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23 November 2012

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I find the soldier's expression in the "Shabbot Shalom" image to be especially problematic. I already think it's somewhat distasteful whenever war or soldiering are depicted as anything other than a necessary evil, even in a context such as recruitment where you want to portray the positive side of military life.

But the machine-gunner in the "Shabbot Shalom" image is almost gleeful. Again, that's distasteful enough when applied to wars generally, but it takes on an especially weird connotation in light of the "Shabbat Shalom" message itself. It's as if the soldier is winking at the camera after saying, "I'm keeping the Sabbath holy by shooting people!"

It is, of course, a necessary evil that Jewish soldiers must work on the Sabbath, especially given the historically proven fact that Israel's enemies are not timid about attacking on Jewish holy days. But one does not expect a soldier to be quite so happy about breaking one of his religion's central commandments, any more than one expects him to be happy about killing his country's enemies.

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