Operation Protective Edge has sparked a new wave of patriotism in Israel, and it seems that this sentiment has manifested in a slew of other fields, including sperm donations.
Haifa's Rambam Medical Center has reported a rise in the number of women requesting special donations, and specifically asking for donors with a background as combat soldiers.
In addition to choosing the donor's educational background, hair and eye color, the hospital also allows women to choose from donors with and without a military record.
"These women build a profile of what they feel is the ideal donor and the father of their future child," said Dina Aminpour, head of the hospital's sperm bank.
"It seems that the (Gaza) military operation and the stories the Israeli public was exposed to recently (about the IDF) have helped clarify some things for those requesting donations.
"It touches on the donors' character, and military service seems to indicate something about a person," she explains, saying the women affiliated army service with resilience, determination, altruism and resolve.
"A man who serves in the army in a combat role is usually assumed to have impressive constitution which confirm the genetic aspirations of the women. They believe he will be fit, healthy, and have several other important attributes."
Given the increased demand for specialized sperm, the donors' bank looked into its database and discovered that all donors had served in the IDF and half had served in combat roles.
Each month some 60 women turn to the sperm bank at the Haifa hospital, and as many as half – in recent days – have asked for a donor with a history of combat service; before Operation Protective Edge, the request was rarely made.
Now the combat criterion has become as important as height and educational background of the donor.
In recent years there has been a significant decrease in the sperm quality of men in Israel and the world, meaning there are less and less potential donors which can actualize the donation.
"On average, only 10 percent of potential donors are accepted," explained Prof. Shachar Kol, who runs the artificial insemination clinic at Rambam – the largest hospital in the north which supplies sperm donations to fertility clinics for the entire region.
The problem with the sperm quality has led to a large shortage in donations and the need to recruit more and more men to donate. In the past year the hospital even hosted an exhibit hosted by Ynet.