A disturbing trend is emerging on YouTube - videos that show Israel in a bad light are being taken down. The first example was Max Blumenthal and Joseph Dana's Feeling the Hate in Jerusalem video, which was removed after being viewed over 400,000 times. Now a second video has been removed as well. This one showed Israeli Border Police humiliating a Palestinian man - and was shot by the police themselves as a joke. Here is the video (which has been re-posted on blip.tv) and a description from Ha'aretz:
This clip, which has been viewed more than 2,800 times, shows the unknown Palestinian standing in a desert setting while a disembodied voice orders him in Hebrew to hit himself: "Yallah, start, do it hard!"
The viewers hear the chuckles of the other policemen and a clear voice telling the Arab: "Say 'Ana behibak Mishmar Hagvul' ["I love the Border Police? in a mix of Arabic and Hebrew]. Say it!"
They see him obey in a subdued voice and with a frightened look, even as he goes on slapping himself. They hear the "director" laughing and the faceless voice shouting: "Again! Ana behibak Mishmar Hagvul."
After a little more than 30 seconds, the voice says, "Say 'Wahad hummus wahad ful'" - and the Arab man obeys and then is told to complete the rhyme: "Ana behibak Mishmar Hagvul."
After 40 seconds, the abusers appear to have had enough and the voice impatiently orders the victim: "Yallah, rukh, rukh, rukh" ("go"). The camera turns and for a fraction of a second a Border Police Jeep is visible.
A few dozen viewers sent comments. "Hahahaha, it was great the way he excruciated himself." Another added: "That's how it should be!!!!! Stinking Arab."
And a third pointed out, "He should have been shot!! Sons of bitches." A few viewers took pity on the victim, though with reservations. One person remarked, "Mercy on the guy, even if he's an Arab. What's it in aid of? He didn't do anything."
The organization Jewish Voice for Peace has begun a campaign demanding YouTube to put Blumenthal's video back up. JVP suggests people write YouTube to protest this decision and their sample letter makes an important point:
YouTube has just announced that it is relaxing some of its guidelines so that videos showing the current events in Iran may be posted. I am asking you to draw upon that same commitment to supporting human rights by returning Max Blumenthal’s video and any other similar ones to your site. The extreme views represented in these videos need to be heard and acknowledged so that they can be overcome. Making the videos disappear doesn’t make the hateful views expressed in the video disappear, too.
Please join JVP in protesting YouTube's decision. In the meantime the Blumenthal/Dana video can now be found on Vimeo: