Israeli Advocacy Group Urges Haredi Draft Must Not Be at Expense of Women Soldiers

Groups cite numerous examples of service of ultra-Orthodox men causing detrimental changes in the service of women soldiers.

Ophir Bar-Zohar
Ophir Bar-Zohar
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Ophir Bar-Zohar
Ophir Bar-Zohar

A women's security policy group is preparing to warn the Knesset that the drafting of ultra-Orthodox men into the Israel Defense Forces must not come at the expense of women soldiers.

The Women's Forum for Policy and National Security, along with by WIZO, intends to make this point on Friday before the newly-minted Knesset committee established to examine ways of expanding the draft.

The ultra-Orthodox draft has become a hot-button issue, especially since the High Court of Justice declared unconstitutional the Tal Law granting widespread exemptions to the ultra-Orthodox. The law is due to expire in August.

The forum will also demand that any change involving the draft of ultra-Orthodox men include only the regular army and not the career army, and that the search for candidates be conducted only on merit and not based on gender.

Both the women's forum and WIZO present numerous examples in their position papers in which the military service of ultra-Orthodox men, and even mainstream Orthodox men, have caused detrimental changes in the service of women soldiers.

They cite, for instance, the case of a woman communications officer who was not assigned to a particular unit because of her gender, and the reassignment of female combat soldiers in the Artillery Corps because soldiers from hesder yeshivas (who combine their yeshiva studies with periods of army service ) had joined the unit.

The women's groups also note that there are no women's sections in IDF synagogues; female soldiers are not allowed to read aloud from the Passover Haggadah on Seder night; and certain units refuse to take women shooting instructors, among other examples.

Sixteen organizations are slated to testify before the committee, including the National Students Union, an association of hesder yeshivas and a group of reserve brigade and battalion commanders, as well as the forum and WIZO.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with soldiers from the mixed Karakal infantry in May 2012.Credit: PMO / Archive



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed


AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op

Palestinians search through the rubble of a building in which Khaled Mansour, a top Islamic Jihad militant was killed following an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza strip, on Sunday.

Gazans Are Tired of Pointless Wars and Destruction, and Hamas Listens to Them