Women in Tanks. It’s About More Than Equality

Leading nationalist rabbis accuse the IDF of trying to change Israel’s culture and defiling our fighting forces

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Last month, the IDF announced its intention to integrate women into the Armored Corps, triggering a wide range of responses that can be easily divided down political partisan lines.

This fact alone should be have been a clear indicator that the Israeli army is engaging in something it shouldn’t – the political arena. But years of indoctrination have turned many of our senior officers into devout liberals who now sanctify equality, promote homosexuality, feminism and so on. 

So deep runs this indoctrination that few would question the army’s policy of paying for two abortions per female soldier during her mandatory service. Likewise, few would challenge the new policy of unisex bathrooms. 

A sign in the army’s headquarters reading:
“joint bathrooms – toilets and bathrooms are for both men and women – lock while in use”

Our officers are so convinced of this brand of liberalism that a senior officer didn’t see any problem in saying recently:

“The US Army set a [high standard] and those passing it are accepted. This is not necessarily good for the IDF.”

In other words, today’s IDF prefers ideology over professional criteria.

<h3>Religious Opposition</h3>

As expected, the strongest opposition to the IDF’s intention to include women in any position came from religious circles, some of which today constitute some of the army’s most elite units. 

Alkana Cohen wrote in an open letter to the IDF Chief-of-Staff that he will most likely not show up next time he is called for reserved duty. The reason, he says, is that “by integrating women in the fighting forces you declare that the army’s job is not to achieve victory … rather its job is to be a people’s army that gives equal opportunity to all, and I do not want to be a soldier in an army that doesn’t want to win … I do not intend to be in an army that turns into an institution for equality empowerment.”

Rabbi Zvi Tau, one of the most influential figures in the national religious community, noted that the IDF chief wasn’t appointed to change Israel’s culture. 

Tau’s main concern is immodesty, which can easily turn to promiscuity. More generally though, Tau says that including women in tank crews desecrates Israel’s holiness. “They have gone mad,” said Tau. “One is not allowed to enter a tank with a female soldier … this isn’t a game, the chief-of-staff was appointed to shoot the enemy … not to change the country’s culture … it is neither logical, just or democratic … to force soldiers to act contrary to the Torah or their beliefs … one must stand firm against this disgrace.”

In an interview with Rabbi Mordechai Zion, the influential Rabbi Shlomo Aviner agreed that serving with women defiles the army. “Lack of modesty weakens the army and harms it … [this amounts to] lack of national responsibility. A complete folly,” he said. 

When asked what a soldier should do when given a direct order to serve with a woman, Aviner’s answer was: “This is out of the question … it is as if he would be given an order to eat pork.”

Harsh as these two rabbis are, they nevertheless remain optimistic. Rather than calling for mutiny, they are calling on their followers not to despair. “All is going to be all right. Eventually everybody will repent,” insisted Aviner.


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