Thursday, September 20, 2007

Israel's Co-ed Army

An IDF commission released a non-binding report earlier this week calling for the full integration of women into all army units. In other words, men and women should serve together in all capacities and in all units. The Jerusalem Post reports (link):

Heads of religious pre-military academies were shocked by recommendations released Monday by an IDF commission calling for full integration of women in combat units.
Why? Who could object to women being treated equally? This is explained pretty clearly by Arutz Sheva (link):
Rabbi Elyakim Levanon, head of the Elon Moreh hesder yeshiva (a framework in which students combine compulsive army service and Yeshiva study), told Arutz-7, "If these recommendations are in fact made, we will convene and come to the appropriate decisions about what to recommend to our students regarding their army service... In the meanwhile, everyone can understand the problems involved when young men and women spend the night together in a tank, or on overnight stays, or in the infantry. It leads to obvious problems, and the Americans have already removed their female soldiers from many combat positions, though it cost them millions of dollars."
We're talking about men and women -- boys and girls -- aged 18 to 22 (and then later, for reserves). I suspect that if this is implemented without concern for the needs of religious soldiers, the entire religious community en masse will simply opt out of the army. Rather than solve the major societal problem of Charedi isolation, the Israeli establishment is headed towards forcing the Religious Zionist community to isolate itself as well.

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Favorites More