The Shmooze

Female IDF Soldiers Face Training Cuts

By Nathan Jeffay

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Israel’s newest lawmaker has come up with his maiden idea to improve Israel: give women a knock back.

Akram Hasoon was sworn in last month after veteran politician Gideon Ezra died. He represents Kadima, as did Ezra, a party that was until recently led by a keen advocate of progress for women, Tzipi Livni.

But Hasoon’s big new idea is to undo women’s hard won advancement in the Israeli military by ending physical training for all women, except got those in combat positions. Currently, all soldiers go through physical training, an important part of integration in to the army. Halting physical training for non-combatant men would be unthinkable. But Hasoon thinks it is a great way to save the equivalent of $50 million a year.

The Forward recently wrote about the worrying effect on women’s status in the army that the government’s plan to draft Haredim may have. It seems that one lawmaker wants to get the process started early.

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