This week the Israeli Defense Force joined the ranks of soldiers dancing to pop songs on YouTube with a clip of IDF soldiers dancing to Ke$ha’s ‘Tick Tock’ on the streets of Hebron. The video became an instant hit, with over 2 million views to date. However, high-ranking officials in the IDF were not pleased with the clip, as it received negative press from many who felt the soldiers were in the wrong dancing in the volatile city of Hebron, right after the Muslim call to prayer. Officers involved in the video are being reprimanded for the clip. The punishment? Starring in an educational IDF video designed to prevent future incidents of dancing soldiers on the web.
Israeli news site Ynet reported the commanders’ fate last night. They said, “Colonel Amir Abulafia, commander of the Benjamin Brigade, summoned on Wednesday two of the soldiers who participated in the IDF dance video. Abulafia told the two squad commanders that they did not act appropriately by participating n the video while donning their uniform, armor and weapon – but because their behavior did not display any moral flaws, he decided to give them an educational assignment.” The assignment is a new video, a sequel as it were, in which the two soldiers will educate other IDF soldiers in an attempt to prevent similar situations from arising in the future.
After the original clip of the dancing IDF soldiers hit YouTube and went viral almost immediately it was removed from the site, as press and media outlets had begun publishing the video and contacting the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit. The solders had not intended for the video to receive negative press. However, copies of the video were uploaded to YouTube almost immediately and the video continued to receive a lot of coverage.
A statement issued by the IDF said, “Two squad commanders who were involved in the video were summoned for clarification. They took full responsibility for the act.” The IDF made it clear that they had nothing to do with the making of the clip, however they have had to deal with the press that has surrounded it.
The reaction to the dancing IDF soldiers differed from other dancing soldier clips, such as the recently popular ‘Telephone Remake’ with US soldiers dancing to Lady Gaga in Afghanistan, because of the fact that it was filmed in the city of Hebron, where there is a history of turmoil between Arabs and Israelis. The IDF feels that creating an educational “anti-dancing” clip is just punishment for the soldiers. Do you think another form of punishment would be more justified? Should these soldiers be punished at all for their Ke$ha dance clip?