Thursday, November 13, 2008

Yawning gap between rudeness and discipline

Sometimes official ceremonies are just a big yawn, and there's no disguising it. But for one dozy squaddie, failure to stifle his boredom has sent him to lock-up for three weeks. Haaretz reports today on the yawning gap between what's rude and what's jail-worthy:

The Israel Defense Forces has sentenced a soldier to 21 days in jail for yawning during a recent memorial service for assassinated prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Officials report the soldier yawned while the commander of the Ramat David Israel Air Force base was delivering a speech during last week's memorial ceremony for Rabin. The senior officer paused for a few minutes after the yawn, which was described as long and loud.

The soldier was subsequently arrested by the army, tried for his "disrespectful act" and sentenced to 21 days in military prison. The IDF Spokesperson's Unit noted that the soldier is able to request a pardon, which will be considered according to military regulations.

The soldier's mother told Israel Radio that her son was not disrespectful, but tired. She said that her son deserves to be punished for inappropriate behavior, but the verdict is disproportionately harsh.

She further said her son was raised upon Rabin's legacy, and that yawning is known to be an uncontrollable physical act.

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