Nov 20, 2011


  Is the main purpose of the IDF to defend Israel against its enemies or to force ultra-orthodox soldiers to listen to women soldiers sing and jail them if they refuse?

It sounds like a no-brainer, but unfortunately for some people, like a group of left-wing former IDF generals, it's not. They just wrote a public letter to the Head of the IDF General Staff, Benny Gantz, demanding he force these combat unit soldiers to listen to the singing or jail them.

These are the same people who complain that the ultra-orthodox are draft-dodgers, but in fact prefer them not to join the IDF, so they can continue complaining.

What they don't want to recognize is that in recent years more and more "dati" (orthodox) and "hareidi" (ultra-orthodox) soldiers are serving in essential IDF units. These are mainly combat units like Nahal Hareidi, infantry, armored corps, etc., but also top-secret electronic and cyber war units, for which apparently Talmud study is a comparative advantage.

The left wing former generals are concerned that the soldiers and junior and middle rank officers of the combat units are more and more wearers of kippot. At the same time the phenomenon of draft-dodging among left wing secular youth is increasing to worrying proportions.

Even religious girls are choosing full IDF service over non-military National Service (Sherut Leumi) in ever increasing numbers, while draft-dodging among secular girls is on the upswing. It is no longer a handicap for show business celebrities not to have served in the IDF.

Most religious soldiers have no problem listening to female singers. In fact they like it. For the small number who feel unable to do so for halachic reasons, excusing them from the fun is a small price to pay for making the IDF more representative of all population groups in Israel.

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