Col. Ofer Winter
Col. Ofer WinterIDF Spokesman

A bare 24 hours into the current ceasefire with Hamas, Israeli press outlets pounced on the commander of the Givati brigade, Col. Ofer Winter, for allegedly “excluding women” from performances for the troops.

The allegation has been discredited.

Winter was accused by media feminists of cancelling a volunteer performance by Sarit Hadad, and subsituting for it a performance by another popular singer, Moshe Peretz. Supposedly, this was done because Hadad is a woman. Some rabbis forbid soldiers from watching a performance by a woman, on halakhic grounds.

However, the IDF Spokesman denied that Hadad's sex had anything to do with the decision, and said that Winter had to choose between two performers, Hadad and Peretz, and asked soldiers in his vicinity whom they preferred. The soldiers preferred Peretz and the decision was made.

News site 0404 wrote Monday that Winter also approved the performance of the IDF Troupe in the same event where Peretz is to perform. The troupe includes women and men singing and dancing side by side.

The editor of 0404, Boaz Golan, added that when Winter was the commander of the Duvdevan unit, the IDF Troupe performed for the soldiers in an end-of-training ceremony. When some religious soldiers walked out, Winter got on stage and berated them, reminding them of the precept that "decency precedes Torah."

"Women's exclusion” is a subject brought up repeatedly by leftist genderist groups that are opposed to the growing role of religious soldiers in the IDF, as a means of portraying the religious world as a dark and unegalitarian one.