Feminist unfit to serve in Israeli military

News & Politics

According to Jessica Valenti, 19-year-old feminist refusenik (reFemnik?) Idan Halili: "has sparked quite the debate in Israel after she sent a letter to the army asking for exemption based on her feminist values."

Valenti quotes from the Guardian:

Halili argues that military service is incompatible with feminist ideology on several levels: because of a hierarchal, male-favouring army structure; because the army distorts gender roles; because of sexual harassment within the army; and because of an equation between military and domestic violence.
Apparently pacifism must be explicitly invoked when making a case for conscientious objector status because Halili served two weeks in prison before her lawyer argued that "although Halili's case against serving was 100% feminism, her ideology of feminism also meant she was a pacifist, objecting to any military system."

They didn't buy it. Seriously, how can you be two isms -- both Pacif- and Femin- at the same time? Unheard of.

The military decided to eat its cake and have it too by ending the fight without appearing to give in. It was the ol' You can't quit, you're fired! This time it sounded like this (emphasis mine): "The committee said that her feminism, not pacifism, seemed more dominant and that, on the basis of holding such views, she would be unfit to serve."

Anticipating criticism that its rationale was chauvinistic, the military sent a press release stating "I know you are but what am I?" (Feministing)

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