Are Women’s Combat Roles in IDF Exaggerated?

SUMMARY: Military traditionalists suggest that women’s combat roles in the IDF are exaggerated and are far more restrictive that the roles envisioned by advocates in the US who propose removing the combat exclusion for women, with no exceptions. Israeli women are not in direct combat special operations such as the Green Berets, nor are they in front-line combat brigades and in a recent decision, they are excluded from main bank tanks. In the infantry, the majority of Israel’s female combat soldiers are combined to the Caracal and Lions of Jordan battalions, which are assigned to guard the borders with Egypt and Jordan; a few Female soldiers are also assigned to special forces K-9 unit if a specific mission requires them. Despite these restrictions, ‘nearly 50% of Israel’s lieutenants and captains are women’ according to the IDF. While traditionalists are jumping on these ‘limitations’ to argue against women in combat in the US, there are many lessons to take from the IDF when it comes to integration and generating cohesion. 

SOURCE: Rowan Scarborough, May 25 2015, ‘Israeli women’ combat roles exaggerated, military traditionalists say,’ Washington Times, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/may/25/womens-combat-roles-in-israel-defense-forces-exagg/?page=all      

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