People of Northwest Public Radio
Thu August 29, 2013
Israeli Soldiers Go 'Gangnam Style' With Palestinians; Incur Wrath
Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 6:34 am
A group of Israeli soldiers who diverted their patrol into a dancehall earlier this week are facing their bosses' displeasure, after video captured the men — armed, wearing helmets and other gear — dancing with dozens of Palestinians in a club in Hebron. They were drawn into the building by hearing "Gangnam Style," the iconic dance hit song by South Korean rapper Psy.
A video of the event shows that at least twice, a soldier is hoisted on the partygoers' shoulders, drawing cheers from the crowd. In one sequence, he clasps hands with a man dancing next to him — who's also on someone's shoulders — all while keeping his assault rifle, a Tavor TAR-21, in his other hand. A video posted to YouTube says the Palestinians were celebrating a wedding.
As the video shows, dozens of young men cheered and held cameras and phones aloft, trying to capture the unlikely moment. We also note that the soldiers seem to have avoided the misstep of handing their weapons to others so they could dance.
In what could be called a rejection of "Gangnam Style" diplomacy, the Israeli Defense Forces has suspended the soldiers from duty in the elite Givati Brigade as it investigates.
Israel's Channel 2 TV, which first reported the incident, "said that the club was frequented by members of a Palestinian clan known for its pro-Hamas tendencies," according to Jerusalem Post.
"The Israeli military said on Thursday that it considers the incident serious, adding 'the soldiers exposed themselves to unnecessary danger and were disciplined accordingly,' without elaborating, The Guardian reports.