Recently The Global Mail published a photo of an Israeli woman casually standing on a Tel Aviv beach such as this one, in her bikini. However, one thing stood out in her case- the half-naked woman was also carrying a rifle over her shoulder. It is assumed that the girl in the snapped picture is an IDF female soldier, which makes some sort of a statement. The controversial photo went viral on the internet, with many viewers shocked at seeing an unloaded machine gun on a woman with no uniform, at a sunny beach which normally caters to families and tourists.
Women are generally obliged to enlist in the army just as men do, and serve 2 years of military service. Therefore, some people pointed out that there must have been a practical reason for this woman to take her weapon to the beach. This would not be the first time photos or videos of Israeli women in bikinis are exposed, way back in the 1960's promotional videos were released by the government presenting Israeli ladies in their bathing suits on the beaches of the city of Eilat.
Beautiful women in uniform were also an icon Israel was looking to promote in recent years. In 2007, Israel's foreign ministry supported a PR campaign presenting former female soldiers in bikinis, depicting this significant sector of Israeli society. Such photos were later published in Maxim's online magazine. In the case of this most recent picture, it remains unknown who snapped the photo, whether this girl was indeed an IDF soldier, and why she was carrying her rifle on Tel Aviv's beach. One thing is certain though, a woman in a bikini holding a rifle is definitely an unusual and somewhat intriguing sight.
Sivan Raviv, JN1, Tel Aviv.