Saturday, July 14, 2012

IDF Woman Soldier in a Bikini?

At the New York Daily News, "Bikini-clad, gun-toting Israeli woman becomes an Internet sensation."

IDF Woman Soldier in a Bikini!
A photo of a gun-wielding, bikini-clad woman standing on a crowded Tel Aviv beach has become an Internet sensation, with thousands of viewers curious about whether the brunette beauty is part of Israel's military and why she wasn't in uniform with her weapon in tow.

The young woman, dressed only in a black-and-white string bikini, was captured chatting with a friend, rifle (with its magazine removed) slung casually behind her back. Though there's no uniform to identify her, the woman appears to be part of the Israel Defense Forces. Two years of IDF service is mandatory for most Israeli women at age 18. Men serve three years.

The photo was viewed 650,000 times in one day and was posted on sites including Facebook, Reddit and Gizmodo under titles like "Only in Israel," and "Badass Chicks in Israel Don't Go To the Beach Without Their Assault Rifles." It garnered a series of lascivious comments from male admirers but almost as many questions about the IDF's weapons policy for off-duty soldiers.

Israel's Haaretz newspaper, which picked up on the viral photo, wrote that "To an Israeli, the photo makes perfectly practical sense. When soldiers take their weapon off military premises, they must guard it closely and keep it on their person, at all times. Having one's weapon stolen is harshly punished with time in military prison a given. "
Hat Tip: Glenn Reynolds.

BONUS: She dodged mandatory military service, or so they say. But she's back in Israel visiting the homeland. At London's Daily Mail, "Back to the motherland! Bar Refeali goes home to Israel and heads straight out for sushi with friends."