July 25, 2008

Update: wanted criminal Omri Borberg

We know from the Hebrew press that the Herrenvolk Army of Israel commander who was responsible for the shooting of a detainee in Na'alin is Omri Borberg. Whatever ridiculous "punishment" he gets, if at all, he is obviously promotional material and I guarantee that he will be promoted. He behaved exactly according to the "values" of the Herrenvolk.

Of course, I expect the Hasbara machine to tell us soon that he was a "rotten apple." Or that he was misunderstood, and how moral the army is for investigating itself (only because Borberg was caught on video flagrante delictu.)

But hopefully there is going to be an arrest warrant waiting for him one day when he lands in a foreign airport. That is probably why the conscientious Ha'aretz translator decided that his name should be excised from the English version of the paper (here it is mentioned in the Hebrew version).

Let's not be confused. Omri Borberg is not a great catch. His crime is only notable in being captured on Video. Israeli officers commit both smaller and greater crimes every hour, because oppression is policy. Beating, shooting, harming, discouraging, harassing Palestinians is the very job of the Herrenvolk Army. One cannot expect any judicial system, not even an international system, to stop this by individuating every single offense and punishing those locally responsible.

Nevertheless, people like Omri Borberg think of themselves primarily as westerners (in the traditional colonial meaning of the world, namely as the bearers of universal morality.) While it may strike many readers here as absurd, I am certain that Borberg sincerely believes that his actions are within universally acceptable norms of behavior, norms we all share. Those warped beliefs are not incidental. They are inculcated in the media and taught in school because Israel's Western identity is fundamental to its geopolitics as well as necessary for securing the compliance of a large section of Israelis.

Getting arrest warrants and legal proceeding in motion against petty officers like Borberg could therefore be an extremely effective pressure on Israel.

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