Debunking the Israeli ‘women in combat’ Myth

Despite 225 years of witnessing the horror of wars fought by male American soldiers, there are still a number of idiots – mostly feminists who themselves will never have to face an armed enemy soldier – pushing lawmakers to drop a ban against allowing women in combat.

Israel – a nation of about 6.2 million people constantly at war with its neighbors – allowed women in combat, the idiots shriek. Why, then, must the American military, as regards ground combat roles, remain so androcentric, so “male-centered”?

It’s time to debunk the myth, once and for all, that Israel’s experience with allowing women in combat was successful and, therefore, should be duplicated by the Pentagon. It wasn’t successful. It was a disaster by Israel’s own admission.

“History shows that the presence of women has had a devastating impact on the effectiveness of men in battle,” wrote John Luddy in July 27, 1994, for the Heritage Foundation backgrounder.

“For example, it is a common misperception that Israel allows women in combat units. In fact, women have been barred from combat in Israel since 1950, when a review of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War showed how harmful their presence could be. The study revealed that men tried to protect and assist women rather than continue their attack. As a result, they not only put their own lives in greater danger, but also jeopardized the survival of the entire unit. The study further revealed that unit morale was damaged when men saw women killed and maimed on the battlefield,” Luddy said.

Writes Edward Norton, a reservist in the Israel Defense Forces: “Women have always played an important role in the Israeli military, but they rarely see combat; if they do, it is usually by accident. No one in Israel, including feminists, has any objection to this situation. The fact that the Persian Gulf War has produced calls to allow women on the front lines proves only how atypical that war was and how little Americans really understand combat.”

“Few serious armies use women in combat roles. Israel, which drafts most of its young women and uses them in all kinds of military work, has learned from experience to take them out of combat zones. Tests show that few women have the upper-body strength required for combat tasks. Keeping combat forces all male would not be discriminatory, as were earlier racial segregation schemes in the military, because men and women are different both physically and psychologically,” said the Feb. 5, 1990, National Review.

Furthermore, Israeli historian Martin Van Creveld has written extensively about the failure of the IDF to successfully integrate and use women in combat.

Finally, even Israeli citizens don’t relish the thought of allowing their women into combat roles. In 1998, a survey conducted by the Jerusalem Post newspaper found that 56 percent of Israelis don’t want women in combat.

There are now and always will be idiots who say the Pentagon should put women in any combat unit they wish to serve. Most of these people will speak with the ignorance of never having had to experience the horror of combat, as well as the luxury of never having to worry about engaging in armed conflict themselves.

But to use the “Israeli experience” as an allegedly successful model for the U.S. to follow is not only absurd, it’s disingenuous. It is a lie propagated by radical feminists like ex-Democratic Rep. Patricia Schroeder who have falsely claimed that such a goal is merely an extension of “the will of the people.”

Perhaps if more lawmakers – and Americans in general – were exposed to military service, the idiots who seem to be dominating this debate wouldn’t have many sympathetic ears.





  1. I’m an Israeli. I didn’t know that this blog published FICTION like S.H. Walker has.

    1948: Women on full combat status during the War of Independence
    1948-Late 1990’s: No women allowed in combat roles
    Late 1990’s-Present: Majority of combat positions – including pilots and special forces – open to women

    In 2000, the Equality amendment to the Defense Service Law stated that the right of women to serve in any role in the IDF is equal to the right of men. Soon after, women were allowed to serve in nearly all combat positions. Women recruited for combat units have to serve for 30 months instead of the normal mandatory period for women of 21 months.

    In early 2000, the IDF decided to also deploy women in the artillery corps, followed by infantry units, armored divisions and elite combat units. The Navy has also decided to place women in its diving repair unit. Altogether, at the beginning of 2004, about 450 women were in combat units.

    The Caracal company, a co-ed infantry unit subordinate to the Nahal Brigade, was established to patrol Israel’s southern border with Egypt for drug smugglers and terrorist infiltrators. The elite commando K9 unit, Oketz, also drafts females as dog trainers and soldiers.

    During the early-2000’s, additional Supreme Court appeals as well as political pressure swayed the IDF to open even more combat positions to women. Today female soldiers can be found on combat status in the Artillery Corps, Combat Engineering Corps, Light Infantry, Military Police, Border Police and other units.

    On May 26, 2011, Defense Minister Ehud Barak oversaw one of the IDF’s most historic internal events when he approved the promotion of Brigadier General Orna Barbivai to Major General and to the head of the IDF Manpower Directorate. In so doing, Barbivai became the first female ever to attain the rank of Major General in the IDF.

    In October 2011, the 27 female combat soldiers completed the IDF Ground Forces Officers Training Course along with 369 male soldiers and were promoted to the rank of second lieutenant. The new female officers serve in a wide range of combat units from artillery to Caracal and tanks.

    Barbivai said: “Wherever women are present – [the IDF’s] operational effectiveness rises.”

    In January 2014, the IDF announced that Major Oshrat Bacher will be promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and placed as a Brigade Commander in a Combat Intelligence unit. Major Bacher’s promotion will mark the first time in the IDF’s history that a female soldier rises to command a combat brigade.

    Sources: Israeli Government Press Office; The Jewish Week, (January 2, 2004); Bar Ben-Ari, “A Woman of Valor,” Israel Defense Forces, (August 1, 2007); “New Female Combat Officers of the IDF,” IDF Spokesperson (October 27, 2011; January 2, 2014); Israel Defense Forces; Wikipedia


  2. Riain, how many full scale conflicts has Israel been in during those years of female integration? I’d say zero. This recent anomaly proves nothing to me.

    The military is not and cannot be an Equal Opportunity Employer (e.g. God help us if we ever see people wheeling up to the front line with a rifle in their wheelchair) There are some women who are complete bad asses and could teach any man a few things, but they are a small portion, not enough to justify opening the floodgates to anyone who thinks they’ve got what it takes.


  3. When a man fights along side a woman, it only makes him fight better and im certain that this effect is observed in the opposite direction


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