Israel Military condemns soldiers' shocking T-shirts
Donald Macintyre writes political sketches for The Independent, having been Jerusalem correspondent since 2004, covering Israel and the Occupied Territories, as well as travelling for the paper to Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, Libya and Egypt.
Sunday 22 March 2009
The Israeli military yesterday officially condemned as "unacceptable" shocking images printed on T-shirts ordered by some soldiers to commemorate the end of their basic training or field duty. The Israeli daily
Haaretz disclosed that some T-shirts are emblazoned with "dead babies, mothers weeping on their children's graves, a gun aimed at a child and bombed-out mosques". One, which the paper says was a sharpshooter's T-shirt, shows a pregnant Arab woman with a bullseye superimposed on her belly, accompanied by the slogan "1 shot, 2 kills".
It adds that another shirt for infantry snipers is inscribed "Better use Durex" next to a picture of a dead Palestinian baby with his weeping mother beside him. The report quotes one soldier as explaining: "These are shirts for around the house, for jogging, in the army. Not for going out."
The practice came to light following disclosures that soldiers who took part in Israel's military offensive in Gaza complained about rules of engagement allowing them to kill civilians and destroy property. The Israel Defence Forces said yesterday that the T-shirts "are not in accordance with IDF values and are simply tasteless. This type of humour is unacceptable. Commanders are instructed to use disciplinary tools against those who produce T-shirts of this type."
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