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Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:04 PM

Looking to Israel for Clues on Women in Combat

JERUSALEM — One of her fellow soldiers lay dead, and her Humvee was being fired upon. She saw one of the attackers — three armed men who had penetrated Israel’s border with Egypt — reach toward his waist. Fearing he was about to detonate a suicide belt, she fired two shots at his head.

“Once you come face to face, at that very moment, you don’t think twice,” the soldier, who can be identified under military rules only as S., told the Israeli news site Ynet when she received a citation for her performance in the skirmish. “There is no room for hesitation, and there is no room for mistakes.”

The Israeli news media heralded S. as proof that integrating women into combat roles had been a success. But the next day, the story shifted: Another woman in the unit, the one who radioed in the attack, had cowered behind a bush for an hour and a half, as her comrades feared she had been kidnapped or killed.

As the United States moves to integrate more women into combat roles, some have looked to Israel, which on paper has one of the most gender-neutral militaries in the world, starting with a universal draft (although, since many do civilian service instead, only half of women enlist, compared with 70 percent of the nation’s men). But the episode near Mount Harif in September highlighted some of the complex realities behind the policies of the Israel Defense Forces, where it remains rare for women to kill or be killed, and questions persist about their fitness.


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Reply Looking to Israel for Clues on Women in Combat (Original post)
oberliner Jan 2013 OP
dballance Jan 2013 #1
malthaussen Jan 2013 #2

Response to oberliner (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:10 PM

1. Don't Start on the Women Who Cowered Behind a Bush...


We've had plenty of male soldiers do the same thing in the past. Some of them got shot for being cowards of course.

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Response to dballance (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 12:28 PM

2. Hell, Bush cowered behind an F-104.

Let's face it, this can of worms will be all the thing... until the next thing, of course.

-- Mal

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