IDF TiK ToK, originally uploaded to YouTube as Batallion 50 Rock the Hebron Casbah and posted on Facebook under the name Rock the Casbah, is a viral amateur dance video in the flash mob style produced by soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).[1][2]

The video was filmed in 2010 by soldiers serving in the IDF's Nahal Brigade. It had been viewed more than a 1.6 million times online just days after being uploaded.[3]


The video opens with six infantry soldiers from the Hod platoon of the Nahal Brigade's 50th Airborne Battalion on foot patrol. They are in a two-by-three formation in Hebron, a tense flash point of sniper, stabbing, and other attacks on Israeli soldiers.[4][5][6][3][7][8] The soldiers are walking cautiously down a deserted Jabel Rahma Street, near the Tel Rumeida site, in the Jewish section of Hebron, armed and in full combat gear, including bullet-proof vests.[9][10][11][12] The Muslim call to prayer can be heard coming from the loudspeaker of a mosque (all the sound in the video was edited in after the footage was shot).

Suddenly, the voice of American electropop singer Kesha breaks in. She is singing her hit # 1 pop song Tik Tok: "Tonight I'm gonna fight, Till we see the sunlight, Tick tock on the clock but the party don't stop, no".[13]

With the music, the soldiers abruptly break into choreographed dance moves.[13][14][15][16] The soldiers step in sync and gyrate their hips, somewhat clumsily, with moves more often used to dance to the cult Spanish track "Macarena", as they spin, twirl, dance, hop, flap their arms like chickens, skip, and dance hand-in-hand in pairs.[13][3][17] Then, just as suddenly as they started, the soldiers resume their positions and continue patrolling.[13][18][19][4]

The 106-second amateur video was praised for its artistry in "juxtaposing tension and cathartic dance."[20][12]

Other videosEdit

The video is a spoof on a long-viral Israeli television comedy skit that ran for months on the satirical TV show "Eretz Nehederet."[21] There, two clothes shop salesgirls who are giving begrudging service suddenly go ballistic when shoppers disrupt their folded clothes, and require the offenders to fold with them in moves synchronized to the Tik Tok tune.[21] In the hit TV video, known as hamekaplot ("the folders"), celebrities and politicians are featured as the "violators". Israelis made numerous spoof clips applying the idea to everything from rolling joints to preparing sushi.[21] Peace Now made a version, "starring" Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak folding T-shirts bearing inscriptions such as "two-state solution," "civil rights", and "settlement evacuation."[21]

The IDF video also followed several videos posted by soldiers in other armies. They include one showing American soldiers in Afghanistan dancing to Telephone by Lady Gaga, which has been viewed online over five million times.[22][23][24] A video of British soldiers and officers in Iraq going about their routine to Madness’s Must Be Love is another example.[23] In another video, U.S. Marines in Iraq dance and lip-sync to Haddaway’s What Is Love? .[23]

Israeli soldiers have produced and posted numerous comedy videos, in addition to several videos of Israeli soldiers in uniform dancing and singing.[15][25] The lighthearted genre includes video of uniformed tank mechanics "busting a move" on a sidewalk,[26] in which three soldiers lip sync to The Tokens' recording of The Lion Sleeps Tonight,[27] and another in which a group of Israeli female soldiers dance to Avril Lavigne singing Girlfriend.[28][25][23][29][30][31]


The IDF released a statement which read: "This was a joke by the soldiers, and the matter is currently being investigated by the battalion commanders."[13]

The video received numerous reactions in the world media, most of them humorous.[32] British news anchors laughed, and the Telegraph newspaper lauded the "baddest dudes and grooviest chicks" of the IDF.[32] The Irish Independent called the choreography "brilliant".[33]

The Hong Kong newspaper The Standard noted that the troop which had turned into a troupe had shown off "daring maneuvers", which "appeared to indicate they had undergone some sort of special training".[34] France 24 opined that the soldiers may have to "face the music".[35] The British newspaper Daily Mail joked that the soldiers' next performance could be Jailhouse Rock.[36]

Haaretz reported that the soldiers involved "could face disciplinary action."[9] Agence France-Presse reported that the soldiers were likely to be be "punished" for "inappropriate conduct during a military operation."[13]

The soldier who uploaded the video removed it from YouTube. But it had already spread across the Web, and was quickly reposted on YouTube, Facebook and other web sites.[13][25][37] Political science professor Gerald M. Steinberg commented: "We're talking about 18- or 19-year-old kids in an unimaginably stressful environment. They are trying to lighten up."[20]

There were calls by some for the soldiers to be punished harshly on the grounds that the video hurts the IDF's image.[15] But others called it a "funny" sketch made by 18-year-old youths.[15] According to reporter Dominic Waghorn of Sky News, official reaction to similar IDF videos in the past had "ranged from a threat of disciplinary action to a shrug. Military life can be boring, they've got phones, they listen to music."[25]

