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Monday, September 24, 2012

Female combat soldier hid from battle on Egyptian border

The women in the picture have no direct connection to the story.

One of the more controversial projects in the IDF has been the project that creates mixed gender combat units. The unit that came under fire on Friday on the Egyptian border - Caracal - is one such unit. One female soldier performed well as a sniper, killing at least one terrorist. But another apparently panicked and hid in among thick vegetation for more than an hour, leading her commanders to fear that she had been kidnapped.
On Sunday, however, reports from the IDF's initial inquiry into the firefight revealed that another female soldier from Caracal behaved in a way that could cast doubt on the entire logic behind the creation of mixed-sex units.
The soldier, who serves in Caracal's reconnaissance unit, was near the Artillery Corps force that came under fire when the incident began. The rest of her unit was not far away at the time. She radioed to her unit that the force had come under fire, but then proceeded to hide behind a Hummer vehicle's tire, with her weapon's safety catch still on. She proceeded from there to a bush, where she hid for over an hour. At no point did she open fire at the terrorists, according to the initial details from the investigation.
Voice of Israel radio reported that the soldier called her mother during the firefight and shouted "gunfire!" into the phone. The mother heard the firefight through the telephone.
Once the firefight had ended, the unit's commanders counted the soldiers to make sure no one was missing. They became extremely worried when it turned out that they were one soldier short. According to reports, the IDF was convinced at this point that the female soldier had been abducted – a nightmare scenario for the IDF, especially since the Gilad Shalit affair, and a double nightmare if a female soldier is involved.
A search was mounted and the missing soldier was eventually located. She explained her behavior by saying that she thought she had "no chance" against the terrorists and that she was afraid she would find herself in a "friendly fire" exchange with the Artillery Corps force. The Regional Brigade commander reprimanded her for behavior, and reportedly told her: "You got scared, you ran away and you did not strive to make contact [with the enemy]." She is said to be in a bad state psychologically.
The IDF Spokesman denied the reports about the less-than-courageous performance and said that they were based on bits and pieces of the inquiry, which has not yet ended.
Unfortunately, there's also some political correctness involved here.
The placement of women in the IDF's combat units, and the general advancement of women into senior ranks, has been a flagship project of Israeli women's organizations such as the Israel Women's Network, created and maintained by the ultra-leftist New Israel Fund.
Due to the great influence wielded by the leftist-controlled women's groups, criticism of the feminization project has been stifled and mainstream publications refrain from publishing reports on the problematic nature of the experiment. The only English-language publication that has dealt with the subject is Arutz Sheva
MK Yaakov Katz [National Union] has told the Knesset that military research shows female soldiers' health – including reproductive health – is greatly endangered by service in combat units
As many of you know, the treatment of women in the army has been a hot button issue here for quite some time. At one point, some of the heads of the Hesder Yeshivoth threatened to pull their boys out of the army if they were forced to serve with women. And the key to Nachal Charedi - the unit favored by the ultra-Orthodox and many National Religious soldiers, and the largest unit in the IDF - is that there are (supposed to be) no women. If on top of that it becomes a frequent occurrence that women flee combat, the IDF is going to have a real problem on its hands.



At 4:24 PM, Blogger Red Tulips said...

Hi Carl,

One woman flees from combat and you are speculating that there is a widespread problem? I can assure you that many men in the IDF have fled from combat in the past.

What I find so perplexing is the Haredi bizarre world where apparently it is this forbidden thing for men to serve in the IDF with women. Yet women in fact are in the workforce and women are heads of state and CEOs. Haredi men are in the workforce and work with female coworkers and female bosses. Somehow this sort of interaction is deemed fine, but the IDF must be strictly gender segregated for the Haredi units.

Very bizarre. I think the issue is that Haredi rabbis refuse to acknowledge that the "ship has sailed," so to speak. It is a simple reality that, whether Haredi men and women may like it or not, they will have to speak to members of the opposite sex who are not their family. We are no longer living in the 1700s, we are living in the 2010s, and this is a simple and irrevocable reality.

At 8:34 PM, Blogger Captain.H said...

Ah, good old feminist PC in the military. One of the more blatant and costly strains of stupidity in the world.

I remember it well from my days in the USAF. One example: At the tail-end of the Vietnam War, some of the military geniuses running the USAF bowed to the feminist logic getting pressured on them from certain Congressional Feminists. They decided that since about 10% of the Air Force enlisted force were now women, they had to have a goal of 10% women in each and every job specialty. This was regardless of physical abilities.

I knew a young enlisted woman who weighed about 100 lbs. The Air Force had decided that since almost no women were jet engine mechanics, in their push for more female jet engine mechanics, she would be one of the new women recruits to be a jet engine mechanic. After going through all the time-consuming, expensive training, she was sent to the base where I was stationed and assigned to the same B-52 wing to which I was assigned. As standard procedure, she was issued her tool box and tools, WHICH WEIGHED MORE THAN SHE DID. To make a long story short, after a very short period of time, she incurred a serious hernia. The hernia and related injuries was not completely reparable by surgery and would, among other lifetime effects, likely prevent her ever having a baby. She ended up receiving a medical discharge and a partial disability pension for life. Not a good return on that military training investment, eh? Not to mention the human cost to this young woman.

Oh, and she never wanted to be a jet engine mechanic but the powers-that-be gave her no choice.

Now, I don't know anything about IDF infantry. Logic suggests they aren't much different from US or other serious NATO infantry. US Army and US Marines infantry also have combat packs and kit that weigh nearly as much as the average soldier or Marine. Combine that with the extreme physical demands of realistic training and then operational infantry service, as proven in Iraq and Af-stan, and the results are pretty predictable. Stress and strain injuries are much more common than combat wounds. There's a significant percentage of men that can't physically cut it in the infantry. The percentage of women who physically can't has to be AT LEAST as much, probably far larger.

PC has a military cost and a human cost.

At 10:59 PM, Blogger Chrysler 300M said...

the combat situation was unclear and she feared from being shot by friendly fire or being kidnapped. She acted 100% correct taking cover til things better visible. Unfortunately one dead soldier was one too much.

At 11:53 PM, Blogger a bit of dust said...

You know, as a new olah, I have recently started reading your blog, and I am sorry to have my first comment be a critique, but this post is very discouraging.

What in the whole sad story does the soldier's gender, or the gender of her unit, have to do with it? Can you imagine a similar story where the person in question was Charedi, or Ethiopian, or a bicycle repairman, and the conclusion was therefore to ban Charedi Ethiopian bicycle repairmen from the army? Maybe this person was just good at sniping but not prepared for close combat? In fact, the whole story isn't even out yet, so isn't it a little irresponsible to jump to conclusions about it? What happened to the benefit of the doubt?

Also the refusal to deal with women unless they are dressed or acting in a specific way is wrongheaded. No woman can control how a man reacts to their body. The one who needs self-control is the MAN. If Charedi men are able to enter combat and shoot people then they are also old enough to behave themselves among their sisters in arms. Should Barak have told Devora to stay home?

At 6:23 AM, Blogger P.R. said...

i wonder who is more of a burden in the army, that one woman who chickened out from combat that one time (as have countless men, of course, but nobody ever blames THEIR actions on their gender), or the army haredim who throw tantrums and hold boycotts because they can't pick their coworkers. i know who i would want in my army, and its the women who are proud to serve their country, not whiny haredim who like children refuse to work if they can't have things their way .


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