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!
  • "Selma. Nearly 50 years ago it was violent Selma, impossibly racist Selma, site of Bloody Sunday, when peaceful civil rights marchers made their first attempt to cross the Pettus Street Bridge on the way to the state capitol in Montgomery, Alabama." http://jd.fo/r50mf With the 50th anniversary approaching next spring, a new coalition is bringing together blacks, Jews and others for progressive change.
  • Kosovo's centuries-old Jewish community is down to a few dozen. In a nation where the population is 90% Muslim, they are proud their past — and wonder why Israel won't recognize their state. http://jd.fo/h4wK0
  • Israelis are taking up the #IceBucketChallenge — with hummus.
  • In WWI, Jews fought for Britain. So why were they treated as outsiders?
  • According to a new poll, 75% of Israeli Jews oppose intermarriage.
  • Will Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener be the next Met Council CEO?
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • 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.