I really wasn’t going to post on the whole IDF T-shirt saga as I consider it a much ado about nothing because when the IDF command gets wind of any t-shirts designed with offensive slogans, bought and paid for with by the IDF soldiers out of their own pockets, and meant to be worn in their own ‘downtime’; it has banned them outright and on multiple occasions in the past as well. This is ongoing policy of the IDF command.
In the past, the IDF command has banned such t-shirts which read “we won’t be still until we confirm the kill” or "Let every Arab mother know that her son's fate is in my hands!". What more would you demand of an IDF command? There is a policy and it is enforced when the IDF command finds material used on t-shirts which the IDF command deems offensive. Enter Ha’aretz to create a tempest in a teapot with the IDF t-shirt saga. For those of you who don’t read Israeli papers on a regular basis, Ha’aretz is Israel’s third largest daily paper. Its anti-religious, anti-IDF and anti-settler bias is well-known in Israel but not so much outside the country. Did I mention Ha’aretz’s biggest fans are so-called progressives outside of Israel?
Even the Ha’aretz article in question does emphasize that there are times when offensive slogans and pictures slip through the cracks and happen outside the awareness of IDF chain of command – this distinction has been willfully missed by those who have used the Ha’aretz article to demonize the IDF.
These t-shirts are not IDF policy nor are they paid for out of the IDF purse but an individual imitative among small groups of brothers-in-arms – and mostly snipers – if this article is to be believed. The fact that Ha’aretz found offensive t-shirts depicting Palestinian women and/or children being murdered or raped which the IDF command did not know about, and therefore, did not expressively authorized, is inferred the IDF command has no policy and moral bankruptcy is running rampant throughout not just the ranks but the command structure of the IDF as well. Now some may liken the IDF as a G-dlike institution, but unlike the creator, I recognize the IDF is fully human organization run without any kind of ‘all-knowing or all-seeing’ G-d-like powers. How I wish it were otherwise, but alas, it is not.
Enter this post by Raphael at Unambiguously Ambidextrous full of fury and signifying all manner of moral preenings which changed my mind about posting on the whole T-shirt saga.
Apparently, because I did not expressively condemn the ‘offensive’ t-shirts depicting the rape and murder of Palestinian women and children in his comments, I am guilty of some kind of moral relativism and he worries for my sense of ‘moral righteousness’ and likens the wearing of an offensive t-shirt by an IDF soldier to some kind of IDF command deficiency - much like the command inadequacies which allowed the human rights abuses perpetrated by American soldiers to foster in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.
Fuck me. My bad.
Obviously, I am morally doomed because - never in a million years would I consider the wearing of an offensive or even a repugnant t-shirt by an IDF solider in his downtime an IDF command inadequacy or failure on par with the events which transpired under American command in Iraq’s infamous Abu Ghraib prison.
Now since I am doomed to hell anyway; does anyone know where I can get a t-shirt from the Golani’s 13th Battalion 13 showing a destroyed mosque with a caption reading “Only G-d Forgives!”
And for the record, this might not be a t-shirt, but I really wonder about the moral underpinnings of the woman who left this picture for her children to remember her by.
H/T Joe Settler