A 30-year-old ultra-Orthodox man who was born with both female and male sex organs and was denied a request to join the Israel Defense Forces said Monday that the army was discriminating against him.
The man, who recently made aliyah and settled in Jerusalem after having surgery to remove his female genitalia overseas was born with a uterus, breasts, ovaries but no testicle sack.
He filed an administrative petition with the Jerusalem District Court against the Defense Ministry claiming the IDF refused to recruit him out of gender discrimination. He sees himself as a man and has been undergoing testosterone hormonal treatment.
Initially he was classified as having a profile 64 ranking and found to fit for combat supporting roles.
His high motivation led him to try and raise his profile in order to serve in combat roles, but was then informed by the army he could not enlist at all, citing his age as the reason.
The man told Ynet he did not understand why the army would prevent him from enlisting despite his obvious eagerness.
Daniel Goldman, one of his close friends who helped him with his campaign, blamed the IDF of gender-based discrimination related to his friend's genetic disorder.
Goldman noted that the man's high motivation for army service stems from a family tragedy he experienced several years ago when his brother was killed in a training accident.
"My brother immigrated to Israel eight years ago," the man recounts. "He served in Givati, and had an accident. I don't know exactly how it happened, because I was very young, and I heard something about a jeep accident, but I don't know the details."
The man also claims there is another reason he wants to enlist: "I love military life. It is an obligation in this country as well as a privilege, and it is part of becoming absorbed in Israeli society," he says.
In a letter addressed to the IDF, the man wrote he could not understand why the fact that he was born without a testicle sack should prevent him from serving in combat duty.
"I wish to understand what the connection is between breasts and enlistment. I have seen fat soldiers with breasts. There are many haredi men and women who do not wish to serve in the army whereas I am a haredi man who wants to fulfill his civic duty but am denied this for my genetic situation," the letter noted.
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