So there’s this thing happening in Israel. People are getting a lil naked and taking salacious photos of themselves in support of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Like, a lot of people—thousands to be exact.
A Facebook page, “Standing With IDF,” featuring provocative pro-IDF pics was created Wednesday—and already has nearly 20,000 likes. So as the death toll in the latest bout of Israeli-Palestinian violence tops 850, thousands of Americans protest Israel's attacks, and Israel rejects a US-brokered cease fire, Israeli women are . . . showing off their boobs?
And, to be crystal clear, it's actually not just boobs. As the sexy selfie submissions pour in—most of them featuring some form of the message “I <3 IDF” scrolled somewhere on the body—there are also a number of butt cheeks featured. Including one featuring the pointed phrase, “Fuck Hamas.”
Wait, what the hell is going on?
The page was created by 27 year-old Gavriel Beyo of Tel Aviv who was brainstorming ideas about how to motivate soldiers and celebrate Israel. Recalling historic pictures of soldiers looking at pinup girls before going into battle, lightning struck and “Standing with IDF” was born.
Says Beyo: “I was trying to romanticize IDF and Israel. Everything related to Israel lately is labeled very grim… [these pictures] can serve as an ease.”
Apparently the first pictures came from some caring close friends. And ever-so-fortunately for Beyo, he was “blessed with a lot of great looking female friends.” From there, the idea has snowballed and then exploded with positive responses from troops. Beyo has received messages from IDF soldiers that the photos “remind them what they are fighting for.”
So, um, what would give said soldiers the idea that they are fighting for hawt bodies? The page’s very description, maybe. Among other things, it says that every month (sidebar: how long is this atrocity going to drag on for!?) one IDF soldier who has liked the page will get some “special treatment” because, apparently, “girls love heroes.” And also that those sending in the selfies are “fighting for the Israeli front” and communicating to the IDF that they will “win this battle of beauty for you.”
And there’s more. The page then addresses the IDF directly, saying “Dear beloved IDF soldiers, we are here as an act of appreciation, you do not need to wait for 72 ugly virgins, you are our heroes. The beauty of Israel girls is waiting for you, here back home. Come back to us.”
More from Beyo: “We have two bountiful resources in Israel that are impossible to compete with, Israeli minds and the most beautiful women in the world. Remember what you’re fighting for and what is waiting for you back home.”
Here’s the thing. We’re pro free speech. Pro boobs and freeing nipples. Pro sexy-times (were everyone in the Holy Land making love instead of war, would everything not be a lot better?)
But, taken in a vacuum completely outside of all Israeli-Palestinian political considerations, is this not a rather offensive reduction of gender? We’re all for embracing one’s sexuality but . . . it’s hard to see exactly how women’s motivational capacity isn’t being directly tied to their bodies and promises of sex. Conversely, it's equally troubling to offer men breasts as a conciliation for a possible war.
We guess there’s a small victory in the fact that a partner Facebook page featuring male nudity has also cropped up?