The two sergeants who were the squad commanders of the patrol were punished. They were ordered to participate in an IDF educational military film geared to preventing such videos being created in the future, which will explain why doing filmography and dancing is forbidden in time of operation.[38] Their educational video is to be screened in IDF units.[38] The other "dancers" from Battalion 50 were already on vacation leave, as they were due to be released from the military in a few days.[38]


  1. "Israeli Soldiers Dancing ft. Kesha - Tick Tock (Rock the Casba in Hebron)". YouTube. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  2. "Song and dance over Israeli soldiers' routine". Pretoria News. July 7, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Israeli soldiers 'Rock the Casbah in Hebron' – and cause a stir (video)". Christian Science Monitor. July 7, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Matthew Weaver. "Israeli soldiers face punishment for dancing while on Hebron patrol". The Guardian. Retrieved July 14, 2010. 
  5. "Soldiers Do ‘About Face’ and Dance to Pop Song ‘Tick Tock’". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  6. Reporter, Staff (July 6, 2010). "Soldiers caught dancing on duty". The Sun. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  7. Michael Sheridan (July 6, 2010). "YouTube dance video could mean trouble for Israeli Defense Force troops". New York Daily News. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  8. Ungerleider, Neal (July 6, 2010). "Israeli soldiers dance to Kesha - Falafel Mafia". True/Slant. Retrieved July 14, 2010. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 Pfeffer, Anshel (July 7, 2010). "IDF soldiers face penalty after uploading Hebron dance video to YouTube". Haaretz. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  10. "IDF Presents: Tick Tock Kesha in Hebron". Jewish News. July 5, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  11. Yedioth Ahronoth reporters. "Rock the Casbah: Behind the scenes". Ynet News.,7340,L-3916366,00.html. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 Soltis, Andy (July 6, 2010). "Clock may be 'Tik'-ing for Israeli soldiers in Web vid". New York Post. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 AFP (July 6, 2010). "Israel army not amused as troops dance on patrol". Agence France-Presse. Archived from the original on July 9, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  14. Katz, Yaakov (July 6, 2010). "Soldiers’ ‘Tik-Tok’ video on YouTube". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Frilling, Yonat (July 6, 2010). "IDF Tik Tok’s in Hebron". Fox News. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  16. "Video of Israeli soldiers dancing on the streets of Hebron goes viral". Thai Indian. July 8, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  17. "Israeli soldiers escape 'dance routine' penalty". BBC News. July 6, 2010. Retrieved July 14, 2010. 
  18. Pfeffer, Anshel. "IDF soldiers face penalty after uploading Hebron dance video to YouTube". Haaretz. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  19. "World briefs". Times of Malta. July 7, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 Mitnick, Joshua (July 7, 2010). "Israeli soldiers 'Rock the Casbah in Hebron'". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 Batsheva Sobelman (July 6, 2010). "Israel: IDF soldiers step on toes while dancing in the streets of Hebron". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  22. "U.S. Soldiers in Afghanistan Cover 'Telephone' by Lady Gaga (Music Video)". YouTube. April 30, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 "Dancing Dispute: Soldiers stir controversy online". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  24. "Israeli Soldiers Dodge Punishment For Ke$ha Dance (Video)". The Huffington Post. March 15, 2002. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 Waghorn, Dominic (July 6, 2007). "Rock the Casbah". Sky News. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  26. "Dancing Israeli soldiers! very funny stuff". YouTube. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  27. "Lion King in the Israeli army – מלך האריות בצבא". YouTube. April 8, 2008. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  28. "Girlfriend-dance Israeli girls-fighters". YouTube. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  29. "Israeli dance troupe troops may face the music". The Courier-Mail. July 7, 2010. Retrieved July 14, 2010. 
  30. Marshall, Melinda (July 7, 2010). "Israeli dance troupe troops may face the music". Herald Sun. Retrieved July 14, 2010. 
  31. "IDF Tik Tok’s in Hebron; Liveshots". Fox News. July 6, 2010. Retrieved July 14, 2010. 
  32. 32.0 32.1 "Dancing soldiers to star in educational video". Ynet News. June 20, 1995.,7340,L-3916739,00.html. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  33. Ian O'Doherty, Columnist (July 7, 2010). "The secret to peace in the Middle East". Irish Independent. Archived from the original on August 4, 2012. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  34. "Soldiers to face music after rocking the casbah". The Standard. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  35. "Israel army not amused as troops dance on patrol". France24. July 6, 2010. Archived from the original on July 12, 2010. Retrieved July 14, 2010. 
  36. "Israeli soldiers captured on YouTube doing the 'West Bank shuffle'". The Daily Mail Foreign Service. July 6, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  37. "Clip of Israeli soldiers dancing goes viral". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. July 6, 2010. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 "Hebron Palestinians: Go dance on your own streets". Ynet News. June 20, 1995.,7340,L-3917831,00.html. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 

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