitzan could not find any cases of rape by IDF soldiers of Palestinian women even though Palestinian media constantly accuses Israeli soldiers of this. Apparently distraught over such findings, Nitzan had to twist her thesis to attribute the lack of such rapes to a governmental program instilling in IDF soldiers that the Arab women are sub-human or inferior.

This is in contrast to the behavior of Arabs, who have sexually harassed and assaulted Western and Israeli women who were engaged in protests against the West Bank settlements. In fact, a female Egyptian lawyer has called for Arab men to sexually harass Israeli women, and even, at the end, suggests that the women wouldn’t have any reason to complain even if they were raped, because, after all, Israelis are raping Arab land. This is from, and verified by the video below (not my emphasis):

Following are excerpts from an interview with Egyptian lawyer Nagla Al-Imam, which aired on Al-Arabiya TV on October 31, 2008.

Interviewer: Egyptian lawyer Nagla Al-Imam has proposed that young Arab men should sexually harass Israeli girls wherever they may be and using any possible method, as a new means in the resistance against Israel.


Interviewer: We have with us the lawyer Nagla Al-Imam from Cairo. Welcome. What is the purpose of this proposal of yours?

Nagla Al-Imam: This is a form of resistance. In my opinion, they are fair game for all Arabs, and there is nothing wrong with…

Interviewer: On what grounds?

Nagla Al-Imam: First of all, they violate our rights, and they “rape” the land. Few things are as grave as the rape of land. In my view, this is a new form of resistance.

Interviewer: As a lawyer, don’t you think this might expose Arab youth to punishment for violating laws against sexual harassment?

Nagla Al-Imam: Most Arab countries… With the exception of three or four Arab countries, which I don’t think allow Israeli women to enter anyway, most Arab countries do not have sexual harassment laws. Therefore, if [Arab women] are fair game for Arab men, there is nothing wrong with Israeli women being fair game as well.

Interviewer: Does this also include rape?

Nagla Al-Imam: No. Sexual harassment… In my view, the [Israeli women] do not have any right to respond. The resistance fighters would not initiate such a thing, because their moral values are much loftier than that. However if such a thing did happen to them, the [Israeli women] have no right to make any demands, because this would put us on equal terms – leave the land so we won’t rape you. These two things are equal.

Here’s that interview:

I have no comment except to say that this form of anti-Israeli behavior goes beyond valid political protest when it calls for sexual harassment of Israeli women (with the harassed women having no right to respond) as well as leveling crazy accusations that Israeli soldiers’ failure to rape Arab women is itself some sort of moral wrong. Tell me that there’s no anti-Semitism in there!

Here’s Hen Mazzig, from an Oxford University site where he was described as “being in the IDF for almost five years. As a lieutenant in the COGAT unit, he worked as an intermediary between the Israeli Defence Forces and the Palestinian Authority, the UN and the many NGOs that work in the West Bank. During his service, he facilitated several infrastructure projects including the construction of schools, hospitals, roads and water-related infrastructure. Hen also served as an as an openly gay LGBTQ activist in the IDF.”

Well that’s certainly deserving of hatred, isn’t it? And he didn’t rape anyone—how disgusting!


hh/t: Malgorzata


  1. Posted February 17, 2017 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure it’s Tal Nitsan, not to be confused with Tal Nitzan. The latter is a poet; the former is an idiot.

  2. Posted February 17, 2017 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Wow. Just Wow.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted February 17, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    It could be the only mistake that Hen Mazzig made was attempting to educate people in this country who know nothing about the subjects he is covering. However, who is surprised at such stupidity by some people at Universities in the U.S. Just being or having been in the military is three strikes against you. The so-called enlightened do not really want any knowledge or education, they only give it.

    I was a vet who went to college after and I found that most of the people I came across while going to school, did not want to know or hear anything about any experiences I had to provide. The general believe was that you have nothing to say that we want to hear and it is all bad anyway. So, I discovered it best to keep the mouth shut and move on.

    • Posted February 18, 2017 at 5:51 am | Permalink

      I find this very worrying.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted February 18, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      I’ve encountered the people you describe and some of them get downright hysterical when confronted with military personnel. It really annoys and angers me.

  4. eric
    Posted February 17, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    When I responded that she was calling for ethnic cleansing, both she and her supporters denied it.

    Huh? Do they not know the meaning of the term ‘ethnic cleansing?’ It is exactly what they are proposing. Maybe they were thinking it has to include genocide to count, but that’s not true; forcibly removing all Jews from current Israel would exactly fit the definition.

    Apparently distraught over such findings, Nitzan had to twist her thesis to attribute the lack of such rapes to a governmental program instilling in IDF soldiers that the Arab women are sub-human or inferior.

