26. März 2009

Israeli Soldiers' Fashion

Last weekend the Haaretz published a detailed article on the tradition of Israeli soldiers to print t-shirts with sometimes controversial or even awful content at the end of training: Dead Palestinian babies and bombed mosques - IDF fashion 2009. What a lot of the soldiers find funny or not harming is disgusting for others, not only after the Gaza invasion. I have chosen two shirts to illustrate that. First there is a pregnant muslim women in the crosshairs of a gun sight with the slogan "1 shot 2 kills":

Scharfschützenspass: "Zwei auf einen Streich"

The second shirt is suggesting that it might be a good idea if Palestinians had no children at all. It says "Better use durex" next to the picture of a dead Palestinian baby with his weeping mother beside him:
Besser Kondom benutzen als Kind im Krieg verlieren?!

I think there is no big comment necessary. Everybody can form his/her own opinion. Even if I took these (hopefully) extreme examples, it is clear to me that such a view is both, result and cause of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that tends to dehumanize the "enemy" on both sides.
The Israeli Defence Forces told Sky the t-shirts were printed on the private initiative of the soldiers and their designs "are not in accordance with IDF values and are simply tasteless. (...) This type of humour is unacceptable and should be condemned." However we cannot ignore that armies in general and war in particular will always have effects like these. Dreaming about a "clean", "morally upright" or "democratic" army as it is done in Israel or Germany, for instance, does not help. A broad and radical anti-militaristic movement might do the trick...(I know I am also dreaming right now).

Some more shirts can be found in the Sky Picture Gallery.

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