Israeli military theorist Martin van Creveld pointed out in a recent blog post that although women in the Israel Defense Force (IDF) are lauded as prime, successful examples of females in combat, the reality is they lower the prestige of the military, are physically inferior, and deploy in the easiest of roles.
The IDF, according to van Creveld, is the only military in the world to conscript women and has long integrated them into combat roles, following the importation of American feminism to Israel in the 1980s.
Currently, the active-duty force is about 30 percent female, or 58,000, and the number of fighters stands at around 1,593, which means less than 3 percent actually serve in combat units.
But not all combat units are equal, van Creveld said, and the inclusion of women has serious repercussions for the force as a whole.
“Women’s inferiority to men in respect to physical strength, aerobic capacity, endurance and, above all, robustness, is obvious to all,” van Creveld said. “The price is paid by their male colleagues; when a female trainee in a mixed unit breaks down, as often happens, guess who is going to carry her and/or her weapons and pack? But the price women have paid for serving in “combat” units has been much higher. Many of the documents in question are classified so as to avoid angering Israeli feminists, an aggressive and often obnoxious lot, by presenting them with the facts.”
In fact, these feminists have encouraged women in combat units to file suits against the Israeli military for injuries sustained.
According to figures published by retired Col. Raz Sagi, women sue the military three to five times more than men, relative to their overall numbers.
Additionally, it’s patently obvious that not all combat units endure the same hardships, or the same level of danger. Out of the 1,593 female combat soldiers, 442 serve in three battalions, which are deployed on the border with Egypt and Jordan, the most peaceful area in the country. So peaceful is the region that “over the last forty years, they have seen hardly a shot fired in anger.”
The other 1,151 women are placed in “combat intelligence collection” and border police.
Due to injuries and physical incompetence, “Neither the infantry, nor the armored corps, nor the engineers, nor the special units, which between them form the bulk of the IDF’s ‘teeth,’ have any women at all.”
This is why not a single female died during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, when 66 Israeli troops were killed.
Integration in Israel, has already resulted in “‘gender norming’ and, with it, falling standards which, in case of war, could be dangerous.”
But despite the fact that the battalion “Lions” is mostly made up of women, the military has steadfastly refused to call it “Lionesses,” since if that were the case, “surely any proper man would have shot himself rather than serve in it.”
For van Creveld, all of these facts combined make it imperative that other countries don’t point to the IDF as a shining beacon of hope for the integration of women in combat when making personnel decisions about their own respective militaries.
Yet, the Pentagon has gone ahead and opened all combat roles to women, and according to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, the decision to do so is irreversible. In the same way gay people can serve openly in the military, women will be able to serve in combat roles, Mabus said.
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