Four female Israeli soldiers were reprimanded by the military for removing their uniforms and posing for photographs in their underwear with their issued weapons. In these viral pictures, the women struck classic “girls with guns” poses, creating a stark contrast between fertility and lethality.
The women were new recruits, and at just 18 years old, it’s likely they were having a hard time transitioning to the ascetic codes of mandatory military service.
The military said the women had acted in a manner showing “unbecoming behavior” for Israeli soldiers, and added, “The commanding officers disciplined the soldiers as they saw fitting.”
The incident follows a string of incendiary social media posts by Israeli soldiers. A 2010 video shows a male Israeli soldier dancing suggestively around a blindfolded Palestinian woman:
Another post from the same year showed a female soldier posing in front of Palestinian prisoners:
These posts went viral, and were not only embarrassing to the Israeli military, but damaging to a process of Palestinian reconciliation. In an effort to prevent unwanted publicity, the Israeli military in 2010 banned its soldiers from using social media while on base, but its unclear whether this ban is currently enforced and would apply to these four women.
RYOT Note: These viral images are a gateway to a whole bizarre genre of guns and girls photography. Sometimes 18 year olds and military service aren’t a perfect fit, and we have a hard time blaming either the women for taking the photo or the military for reprimanding them. Israel has mandated military service because of all the instability and conflict in the Middle East. You can learn more about organizations working to mediate Middle Eastern conflicts and protect civilians from their collateral damage by clicking the gray link alongside this story.