Giving new meaning to the term "Gaza strip," a group of scantily-clad Israeli soldiers got the Israeli government "up in arms" by posing with their weapons and military gear, and posting the photos on Facebook. This incident is yet another one in a series of controversial and shockingly irreverent events coming from the Israeli military forces. The mandatory military regime, some cadets' immaturity, and social media as a temporary escape are all to blame for the corrective consequences soon to be faced by these brash and exhibitionist women.
While the mission statement of the Israeli military, like all others, is to "maintain the fabric of life for the civilian population, Israelis and Palestinians," it is clear that the drafted cadets do not share the same goals as the government. While the identities of these women were not revealed, one wonders whether they believed in the goals of the military, or if they were coerced into joining the military and fighting for a country they no longer believe in.
All Israeli Jewish citizens are obliged to serve in the army: the magic number is 18. For reference purposes, one can take a gander at most American 18-year-olds' Facebook pages and see the exhibitionist mentality, the desire to shock, the desire to get noticed. However, this comparison is neither an excuse for these women's behavior, nor a chastisement. Rather, it is important to analyze their potential motivations, which may stem from that exact desire to seek an escape from the daily trudgery of military life, and seek lighthearted, vapid Facebook validation. In the eyes of the Israeli military, the newly-recruited young women exhibited "unbecoming behavior."
Some would call these women "immature" and "irresponsible" for failing to recognize the long-term consequences of their actions and the embarrassment brought upon the nation of Israel, especially in its quicksand political environment. All incoming, eligible soldiers are surely briefed on their duties and obligations upon enlisting, and whether they were drafted ot not, they are expected to adhere to the military's mission statement. Here, these young women clearly disrespected their uniforms by posing in a salacious manner.
Others would call these women "progressive;" they attempted to exercise free speech on the most popular social media website in recent times, Facebook, in a country that is religiously and politically stolid. Moreover, they used Facebook as an outlet of self-expression, much like a hopeful young teen posting rousing and thought-provoking statuses from the comfort of his own bedroom. Now, one may be hard-pressed to find the truly political or progressive statement behind posing in lingerie and sticking out your behind for the camera, but that assertion remains.
The spokesperson for IDF released a statement that "educational lectures took place on the base in order to prevent similar recurrences." However, one wonders whether the Israeli government is covering up more severe punishments for the women's lewd photographs.