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Gantz. We're not looking to fight'
Photo: IDF Spokesman
Women's singing: Gantz proposes compromise
IDF chief says some soldiers can be excused from informal social gatherings, as opposed to formal events where attendance is mandatory

IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said Tuesday that some soldiers can be excused from informal social events to avoid women's singing but stressed that attendance is mandatory in formal gatherings. "In non-formal events one can and should respect the people," he said.

 

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He added, "We're not fighting with the people, we looking for ways not to fight with them, we're looking for ways to serve alongside them. That means that in social events we excuse them and in formal gatherings everyone attends."

 

Gantz stressed that the IDF will maintain equality for women. "The IDF has room for the service of women wherever they can contribute. There is no ban on women's singing and no alternative to the commander's authority. The commander, and no one else, decides what happens in a room. The State of Israel and the IDF must make sure of this."

 


הרמטכ"ל שר הביטחון. "בין בדיחה לרצינות" (צילום: אריאל חרמוני, משרד הביטחון)

Gantz and Barak joke about women's singing. 'I made a mistake' (Photo: Ariel Hermoni, Defense Ministry)

 

The IDF chief also addressed an incident where women were prevented from taking part in an IDF Hanukkah sing-a-long which was exposed on the Twitter account of actress-producer Noa Tishbi. "I heard of that unfortunate incident," he said. "I will see to it that the case is probed. I have no intention of allowing any more such incidents."

 

Tishbi revealed that her soldier niece encountered exclusion after female soldiers who wanted to take an active part in a Hanukkah event were rejected on the grounds that only men can sing in the event. The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said in response on Monday,"Two Chief Rabbinate reserve officers violated procedure when they stated there was a restriction on the participation of women soldiers in the event."

 

Gantz akso addressed an incident in which he was documented joking on the issue of women's singing together with Defense Minister Ehud Barak. "I think that people realize the difference between what is a joke and what is serious and whoever looks at the number of female officers serving in senior posts at the IDF knows that the reality is totally different to the joke.

 

"I think I made a mistake in the way I spoke and where I spoke and I have apologized for that. There is no question about it: Women will serve anywhere in the IDF where the need to serve. They can make operational contributions and are able to handle the operational arena."

 

 

 

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