Who is Natalia Fadeevy on 'Thirst Trap' TikTok Posted by Israeli Soldiers
|Why Are Israeli Defense Forces Utilizing Thirst Traps TikTok? Photo Getty|
Israeli soldiers are trying to influence the Middle East narrative with sexy social media posts
Members of the Israel Defense Forces are posting “thirst traps” on TikTok amid the nation’s conflict with Hamas — and experts say it’s part of a larger strategy to garner support and spread nationalism.
The IDF, which is in the midst of a cease-fire with Hamas following a short war that left 13 Israelis and over 240 Palestinians dead, has long been social media-savvy with a strong online presence, but they’ve stepped up their game amid the latest round of conflict in Gaza, the outlet reported Friday.
As the platform is flooded with images of people running away from Israeli airstrikes, soldiers with the IDF are responding by pumping out pro-military content like showing off their uniforms or meeting loved ones at the Gaza border, the outlet said.
What is Israel Defense Forces (IDF)’s TikTok account?
The IDF’s TikTok account launched in 2020 and has since racked up nearly 100,000 followers, but lately, comments on posts have turned negative and the Palestinians appear to be winning the social media war, the outlet said.
“There’s been a major shift in the social media ecosystem, [and] Palestinian social media has gained global virality in a totally unprecedented way, which wasn’t the case in previous military campaigns,” Stein told the outlet.
“We’re seeing this content and messaging is dwarfed by the scale of Palestinian social media usage and global solidarity. The military now recognizes they’ll never catch up, they’ll have to reinvent their PR strategy. It has failed.”
On its official TikTok page, the IDF has posted videos of beautiful female soldiers lip-syncing to Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” or marching in fatigues and doing dances to military music. “There is a long history within Israel of military iconography favoring the beauty in uniform as a nationalist symbol,” explains Stein. “The military is using it in new ways to meet the needs of the digital moment.” All of these thirst traps can create a disorienting experience for a young, horny, American progressive with pro-Palestinian sympathies — which, of course, is exactly the point.
|The IDF’s TikTok account, which launched in 2020 and has garnered more than 90,000 followers, has been particularly active during the latest conflict in Gaza, in large part due to the platform being flooded with videos of people running away from Israeli strikes and the collapse of a high-rise building after an Israeli military attack. The proliferation of such footage has resulted in increased pro-Palestinian activism on the platform, with hashtags like #freepalestine garnering 5.6 billion views. With TikTok playing “a strong role” in this current conflict, says Goodfriend, the IDF has responded accordingly, pumping out multiple feel-good videos of soldiers from different units showing off their uniforms or being surprised with loved ones at the Gaza border.|
Who is Natalia Fadeevy, the woman on thirst trap TikTok videos?
|Natalia Fadeevy claims she spent three years as a reservist in the IDF. Photo NYPost|
A female Israeli Defense Forces [IDF] soldier who has become a viral sensation for her thirst trap TikTok videos in which she defends her country's 'moral military' while dancing provocatively dressed in combat uniform has been criticised for making light of the conflict in Gaza.
Natalia Fadeevy, who claims she spent three years as a reservist in the IDF, boosts over a million followers on TikTok and devotes much of her page to sassy pro-Israeli military content.
In one of her clips she accuses Palestinians of 'faking funerals for the media' and defends the Israeli army's response to attacks from Hamas.
She captioned another video: 'When they tried to destroy your nation but you ended up having one of the most powerful armies.'
Fadeev has a long history of using her platform to spread what is essentially nationalist propaganda. She’s a member of the Alpha Gun Angels, an Israeli gun-modeling and social media marketing agency featuring buxom former and current IDF soldiers brandishing heavy military artillery while wearing crop tops and camo pants. And Fadeev, who did not respond to Rolling Stone‘s requests for comment, is not the only hot IDF soldier who’s gone viral for blatant pro-Israeli military cheerleading: last week, Yael Deri, who describes herself in her bio as a member of the Ta’oz battalion in the IDF, garnered controversy when a TikTok of her lip-synching to Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad saying, “What was that? I should kill everyone and escape?” while brandishing her gun and preening adorably at the camera went viral. Such content is interspersed with videos of her filming at what appear to be military checkpoints.
Natalia's clips have generated heated discussion on the platform with some TikTok users suggesting her sexy clips make light of the conflict and are an attempt by the IDF to wash over the fact its army is responsible for killing Palestinian civilians who got caught in the crossfire, with one commenting: '"I'm hot so I can't commit war crimes".'
|Natalia Fadeevy has claimed Palestinians are faking funerals. Photo TikTok|
As well as posting pro-Israeli military propaganda on TikTok, Natalia is a member of the Alpha Gun Angels, an Israeli gun-modelling and social media marketing agency.
On its books are good-looking former and current IDF soldiers who brandish weapons while dressed in a combination of skimpy attire and army kit.
Another IDF poster girl causing a stir is Yael Deri, who describes herself as a member of the Ta'oz battalion in her bio. Yael has 1.2 million followers and regularly shares videos of her lip-syncing to rap videos and preening at the camera, seemingly filmed at military checkpoints.
What's interesting is that several of Yael's suggestive clips feature on the official IDF TikTok account, which has more than 92,000 followers, along with other videos advertising its glamorous female recruits.
|The IDF has always been savvy when it comes to the internet and quick to jump on trends; back in 2008, in the early days of YouTube, the IDF shared footage of air strikes on its official channel. |
Rebecca Stein, professor of cultural anthropology at Duke and author of Digital Militarism: Israel’s Occupation in the Social Media Age, said IDF's social media presence had 'a lot of control over the narrative' at the time because the military had blocked media access to the Gaza strip, reports Rolling Stone.
'They considered themselves pioneers in the language of social media, and that was important for them,' she said.
'There is a long history within Israel of military iconography favouring the beauty in uniform as a nationalist symbol. The military is using it in new ways to meet the needs of the digital moment.'
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