Photo: Efi Shrir
Professor Hillel Weiss
Photo: Eli Mandelbaum
The self-appointed Supreme Judicial Court of the Jewish People, also known as the Sanhedrin, passed down on Thursday a halachic ruling which calls to exempt women from army service and expel those who have already been recruited.
The ruling comes just two months after three religious soldiers belonging to a Yeshivat Hesder (program that combines advanced Talmudic studies with military service) were jailed for refusing to participate in a class given by women instructors.
According to the Sanhedrin rabbis, by integrating women into mixed army units the IDF is surrendering to "political and ideological demands".
The ruling stated that "rabbis and parents will not send their sons to an army that recruits women to mixed units. There is no place for any flexibility and compromise (in this matter).
'Failures in the battlefield'
Sanhedrin member Professor Hillel Weiss told Ynet that separating male and female soldiers would not due, and called to expel women from the army entirely.
"I remember when I would be called up for reserve duty and the IDF sent women instructors to show us how to operate a heavy machinegun; they couldn't even cock the large weapon," he said. "Today I meet women soldiers who say they are proud to be serving in the Armored or Artillery corps. It's a joke.
"However," Professor Weiss added, "there is room for technological and other units in which only women will serve, but this should be done outside the military framework.
"Just as there is the National Service for the State (alternative voluntary service for those that cannot or do not wish to serve in the IDF), there can also be National Service for the army" he said, "the women who would take part in this program would not even have to be in uniform.
The Sanhedrin's ruling also mentions the IDF's "failures in the battlefield", stating that the establishment of mixed units has resulted in a "disruption of the conscience".
"There seems to be a connection between the inability to make the distinction between the genders and the inability to make the distinction between friend and foe. Both of these characterize the post-Zionist army, which deems such distinctions racist," the ruling stated.