Israeli Ex-Soldier Defends Her Facebook Snapshots

In an interview with Israeli Army radio on Tuesday, a former Israeli soldier said, “I still don’t understand what’s wrong” with photographs she posted on Facebook of herself posing next to blindfolded Palestinian detainees. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Eden Abergil, who posted the images in an album dedicated to her time in the military — called “The Army… the most beautiful time of my life :)” — said that the “pictures were taken in good will, there was no statement in them.” She added that they were not intended to humiliate the prisoners but merely to document her “military experience,” and that she had no idea they “would be problematic.” As The Lede explained on Monday, Ms. Abergil’s photographs were quickly duplicated by Israeli bloggers she described as “leftists,” and the images were shown and discussed on Israeli television after they came to light. Although Ms. Abergil, whose compulsory military service reportedly ended last year, seems to have no regrets about her snapshots now, the Israeli blogger Dimi Reider suggested that she may feel differently in the years ahead. On Tuesday, Mr. Reider pointed out that “To See If I’m Smiling,” a harrowing documentary produced in 2007 by a former Israeli soldier, Tamar Yarom, illustrated how much memories of military service can shift with time. The documentary, which can be viewed online, is based on the testimonies of six women who struggle to deal with memories of their service in the Israeli military. One of the women, Meytal Sandler, a former medic, described being haunted by an image she had posed for next to the body of a Palestinian man.