A prominent Israeli rabbi known for his efforts to bring secular Jews back to traditional observance ridiculed a recently released video showing a female soldier being given a leg up on training exercises in a mixed-gender IDF combat unit.

Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak, founder of the Shofar ‘Kiruv’ organization which encourages non-observant Jews to return to traditional observance, mocked plans by the IDF to push for greater integration of female soldiers into a wider array of combat roles.

“They said that there will be equality, so the girls – the female IDF soldiers – will be in tanks together with the boys, and they’ll do guard duty with together [with male soldiers] and everything else together,” said Rabbi Yitzhak. “Showers together. Equality! Equality!”

The rabbi pointed to a segment of a recently released video showing footage of soldiers from a mixed-gender unit training at Bahad 1 (Training Base 1). When the soldiers are instructed to scale a barrier, male soldiers are required to climb the wall from the ground up, while a bench is placed in front of the barrier to allow the female soldier to scale it more easily.

“What’s the point? They’re weakening the army. There’s a video circulating now of [soldiers] who need to climb over some wall. So they put a bench there for the female soldier. She steps on the bench and uses it to climb over the wall. My goodness, this is the army of Mickey Mouse.”

“Do you think that a Hamas terrorist is going to say, ‘Wait a second, that’s a female soldier. Just wait a second for her to go by – shoot afterwards, but not now’? What is this?”

The ultimate purpose of the mixing of genders in the army, Rabbi Yitzhak contended, was to secularize religious soldiers being drafted under the amended draft law.

“This is to secularize the haredim. To force them into the army [and then secularize].”

“They don’t want the Jewish religion to exist. That’s all. In the name of equality. That’s why there can’t be any ‘exclusion’ of women. You have to listen to women singing; to stand there and to listen. Why is it that in sports women aren’t equal? Why aren’t there mixed-gender sports teams in soccer? In basketball? In volleyball? Why not? It’s the same thing. If she’s muscular… why not? Why in [sports] is it not considered exclusion? Because there are no haredim there that they need to secularize! It’s all secular people there. But where there are haredim, there you need to call it ‘exclusion’.”