Religious male soldiers have refused to participate in a commanders’ training course for the Israel Defence Forces Armored Corps after it admitted women for the first time.
The invitation to three women, part of the IDF’s first cohort of female combat tank operators, who finished their training at the end of last year, was announced with great fanfare earlier this week.
On Wednesday, Army Radio reported that several religious combat soldiers from the tank unit said they will not attend the course due to the women’s presence, saying it is religiously offensive to them.
The army told the Times of Israel that the courses for the men and women would be on parallel, but separate, tracks.
The women who completed their training as combat tank operators will serve in in all-female tanks for the new Border Defence Force.
While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.
That's why Jewish News, the leading source of news and opinion for the entire UK community, is throwing its full weight behind UNICEF’s VaccinAid campaign by using this platform usually reserved for encouraging donations towards our own journalism to instead urge our readers around the globe to perform the greatest mitzvah: saving a life.
We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.
Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”