#BBCtrending: Sexy selfies in support of IDF

By BBC Trending
What's popular and why

image copyrightStanding With IDF

A Facebook campaign has been launched which encourages women to submit sexy selfies to boost the morale of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers.

The "Standing with IDF" page was launched on Wednesday and now has more than 12,000 likes. It includes dozens of photos of skimpily-dressed women, with "I love IDF" scrawled across their bodies.

The slogan expresses support for the IDF currently engaged in a major offensive against Palestinian militants in Gaza. The conflict has so far cost more than 800 lives, the vast majority Palestinian, and mainly civilians, according to the UN.

While the page has attracted a lot of support, it has also faced accusations of being in bad taste and been branded as "war porn".

"Outside of Israel, the IDF is presented as rough. We wanted a way to make the military look more romantic," the man behind the page, Gavriel Beyo from Tel Aviv, told BBC Trending. "Historically soldiers looked at pictures of women before battle for encouragement and this is a version of that."

Beyo says he has received thousands of photos from women around the world and has even had to ask friends to help with the site because it has become so popular. He also says he's received emails from IDF soldiers thanking him for setting up the page.

image copyrightYafit Duer
image captionYafit Duer's "I love IDF" photo

"I wanted to help make soldiers feel happy at a difficult time and to show a different side of Israel to the world," says Yafit Duer, an Israeli woman who lives outside Tel Aviv who submitted a photo to the site. Duer admits there has been criticism, with some believing the pictures show Israel in a bad light. However, she maintains the reaction to her picture has mainly been positive.

But many have expressed disgust on social media towards the site. "Facebook insanity! Israeli women posting nude to support IDF so disgusting!" tweeted one woman. Others have described the pictures as "war porn" and "patriotic smut". Some are calling for the Facebook site to be taken down.

Reporting by Laura Gray

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