The IDF says it has used Facebook to help catch 1,000 women lying about their religious background to avoid military service.
On Monday, the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee met to discuss religious women’s exemption from military service.
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Brig.-Gen. Amir Rogovsky told the committees that the IDF has six investigation offices looking for women who falsely declare that they are religious. One woman who claimed to be observant posted a photo on Facebook of herself eating in a non-kosher restaurant, and women posting photos in immodest clothing were also reported.
Investigators also sent invitations to parties ostensibly taking place on Friday nights, and then caught the “religious” women who came.
Rogovsky, head of the Planning Division and personnel manager in the Manpower Directorate, said that 42 percent of Jewish women in Israel do not join the IDF, and 35% of Jewish women sign a declaration that they are religiously observant. Rogovsky said the army estimates that thousands of those women are, in fact, secular.
Religious women are exempt from the army, if they sign a declaration that they maintain a religious lifestyle, do not travel on Shabbat and do not eat non-kosher foods. The military has 60 days to challenge the declaration.
Rogovsky said that this leads to a situation in which a woman can lead a
totally secular lifestyle, and if the military does not catch her
within 60 days, she will get away with her crime. A nonobservant woman
who signs the declaration can be tried, but so far none have been.
Earlier in November, 1,000 religious women met in Tel Aviv to discuss
their options should they choose to enlist, the IDF Spokesman’s Office
reported. The IDF Manpower Directorate has introduced new positions for religious
women in the military, including navy control supervisors and cadet
commanders in the Ordnance Corps.
“The IDF will do everything in its power to guarantee a suitable and
respectful environment for every male and female soldier,” Women’s
Affairs Adviser Brig.-Gen. Gila Califi-Amir said at the assembly.