We all know that Palestinians are victims, right? That’s why they get a free pass for eating up billions of dollars in foreign aid without establishing viable communities, for launching tens of thousands of missiles aimed at Israeli civilians, and for periodically boarding Israeli buses or entering Israeli restaurants to get an up-close-and-personal approach to massacring Jews. Still, even self-styled victims have their limits. In Israel, Palestinian women in Israeli prisons drew the line at being portrayed in Turkish television shows as the victims of sexual assault. Their gripe is that it makes them look so . . . so . . . victimish:
The Turkish TV show which sparked a diplomatic crisis between Ankara and Jerusalem has now incurred the anger of those who were depicted by it as the victims. Female Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails called on the Saudi MBC channel Monday to stop airing the “Valley of the Wolves” series. They claim that a scene depicting a prisoner being raped by soldiers offends their honor.
According to a report in the London-based al-Quds al-Arabi, “Valley of the Wolves” focuses on the “suffering of a Palestinian family whose sons are killed by the Israeli army.” The report states that Palestinian female inmates are outraged over a scene in which a supposed Palestinian prisoner named Miriam is being raped by IDF soldiers in an Israeli prison.
In a statement issued Monday, the prisoners said that the scene has no bearing with reality. “This is an attempt to slander the Palestinian female prisoner’s image and mask its heroic role.” The prisoners feel that the scene is offensive to Palestinian women portraying them as submissive.
“The broadcast of these images is a humiliation for the people and the whole nation and serves the occupation alone,” the statement read.
The al-Quds al-Arabi report noted that the prisoner in the scene is later seen released from prison and murdered by family members “as traditionally done by the conservative Palestinian society.”
The murder scene also incurred the wrath of the women. “It’s a slandering of the Palestinian family which kills its daughter to clear the family’s honor,” their statement noted.
The prisoners noted that they were proudly welcomed by their families upon their release from prison.
Interestingly, one former prisoner admitted something very important about those Israeli prisons — Palestinian women are not sexually assaulted there:
A former Palestinian inmate from the Gaza Strip Manal al-Nawajha told the newspaper she had never heard of any rape incidents of Palestinian inmates throughout her prison term. She said that the rape scene in the series “compromised the Palestinian struggle and society at large.”
I believe that. Aside from the fact that Israelis generally hold themselves to a high standard, rape has not traditionally been a Jewish crime. That doesn’t mean Jews don’t commit rape; it just means that rape, traditionally, has been aberrant, rather than a part of the larger cultural norm.