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Thursday, January 05, 2012

MK tells Haredim not to serve in the IDF

MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) called on Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) men not to serve in the IDF if it will not accommodate their religious beliefs.
United Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni on Thursday called on young haredim (ultra-Orthodox) not to enlist in the IDF if protocols are put in place requiring haredi soldiers to attend IDF ceremonies in which women sing.

Gafni said in an interview with Israel Radio that "if the IDF wants to enlist haredim it must adjust itself to accommodate their beliefs."

Relations between the army and religious soldiers have been strained following the ruling by Chief of Staff Lt.- Gen. Benny Gantz on Monday obligating every soldier to attend all official army ceremonies, even if they include women singing, which observant soldiers object to on the basis of religious law.

Soldiers may, however, request exemptions from informal army events featuring women singing or dancing.
The last time I checked, having anyone - male or female - sing is not necessary for the country's security, but having men serve in the army just might be.

I wonder if the US Army forced men in Vietnam to go hear Bob Hope. Somehow I doubt it. But the IDF knows better. They shove it in your face.

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At 3:29 PM, Blogger debbie said...

re: the US army and Bob Hope, my friend who served in the IDF tells me this is IDF policy, not only in regard to chareidim. they were required to attend all "fun" events, even if they begged off.

At 5:21 PM, Blogger Red Tulips said...

Carl, here is the bottom line. This is not about women singing. If it were only about women singing, then the Haredim should be given an exemption from having to attend the event and that is that. This is about Haredim listening to their commanders, and it is about the ability of women in the IDF to be fully integrated and treated as equals, not as second class citizens.

Imagine if a group of soldiers in the IDF had as their religious belief that they could not associated with Ethiopian Jews, and could not listen to them sing. Imagine they walked out of a ceremony only because Ethiopian Jews were singing, and refused to learn from Ethiopian Jews, and refused to be in the same unit as Ethiopian Jews. This would be considered blatant discrimination and clearly wrong. Why is it okay when female soldiers are involved? Why is it okay to discriminate against women for the 'crime' of being female?

And one last thing. You assume that if the IDF does not capitulate to the Haredim, they lose out, because Haredim will not join the IDF. Au contrare. I believe that if the IDF capitulates to the Haredim, then the IDF will see a massive drop in recruitment amongst secular Jews (and specifically women), who form the backbone of the IDF. Do you really believe secular Jews and women, who grow up believing in women's rights and equality, will be comfortable joining an IDF that does not believe in these values?

At the end of the day, Haredim form only a tiny percentage of the IDF, and many Haredim remain anti-Zionist and therefore impervious to recruitment. Israel and the IDF does not need the Haredim in order to have a functioning IDF. The Haredim need the IDF if they hope to become integrated into the country.


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