An Israeli military officer published racist jokes against Arabs on his Facebook page on the day Israel marks what it calls “Memorial Day”, in which it marks the memory of Israelis due to the ongoing conflict resulting from Israel’s occupation of Palestine.The officer, Avi Bin Hamo, who runs a major center for the Israeli Army Radio “Galei Zahal”, wrote; “An Arab asks a Jew on the eve of Memorial Day, ‘why do you sound the sirens?’, and the Jew responds, ‘We stand attentively to pay respect to those who fell during Israel’s wars’, and the Arab then asks ‘What about the Arab soldiers in the Israeli army?’, then the Jewish man said ‘We will celebrate (your death) tomorrow’.”
According to the Israeli daily, Maariv, the Israeli army described the statements as racist, and denied any relation to them, while a number of soldiers also, according to Maariv, denounced the comments.
Army spokesperson Galei Zahal said that the statements of Bin Hamo “do not reflect [the Army]’s principles and policies”, and that the statements “only reflect the opinion of their author”, and added that what Bin Hamo wrote was written on his personal Facebook page and not on the official Webpage of Galei Zahal.
There have been numerous incidents in which Israeli officers took pictures of Palestinians they had abducted and bound, and posed smiling near them, in addition to taking pictures of Palestinians killed and injured by the army.
Most recently, several Israeli officers published statements on their Facebook pages cheering attacks on Palestinian civilians, including an attack on a Palestinian woman in Jerusalem, after which one Israeli officer wrote “I wish they killed the Arab whore”.
Israel’s Memorial Day was enacted into law by the Israeli government in 1963. Although it was first dedicated to fallen Israeli soldiers, Israel later included in Memorial Day all Israelis killed in the conflict.