Religion Magazine

It Was Only a Matter of Time

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
It was only a matter of time. 
We have all enjoyed seeing the images from Gaza from Israeli soldiers [usually GoPro] cameras... lots of graffiti announcing all sorts of stuff like the imminent return to Gush Katif, letting the hostages know "we are on the way", proud Israeli slogans, stars and flags, jokes, dedications, and the like. Some of it was pride, boasting and braggadocio. I did also get the sense that part of it was to humiliate the Gazans, and specifically Hamas, to show we have control and can do whatever we want.
According to reports in the news, the IDF command has instructed soldiers in Gaza to paint over all the graffiti they plastered on buildings around Gaza. They say this is not part of the mission and not part of the operations to be performed, so now with the ceasefire and some down time available, the graffiti should be painted over. The graffiti and messages are not compatible with the ethics and values of the IDF.
It was only a matter of time
I have no problem with the graffiti. Part of war is psychological, and this has invigorated the soldiers, and maybe it did give Hamas/Gaza a sense of defeat and of being beaten. 
I also do not have a problem with the IDF saying this isnt compatible with our ethics. I get it.
I do have a problem with them saying paint over it all.
I get it, it isnt our values. But telling the soldiers to go paint it over is a schoolyard punishment. Do we really want the Gazans to scoff at our kids about being told off and rapped across the knuckles and told to write on the chalkboard 500 times "I will not spray graffiti on the walls"? Tell the soldiers that they can't do it anymore. Tell the soldiers that from here on out any soldier graffitiing a building in Gaza will be punished with 2 days in the brig or relieved of duty or whatever. But dont tell them to paint it all over. This is the psychological part of warfare and making them do this will be humiliating for our boys. 
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