About thirty religious recruits in the Paratroopers Brigade, a platoon that contains religious soldiers, turned their heads away from their parachuting instructor, a female, when she attempted to teach them about parachute jumping on Tuesday, 26 Menachem Av.
The instructor happens to be the daughter of the head of the IDF Operations Branch, Major-General Aharon Chaliva, and her mother is media personality Shira Margalit.
Shira Margalit, the director of the internet magazine for women Saloona, explained her daughter was demonstrating how to perform an exercise to 70 soldiers, and some 50 of the soldiers she was instructing turned their backs to her because she is a woman. “This wasn’t a group of Haredim,” Margalit stressed. “This is the abysmal reality.”
IDF officials report the number of soldiers involved was not 50, but 30.
After the incident, the recruits’ commander made it clear to them that according to IDF orders, there would be no separation between male and female instructors at any stage in training the paratroopers, and a trainee who behaved with disrespect towards a female instructor would be ousted from the brigade.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit stated: “During the paratrooper parachute training course, an instructor taught an exercise to the apprentices of a platoon composed of yeshiva students. About thirty students who did not want to watch a demonstration by a female soldier turned their heads.
“Following the incident, a conversation was held with the trainees, in which their commander made it clear to them that according to IDF orders, there would be no separation between male and female instructors at any stage in the parachute training, and a trainee who behaved disrespectfully towards instructors would not continue with training. The IDF is a national army and the unity of the ranks of the army is emphasized in all types of activities regardless of religion, race or gender.
“The IDF sees importance in realizing the IDF’s mission, with an emphasis on an egalitarian vision,” the IDF Spokesperson said.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)