A new amateur video showing female IDF soldiers performing stripper moves in their barracks hit the Internet Tuesday and quickly spread through social media networks. Its release followed a series of postings on Facebook of photographs of female IDF soldiers in various stages of undress, and posing with weapons, that have embarrassed the army and made headlines around the world.
The full video – a brief, censored clip of which was aired on Channel 2 – shows female soldiers dancing provocatively, one of them wearing only her underwear, spanking each other and using their military-issued rifles as stripper poles.
In the video, apparently taken with a cellphone camera, the soldiers can be heard egging each other on. One of them can be heard telling another to “dance on the rifle like a slut.”
The fact that other soldiers have been disciplined for similar behavior in the past apparently was no deterrent. Indeed, the camerawoman can be heard saying that she plans to post the video on Facebook and tag those who participated.
The soldiers’ identities have not been determined, nor has the identity of the person who posted the video.
Last week several photos of female recruits in their barracks wearing only their underwear and their M-16s surfaced on social media.
The story attracted attention across the globe, with the British tabloid The Sun, for instance, putting the pictures on its front page under the headline “Gaza Strip.” The story was also shared widely in the Arab media, albeit often with heavily censored versions of the photographs.
In similar pictures from 2012, five women posed in what appeared to be a barracks room, dressed only in helmets and their combat vests. The faces of the soldiers were blurred in the photos.
“We need to strike the iron while it is hot and put an end to this,” former Women’s Corp officer Orit Adatto told Chanel 2 news Tuesday. “We must make clear to the soldiers the harm this does to us [the IDF] both here and abroad. I would crack down on this. After two or three times that people are punished severely, others will be deterred from doing it.”
In response to last week’s Facebook photo posts, the IDF told The Times of Israel the young women had acted in a manner that showed “unbecoming behavior” for Israeli soldiers. “The commanding officers disciplined the soldiers as they saw fit,” it said.
The statement did not identify those soldiers or give any details about the punishments. Military officials said officers at their base conducted educational lectures to keep soldiers from repeating the offense.
Several times in recent years, the Israeli military has disciplined soldiers for what were considered improper postings on social media sites.
In 2010, the military announced a blanket ban on social media use among soldiers while on base. That policy also took effect shortly after a social media incident, in which a video of a male Israeli soldier dancing suggestively around a blindfolded Palestinian woman was posted on YouTube. That incident followed the discovery of photos earlier that year showing a female soldier posing in front of Palestinian prisoners.
The military also cited security in imposing the ban.