Daily Israel Report

IDF to Choose: Women or Hareidim?

Political organizations and women's groups are pressuring the IDF to place women in more combat units.
By Arutz Sheva
First Publish: 6/12/2013, 5:49 PM

Women in the IDF
Women in the IDF
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Political organizations and women's groups are putting pressure on the IDF to press on with the integration of women in the army's combat units.

The organizations are joined by senior reserve officers who are offering a wide strategic plan for embedding women in all levels of the combat array.

One of the senior officers is the head of the Institute for National Security Studies, Major General (res.) Amos Yadlin, who said at a round table conference held by the Israeli Democracy Institute Tuesday that the integration of women into military units enhances Israel's strength.

The IDI recently published a pamphlet full of complaints against senior officers, including reservists, who hold views that contradict the IDI's spirit. One of the reservist officers singled out is Rabbi Brig. Gen. (res.) Avichai Ronsky, former IDF Chief Rabbi. Ronsky came under harsh attack in the IDI's round table when he said that the IDF's job is to defeat the enemy, and not to work for equality between the sexes in the army.

"This is a populist brochure that is meant to force the agenda for inserting women into the combat array,” Rabbi Ronsky told Arutz Sheva.

Arutz Sheva has learned that senior officers in various brigades are very concerned that the IDF will surrender to the political organizations and integrate women into the combat units in a sweeping fashion. Such a surrender will not only drastically reduce the IDF's strength, but also cause the religious and hareidi population to keep away from the army.

"You can't demand that hareidim enlist in the military and at the same time insert women into every corner of the battalion,” a senior officer said. “These organizations must decide if they prefer women of hareidim. You can't have the cake and eat it too.”