Saturday, 10 July 2010

Israeli Soldiers Rock the Casbah

A short video clip that was aired in YouTube last week has caused much controversy in Israel. The clip shows six Israeli soldiers doing a dance routine in an empty street in Hebron. It was prepared by the soldiers for their farewell celebration at the end of their stint in Hebron. The Israeli army is considering punitive action against the soldiers who participated in the making of the video.

This short video is just innocent fun. The only scandal is the fact that Israeli parents continue to send their sons to secure the illegal and immoral Jewish settlement of Hebron and the ultra right-wing settlers who were allowed to move into Arab Hebron after the Six-Day War.


  1. geniuses!!!

    It's definitely refreshing to see a video of IDF soldiers showing their humane and humorous sides instead of the violent and abusive ones that usually make the headlines.

    Hebron: On the one hand, the IDF, with heavily armed troops operating as in a war zone, and soldiers passing sleepless nights on guard duties. On the other, the ordinary people of Hebron, simply getting around and living their lives. put them together and you get that crazy, abnormal and somewhat bewitched aura that mystifies the city.

    The soldiers are making fun of exactly this contrast: "we may look like tough soldiers, but really we just want to dance". put aside the muezzin, put aside the guns, put aside the danger, - just for two minute. Nothing actually changes at all, everything is just as before, the same eerie Hebron... and yet not. The effect is surreal, immense.

    As one who also patrolled the streets of Hebron, I remember myself thinking how great would it be to do something that would shatter the way people saw me - the plain, mean, dull soldier.
    These guys succeeded, they're great!

    I wonder what the Arab who saw the filming of the video thought at that moment..

    Another surreal thought - imagine sticking up posters of "Rock the Casbah" with a picture of the dancing soldiers, all around Hebron. I think it would raise everyone's spirits.

  2. אני לא בטוחה שהחיילים יענשו על הסרטון. - נראה לי שירדו מכל הרעיון של עונש וכו ...כנראה ירון לונדון חושב כמוך, או שאתה כמוהו?, כי אתמול הוא התבטא ואמר שהוא דוקא נהנה מהסרטון ומהיכולת של החיילים לעשות את זה בתור "המקום המחורבן שנקרא חברון" ע

  3. Tom, you write "we may look like tough soldiers, but really we just want to dance".

    Perhaps this is exactly what the army is uncomfortable about - breaking the tough soldier image?

  4. I have seen the video before and find it quite funny. Tom Klein's comment was interesting to read because I few days ago it striked me how people sometimes (or maybe always) receive the same "fact" completely different. For example, when I was based in Nyala, Darfur, (where currently a German and a Dutch are kidnapped) there was always - for the "white humanitarians" - the risk of being robbed, carjacked etc. Obviously, the average (poor) Darfuri using the same street and possibly witnessing such an event could not care less.

    Seems to me, that contrast could be true for Hebron: patrolling soldiers (obviously not fearing an attack and bored, but armed and looking grim) vs. the "average Palestinian" (being shown that video on youtube, probably having experienced negatively the IDF). Confusing. But that is, of course, only my perception. I wonder what the Hebrew comment was about.

  5. dancing with real guns has little to do with an innocent joke and is inappropriate for a farewell party. The soldiers could have put a flower in their guns, at least. It would be sad if there are no more flowers growing in Hebron.

  6. "The only scandal is the fact that Israeli parents continue to send their sons to secure the illegal and immoral Jewish settlement of Hebron"... I object!

    I accuse you of stereotyping and generalizing about the role of parents!

    It is hard enough for a parent to send his/her teenage child to school, when that kid doesn't want to go. What makes you think that an 18-year-old will agree to be sent to where his parents want? Young people, especially Israeli youth, do what THEY want, not what we parents want.

    A friend of mine sat in prison for refusing to serve in the occupied territories during his reserve service, but his son volunteered for a fighting unit as soon as he could, much to the distress of both his parents. A rebellious son.

    You are clearly unaware of the movements of mothers who tried to persuade their sons not to serve in the IDF, eg The Fifth Mother.

    However, I wrote an article in the Jerusalem Post about the difficulties that I faced once my son was in uniform:

  7. This is just to tell you that I really enjoy reading your
    blogs and, of course, entirely agree. What I am finding difficult to understand is that the majority here seems to be blind to the fact that our present government policy may lead us sraight into disaster.

  8. As far as the Israeli soldiers in the video are concerned, it looks like a bit of good clean family fun. Nothing more.