IDF uses Facebook to catch 1,000 draft-dodging women

Women claiming to be religious posted photos in immodest dress and status updates on Shabbat; IDF opens new options for religious women.

November 23, 2010 11:14
2 minute read.
IDF uses Facebook to catch 1,000 draft-dodging women

female soldiers 298.88. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

The IDF says it has used Facebook to help catch 1,000 women lying about their religious background to avoid serving.

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 occurring on Friday nights, and caught women responding that they would come.

Rogovsky, head of the Planning Division and Personnel Manager in the Manpower Directorate, said that 42% 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.

A non-observant woman who signs the declaration can be convicted, but none have been. 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.

Earlier in November, 1,000 religious women met in Tel Aviv to discuss their options should they choose to enlist, IDF Spokesperson reported. The IDF Manpower Directorate introduced new positions for religious women in the military, including Navy Control Supervisor and Cadet Commander 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,” said Women’s Affairs Advisor, Brig. Gen. Gila Califi-Amir, at the assembly.

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