The IDF should be all-male

Women in tanks and other combat units? What purpose does that serve except for radical feminism? Women are not needed in the army altogether anymore. A non-halakhic analysis.

Leonie Ben-Simon

OpEds Tanks: Op. Protective Edge, Day 18
Tanks: Op. Protective Edge, Day 18
L.B.

I hear you asking: Do you want to tell me that half of the population will be disenfranchised from what they have been looking forward to for years and years – being a proud soldier?  The half that also went to school, the half that has an almost identical lifestyle and is just as Zionist as the other half - our young women.

I am not concerned that my answer may be unpopular when I say it out loud:  Women have absolutely no place in combat units in the IDF.  And in fact I do not believe that the majority of women should enlist at all.

Think a minute: What if girls were not conscripted into the IDF? What are the issues?

“Equal rights!”  Listen to the shrieking. “We are people, not chattels!” “Don’t go backwards in time!” Yes, I hear you all, and I hear you well because I too am a woman.  At age eighteen I wanted adventure and to spend time with young men and women my own age, so I do understand.

Going to the army in Israel for everyone was once a necessity.  Women were needed to put boots on the ground, but even then, mostly they were given non-combat tasks, rarely allowed the real equality that the men had to join the different branches of the IDF. 

I look at it differently than radical feminists do  It is not only the individual that I am concerned about: It is the country, and the contribution that each person can make.  We must ask: Are we going to be copies of other western countries with their disappeared standards of morality, low birth-rates, late marriages, divorce statistics and the downgrading of family life? And what do women in combat units, for which purpose standards were lowered, contribute to the success of the IDF?

Men have a purpose in life, and so do women. One of the responsibilities of a woman is to bear and bring up the next generation, while men’s duty is to sustain and protect women. In western societies women have signed away their rights to have men look after them, while they themselves are spending time doing anything and everything to lower the birth-rate. The only reason that the birth-rate in Israel is rising is due to the dedicated and devoted women who are raising large families. A young married woman having children will contribute more to Israeli society than she would sitting in a tank or on a rock next to the border.

And sitting in that tank entails the combat training with its prevalent small fractures to the trunk of the body, something male soldiers sustain as a normal thing, but which can have a deleterious effect on the possibility of sustainable pregnancy.  Imagine: Tank soldiers have to be able to lift and repair the tank's motor during combat, a challenge all four male soldiers in the tank must meet together

In this technological age the quantity of manpower needed for IDF can be satisfied without women.  Women may have been needed in 1948, 1956 and during last century – but definitely not now.

It may be fashionable for young women to delay marriage and children until their late twenties, but going to the army is in a large part responsible for this delay.  Inappropriate and multiple relationships are formed during army service, often resulting in broken and hardened hearts and a cause for later divorces. We have Jewish laws pertaining to males and females being together that are not generally followed in the IDF.

Most women are naturally gentler than men.  They are generally more delicate in their physical structure. The damage done to many women’s bodies and psyches during army service has been proven to be much greater than that to men, let alone during combat service.This not only impacts on the women’s general health, their ability to bear children but also on the national budget when they require long-term medical care and support.   


Allowing an eighteen-year-old to put her physical, mental and emotional health at risk when she is too young to consider the repercussions is criminal. 
Western societies including Israel, have geared their economies to women having to work. The net result has been that women have made themselves carbon copies of men in the outside world, not really through choice, but through economic necessity. Once immigrants lived in tents, today they come to apartments.  Once infrastructure was absent, today Israel has roads, rail services and utilities amongst the best in the world. Once one had to wait for years to get a phone line, today even children have their own mobile phone.  Israel’s economic status today is trending upwards as evidenced by increases to its credit rating, gas discoveries and increased exports. To continue to be a carbon copy of the west and a “Little America” does not suit the Jewish State. 

The time has come to seriously consider priorities while recognizing that to allow women’s lobbies to sabotage family life at the expense of women themselves is a shame.  Ask mothers if they would prefer to be home with their young children and the answer in most cases would be a resounding “yes.” The same goes for many young women wanting to have that chance. 

The system is pushing women in the wrong direction.  Allowing an eighteen-year-old to put her physical, mental and emotional health at risk when she is too young to consider the repercussions is criminal.  Putting her in a tank in a war-zone with a male her age is even outrageous, and in addition, could G-d forbid cause the death of many of our soldiers if she were captured. 

But then, it has been going on for so long now that people are just used to it.  But we do not have to go down in tandem with other countries whose reasoning is not in our interests. Maybe some of our leaders can do their sums and work out the demographic, financial and sociological arguments behind keeping women out of the army, and definitely out of combat units.


 




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