Known more famously for posting nosecone videos of airstrikes on terrorist hideouts and hidden weapons caches, the spokesman’s office of the Israeli Defense Forces is branching out into other genres. Its latest video, “Learn How to Defend Yourself: IDF Style,” stars one of its, shall we say, camera-friendly female combat instructors demonstrating martial arts techniques for avoiding abduction.
Twenty-year-old Krav Maga instructor Sgt. Rachel Shir demonstrates on-camera what she teaches IDF soldiers to avoid being kidnapped.
The IDF explains:
Krav Maga is a self-defense system that was invented by the Israel Defense Forces in order to ensure that both combat and non-combat soldiers know how to stay safe in every situation. All IDF soldiers are taught how to defend themselves from abductions, stabbing attempts and much more.
As two actors approach her on a dark, isolated street, Rachel explains:
When walking alone at night, be aware of your surroundings, stay focused and be ready for any attack to occur.
If attacked when you’re out at night by yourself, use everything in your hand to defend yourself.
When your attacker is stunned, strike him in the groin to neutralize him as quickly as possible.
All this naturally prompted some cheeky comments on YouTube including:
“She can abduct me anytime.”
“We don't turn the other cheek. We kick back in the balls.”
“The UN will vote that she used disproportionate force! :-)”
There is a universal draft in Israel for both men and women. The latter serve a mandatory two years in the IDF. Like in the U.S., the recruitment of women to combat positions followed debate among military leaders due to concern over the potential abductions of female soldiers. Abductions are a very real threat to Israeli soldiers, the most recent case being Gilad Shalit who was snatched from Israel and held in Gaza for more than five years.
The issue of women in combat was highlighted last week when a female sniper serving in the IDF named only as “Corporal S.” was commended after she shot dead a terrorist carrying explosives who engaged her battalion along Israel’s border with Egypt. In the gunfight, her male colleague Cpl. Netanel Yahalomi was killed. "One of the terrorists exploded right in front of us," she told the Israeli news site Ynet.
After the battle, the IDF criticized the Israeli media for focusing on another woman in the co-ed battalion who allegedly took cover behind bushes fearing she would become a kidnapping target for the terrorists. The IDF stated that she was never ordered to storm the terrorists.
This is the second video the IDF has released on self-defense. In the first, Rachel explains what to do if faced with various scenarios including getting your hair pulled, if grabbed from behind, and when attacked from the front.
Watch the latest IDF video here: