Female Israeli Soldiers Racy Photos Controversy: Military ‘Disciplined’ Women For Pictures Online

on June 03 2013 9:18 AM

Israeli Female Soldiers A group of female Israeli soldiers were "disciplined" by military officials in Israel for posting racy photos in their underwear online on base.  Facebook

A group of female Israeli soldiers were "disciplined" by the military after sexy photos of them posing in their underwear and combat gear emerged online. The Israeli military said on Sunday that the photos showed “unbecoming behavior” and the women in the photos were disciplined as commanding officers “saw fitting,” a statement said.

According to Israeli news site Walla, the women in the photos were new military recruits and stationed in southern Israel. The first of the photos showed a group of four girls posing suggestively with their tongues out. Two of the women in the photo were wearing fatigues with their rears exposed while one was in her bra and underwear. The second photo, both of which were posted on Walla, showed five women in what appeared to be a barracks room. All five women, whose faces were blurred, were mostly naked aside from combat gear and helmets.

"The commanding officers disciplined the soldiers as they saw fitting," the statement said. The Israeli military did not give further details about the female soldiers’ punishments. However, this incident has raised even more questions for the military in Israel as more and more often similar occurrences happen on social media websites.

In 2010, the Israeli military banned soldiers from using social media while stationed, after two shocking incidents came to light. First, a video showing a uniformed male Israeli soldier dancing inappropriately around a blindfolded Palestinian woman emerged. Then, just a few months later, photos of a female soldier posing in front of Palestinian prisoners prompted the military to ban social media. The ban, which The Associated Press noted may or may not still be in place, was to prevent future occurrences while soldiers were on base.

Last year, however, the social media chief for the Israel Defense Force was under fire for posting a photo on Facebook with his face covered in a muddy substance swimming in the Dead Sea and the words “Obama Style.” The chief, Lt. Sacha Dratwa, denied being a racist.

Unlike the most recent incident, though, one blogger on Israeli daily site Haaretz wrote that since Israeli teens are expected to enter the military at a young age, it’s not uncommon for this sort of behavior on social media. She added that their induction into the military occurs during the “most restrictive period of their lives” with so many rules, yet only their bad behavior becomes the international focus, as opposed to American 18-year-old counterparts “partying” in college.

“If these girls were living the life their American peers, they’d be just another bunch of airheaded sorority sisters pushing the limits of good taste on Facebook,” Allison Kaplan Sommer wrote. “Sure, their campus might be buzzing about them, but the Washington Post and New York Times wouldn’t be into their business.”

Sommer went on to call it “the stupid years,” filled with “new freedoms,” despite lots of restrictions that come along with the army. “Their commanders and the system are the bad guys, forcing good behavior on them,” she wrote.