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Female Singing in IDF: Truth about Incident Emerges

It turns out that the reason cadets did not walk out of events in the past was that they were allowed to leave quietly.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 9/26/2011, 11:43 AM

IDF Yeshiva Students
IDF Yeshiva Students
Arutz Sheva

As legal proceedings progress in the case of the cadet who was dismissed from Officers' Course because he refused to view female singing on stage, the backdrop for the incident is becoming clearer. The reason the religious cadet – along with several others – publicly walked out of that particular performance was that he was not afforded the right to do so discreetly, contrary to the usual IDF procedure.

This simple truth emerged in the plaintiff's reply to the State's defense in the case. The State Attorney claimed that similar events in the past went by without a disturbance – thus making it likely that the cadets were looking to create a provocation. However, the cadet's reply shows that the opposite is true: in similar cases in the past, cadets were allowed to walk out discreetly before a female singer's performance began.

The cadet's attorney named names: the Commander of Lahav Battalion Lt.-Col. Wadji Sirhan, who was the cadets' commander in the first four months of Officers' Course, instructed them to position themselves close to the door in events that involved female singing, to make it easier for them to leave the auditorium if necessary. Former Gefen Battalion commander Oren Zini also allowed the religious cadets to leave in case something on stage caused a religious-conscientious problem for them.

The cadet's attorney cited IDF standing orders that say: "Commanders will do all that is necessary so that the military service will not contradict or collide with the values, belief and lifestyle of those who serve in it and will take into account the feelings of soldiers who live a religious lifestyle in the course of activities held for the unit's soldiers."