20 March 2009

"One shot, two kills"


From a report by Sky News this afternoon:
The Israeli army is at the centre of a second controversy over the moral conduct of its soldiers in as many days.

The revelations centre on t-shirt designs made for soldiers that make light of shooting pregnant Palestinian mothers and children and include images of dead babies and destroyed mosques.

The t-shirts were printed for Israeli soldiers at the end of periods of deployment or training courses and were discovered by Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

One, printed for a platoon of Israeli snipers depicts an armed Palestinian pregnant women caught in the crosshairs of a rifle, with the disturbing caption in English: "1 shot 2 kills".

"The army keeps on saying we're talking about a few rotten apples but it seems the army doesn't understand there's a norm in this kind of action," he explained.

"We're hearing about this time and time again and the army seems disconnected from reality."

A spokesman for the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) told Sky News Online, the t-shirts were printed on the private initiative of the soldiers and their designs "are not in accordance with IDF values and are simply tasteless. This type of humour is unacceptable and should be condemned".
I thought perhaps this was an urban legend or a fabricated story, since the link in the Sky report went to Haaretz' main page and not a relevant story. However, after searching their "defense" section, I found a link to this story, dateline March 21, 2009, with a photo of the same t-shirt:
G., a soldier in an elite unit who has done a snipers course, explained that, "it's a type of bonding process, and also it's well known that anyone who is a sniper is messed up in the head. Our shirts have a lot of double entendres, for example: 'Bad people with good aims.' Every group that finishes a course puts out stuff like that."

When are these shirts worn?

G. "These are shirts for around the house, for jogging, in the army. Not for going out. Sometimes people will ask you what it's about."

Of the shirt depicting a bull's-eye on a pregnant woman, he said: "There are people who think it's not right, and I think so as well, but it doesn't really mean anything. I mean it's not like someone is gonna go and shoot a pregnant woman."

What is the idea behind the shirt from July 2007, which has an image of a child with the slogan "Smaller - harder!"?

"It's a kid, so you've got a little more of a problem, morally, and also the target is smaller."


Do your superiors approve the shirts before printing?

"Yes, although one time they rejected some shirt that was too extreme. I don't remember what was on it."
Sadly, it appears to be a true story. I shudder to think what the rejected, "extreme" t-shirt, would have depicted. More details at the link.

5 comments:

  1. A few samples from the home market: http://t-shirts.cafepress.com/item/what-does-a-sniper-feel-white-tshirt/53819655

    http://t-shirts.cafepress.com/item/gun-control-womens-tank/25041063

    http://t-shirts.cafepress.com/item/prisoner-abuse-black-tshirt/60616354

    http://t-shirts.cafepress.com/item/kids-tshirt/94252057

    http://t-shirts.cafepress.com/item/not-virgins-goats-ash-grey-tshirt/117202868


    Found if 5 minutes on CafePress.com. Imagine if I stumbled into a controversial site?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh...but what about these?

    Good on violence:
    http://www.bant-shirts.com/kill-your-tv-t-shirt.htm

    The Neville Chamberlain Look:
    http://www.bant-shirts.com/flower-gun-t-shirt.htm

    Dark and depressing:
    http://www.bant-shirts.com/national-mutilation-t-shirt.htm

    Well now, I guess Clinton going into Kosovo wasn't a war now, was it? Remember, it was a DEMOCRAT who dropped the atomic bomb. (And some of us are still glad he made a gutsy decision and good decision)
    http://www.bant-shirts.com/start-wars-t-shirt.htm

    Nothing like supporting our troops!
    http://www.bant-shirts.com/University-Terrorism-t-shirt.htm

    Now THAT's some hatred:
    http://www.bant-shirts.com/who-would-jesus-bomb-t-shirt.htm

    Yavol mein furher!:
    http://www.bant-shirts.com/heil-bush-t-shirt.htm

    If you're going to throw stones, be prepared.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'll take 20 of these shirts!
    Where can I buy them?!
    It's apparently not distasteful for muslims to rape and decapitate women. It's distasteful for us to talk about shooting them before they grow up into terrorists.
    NO SYMPATHY NO MERCY, just like they showed my ancestors!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow, republican Bob, you seem like a very educated person. Are you really small minded enough to think that Muslims (and ALL of them) are terrorists?
    Did you not know that Jewish terrorists existed before Muslim ones?
    Did you not know that Jews were persecuted in EUROPE! They were NOT by Muslims or Arabs. Actually Jews found refuge in Muslim countries from persecution in Europe.
    And also, when was it alright for a Muslim to rape and kill women? You just made that up. It is a sin in Islam to rape and kill, just like it is in any other religion.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Um, Anonymous... I'm not sure Republican Bob was making all of those allegations. At least not to the extremes you were mentioning. At no point did he say ALL Muslims are terrorists. They aren't. And your whole question about knowing that there were Jewish Terrorists before Muslims ones is a fallacious argument. How does that relate to objecting to the contents of a tee shirt suggesting that killing a Palestinian child at the same time you kill the mother is taking out two terrorists?

    There's always a certain "gallows humor" that individuals facing a unique threat resort too. While I don't think the tee shirt is in good taste, and certainly does nothing to improve Palestinian and Israeli relations, it's existence and Republican Bob's reaction says that there is just enough truth in it to hurt. Please also note that the Palestinian woman in the picture is ARMED, clearly intending to do violence. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak once said that there will be peace between Israel and the Palestinians when Palestinians love their children more than they hate the Jews. Considering what I've seen of Palestinian television, and their habit of teaching militant Islam and jihad to their children, I can see the point.

    Now, I do have to agree with you on the "It's okay for Muslims to rape and decapitate women" line. Here, Republican Bob is doing the same thing you are: painting a large group of people with a brush not all Muslims deserve to be painted with. No where in the Islamic faith does it say it is okay to brutally rape women...

    Kinda...

    Ooops....

    Sorry. Just found this: Qu'ran 24:34 "Force not your slave-girls to whoredom (prostitution) if they desire chastity, that you may seek enjoyment of this life. But if anyone forces them, then after such compulsion, Allah is oft-forgiving."

    Oh well. I guess decapitation isn't against Islam.

    ReplyDelete

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