    Where was her thesis advisor when this happened? A Ph.D shouldn’t just be about learning a body of knowledge, it should be about demonstrating you can follow the evidence where it leads, even if it proves you wrong. That’s kind of a fundamental skill you need to be a good academic or scientist. Her advisor should have gently (or not so gently) made this clear.

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted February 17, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      Further, where’s the evidence of an IDF programme that instills such attitudes in their soldiers. That is what would be needed to validate the thesis imo. Even if the attitude was instilled informally rather than formally, she should have been able to get evidence by interviewing current or former IDF members. Service is compulsory for almost everyone so they’re not hard to find.

    • BJ
      Posted February 17, 2017 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      A lot of these professors (like the one briefly brought up in this article) are just as anti-Semitic as these students. Hell, a lot of students are learning their anti-Semitism from these professors. Her paper didn’t need evidence or a proper thesis, it needed to conform to what the regressive professor wanted, and it did. So….A+?

  5. Heather Hastie
    Posted February 17, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    When anyone starts thinking any form of sexual attack is valid, they are the one with the problem no matter what the circumstances.

    The Egyptian lawyer is acknowledging there is an issue with sexually attacking Arab women by Arab men that the law (Sharia or based on Sharia) does nothing about. Arab women are already “fair game” because of this. Instead of fighting for the law to be changed, she’s asking for Israeli women to be attacked too. That’s some seriously screwed victim mentality.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted February 17, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      There was a horrible little curl of her lip when she said that – a tiny flicker of satisfaction made its way onto her face. It’s the attitude of ‘I have to put up with it so you should too’.
      And didn’t certain members of the Black Panthers advocate rape of white women as a form of ‘resistance’ too?

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted February 17, 2017 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

        I don’t know about the Black Panthers, but I did notice the lip.

      • wardaword
        Posted February 17, 2017 at 4:48 pm | Permalink


        You may be thinking of Eldridge Cleaver who was convicted of rape before he was a Black Panther.

        In Soul On Ice, he wrote about his old ideology regarding rape AFTER he abandoned it.

        So he wrote about the thoughts and actions of his old “unreformed” self, like St. Paul, Malcolm X and probably thousands of others.

        • Craw
          Posted February 17, 2017 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

          Interesting logic. Cleaver did, but not when he was a Panther. Ergo no Panther did.

          • wardaword
            Posted February 17, 2017 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

            He never advocated it ever. Before, during or after his time as a Black Panther. But thanks for the snark. 🙂

            • Saul Sorrell-Till
              Posted February 18, 2017 at 5:13 am | Permalink

              He didn’t advocate it you’re right. He did write about how, when he was younger, he believed that raping white women(having ‘practised’ on black women) was a political, insurrectionary act. But in the same book he said he renounced rape, which is nice of him.

    • eric
      Posted February 17, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      Seriously screwed, but common. ‘If working in a coal mine was good enough for me, it’ll be good enough for him.’ Or ‘my parents didn’t help me at all to pay my way through college, so you can pay your own way too.’ Or here, ‘I have to deal with assaulting men, so you do too.’

      Unfortunately a lot of humans seem to think that the unfairness of someone having a better life than they outweighs the goodness of helping other people – even sometimes their own children – have a better life.

      IIRC monkeys have a similar sort of obsession with fairness over net benefit. Give monkeys A and B a grape each, they’ll be happy. Then give monkey A three grapes and monkey B five grapes, and monkey A will throw a absolute fit. He’ll prefer each monkey get one over the option of him getting three and the other monkey getting five.

      • Posted February 18, 2017 at 5:54 am | Permalink

        + 1

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted February 18, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        Yes, when people say stuff like that, I ask “and how did that make you feel” and when they list the negative feelings, I follow up with, “And why would you want to impose that same pain on someone else?”

  6. wardaword
    Posted February 17, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Tal Nitsan’s paper is not available at the link given at: “you can apparently buy it here”.

    That web site academic fraud. They just use “TAL NITZAN THESIS PAPER” as search engine spam.

    A cursory look at the site makes it obvious it offers papers for student who want to cheat.
    It says
    – “Professional Academic Help”
    – “starting at $7.99 per page”
    – “100% plagiarism free”
    – “A+ Top qualified writers will work on your paper”

    There’s no place on that site to buy anything written by “Tal Titzan (sic)”

  7. Posted February 17, 2017 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    This sounds like a skit out of Monty Python:

    Angry Mob: You Pigs! You have come to rape our women!

    IDF: No, we aren’t here to rape your women!

