|Is this the right direction for the IDF?|
Things are heating up. Religious Zionist rabbis are up in arms about Israel's decision to integrate women into the IDF (Israel Defense Force) combat units. What - some may ask is wrong with that policy? Read on.
It appears that there are no bounds to the kind of feminism that exists today. Which is kind of shocking in the face of the recent revelations about sexual harassment by so many men in positions of power.
There is a willful blindness on the part of today's feminist to biological and psychological differences between men and women. To cite one example: biologically - a man's upper body strength allows him to do certain things better than a woman. And a woman's lower body strength allows her to do certain things better than a man. To cite another example: psychologically a woman responds sexually more to the tactile sense while a man responds sexually more to the visual sense. There are more such differences - both biological and psychological that today's feminists refuse to recognize as relevant to their version of egalitarianism .
The current spirit of feminism seeks to equalize everything. Including army service where men clearly have an advantage over women. Feminists insist that women should be able to serve with men in combat units as long as they pass the same rigorous training that men do. Some in the left wing of IDF hierarchy seem to place a greater value on social engineering than they do on its primary function - defending the nation. They have decided that these modern day feminists are right. And are currently in the process of fully integrating women into the IDF - including combat units.
I understand that there are some women that will succeed despite their physical limitations. There are also some women who might have greater upper body strength then some men. Why not let the test of training exercises determine who is and isn’t fit for combat?
On the surface that sounds fair. But is it really so wise to allow these female exceptions to join the men in the same combat units for egalitarian purposes? Is passing a test the only thing that should change the way the army deals with anyone? What if a 9 year old child passes the training exercises. Should he be allowed to serve?
Obviously there are other considerations besides a test that should determine who does and doesn't serve in the army. It is a far wiser army that understands this.
A gender integrated army creates a whole host of issues that are not good for either sex. An environment where men and women end up in seclusion with each other can easily lead to temptation that will overcome one or both of them – or worse provides a circumstance where a man overcome by an impulse of the moment might come to sexually harass (or worse) his female comrade in arms. Backing up this fear is the fact that one in six female IDF soldiers are being sexually harassed while in service.
All of this has generated a harsh response from Religious Zionist Poskim. From the Jerusalem Post:
Rabbi Shlomo Aviner has warned religious men - but not women - not to enlist in the army for fear that they would serve with women.
The Halachic issue here is based on human nature. The sex drive is clearly recognized by Halacha which is why it and forbids scenarios where acting on it is more likely to happen. It is all of the above that has led me to oppose men and women serving together in army combat units. Despite these obvious issues, a couple of years ago, egalitarianism in the armed services was made law in the US by the last administration. Which I believe is one of the stupidest things they did in the entire 8 years of their tenure. And that’s saying a lot. Now Israel is making the same mistake.
The significance of the Religious Zionist rabbis opposition should not be glossed over. Religious Zionist rabbis consider it a Mitzvah to join the army and thereby protect the people. Religious Zionist soldiers that are part of the Hesder program are among the bravest soldiers in Israel often volunteering for the most dangerous assignments together!
For these rabbis to forbid these soldiers from serving would be astonishing if not for the reason they are doing it. They understand that Halacha comes first. Even though they are in diametric opposition to the Charedi Poksim with respect to army service - considering it a Mitzvah whereas Charedi Poskim characterize it as an Aveira - they are nevertheless in concert with the Chazon Ish when it comes to Arayos - matters of the flesh. Yehoreg V’Al Yaavor… better to be killed than to allow oneself to be placed in such circumstances. And this is precisely where the IDF seems to be at. From the Jerusalem Post:
Some religious and conservative Israelis have alleged that the changes are creating a dangerously sexualized atmosphere, with men and women training, eating, sleeping, showering and going to the bathroom in close quarters. Former high-ranking military figures are among the critics.
Today’s feminist mindset doesn’t seem to care much about that. Nor do they seem to care that women will be placed in circumstances that will make them more vulnerable to sexual harassment or abuse. And yet they complain because there is so much sexual abuse going on.
How do they reconcile these two things? They will say that men simply have to control themselves better. And that if it does happen, the consequences to the violator should be swift and severe. I happen to agree with that. What I don’t agree with is insisting creating circumstances that are more likely to lead to it in the first place. Which is what the army is doing.
Is equality of the sexes to that extent worth the increased instances of sexual harassment and abuse that has already taken place and will surely increase? Even if it leads to consensual sex, is there not the possibility for serious regret after the fact? I think that happens a lot more than anyone realizes. It is a regret that could be avoided if women are not put into this situation.
It is pure common sense to see the stupidity of taking feminism to this extreme.