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Campaign against female enlistment
Photo: Chotam
Religious girls campaign for national service, against IDF service
Dozens of students photographed supporting National Service in lieu of IDF service for women, say they were pressured to enlist at school; 'Bennet is bowing to liberal groups,' should 'allow girls freedom of choice,' they say.

Joining the campaign by rabbis against women enlisting in the IDF, dozens of high school girls took part in a new campaign where they were photographed holding up signs in support of Sherut Leumi (Israel National Service), in lieu of military service. The girls say they were subject to pressure at school to join the IDF.

 

 

The organization Chotam (dedicated to “restoring Judaism to the center of public agenda”—ed), which organized the campaign, blames Education Minister Naftali Bennett for bowing to pressure by liberal groups and allowing them to operate in all-girls schools and try to convince the students to choose IDF service against the position of the rabbis and religious educators.

 

Chotam campaign against religious women serving in IDF (Photo: Chotam)
Chotam campaign against religious women serving in IDF (Photo: Chotam)

 (Photo: Chotam)
(Photo: Chotam)

 (Photo: Chotam)
(Photo: Chotam)

"We believe in National Service" (Photo: Chotam)
"We believe in National Service" (Photo: Chotam)

 

Opponents argue that the aggressive pro-enlistment campaign the girls are subjected at school is a violation of their belief and ideals as religious girls. They hope for a widespread web campaign whereby girls declare: “Stop interfering with our education, we believe in National service.”

 

Chotam Director Amital Bareli said: “The Education Ministry under Shai Piron (the previous head) understood that one cannot force a foreign worldview upon girls in the religious educational system; graduates of religious education contribute in the form of National Service.

 

“It is unfortunate that the current Education Minister bowed to pressure from pluralist groups that influence the education of religious girls. Hundreds of girls decided to initiate this protest that is gathering steam and we are calling on the minister to prevent interference from foreign elements with motives that are opposed to most of the national-religious population.”

 

 (Photo: Chotam)
(Photo: Chotam)

 

 (Photo: Chotam)
(Photo: Chotam)

 (Photo: Chotam)
(Photo: Chotam)

 

Kolech, an orthodox feminist movement, commented on the new campaign: “Attempts to portray the discourse between National service and IDF enlistment as a conflict between liberals and conservatives prevents the real dialogue regarding education. Unfortunately, pressure applied by the educational institutions is actually against choosing military service as part of an idealization of National service and ignoring its inherent challenges.

 

“Rather than engage in a campaign which chooses to malign one choice or another, Chotam should support the freedom of choice by young women in high school and present them with all their options as part of an ethical dialogue displaying all the challenges, both in the military as well as in National Service, as part of a desire to prepare the girls for a meaningful service using the right tools to handle their challenges and an attentive ear to their wants and needs.”

 


First published: 02.12.18, 20:16
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