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'Listening to women sing contradicts soldiers' faith and lifestyle'
Photo: Shai Rosenzweig

Women's singing debate reaches court

One of cadets dismissed from officers' course after walking out of IDF ceremony petitions High Court. 'Forcing soldiers to listen to women sing will put an end to haredi integration in army,' he warns

Y., one of the IDF cadets dismissed from an officers' course after walking out from a military event as a female soldier began singing, has petitioned the High Court of Justice, claiming that the order to remain in the auditorium was illegal.

 

The court was asked to issue an interim order delaying the dismissal until the petition is discussed.

 

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The dismissed cadet, who serves in the Nahal Haredi battalion, wrote in his petition that the regiment commander's definition the singing of women as a "professional matter" was a "groundless claim".

 

He added that forcing soldiers to listen to women sing against their faith was not just illegal, but very serious in light of the fact that the commanders stated that the course's cadets would be forced to do so in the future as well.

 

"The petitioner's dismissal from the officers' course was not because of the incident that took place, but because of his refusal to commit to an illegal command which contradicts his faith and lifestyle," the petition argued.

 

"Under these circumstances, the petitioner feels that the decision is extremely unreasonable."

 

Y. noted that "the reason I joined the army and this particular regiment was my desire to serve in the IDF and contribute to the people of Israel, while maintaining Jewish Law without any compromises.

 

"A reality as the one described in the petition (if this honorable court fails to change it), may put an end to the hope of integrating haredim into the army," he warned.

 

Reasons for dismissal?

The cadet described the chain of events in his petition. He said that during an event dedicated to Operation Cast Lead, he left the auditorium along with eight other soldiers when female singers took to the stage, and returned immediately afterwards.

 

After the first walkout, regiment commander Lieutenant Colonel Uzi Klieger announced that those who won't be present during the singing would not remain in the course. After the incident repeated itself several times, he decided to act on his threat.

 

The following day, the cadets were summoned to a hearing by the training base's commander, Colonel Eran Niv, and a day later they were summoned by Ground Forces Commander Major-General Sami Turgeman.

 

According to Y., during the second hearing the commander said that activities which included women's singing were approved by Chief Military Rabbi Brigadier-General Rafi Peretz, but when the cadet asked for details he received no answers.

 

Later, during a meeting with the school commander, the cadets were required to admit their "mistake" and promise not to walk out of any other ceremonies in the future over women's singing. Y. refused – and was dismissed.

 

He said he appealed the decision in a letter to the Ground Forces commander, but was turned down without receiving any explanation.

 

 


פרסום ראשון: 09.13.11, 15:04
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