Recently, an Israeli soldier uploaded this picture, depicting what appears to be a Palestinian boy in the cross hairs of his rifle, to Instagram. A shitstorm ensued as people flipped out about it.
A spokesperson for the Israel Defense Force (IDF) said that Ostrovski’s actions “are not in accordance with the spirit of the IDF or its values.” Ostrovski has since shutdown his Instagram account, and his commanders have been notified.
Breaking the Silence, an Israeli army veterans group critical of their government’s policies toward the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem, stated that the image reflected “the abuse of power rooted in the military control of another people.” ~ VIA Daily Caller
The soldier of course says that he didn’t take the picture, he just found it and then reposted it. From my own experience attempting to take pictures through the scope of a rifle, I’m actually willing to believe him. That shit is really freaking hard. I’ve tried this while hunting before. I tried to find some of the pictures I took, but I must have deleted them all since they didn’t turn out. If he did take the picture, then the Israeli military has a couple of problems. First, you never aim a gun at anything you aren’t planning to destroy. Second, either this guy got off a lucky shot with his camera, or he spent way too many man hours practicing his photography skills when he should have been working.
A news site dedicated to Palestinian issues, The Electronic Intifada, condemned the image as “tasteless and dehumanizing.” The news site published some of Ostrovski’s other images, including photographs of himself posing with various weapons. ~ VIA Daily Caller
Aside from the issues of pointing a rifle at someone that you aren’t planning on shooting, I think the picture looks pretty good and don’t really consider it tasteless or dehumanizing. Likewise, if someone likes what they do, be it a job or a hobby, and they like taking pictures, then they will probably have pictures of it. Since this guy is a sniper, then I’m going to guess that he has, at the least, a fondness for firearms. Saying that he has multiple pictures of himself posing with firearms is no different than saying that a fighter pilot has pictures posing with his jet or missiles, or saying that someone who restores cars has pictures with old cars. Of course they are going to have those pictures.
At best, this is an example of a soldier reposting a picture that he should have known better than to associate with himself. At worst, this is a soldier that thinks taking pictures is more important than firearm safety and paying attention to his current mission. Either way, it shows a few places that the Israeli Defense Force probably should beef up their training a little…