How can a proud Jew not love the IDF? After nearly 2,000 years in which we got used to Jews' getting beaten up without hitting back, we established a fighting force. Our tall, strong, well armed Jewish fighters in their olive uniforms are our greatest pride.
We love the IDF because we can't help it, but we also need to admit that it has been afflicted by a very dangerous malady. If Yediot Aharonot's interview this morning with Brig. Gen. Mordechai Kahana, Commander of the Field Intelligence Array, was not demonstrably real, one would think it was some kind of satirical item.
The article announced that the training track for mixed-sex units would be "dramatically eased". The obstacle course / physical test known as bohan maslul will be abolished from basic training, along with the component that proved most difficult for the female soldiers – the roughly 6-ft. tall wall obstacle.
This wall became a source of much embarrassment for the proponents of the IDF's radical gender-mixing policy when Arutz Sheva exposed the fact that commanders placed a bench next to it, for women to step up on when traversing the wall.
Since the mainstream media is highly feminized, it studiously ignored the bench, but Arutz Sheva, Facebook, Whatsapp and campaigns by activist groups made sure that hundreds of thousands of Israelis were exposed to the uncomfortable truth: they had been lied to for many years. Promises to the High Court and the general public notwithstanding, the IDF did not really subject male and female candidates for combat units to the same demands and standards.
Running in circles
The bench became a symbol for opponents of the IDF's mixed-sex agenda, and something had to be done. It could be scrapped, but then most of the women would not be able to scale the wall. The IDF therefore decided to get rid of the wall altogether.
Brig. Gen. Kahana then told officers that there was no need for the entire obstacle course, either. This, too was scrapped, "in order to raise the rate of 'survival'" of the women in combat training, he said. His terminology is unfortunate, since these young women's ability to "survive" the training may come at the expense of the units' ability to survive actual warfare.
Kahana, it turns out, has been saving women from the perils of excess exertion for a while, now. Six months ago, he lowered the number of bullet magazines carried by women in their combat vests, from six to four. His explanation for this is a classic: "If four magazines are not enough for a female soldier in battle, when they have other female and male warriors alongside them, then the battle has already been decided anyway," he said. "When I was commander of the Egoz [Unit], we fought for more than 30 days in the Second Lebanon War and there was not one single warrior for whom the magazines he carried in his vest were not enough."
These funny excuses are just the latest attempt by the IDF to camouflage the embarrassment known as "women in combat". For years, now, mixed gender units march and walk in circles and not in straight lines. The reason? That way, you can't tell that the women are only in their third lap when the men are already in their seventh… This is true, folks.
PC in Israel
The results of this sham are not funny at all, however. Lately we have been informed that there has been a decline in the motivation of male recruits to join the real combat units: Paratroopers, Golani, Armored Corps etc.. More men want to join the co-ed units now. Can you blame them? If being a combat soldier is such a joke anyways, they might as well enjoy the service as much as possible.
Why does the IDF keep shooting itself in the foot this way? For the same reason the US military has been forcing co-ed units down its own throat: PC political power. Men are afraid of being labelled chauvinists or misogynists. Women are terrified of what abandoning the feminist flag might entail.
But it seems to be worse here. Since November 9, the US appears to be on a path to waking up from PC brainwashing. Terms like "neo-Marxism" are understood by more and more Americans, and conservative discourse has found its way to the campuses… yes, even Berkeley.
Israel is not there yet. Say "neo-Marxism" to Israelis, even those with very sharp political minds, and you will usually elicit a blank stare and a dismissive remark about conspiracy theories.
What to do?
However, unlike the US, we are in a daily fight for survival here, and our enemy is not oceans away. We are now reaching the stage in which our fear of military defeat at the hands of the enemy must somehow become greater than our fear of the feminist labels. A decline in the motivation of young males to serve in combat is a red line that Israel cannot cross and expect to survive.
There are a few activist groups who have been fighting the good fight against PC feminist for quite a number of years: the Forum for IDF Fortitude and Brothers in Arms focus on the IDF, and the Family Movement has a broader agenda against neo-Marxist gender craziness.
Truth is on our side, but censorship is strong. We have been fighting a guerrilla war despite the opposition of the feminist-run mainstream media, through sites like Arutz Sheva, through Facebook, through original videos – but that is not good enough.
There is, however, no shortage of smart, savvy Jews out there – Jews with political clout and other forms of power. We just need them to join us and help us climb this wall.
Gil Ronen is Chairman of The Family Movement