Female Israeli soldiers have openly defied their military commanders, posting more semi-nude Facebook pictures after being disciplined last week for the same action. The four women originally were chastised for posting a picture exposing themselves while in military clothing, but now, they've gone even further.
The female Israeli soldiers are part of the Israeli Defense Force, a mandatory military force most able citizens must join when they are 18. Copying a similar picture a group of five soldiers took in helmets and little else in January of 2012, the four women's picture showed them exposing themselves to the camera. After posting the picture on Facebook, IDF commanding officers got involved.
"The commanding officers disciplined the soldiers as they saw fitting," the army said in a statement to Israeli publication Walla, citing the soldiers' "unbecoming behavior" as a reason. They also held lectures stressing proper conduct while on base. The girls are reportedly new recruits to the base, which is located in southern Israel.
However, the lectures and punishment seemingly had little effect, as three more racy photos were posted to Facebook afterwards. In these, the women posed with their automatic weapons covering themselves.
The IDF has had a blanket ban on soldiers using social media since 2010, when some soldiers were seen in a YouTube video dancing around a Palestinian prisoner. Other pictures were seen with young IDF recruits taking pictures beside blindfolded prisoners and posing with another soldier in a Spider-Man costume.
Some feel, though, that the IDF's response is inappropriate. The pictures of horseplay and risqué activity could be preferable to images of the atrocities of war, one Israeli blogger wrote.
"Instead of more pictures of war, better that the world should see photos of IDF soldiers being silly," he wrote. More than a few Internet users agreed with him.
"I don't mean to be flippant, but these pictures will make Americans far more sympathetic to the Israeli position than pictures of these same soldiers shooting at Palestinian children," wrote gilbertkittens on the Gawker blog.
"What do you expect. These are not soldiers," leopeps posted on the Huffington Post blog. "They're kids and young adults (who are forced into doing National Service), who just want to have a good time and enjoy themselves … instead of shooting guns and [killing] people."
"There is probably not much difference between them … [and] lots of my friends whom post stupid picture (sometimes controversial) just for a few laughs," the user added.
The IDF has not yet responded to the latest round of pictures, and it is unknown if further reprimand will be issued to the four female soldiers.