IDF receives first blind officer

IDF receives first blind officer

Hila Meudah, 24, posted to Military Advocate General as a legal adviser to the Air Force in landmark appointment

Female soldiers of the IDF
Female soldiers of the IDF

Israel’s army received its first-ever blind officer.

Hila Meudah, 24, was posted recently to the Military Advocate General as a legal adviser to the Israel Air Force, the Makor Rishon daily reported Thursday.

The Israel Defence Forces paid for her studies at Bar Ilan University to be a lawyer after she agreed to serve for several years as an officer following her graduation.

Meudah, who was born prematurely with very little eyesight that she lost completely as a child, was exempt from serving in the army but insisted on serving anyway, she said.

The guarantee of employment with the army appealed to her, she said, “because finding work as a lawyer isn’t simple, but I would have insisted on serving regardless,” she added.

Her assistance dog, Niels, is the only animal that is allowed to enter Camp Rabin in Tel Aviv.

The eldest of three daughters, Meudah and her sisters told Makor Rishon that their mother, Esther, devoted her life to helping her overcome her disability. She also refused to have her disabled daughter attend special education frameworks, insisting that she study in a regular school and classroom.

This presented challenges because not all the teaching material was available in Braille or computer software for the visually impaired.

“Mom transcribed and updated entire math books in Braille so Hila can study like everyone else,” Meudah’s middle sister, Liron, told the daily. “She built her life around making Hila feel that she can do anything she put her mind to, no matter what anyone tells her.”

Esther Meudah drives Hila and Niels every morning to Netanya’s train station, where they board a train to Tel Aviv.

The Israel Defence forces has another 21 visually impaired soldiers currently serving in it, but none of them as an officer.

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