Passport

Festival of Drones

The IDF just tweeted out a really strange Hanukkah photo of a soldier carrying a drone with one hand and lighting a menorah with the other.

Israeli Troops Showcase Rapid Launch Surveillance Drone
BAT SHLOMO, ISRAEL - JANUARY 16: (ISRAEL OUT) Israeli soldiers get ready to launch the Skylark drone during a drill on January 16, 2012 near Bat Shlomo, Israel. The Skylark can carry a camera payload of up to 1kg, has an operational calking of 15,000ft and allows users to monitor any designated point within a 15km radius. The Skylark unit consists of a ground control element and three drones, which provide battalion-level commanders with real-time information. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

Nothing says holiday spirit quite like a member of the Israel Defense Forces balancing a drone in one hand and lighting menorah candles with the other, right?

@IDFSpokesperson, the official Twitter account for the IDF, tweeted this photo as their Hanukkah greeting Monday.

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The caption reads: “He operates drones during the day, and lights #Hanukkah candles at night. #HappyHanukkah from the IDF!”

The awkwardly posed photo, where the soldier is wearing a mask and backpack as though he just returned from a combat zone, was a controversial choice considering Israel is the largest exporter of drones in the world and has used them to kill more suspected terrorists than any country other than the United States.

The tweet went viral almost immediately, where users slammed it for being in poor taste.

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Still, it isn’t the first time Israeli armaments have become an an odd part of Hanukkah, a holiday known for jelly donuts, potato pancakes, and eight days of gifts: Earlier this month, the American embassy in Israel tweeted out a picture of Ambassador Dan Shapiro posing with a menorah modeled on Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.

Uriel Sinai/Getty Images News

Siobhán O’Grady is a freelance journalist working across sub-Saharan Africa. She previously worked as a staff writer at Foreign Policy. @siobhan_ogrady

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