Israeli women have added a new bizarre twist to Operation Protective Edge. They’ve pledged their bodies in explicit photos published on Facebook to the soldiers fighting on behalf of the homeland. Add this to the Israeli calls to sexually brutalize Palestinian mothers and calls in Israeli social media to figuratively rape Gaza and you have a heady mix of sex, violence and death.
The pictures Israeli women displayed on Facebook remind me of the German World War II images of pure Aryan maidens waiting to mate with their Teutonic male counterparts and produce exemplary Aryan children. It smacked of the Nazi purity of race doctrine. To be sure, the Israeli women aren’t proclaiming their racial superiority. But they’re certainly offering their bodies on the altar of Israeli patriotism.
What’s missing is any hint of the death these boys they purport to love are raining down on Gaza. These images reinforce the life force (sex); but deny the death that the enemy faces at the hands of these IDF Adonises. They also deny the death that faces IDF troops themselves, 33 of whom have died. The nexus between sex, lust, and death is very strong in these images.
I suppose you could argue that the Facebook images are versions of the pin-up girl photos circulated to U.S. troops during World War II to remind them of the girls they left behind. But in those pictures, the models never offered their bodies so explicitly and never seemed to be bartering their bodies on behalf of the war effort.
Another bizarre characteristic of the images is that very few display the faces of the women pictured. They either display breasts, crotch or the behind. Which leaves you with the eerie feeling that once the troops return they won’t be enjoying sex with women, but only with parts of their bodies. This goes to the dysfunctional nature of relations between the sexes in Israeli society. But that’s a different subject entirely.
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.