Gantz: IDF does not restrict women from singing

All soldiers required to attend formal ceremonies, says IDF chief, but in all other events "we must show respect and not force them to participate."

December 27, 2011 10:50
2 minute read.
Benny Gantz

Benny Gantz 311 R. (photo credit: Reuters)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.- Gen. Benny Gantz on Tuesday morning clarified that the IDF does not restrict women from singing in army ceremonies. The clarification came after a number of incidents during which Orthodox soldiers refused to participate in events featuring vocal performances by women.

"There's room in the IDF for women to contribute in whatever way they can," he told Army Radio, adding that "the Hebrew singer is a part of our culture."

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

'IDF religious won't hear women sing? Use earplugs'
Religious women on the rise at IDF officer school
'Exclusion of women is form of violence'

According to the IDF chief, attendance is mandatory in formal ceremonies and all soldiers are required to participate.

In non-formal events, however, the IDF Command "has established that we need to show respect and not force them to participate - we aren't looking to fight with people."

Gantz also addressed an incident during which he and Defense Minister Ehud Barak were unknowingly recorded by journalists cracking a joke about women serving in the IDF, saying that he believes people understand the difference between joking and speaking about serious matters.

The controversial remarks were made when Gantz and Barak were on the Golan Heights to visit an exercise of the Golani Brigade’s 51st Battalion. At one point, Barak turned to Gantz and asked, “What are these female soldiers doing here? Where are they from?”

“They are here to sing. They sing during their break,” Gantz replied with a chuckle.

OC Golani Brigade Col. Ofek Buhris said, “It’s not a problem if they sing. It’s fine.”

Barak said, “I have Dana here with me from my media office. She’s from a moshav, she can sing and she is not in uniform.”

“As long as she’s not in uniform but wearing clothes it’s okay,” Buhris said.

Gantz also added in the interview that the number of women commanders serving in the IDF testifies to how different reality is from the situation described in the joke. He made mention of the recent promotion of Orna Barbivai that has made her the first woman in Israeli history to be promoted to the rank of major general.

Yaakov Katz contributed to this report.

Related Content

August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night