Donning women’s clothing, Nahal fighters guarding the Dimona nuclear site put on impromptu show after returning from Gaza operation that sparked conflict with commanders.
By Yoav Zitun
A confrontation occurred between soldiers in the Dimona nuclear unit and their commanding officers because of an impromptu drag show the soldiers conducted after returning from Operation Protective Edge.
The soldiers are part of the Nahal Brigade in regular service guard at the Dimona nuclear reactor, that were sent into Gaza during the recent operation. They decided to celebrate their return to the base with a show in which they dressed in drag, leading to a heated confrontation with their commander that was caught on video and sent to Ynet.
The soldiers were recorded dancing in women’s clothes while their friends encouraged them. Shortly after, the first Sergeant and another lieutenant reprehended the soldiers and forbade them from continuing.
In response, the soldiers said this is not the first time the first sgt. has made what they termed as “homophobic” prohibitions. Last year he forced the removal of a gay pride flag with the Star of David that hung in the soldiers’ quarters.
During the confrontation, tensions were high as the sergeant said, “I stand behind my words. I am in the army, there are commands and instructions and we enforce them.”
When the soldiers claimed that there is no order restricting them from dressing in women’s clothing, the sergeant responded, “We’ll find the restriction.”
A soldier responded, “People are allowed to wear whatever they choose, and you should respect that. It is an embarrassment that you are here. It is a disgrace to the army that you are still here.”
A soldier serving at the base said of the sergeant, “He’s a homophobe, an embarrassment to the IDF, he should have been fired. We thought we were done with the homophobic issues in this unit. I’m gay and I’m proud of it. I serve as a fighter and people shame me.”
Soldiers in the Nahal Brigade said that there is usually a sense of pluralism and acceptance of all soldiers, even those that have come out of the closet, occurring in other army units both combat and non-combat in the IDF.
Nevertheless, the soldiers say that just as this incident occurred in a relatively remote unit it can occur again elsewhere. “We did not disgrace the IDF that evening; we just wanted to let loose in an enclosed space with a short and comical show. What is the difference between what we did to songs sung by Golani and Armor brigade soldiers during which they wear masks? Why is this type of behavior accepted for those units?”
A request for comment was sent to the IDF spokesperson unit regarding the matter. Military officials responded by saying: “In the aforementioned case, the soldiers behaved in an unexpected manner in a military base and because of this were asked by the first sergeant and their lieutenant to stop the show. There were no intentions to personally offend any of the soldiers.”
View original Ynet publication at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4582566,00.html