In the latest crisis Public Relations situation attracting headlines worldwide, half-naked pictures of female Israeli soldiers are running in newspapers worldwide. The teenage young women were shown in a variety of poses – in underwear, combat equipment and helmets. It was harmless, dumb pictures these girls took and posted to their Facebook pages.
Naturally media never hesitates to show pictures of women scantily clad. And add the headline “Israeli Army” and it is feature material in papers worldwide, and attracting worldwide headlines.
In what naturally created plenty of fodder for online commentators, the IDF said the young female soldiers showed “unbecoming behavior.” The statement added “The commanding officers disciplined the soldiers as they saw fitting.” Will leave out the mandatory joke about what form of “discipline.”
Who can forget the Israeli government’s photo spread in Maxim magazine “Women of the Israeli Defense Forces”? Back then, research showed public support for Israel rose after that campaign.
Of course, while the women soldiers were “disciplined”, in nearly the rest of the Middle East, women have far from equal rights. In Israel, there are women soldiers, and nowhere else in the region are women treated equally.
Like it or not, half naked women in the Israeli Army will always attract media. Then again, half naked women anywhere will always make headlines. What’s the impact on Israel Public Relations?