Gantz rejects rabbi’s remarks on singing women

“There’s no room for banning singing by women," says IDF chief, adding that Levanon's comments are "unacceptable to him."

November 21, 2011 04:50
1 minute read.
Maj.-Gen. Benny Gantz

Benny Gantz. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz rejected on Sunday comments made by a prominent West Bank rabbi who called on soldiers to boycott military ceremonies that feature singing women.

Rabbi Elyakim Levanon, who heads the Eilon Moreh yeshiva, said last week that religious soldiers would be ordered by their rabbis to walk out of such ceremonies, even at the price of being placed “in front of a firing squad.”

Rabbi: Better that soldiers face fire than hear women sing

In separate comments, he said the ban on hearing female voices in songs should be observed even if it meant death.

Levanon said he would order his students to refuse the draft should the singing continue.

“There’s no room for banning singing by women,” Gantz said.

“Elyakim’s comments are unacceptable to me,” he added.

Gantz said he did not hear Levanon’s comments in full on the issue, but added, “From what I heard – I didn’t like it.”

Nine religious soldiers walked out of a military ceremony in September to protest the presence of singing women, sparking a fierce debate between national religious leaders and the IDF.

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