    Angry Mod: You Pigs! What, are our women not good enough for you that you would not even rape them?

    • Posted February 18, 2017 at 5:59 am | Permalink

      As an Egyptian blogger commented, “they are Joooz. They don’t rape Palestinian women because they are racist. So, in order to show they are not racist, they should rape them a couple of Palestinian women every couple of months. Make them girls feel desirable, you know?”

  8. Posted February 17, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    When you are crazy, metaphically and literately, there is no telling what will come out of your mouth. Once to have ducked the spital it is time to walk away.

  9. darrelle
    Posted February 17, 2017 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    I’ve seen this kind of thing from academics all my adult life, but I’ve never quite understood why some academics become so radicalized over the one subject of Israel that they throw away all pretense of valuing the qualities that academics typically claim to value and aspire to. Like honesty, decency, fairness and not fooling yourself. It is bizarre to me that academics, of all people, could be so blindly bigoted towards a people that are about as undeserving of it as is possible.

  10. harrync
    Posted February 17, 2017 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    “Hen also served as an as an openly gay LGBTQ activist in the IDF.” I am a little surprised that none of Hen’s critics seem to have come up with: “Of course they don’t rape Arab women; all IDF soldiers are gay.”

    • eric
      Posted February 17, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      Hmmmm…maybe they don’t talk about it because acknowledging his orientation would take some of the upness out of their punching up? Just a guess.

  11. mordacious1
    Posted February 17, 2017 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    That’s why I don’t rob banks. Money disgusts me.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted February 18, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Ha ha!

    • nicky
      Posted February 18, 2017 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

      A short, but definitive reply.
      ‘How stupid of me not to have thought of that!’

  12. BJ
    Posted February 17, 2017 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    To anti-Semites, any Jew who does something good or simply nothing bad must be doing so for nefarious reasons, because they believe all Jews are nefarious. They see them as those caricature pictures we’ve all seen, with the hooked noses, rubbing their hands together as they plot evil.

  13. Posted February 17, 2017 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing this. I was unaware of it. Can’t win, can he?! I’m sorry for his experiences in Portland and Seattle.

  14. somer
    Posted February 17, 2017 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    I vaguely recall seeing an allusion to this a few years ago but not with any detail – Words fail me on the cowardice, duplicity and laziness of such thinking. There are any number of historical examples of oppressed peoples being subjected to rape- often used as part of a strategy to break apart the cultural identity and unity of the people. And of course the women of African slaves were subjected to rape by whites – certainly not because those whites “respected” them. The cowardice of a woman advocating rape as a sign of respect or an academic effectively advocating it as an easy piece for their worthless study is breathtaking.

    • somer
      Posted February 17, 2017 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      And regarding interview with that Nagla al Imam creature – she is a classic example of the Arab racial superiority complex that comes through in many versions of Islam where sex is conceived within a structure of dominance (the taker and the taken as in for example the ancient Graeco Roman world) – Like they have a right to sexually attack non Muslims and especially non Arab non Muslims because they are inherently superior and should always be dominant

    • BJ
      Posted February 17, 2017 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      They’re advocating the view because, in their extreme hatred for Jews, they expected to find tons of rape going on. They didn’t, so they needed a new theory for what very very evil reason there wasn’t all this rape going on.

  15. Eric Grobler
    Posted February 17, 2017 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    I first heard about this study from one of Gad Saad’s videos.
    Maybe Jews were less racist in Biblical times!

  16. Posted February 17, 2017 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    It seems abundantly clear that both sides have fallen from any high ground.

    • Craw
      Posted February 17, 2017 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

      Both sides? Rapists and non-rapists?

    • fizziks
      Posted February 18, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      What are the two sides here? 1) The people who are engaged in a vicious, delusional, decades-long idiotic lying propaganda campaign against Israel and 2) the victims smeared by those liars?

  17. nicky
    Posted February 17, 2017 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    What should we call this, mental illness? It definitely is sick.
    And based on false assumptions. Considering a race or group inferior has never prevented the ‘superior’ males from raping the ‘inferior’ women. Think of slavery, or the regular rape of Dalith (untouchable!) women in India.

  18. Martin Levin
    Posted February 18, 2017 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    The thing is that, for those who have swallowed the poisoned Kool-aid, Israel can do nothing right. When it sends medical aid to Haiti or Tibet, it is accused of harvesting organs. When it is the only Middle Eastern country that has LGBT rights, it is accused of the concocted idea of “pinkwashing.” When its hospitals treat hundreds of Syrian refugees, or even ill Hamas members, it is accused of nefarious purposes. It is a textbook case of demonization that is in most cases indistinguishable from classic anti-semitism.

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