What does it take to dehumanize the enemy? Eden Abergil might know something about it. Ha’aretz might know something too, since they blurred out her face in the above photo, but not her captives.
It’s hard to say where the Geneva Conventions would fall on this, especially since Israel operates (like the United States) so outside the realm of traditional warfare. Either way, it’s a disgusting example of how to further dehumanize the enemy. Unlike the war photos of old, with soldiers standing smiling over mutilated corpses, these photos do not find their way into Dad’s dusty old shoebox in the back of the closet. Instead, they are publicized on Facebook.
Some are making the case that this is akin to Abu Ghraib, but I would disagree. After all, while what happened in Abu Ghraib was beyond the pale in terms of human decency, the photos taken of soldiers jeering next to naked prisoners were never intended for public viewing on Facebook. Even now, Eden Abergil has locked her macabre mementos up behind a privacy wall, and there is no proof that she shows remorse or has even removed them from her personal galleries. Has the internet enabled us to further dehumanize the enemy by rationalizing that posting such things is “OK”? Or are we all becoming more and more commodified by publicizing every detail of ourselves online, making these abused and violated Palestinians as just “window dressing” in the background of our internal lives? We’ve commodified our family, friends, romantic relationships, personal interests, and our appearances in order to take part in this new world of socialization – why not commodify the POWs as well?
“That looks really sexy for you,” says a comment posted by one of Abergil’s friends on the social networking site, alongside a picture or the soldier smiling in front of two blindfold men.
Abergil’s repose, posted below, reads: “I wonder if he is on Facebook too – I’ll have to tag him in the photo.”