I’m definitely late to the party with this one, but in case you hadn’t heard, the IDF has been accused of manhandling French diplomat Marion Castaing.
Israeli forces shoved a French diplomat to the ground yesterday and used stun grenades to prevent a convoy escorted by European and UN officials from delivering aid to Palestinian villagers.
The convoy was carrying tents and water to residents of the Palestinian-Bedouin community of Makhul that Israel demolished on Monday. Makhul is located in the West Bank’s Jordan Valley area.
Taking part were diplomats from several European Union countries, Brazil and Australia, along with officials from the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Israeli soldiers forcibly removed Marion Castaing, a French diplomat, from a truck and pushed her to the ground. After the military seized the aid, police officers arrived on scene and dispersed the crowd with stun grenades, witnesses said.
“They dragged me out of the truck and forced me to the ground with no regard for my diplomatic immunity,” Ms Castaing said.
An official who works for a European-government aid agency witnessed the incident and described it as “very forceful”. Various European countries were mulling over whether to lodge a complaint with the Israeli foreign minister.
“All of us reported this to our embassies and respective capitals,” said the official.
The following photo did the rounds on social media, with the suggestion IDF soldiers pointed a gun at her.
Pic of French diplomat stopped by Israeli soldiers in Jordan Valley today. Sent by aid worker at scene of incident pic.twitter.com/gZSr2nt4uv
— Hugh Naylor (@HughNaylor) September 20, 2013
The IDF has responded by pointing out the following footage – from Iran’s Press TV no less (!) – proving Castaing was hardly an innocent bystander and had done her best Mike Tyson impersonation (boxing rather than ear biting).
EoZ notices some further footage:
Castaing is seen on the ground (2:45) apparently lying there voluntarily, or as part of a protest; she certainly doesn’t appear to be trying to get up and no one is forcing her on the ground. She is seen smiling at around 3:15 after her supposedly terrifying ordeal. Similarly, an activist who ignored IDF orders to stay away from the truck and who was pushed away is grinning at 2:17.
It is all a play, where the Israel-haters know that the IDF won’t do anything serious to them and they are hamming it up for the cameras.
Here’s another angle, showing Castaing getting out of the truck at 6:05. It looks like she is hanging onto the IDF and then dropping to the ground; the soldiers seem to be ignoring her as they are looking at the other activists. If the soldiers grabbed her and dragged her out, it was not a very tense scene. Then a minute later, she simply gets up.
Shirley Temper, there’s a new Mademoiselle in town. With emphasis on the “Mad”
Update: Castaing has co-opted a famous French image for her beloved palestinian cause, in this brochure (hat tip: Lenny).
I wonder what her French colleagues would have to say about that.
Update: Given my penchant for nicknames, I shall now refer to her as Castaing Pally.
Update: Here is another angle of the IDF soldier holding a gun near Castaing, which shows in even clearer fashion the gun was not pointed at her.
Source (hat tip: Adam)