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.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:
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".
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."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.
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."