They say music transcends borders and boundaries. Who would have predicted that South Korean pop star Psy's hit "Gangnam Style" would one day make Palestinians and Israeli soldiers dance in union? While on their routine patrol of the city of Hebron the soldiers entered a dance hall and joined dozens of Palestinian men dancing to the song.
The incident was captured by an amateur camera and aired on Israeli Channel 2:
The Palestinian crowd welcomed the men, hoisting them up onto the shoulders of guests, dancing, and joining hands. The soldiers, reportedly from the Givati Brigade, were in full uniform, wearing flak jackets and carrying assault rifles as they danced. The Palestinians didn't seem to care about the soldiers' combat action attires. As can be seen in the video it was a completely friendly, fun and rather touching moment.
It is however no surprise that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) issued a statement saying that this was a "serious incident" and that the soldiers put themselves in "unnecessary danger" — which makes complete sense, since of course unarmed Palestinian civilians dancing to "Gangnam Style" can prove to be absolutely lethal to fully armed soldiers.
Also quite predictably, the soldiers have since been suspended from duty.
Overall, it has been a rather interesting couple of weeks for men in uniform having some fun. Only last week the Russian Navy decided to take a 550-ton military hovercraft to the beach, in the process disrupting the afternoon for a number of civilians enjoying a day out in the sun:
Nevertheless, rather than starting a debate on Israeli injustices against Palestinians and presenting Israeli counter-arguments, let us for now just enjoy this brief and extremely rare moment of unison.