No more or less a whore

What on earth were 15-year-old boys doing on such a trip, unsupervised?

By
July 31, 2019 16:19
No more or less a whore

THE WIDELY-SEEN photo of some of the Israeli ‘boys,’ arrested over the alleged rape of a British tourist in the resort town of Ayia Napa, arriving to appear for a remand hearing in the Famagusta courthouse in Paralimni, Cyprus, on July 18.. (photo credit: YIANNIS KOURTOGLOU/REUTERS)

The “boys,” we are told, come from “good families.”
They were on a pre-army frolic and things, well, got a little out of hand – which is why 12 Israeli youths, aged 15 to 18, found themselves in a jail cell in Cyprus for around two weeks while authorities investigated the allegations of a 19-year old British woman that the lot of them had gang-raped her.
By her own admission, the young woman had consented to sexual activity with several of the boys, but at 3 a.m. on July 17, found herself in a room with 12 of them.
She admits to having been drunk and everything being very blurred, but when she met up with a friend after the alleged assaults, she was urged to report the whole mess to the local police – which she did.
The boys were picked up, handcuffed and thrown in the slammer. They were photographed many times going to and from court appearances with their faces hidden by T-shirts stretched over their heads, exposing their low riding jeans and the prominent bands of their high-riding designer underwear.
The 12 apparently became acquainted in the Cypriot party-resort town of Ayia Napa, having arrived in separate groups from Afula, Jerusalem and the Haifa area. Some were blowing off steam before their imminent draft dates, others were, well, doing God knows what. It shocked many Israelis to learn that this “thing” – where teenage boys pop off to tourist destinations and the whole point of being there is to drink and do drugs and have sex orgies – is, well, a very regular thing in some circles.
This has, somehow, become “normalized” to the point that once vindicated of gang rape, these fine young men received a hero’s welcome at the arrivals hall of Ben-Gurion Airport last Sunday evening.
They should have slithered home with their faces hidden in shame. Somehow, the boys, their families and a large part of Israel, it seems, have confused technical legal formalities with moral decency. That they were vindicated of gang rape does not translate into them being heroes of any sort. They are just dumb lucky.
This vulgar episode shocked many people internationally, as the story spun out of control, garnering saturation coverage globally. And, no, I do not attribute this to antisemitism or the fact that they are Israeli. I believe it has more to do with the jaw-dropping disbelief that many parents felt when they learned that “good families” enable – no, sanction and encourage – this sort of organized Bacchanalia and degradation of women.
What on earth, for example, were 15-year-old boys doing on such a trip unsupervised? Who paid for the junket? I doubt that the money was hard-earned and saved pumping gas or stocking shelves. I’m thinking that the older lads had likely been on warm-up jaunts and knew the drill, no coarse pun intended.
I am also willing to bet that not a single one of these fine families would enable the same sort of adventure for their young daughters, whether they were about to be drafted or had just completed ninth grade, the age range of the boys.
And therein lies the core issue: Just who do these parents in these “good families” think their sons are f***ing?
These parents knew. They approved and applauded. Until, that is, the boys were caught. While they were incarcerated, their families kept their heads down and said little, travel agencies that organize the trips told the media – no more. It seemed that contrition was setting in, until their release, when we saw their true colors.
Whether the boys “did it” or not is irrelevant. As a society, we should all be very concerned that this sort of primitive sexual abuse of women is, “wink-wink,” acceptable.

THE YOUNG British woman, for her part, sounds like a piece of work. She has been charged with public nuisance for her mischief and has a bit of a history, one gathers, of being in the middle of such unsavory events.
Israeli society should be less concerned with whether she was a willing skank or a victim of sexual violence, and much more bothered by the fact that either scenario is horrifying.
The boys walked, in the end, because the young woman confessed to having cooked up the whole bit about her not having consented. She now admits to having reported the boys because one of them threw her out of the hotel room after they had done their business. She felt humiliated, particularly – if she is to be believed – by the fact that they filmed her in flagrante delicto without her consent.
These fine young men and their families embraced this fortuitous turn of events that resulted in their release from custody as a “sign from God” and cause for celebration. They have expressed no remorse for their conduct, regardless of the legal outcome, and seem to think it’s all fine and dandy for them to have filmed and disseminated their group’s sexcapades by telephone without the consent of the woman.
That act alone – forget the rest of it – is illegal in Israel. Assuming they sent their trophy film to Israeli friends, one would expect that the Israeli authorities have jurisdiction and are in a position to charge these budding porn stars under Israeli law.
What a spectacle, with these young thugs appropriating Jewish values and using the religion to justify their gutter conduct. At the airport they donned kippot and reportedly sang religious songs, interspersed with chants of “The Brit is a whore.” And their parents lead this barbaric celebration.
The British woman is no more or less a whore than they are. However, she does have an edge on the boys. We have yet to see her clutching religious symbols and invoking the protection of her higher power, whoever it may be.
These “good families” are raising a generation of men who see “other” women as receptacles for their manhood and are rewarded for their behavior. If these parents are so keen to initiate their young sons into the mentality of misogynist extremes, they should save their shekels and take them to a local brothel – and go along and film it themselves. The fact that these parents were not present in the hotel room makes them no less morally disgusting, depraved and culpable than their sons.
There are so many variations on what constitutes a “good family,” but I’m pretty sure that parents who send their young off on all-expenses-paid trips to get wildly drunk and stoned, participate in multiple orgies, abuse women, film them illegally and generally trash hotel rooms and human beings – this does not constitute a “good family.” Anywhere.
Ironically, we do owe these men and their “good families” a debt of gratitude for exposing this apparently rampant trend in Israel. They are not an anomaly, these people, they are mainstream Israelis whose conduct was and is openly celebrated.
Now we must do something to address this underbelly. 

The writer was the Canadian ambassador to Israel from 2014 to 2016. A former lawyer, she consults for international clients on a range of issues and resides in Tel Aviv.


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