They’re probably 18 or 19 years old and they’re having fun. They are not hurting anybody and they’re not being violent, hostile or demeaning. In contrast with the propagandist who put the comments on the Youtube video, it seems the reason the street is empty is that the hour is first light of day and the first call of the mu’azzin.
And yet, it seems these young men don’t understand the meaning of their standing and dancing for joy while wearing military garb and carrying weapons in an area which has a majority Arab, non-Israeli population. It’s a small thing and can even be read as nothing more than childishness reflecting youth, joy and humor. On the other hand, it reflects a callousness to the meaning of having to be a civilian under somebody else’s military rule and a view of the ones under their military rule as “others.” It may be necessary, but having Israeli troops in the midst of another population has a slow and insidious effect on them and the country as a whole, if only because it engenders insensitivity and callousness towards those who have no choice but to live under the rule of their conquerors.
The soldiers are being punished by their officers. I get why they should be punished, but the problem isn’t with the soldiers, it’s with the untenable situation.