In the US military we typically wouldn’t carry a weapon while in civilian clothing, but I have never been in an area where it was required to carry a weapon and civilian attire was an option. I suppose it would make sense, however, for the Israelis, you know, because war and stuff…
What I think is a problem with this sort of attention is the “Hot Chick” bias that is being given. The fact that all Israelis are part of the military means that, in a population distribution equal to that of the rest of the Israel, you will find varying degrees of attractive young women. This, however, is very weird for most people’s stereotypes about what being in the military is all about. It produces a very strange sort of novelty which people question and onlookers demand a double take, often eliciting far more research than may be necessary, for whatever their motivations may be. Still, common sense would dictate that very attractive women would have to exist in the Israeli military, and that this point is meaningless. You also shouldn’t be surprised then to see them with weapons fit for such a role. Even if they aren’t in uniform they are soldiers in a combat zone.
The problem with this extremely unique form of attention being given to Israeli women is that it ignores the fact that they aren’t the only ones carrying weapons. There are just as many men carrying them, too. (though I am curious where these are hiding their magazines…)
The fact is, hot girls with guns gets tweeted, shared, and certainly “liked” a lot more than military aged males performing the same activities. The bias in information sharing, however, is giving a very misrepresentational view of the people in Israel, (as the question shows) which, to me at least, is easily cured by checking the sources and asking the right questions.
While I freely accept anyone who wants to offer up evidence to the contrary, I believe that it isn’t normal for people who aren’t in the military of Israel, female or not, to carry around powerful weapons systems like those shown in the links provided, particularly not government issued weapons, such as the M-16s featured in the images above.Thanks for reading!
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On my train ride yesterday (16th Feb 2011) to Tel Aviv I saw a female soldier with a rifle. It does seem rather uncommon to see female soldiers with rifles. To add to my 16th Feb post, I saw two more female soldiers carrying rifles. This is more common than people realize. Expanding further on my post (today is 4th April) I have seen a dozen or so female soldiers in Israel carrying rifles the past six weeks. I’m sure if I was proactively looking around it would be many more. The reality is that combat roles in Israel have evolved tremendously the past 5 – 10 years to include more woman, hence the more common site of female soldiers carrying combat weapons. That said, it is absurd that anyone would consider a combat weapon as a fashion accessory.
There is a lot of good answers already given, so i only wish to add or clarify some points.
Of course, a bus, a mall or a coffie shop may be considered a frontier line in Israel. Soldiers off duty must take their personal weapons wherever they go. Personal weapon would always be an assault rifle of some kind. Never a handgun, never a machine gun. I expect that soon, every soldier would be getting a personal rifle on the first day of service, along with the uniform and boots.
Sometimes, one’s type of the weapon, and especially the extras mounted on it, can disclose something about the unit s/he belongs to, and maybe even the role there.
One of the photos in other answers showed a woman that is not a soldier, but a security guard in a hotel. She was dressed white and black uniform, and a pistol on her belt.
Next photo showed a group of young people on a journey, walk or alike, and one of these carries a military M16 riffle, as a kind of a guard. It is clear that she is a soldier on a leave. M16 can only be given to an IDF soldier, rarely to policemen.
Other people with pistols might be policemen/police women. Also, people who live in “endangered” areas, or have a hazardous job, such as professional truck/bus drivers, may be allowed to purchase weapon, never heavier than a 9 mm handgun.
Pistols are not considered a personal weapon in IDF, at least forty years, and everyone ranked three stars general equivalent and down, would carry an assault rifle. If you carry a pistol, you must carry a licence, but the weapon itself may be concealed.
They are carrying weapons because they are required to, not as an accessory of any sort.
Gun control laws are actually fairly strict in Israel.
It’s not common at all. The girls in the pictures are either on-duty or on a leave from the army. Leaves are very frequent in the IDF (a weekend every few weeks) and you usually need to take your issued rifle with you back home. If the girl is, say, going from her boyfriend’s house to her parents’ house, she will usually not be in uniform, but still has to take her rifle with her.
Nobody would carry a 3 kg, one meter long stick as a fashion accessory.
I think the issue is when they have their weapons with them, they can never leave it out of their sight. There is no excuse for a lost or stolen weapon. So if they are home or on leave and have their weapon, they must take it with them were ever they go. That means even if they go out in civilian clothes, they must take their weapon with them. As an American where weapons are abundant but not seen, its take some time to get used to seeing all these rifles. Although the US has a big gun culture, its is pushed down our throats that having a weapon increases the chances of a accidentally misfiring and increases the chance of using in in the heat of the moment. Neither thing occurs in Israel I am adding random thoughts to this because Quora has decided my answer is not sufficiently long enough. Its weird because I have seen one sentence answers many times, but unless I write several paragraphs, my answers are collapsed. Which is weird because I once answered an accounting questions that would be an IRS agent grin and that still wasn’t good enough for the site. I have been to Israel several times and after a while you forget about the weapons. You dont take is too seriously as most of the time the guys and gals carrying the weapons are not actually doing anything. I remember years ago, I went to Argentina and they had soldiers standing guard with their weapons and that was weird. My answer isnt still not good enough so I will continue with my rant. I hate Walmart. I ordered a desk that was supposed to be delivered to the store but then it got delayed 10 days. I cancelled it and had them sent to directly to the house but I needed it by the 20th which they agreed was going to happen. It arrived on the 22th after I told them I was going to be out of town. They didnt actually ship it until the 20th. They also wrote down the wrong apartment number and they wouldnt call fedex to change it as it was agains their policy. She wanted to cancel the second order of the desk and ship out a third to the correct addresss. They finally decided to call Fedex and change the address. I was told that Walmart.com only take calls and wont make calls out. I realized the mistake after I made the order and called back. I was told that they couldnt fix it until Fedex gave them a tracking number and was shipped. They told me to call back the next day after I received the tracking number. When I called, Walmart said that since it had shipped, they couldnt change the address. I called Fedex but they said only Walmart could change the address
I thought the policy was changed several years back so that now, only combat soldiers carry their firearms home when they go on leave. Most girls in the army are not in combat units. Nowadays it’s rather rare to see a girl in civilian attire who’s armed. Sorry!
It is in no way, shape or form a fashion accessory. It may only be carried by those in the army, police or other security units. Yes, it must be cleaned and polished, but you won’t see them for sale in the fashion boutiques along Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv or on the runways during fashion week.
Yes, they are carried on the streets because they may be on duty or coming and going from leave. Most girls would much rather carry a great handbag than their rifle.
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