Allison Kaplan Sommer, who wrote the blog post on Haaretz ,said she is fascinated by the stir the photo has caused on the Internet, but acknowledges in a way it actually makes practical sense. Here’s some of what she wrote:
I’ve been quite fascinated by the fascination. Bikini pictures aren’t uncommon, and neither are pictures of gun. But put them together and you’ve got everyone’s attention. The combination of exposed female body and deadly weaponry must tap into some deep-seated male fantasy world. Even when fully clad, there seems to be a major Internet fetish for Israeli female soldiers. A quick Google search will prove me right. There may be other countries with women in the military – including the United States, but the consequences of Israel’s universal military service is that, when the entire female population goes to the army at age 18, each cohort is going to include a certain percentage of really hot women.
But still, a bikini and a gun?
To an Israeli, the photo makes perfectly practical sense. When soldiers take their weapon off military premises, they must guard it closely and keep it on their person, at all times. Having one’s weapon stolen is harshly punished with time in military prison a given. I’ve heard male soldiers on leave refer to their gun as their ‘wife,’ so constant is the companionship. We’re used to seeing guns in all kinds of places – propped up next to the guy sitting next to us in a coffeeshop, or in a university classroom, and of course, slung over the shoulders of women soldiers, including women soldiers.
Of course, they usually tend to be wearing their uniforms at the time.