Rabbis to Shaked, Bennett: They're stealing the IDF

Religious Zionist leaders meet Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked to explain opposition to the new IDF standing order on mixed-gender units.

Yoel Domb,

Bennett and Shaked
Bennett and Shaked

Religious Zionist leaders and heads of yeshivot met Monday with Jewish Home ministers Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked to update them on developments regarding the new standing order on mixed-gender units in the IDF. The rabbis said that they do not trust the IDF senior echelons since they have violated their assurances to stop the changes in the IDF on this issue.

"The problem is not women or female service in the army but the fact that the new order was written in secret and espouses liberal and ultra-feminist agendas. These agendas are fashionable in far left circles which do not serve in the IDF and even actively promote insubordination," said the rabbis. "The original order was written by a public committee and demonstrated respect and sensitivity for all those serving in the IDF. It was understood that the army needed to be a place of consensus and mutual respect in order to maintain responsibility and camaraderie."

The rabbis emphasized that "we do not expect the army to suit itself to Religious Zionism but we do expect it to suit the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state."

"We are very disappointed that the Chief of Staff is letting them, [the ultra-feminists], 'steal the army' from under his nose. Does he want us not to find our place there? Doesn't he see his role as unifying the army within Israeli society? We hope that the IDF senior officers will take heed immediately before the damage already caused will grow even greater," said the rabbis.

"The new orders place the first goal of the IDF, which is to defeat the enemy, on the sidelines in favor of a radical feminist agenda of total mixed units. This is illogical, non-operable, anti-social and does not concur with security requirements."

The rabbis cited the example of the Facebook page published by the air force for Family Day, in which two males appeared as a 'married' couple, in contradiction to the biblical definition of marriage. They asked whether the official moral approach of the IDF is to indoctrinate soldiers about the alternative family and why the IDF spokesman deals obsessively with this issue. We must emphasize the unifying and mutual aspects and not those that divide us."

Women have served in the IDF from its inception. However, the feminist groups demanded that girls serve in combat units alongside the men, with the result that religious soldiers are faced with unavoidable problems of physical contact with women soldiers in opposition to halakha. The religious aspect is only one of the problems: The IDF, an army that has to win against implacable enemies, lowered standards for women so they could make it into infantry units, and ignored the statistics showing that over 40% of female combat soldiers suffer fractures that may cause problems in pregnancy.