Sisterhood Blog

Women in Combat Shouldn't Be So Revolutionary

By Noga Gur-Arieh

Noga Gur-Arieh
Noga Gur-Arieh, when she was 18 years old, on her first weekend home from boot camp.

This week, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta lifted the ban on American women serving in combat. The news broke quickly and widely, and immediately took me back to 1995, when civilian pilot and aeronautical engineer Alice Miller petitioned the High Court of Justice to take the Israeli Air Force pilot training exams after being rejected on grounds of gender. Eventually she won — and became the first female pilot in the IDF. Up until then, women’s roles in the IDF were entirely gender-oriented; they were secretaries, administrators and office managers. By winning in court, Alice Miller opened the gate for women in the IDF to move beyond their desks and serve in combat.

In 2000, still more than a decade before Panetta’s groundbreaking announcement, the Equality Amendment to Israel’s Military Service law stated that the right of women to serve in any role in the IDF is equal to the right of men. And so in 2001, Roni Zuckerman became the first female jet fighter pilot. In November 2007, the Air Force appointed its first woman deputy squadron commander. In 2011, Orna Barbivai became the first female Major-General in the IDF.

These stories bring words like “bravery” and “heroism” to mind, and for good reason: Women have worked extraordinarily hard, fighting and struggling to earn their achievements. Still, it took five decades (the IDF was founded in 1948) for women to have the same service opportunities as men — four decades in which women were considered incapable of performing in certain roles simply because of their gender. Even decades after the “women liberation” revolution, it is still news when women receive an equal chance in certain fields.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: military ban, women in the militar, leon panetta, jewish soldiers, israel arm, idf




Find us on Facebook!
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
  • "I feel great sorrow about the fact that you decided to return the honor and recognition that you so greatly deserve." Rivka Ben-Pazi, who got Dutchman Henk Zanoli recognized as a "Righteous Gentile," has written him an open letter.
  • Is there a right way to criticize Israel?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.